After the Halls Creek Road it was back onto the bitumen for the drive down to the Purnululu (formerly the Bungle Bungles). Just before the turnoff is an Aboriginal community called Warmun (formerly Turkey Creek) where we stopped for lunch under the shade of their trees and were surprised that the store had a good range of basics and fresh foods aswell.
The 53km road into Purnululu is 4×4 and off road trailers only. Once on the road we understood why, the road very curvy and snakes through valleys and across several river crossings (not too deep but sandy) it took us just under two hours from the turn off and it certainly was slow going due to the twists and turns and getting stuck behind a few cautious travellers.
We arrived and in the late afternoon and whilst looking for a camp site we bumped into Peter and Linda the couple we had met on the Munja Track. The kids wanted to camp right next to them so we camped nearby. We were staying a few nights and got the bikes off and the kids were soon doing laps around the camp ground stopping to chat with Peter and Linda.
Bianca was doing really well balancing on her bike but not quite getting started on her own.
We invited Peter and Linda to eat dinner with us and they told us that they had spent four nights at the El Questro homestead hob knobbing with the CEOs, politicians and other who’s who. They had spent some money from an inheritance and enjoyed some family time with Peters’ adult children. It sounded amazing and is now on my bucket list! It was fun to catch up with Peter and Linda again. Out on the tourist trail it is nice to have familiar faces and enjoy the company of new friends on the road.
The next day Peter and Linda headed off for a two day hike and we headed off to explore the northern part of Purnululu. Purnululu was granted a World Heritage Area status in 2003 due to the incredible natural beauty and its outstanding geological value. Its all about the rock and it is really really beautiful.
We enjoyed an walk through the incredible Echidna Chasm which has towering high walls in parts only 20cm apart at the top and 50cm at the bottom. Walking through the chasm at midday when the sun is directly above is the only time when sun can reach into the chasm and provided an amazing spectacle with light bouncing off the walls. After this walk and a lookout walk the children were hot and bothered so we headed back to camp – we all had icy poles out of the car freezer – very lucky kids!
We spotted another Bower Bird nest on the trail.
Back at camp there was some shade and the kids had a great afternoon riding their bikes around the camp. Aaron and Holly were both helping Bianca work on her self starts and taking turns riding and running next to her. Purnululu will be remembered as the spot Bianca finally got it!
Purnululu does not have any permanent water holes suitable for swimming and a number of the walks are in open exposed areas making them very hot. The temperature was mid 30’C whilst we were here and it felt HOT until the sun went down and the temperature dropped and we had to get out the beanies and even our down jackets for the first time since Perth.
Our second day we found that we had lost the red cap off our water jerry on the back…amazingly we back tracked on the roads that we travelled the day before and found it!!! Then we were off for the ‘The Domes’ trail, which takes you around and between the very famous honeycomb shaped stripy rock formations. We learned about the rock and the stripes are from lichens on the rock. Amazing scenery…another spectacular spot.
It was again hot and the children were finding it tough in the heat. After ‘The Domes’ walk we walked to the Cathedral Gorge which is an amazing circular shaped gorge with a pool of water in the bottom but the water is stagnant and not suitable for swimming. On the trail we met Peter and Linda again returning early from their two day hike as it was very rocky, hot and exposed. We again said farewell and swapped numbers we just might visit them on the east coast – if we have time!
We made it into the Cathedral Gorge for lunch and enjoyed the beautiful location in the shade for a while cooling down before walking back to the car. When we returned to camp the children seemed to find some energy to ride their bikes and did endless circuits around the camp all afternoon until we went for the sunset view of the Bungle Bungle Range.
We loved this area with the huge stunning rock formations. There was more to see and do but it was hot during the day and the kids were harder to get walking without the promise of a swim at the end.
After three nights we headed out of Purnululu and on the way we found a German man, Walter, having car troubles so we stopped to offer a hand. We gave him a jump start without any success and he asked if we might tow him out which would not be advisable for our trailer, so we let him use our satellite phone to call a friend to pick him up and tow him. We then waited for his friend to call back and whilst waiting Walter was under the car and he found the loose wire and once connected he was able to start is car. He offered us oranges and a copy of the good news bible as thanks for our help!
So after our good deed for the day and two hours by the side of the road we left Walter with his car back in action. We hope that when our turn comes someone returns the favour should we need help!