I would like to share with you an amazing adventure camp I have just experienced, the Bungle Bungles Safari Camp, which sits within in the UNESCO World Heritage listed Purnululu National Park in North Western Australia and was established in 2013 and operated by Kimberley Wild Expeditions in Broome. Tour company turns accom’ owner operator! The site is the closest accommodation to the famous and unique Beehive formations of the Bungle Bungle Ranges, and the only one with a view of the range.
Ever since seeing images of this amazing organically created structure, I have been in awe, and have finally made the trip. I chose to tour with Kimberley Wild, as they take you via many other incredible natural wondrous gorgeous gorges and rivers along the way. The Safari Camp has one main mess building, amenities and a collection of 14 semi-permanent staggered tents with Bungle views. The eco site captures its own rainwater and harvests solar energy. The high skillion roof of the mess building affords maximum shade, ventilation and of course a dramatic view of the western massif of the Bungle Bungle range. The entire Kimberley region, (about the size of Germany), is accessible only in the dry season.
Purnululu (meaning, “falling rock” in Gija tongue), is the country of the Gija Aboriginal people and holds great cultural and sacred spiritual significance. So sacred in fact that only a small number of access points are permitted into the formation. The park is around 800 km east of the small coastal resort town of Broome and about 900 km from Darwin. So pretty well much smack bang in the middle of nowhere for city folk, and hence why it was only “discovered” by white man in 1983 by a film crew flying over.
The extremely fragile formations were created 20 million years ago as sedimentary layers of sandstone were fractured by a meteorite and seismic pressure, then gradually eroded by rain and wind. The dark bands are lichen and the rust coloured bands are rust! (iron oxide from the sandstone reacting with the environment). The grandeur of the unusual sculptural formations makes one feel insignificant yet inspired, as do the great monuments of antiquity. A history of the earth exposed.
Another access point our guides revealed, Echidna Chasm was a completely different spatial experience, where one enters a prehistoric palm valley with a Promethius like head guarding the entry, then the cliffs narrow to form a seemingly endless extruded gothic corridor. Even the Bowerbird nest structure seems to mimic the chasm.
Photos by Justin Condon
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