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Purnululu is one of only 4 World Heritage listed sites in WA and as expected the scenery is stunning. Purnululu means ‘sandstone’ and is home to the iconic Bungle Bungles; incredible dome shaped, sandstone mounds, featuring distinctive orange and black banding.

The park is only open in the ‘dry season’ from April to December, depending on the weather and rains. You will need high clearance 4WD to access the park and remember to carry way more drinking water than usual in this climate. 5-8 litres per person, per day is recommended on the longer hikes! Water and supplies are not available in the park.

 

MINI PALMS

Photo – Pelusey Photography

Time: 1-3 hours

Distance: 4.4km

Difficulty: Grade 4

Trail Start: Bloodwood car park

The Mini Palms trail is fairly challenging, with steep slopes, narrow edges and large boulders to climb over, finishing with a ladder climb to two viewing platforms surrounded by tall elegant Livistona Palms. The narrow gorge floor is surrounded by towering red rock walls where the sun only penetrates for a brief period in the middle of the day.

The trail ends at this point, as to continue would risk trampling the fragile Livistona Palm seedlings struggling to grow in the river bed.

https://trailswa.com.au/trails/mini-palms-purnululu-np

 

ECHIDNA CHASM

Photo – Pelusey Photography

Time: 1 hours

Distance: 2 km

Difficulty: Grade 4

Trail Start: Echidna Chasm car park

Echidna Gorge is one of the highlights of the Bungle Bungles with towering walls of 200 metres and some sections as narrow as one metre wide. Most of the day the gorge is in shadow, but for a brief time in the middle of the day the sunlight penetrates right into the gorge creating a photographers delight.

The trail is only 1 km each way, but requires some climbing over steep rocky sections. It can get quite warm, even in the cooler months so be sure to carry plenty of drinking water.

https://trailswa.com.au/trails/echidna-chasm-purnululu-np

 

THE DOMES

Photo – Pelusey Photography

Time: 1 hour

Distance: .7 km

Difficulty: Grade 3

Trail Start: Piccininny Gorge car park

This short trail takes you right up close to the amazing domes of this unique landscape. Take note of the coloured bands made up of grey clay like layers and sandstone, coloured red from the oxidized iron in the rock. Ponder the incredible forces that created these strange ‘beehive’ shapes with an unusual honeycomb texture. Follow the creek bed all the way to the end where, in the wet season, a dramatic waterfall plummets into the pool below. Sadly, few people ever see the waterfall flowing, because the roads into the park become inaccessible in the wet season.

https://trailswa.com.au/trails/dome-walk-purnululu-np

 

CATHEDRAL GORGE

Photo – Pelusey Photography

Time: 1-3 hours

Distance: 2km

Difficulty: Grade 4

Trail Start: Piccaninny Creek carpark

This trails winds its way through the ‘beehives’, between two walls of rock, eventually opening into a natural ampitheatre with a pool of water in the middle and amazingly good acoustics; so remember to pack your singing voice! In the wet season the water thunders through this area and over time has carved and sculpted the rocks to the amazing shapes you see today. The first part of the trail follows the same path as the Piccaninny Creek Lookout trail, so you may choose to do both trails at the same time.

https://trailswa.com.au/trails/cathedral-gorge

 

 

PICCANINNY CREEK LOOKOUT

Photo – Pelusey Photography

Time: 1-3 hours

Distance: 2.8 km

Difficulty: Grade 3

Trail Start: Piccaninny Gorge car park

This trail follows the creek bed, before climbing up to the lookout where you will be treated to stunning views across the savannah plains and the distinctive beehive shapes of the Bungle Bungles in the distance. At the end of the wet season, April/May there may still be some water in the creek, creating spectacular reflections of the surrounding hills. Toilets, shade shelters and picnic tables are provided so you can spend a bit more time taking in your amazing surroundings.

https://trailswa.com.au/trails/piccaninny-creek-lookout-purnululu-np

 

PICCANINNY GORGE TRAIL

Time: 30 km

Distance: 2-3 days

Difficulty: Grade 5

Trail Start: Piccaninny Gorge car park

If you are up for a real challenge there is a 30 km, 1-2 night hike taking you deep into Piccaninny Gorge. The trail is unmarked, so you will need good navigational skills to find your way around fallen boulders, loose rocks and along creek beds. There is no reliable water in the gorge and walkers will need to carry 5-8 litres of water, per person, per day. Make sure you read the essential information in the link below to the Parks and Wildlife website, before planning your epic adventure. You are required to register with the visitor centre before setting out.

https://parks.dpaw.wa.gov.au/site/piccaninny-creek

 

KURRAJONG CAMPSITE TRAIL

Photo - Pelusey Photography

Time: 1 hour

Distance: 1.4 km

Difficulty: Grade 3

Trail Start: Kurrajong Campsite

This well signed trail takes you along a path where you can observe the different vegetation types in the region. Look out for the bright yellow flowers of the Kapok tree. The trail starts from the Kurrajong campsite in the northern part of the Purnululu NP and follows a gently sloping limestone ridge with views out across the Kimberley savannah woodland to the Bungle Bungle Range. Take the time to read the interpretive signs along the way. Photographers favour this spot in the late afternoon when the warm gentle light creates picture postcard images.

https://trailswa.com.au/trails/kurrajong-campsite-trail-purnululu-np

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