Resplendent in form and colour, these exquisite Bungle Bungle formations – now World Heritage listed – lay barely known outside the eastern Kimberley, WA, until just over two decades ago.

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    Cool room. Sprouting in clefts and gorges in the Bungle Bungle Range, distinctive livistona palms survive on the wet season’s deluge. Mini Palms Gorge seemed aptly named until big floods in 2000-01 cleaned out many of its plants, leaving it a much sparser palm paradise today. Lookout platforms at the neck of the gorge now prevent people descending to the floor of the inner amphitheatre, but the views – and respite from the heat outside – are well worth the challenging 2.5 km walk in over sand and rocks.

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    In Piccaninny Gorge’s upper reaches, its “fingers” offer exciting and challenging walking along narrow stretches, over boulders and through waterholes.

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    Most Purnululu visitors stay for just one or two nights and don’t get to see this part of the park, but are spoilt with other spectacular sights, such as the point where Piccaninny Creek exits the domes.

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    Secret passage. A warm orange glow beckons walkers through Echidna Chasm in the north of the Bungle Bungle Range. Here the conglomerate formation is chunky, with large rocks and boulders obvious in the walls.

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    After the Wet, Purnululu’s blaze of contrasting colours is at its strongest, with red paperflowers and mauve mulla-mulla, lush green spinifex, pointy orange or grey termite mounds (pictured here).

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    Brilliant blue skies and multi-hued rocks reflected in inviting pools along Piccaninny Creek.

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    Eroding forces have carved clefts and gorges and formed beehive formations in the range’s south.

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Gallery: Purnululu

By AG STAFF | January 22, 2014

Like a buried treasure chest, WA’s Purnululu kept its secrets well hidden until very recently.