The Bungle Bungles is place of unique rock formations, gorges, chasms and rocky domes. These domes are known for their “beehive” like structure and colour. The strong orange/red is well known around the Kimberley and yet the distinctive stripe, layer after layer of orange/red and then black make the Bungle Bungles an incredible natural sight.
Pausing for a quick look down Picannanny Creek – which we didn’t do.
We walked through the domes you can see behind us.
Peter flew myself and my parents over the Bungles a few years back – this is a popular tourist attraction. We have been waiting till our children were old enough and strong enough to enjoy the walks before we came in on foot. I am glad we waited.
Unfortunately we arrived in the dark, not really allowing enough time to travel. It was a good test for family teamwork – setting up camp in the dark. Our first assignment was to find out – by the stars – east/west. Surprise surprise I was the one who was the most accurate.
Pete has been thinking about our camp set up for a long time – trying to make the most of his knowledge of the sun and wind. It still needs a little tuning – but really if we had arrived in daylight he would have been spot on! Camp consists of a large tent, two small popup tents for the kids, a trailer which holds the esky and water, a table for the kitchen and a table for activities, and camp chairs for us to move around as we desire. Pete set it up so that the trailer held up a tarp over a “living area” making extra shade for us. It may not look at tidy as some camps but we are a family of 6 (most campers are couples) and it is very comfortable for us – and it works!
walking into the Domes (the most well known rock formation of the Bungles)
This was our first time camping in a camping ground, or a National Park. When we go camping we usually go bush – to one of the cattle stations where Pete has seen a water hole or someplace recommended to us by the Station locals. So the restrictions of a National Park camping ground were a bit of a new curve for us. Namely, limited fire. We are camp fire people. Morning, noon and night! But not in National Park where wood may well be the home of some little critter. They supply limited firewood for communal fires. This meant we couldn’t huddle around the fire to get warm. Thankfully we bought hot water bottles with us and they were topped up morning and night to huddle to instead of the traditional campfire. Not quite the same atmosphere but we were able to keep warm.
Though it wasn’t as cold as it could have been we find anything lower than 21 degrees challenging! So it was challenging! My M-I-L chuckled a few years back when I asked her to buy and send up 6 hot water bottles but they have certainly been well used. I think the next acquisition, in preparation for our next camping trip, will be beanies. I know, they are not the highest fashion statement but I believe they will help us keep warm.
Echidna Chasm – very tall, very narrow!
Beautiful variations in the colour in the rocks
We waited till the sun came overhead and shone into the chasm. Beautiful.
One aspect of coming down to the Bungles was for a family rest. It has been a very busy time for all of us and we needed time to recharge and regroup. So we haven’t done the tourist thing all day. We considered what we wanted to see, what walks we wanted to go on and planned one activity a day. The rest of the day was for resting, reading, talking and playing games. This is way the big table is so important to our family for camping – we gather around it and do our thing. It was great to see Daniel with pen and paper out trying to write words just for the fun of it!
Peter has taught the kids ‘500’ (a card game) which took up a couple of hours. Good character training too – more for the instructor I think!!
We met one camping family – they moved in to the campsite next to ours for a couple of nights. (Not many people stay four nights like we did). We had a good squiz through their camper trailer as we have been toying with the idea of getting one ourselves. Their young boy and Daniel spent one afternoon together. He taught Daniel to kick, catch and handball a football. We really should have packed a bat and ball. Daniel did quite well considering he has never had instruction before.
Heading into Mini Palms Chasm.
This walk was a bit more steep/climb but still very doable.
It was also a new experience to be camping for 4 nights. Planning the food was a bit of a challenge – what would last, how much would we need. I packed too much food and not enough nibbles/snacks. But our meals were delicious.
Sunday Dinner – while everyone set up camp I cooked sausages and we just had sausages and bread – nothing fancy – just get it done and lets go to bed!
Breakfast – cooked breakfast – eggs, bacon, onion, mushrooms with toast. Pete did this on the open fire/BBQ
Lunch – ham and salad rollups (using Mountain bread)
Dinner – steak, veggie stirfry – Pete did the steak on the fire, I did the stirfry on the gas stove. Dessert was canned peaches – was going to have cream (long life) but I forgot to serve it!
Breakfast – Left over sausages and steak, Porridge, Weetbix
Lunch – Tuna and salad rollups (using Mountain bread)
Dinner – Platter dinner – cheeses, muscles, crackers, dips, veggie sticks (Carrot, cucumber, snowpeas), I had sun dried tomato but forgot to put it out. Dessert was chocolate pudding (canned – which we heated up in boiling water) and custard.
Breakfast – cooked breakfast on BBQ again – eggs, bacon, onion, tomato with toast. By this stage bread is on rations so those still hungry fill up on weetbix.
Lunch – Spaghetti/Baked Beans sandwhiches – fill up on weetbix!
Dinner – Tuna Mornay. This meal needed creative thought. I had forgotten about a colander to strain the rice so at last minute remembered the absorption method (which my kids hadn’t heard of and thought it meant overcooked rice! LOL) so that bit went well. But by the time it came to making the white sauce we had run out of gas so it was back to the BBQ with saucepan. It worked out really well and everyone loved it! It was like comfort food when everyone was so cold. Dessert was just custard – I had planned fruit cake and custard but we left the fruit cake at home!
Breakfast – this was going to be bacon and eggs but since we had run out of bread I decided to make an omlette using minute noodles. Boiled the big pot on the open fire/BBQ and cooked the noodles. Scooped them into the frypan and tossed with scrambled eggs/milk. While this gently cooked on the side of the fire Pete cooked our last pack of bacon. This was a delicious meal and one we will do again – whether we have bread or not!
Straight after breakfast we took down camp. It took us about 1 hour in the dark to set up (Pete and Josh actually did the tarp/shade the next day) and it took us 2 hours to pack up. We were pretty happy with that.
Yet another type of rock formation and colour
The drive home was quite different, scenery wise, since we had driven into the park in the dark.
We got home, rested in soul but not so in body. Camping is hard work but very enjoyable. I’m glad we spaced out the walks and took it easy. It meant the time away was as much about family time as it was about seeing the Bungle Bungles.