Spring Creek Track
We started early in the morning, and once off-highway, we entered Spring Creek Track for an 80 km drive on a dirt road to Bungle Bungles. We covered the distance in less than 2 hours. We used our Hema GPS Navigator to make sure we stay on track.
Spring Creek Track was winding with numerous stream and creek crossings. We encountered sections of sharp rocks and holes filled with bulldust. When driving, we could not see the bulldust holes very well, so we drove very carefully. We didn’t mind because that as the views were phenomenal.
The sapphire colour of the sky and the green grasses of spinifex were stunning. The brick colour of the mountains looked amazing in the setting sun that turned more and more maroon.
Camping at Bungle Bungles
We stayed for the night on the northern side of Bungle Bungles – Kurrajong Campground, in the generator area. I think we were the only ones who used it. My camera batteries were dead, and I had to charge them.
We set up the tent in a few minutes and quickly drove to the viewpoint as the sunset was just a few minutes away. We sat at the top of a small hill and watched Bungle Bungles mountains highlighted by the sun from behind.
We watched the Bungle Bungles mountains as it was turning red. Everything around was intensely orange, and the grass looked like it was on fire! Other people sat next to us and sipped champagne, and we all admired the views.
After sunset, we returned to our tent and realised we did not eat anything all day! A quick dinner, and at 7 o’clock, we were ready to go to bed. But before we fell asleep, we listened to the dingo howling. That reassured us that we were in the middle of nowhere.
We got up early in the sun.
The morning greeted us with a blue sky and the sun on the horizon. It was cold! The last time I liked hot tea as much was in a shelter in the Tatras mountains a few years ago.
Mini Palms Walk
We were on the trail around 7 am before other tourists. Oh, what a breathtaking day it was. First, we set off on a 5 km long Mini Palms Walk. The trail led us across a dry river bed covered with pebbles. Orange rocks piled around us, and amazing ghost trees shone intensely.
Then, we entered the gap between the two big rocks. Through the chasm, we got inside, where we saw a small valley with palm trees. It looked stunning. It was quiet, and only in the distance, a magpie was calling.
We went on until the end of the trail, and there we saw a beautiful natural amphitheatre. It had an amazing echo so that we could do a concert there.
When we returned, the wind picked up, and all the palm trees started to rustle. The echo had intensified the murmur, and it made a great impression on us. For a moment, I even waited for dinosaurs to appear!
Echidna Chasm in Bungle Bungles is one of the best chasms in Australia. The other one is called Stanley Chasm and is located in Western MacDonnells.
After a short break for a snack at the foot of the mountain, we went on the Echidna Chasm trail, which was 2 km long. We knew to arrive at the chasm around noon so the sun would be at the right angle.
Like the previous one, the trail first led along a dry river bed, and it wasn’t easy to walk on huge pebbles. After that, we entered a half-meter gap and walked about 200 meters to the centre of the rock!
The sun illuminated one side of the sandstone, which reflected the light on the rock on the opposite side. When we walked in a narrow passage, everything was illuminated with intense orange light!
On the way, we could see larger pieces of rock stuck above our heads a few meters above the ground. We started to wonder if they will fall on our heads when we walk or not.
Fortunately, it didn’t happen, and we came to the end of the chasm. I tried to take pictures of how far we were from the surface. I estimated it to be 100 meters below. I could only watch the palm trees peering inside this small chamber created by the water.
On the way back to the car, we stopped for a moment at the viewpoint, where we could admire the wonderful views of the Osmand Range stretching around us.
It was hard to believe, but Nell walked both trails alone, on her own feet. It was seven kilometres walk, and this was her new record!
Changing camping spot and unpleasant surprise
After returning from Echidna Chasm, we moved our camp to the other side of the park to Walardi Campground. By doing that, we would be ready for a walk very early in the morning.
Bungle Bungles walks are spread widely, and there was no point in staying so far from our next big walk, which was Cathedral Gorge.
We found a camping spot with grass, which is not easy to find, as sand dominates here. There was also a nice spot for a campfire in the middle of the campground. Super! After setting up the camp, we went to the Kurrajong Lookout to admire the sunset.
Unfortunately, after our return, we were unpleasantly surprised. People with 2 trailers and probably seven kids settled next to us. They also took over our fireplace and wood given by the ranger.
Nell was heartbroken. We went to sleep early. Even the dingoes were quiet.
If you want to secure your camping spot or a campfire, leave your chairs around the place so everybody will see the place is taken.
The howling dingoes awakened us. It was 6:10 am. The morning was cold. Nobody wanted to get up as it was freezing. We hoped if we opened the tent, the sun would come up and warms us up, but that did not happen.
It was 10 degrees outside. We had a quick breakfast again, great hot tea, and we were ready to go again!
Today we planned to go on two short trails: Cathedral Gorge (3km) and The Domes (1km). This part of Bungle Bungles is very famous for its hive-like rocks with its distinctive brown and orange stripes.
We have never seen mountains like this before. When walking among them, we unconsciously looked for natural windows and doors.
However, we were most impressed by the Cathedral Gorge. To get there, it was a picturesque path, partly a riverbed that was winding among spinifex grasses and trees with attractive red flowers.
It led us to huge water-washed chamber with a loud resonance and the wonderful forms of washed-out rocks. We actually felt like we were in a huge cathedral! We had this place to ourselves, but only for a few minutes. We enjoyed the vastness and tranquillity of this place.
Then, more and more people arrived, so it was a signal to leave this amazing place.
Meeting Shirley and Stan
Upon our departure from the Cathedral, we had a nice talk with a couple from Rockhampton (Shirley and Stan). We found out they used to be homestead owners, and they had thousands of cows on their property.
These days, after selling everything, they travel around Australia like us. It happened we had similar stories to share, and they seem to be really nice people.
After we returned to the car, Shirley invited us to taste a damper baked in the fire. This morning’s tea was delicious, and the damper had a hint of smoky taste.
We even got an invitation to visit them in Rockhampton when we are there around December. I can’t wait to see them again!
Leaving Bungle Bungles
We only had to drive 100 km to the roadhouse to leave our camper trailer. When we were almost there, we saw a car approaching us from the other direction.
The car started flashing lights, and then a man leaned out of the window and began to put his hand to his head and made some gestures near to his ear. We were dumbfounded.
What was going on? We slowed down just in case, which was a good move. The guy showed us a whole herd of cows around the bend, and it would be good not to run into them. Man’s gestures were supposed to resemble cow horns. Oh… outback.
Goodbye Bungle Bungles. We will be back one day!
Bungle Bungles Map
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
There are two more walks in Bungle Bungles:
- Piccaninny Creek – it is a no mark track and no endpoint. You must rely on your hiking skills to plan well, stay hydrated and not get lost. The 7 kilometer walk to the entrance of the gorge may take a full day so be prepared as the conditions are very hot. Make sure you take enough water and all camping equipment if you plan to stay for a night. Please note that permit is required to go for Piccaninny Creek walk.
- Whip Snake Gorge – follow Piccaninny Creek walk and then turn left after 1.5 km. After 20 minutes walk you will see Whip Snake Gorge.
There are two parts of Bungle Bungles: The northern part and the Southern part.
In the north of Bungle Bungles, you can go to Osmand Lookout (class 3) and The Bloodwoods Lookout (class 3).
In the south, you have a choice between Piccaninny Creek Lookout and The Window (class 4). The Window is actually a 6 km return walk so it is a bit further.
Unfortunately, fires are not permitted in Bungle Bungles. You have to bring your own portable gas and cooking equipment.
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4WD Equipment Checklist
Tire Repair Kit – to fix the tire by yourself when you don’t have access to the tire shop (we use Oztrail)
UHF Radio – for communication with your mates and in emergency
Full Recovery Kit (with Dampener Blanket) – must-have if you are going on real off-road
High Lift Jack – useful if you do serious 4WD tracks
Shovel – useful if you get bogged, also good for campfire cooking
Fuel funnel with water filter – additional protection when fueling up in dodgy places