HEMA map reference 81/G13
17 23' 21" S 128 23' 25" E
Mabel Downs Station
08 08 6102 6358
The Bungle Bungle National Park covers an area of 280,723
hectares and is one of the largest parks in Australia. It is flanked on the
north by Texas Downs and Osmond Valley Pastoral leases and on the west by Mabel
and Alice Downs. The park was gazetted in 1987 and fees are charged for entry
and camping in the park.
The main feature of interest in the park is the sandstone massif or 'bee hive'
formations which were laid down some 350 million years ago during the Cambrian
period. The structures you see today were once part of an enormous coral reef
system and the whole area was beneath the sea.
Mini Palms (C) Mick Beaton
The sandstone is soft and crumbly and is easily damaged. For this reason access
is restricted to walk trails along streambeds.
Echidna Gorge on the northern side of the massif consists of a conglomerate of
rounded stones and boulders cemented together with a mix of sandstone. At the
southern end of the massif around Piccaninny Gorge there is pure sandstone with
no imbedded stones.
The famous 'bee hive' formations are the result of bands of silica and lichen
which have formed a protective layer over the sandstone and reduced the effects
of wind and water erosion somewhat. It is essential that these protective layers
remain undamaged, as the sandstone underneath would be quickly eroded during the
huge downpours of the tropical wet season.
It was not until 1982 when a television film crew flew over the area that the
Bungles became widely known. In an effort to protect the area the access tracks
are deliberately left in rough condition so that the numbers of people entering
the park are kept as low as possible.
There are two campsites in the park at Belburn Creek and Kurrajong Camp. Toilets
and water are available at both locations. Campers using the park are asked to
use gas stoves and not to collect wood for campfires. Wood is scarce and
provides important habitat for native fauna. All rubbish should be taken out of
the park with you when you leave.
There are a number of bird and animal species found in the
park including 130 bird species like the rainbow bee-eaters and budgerigars. The
nailtail wallaby, euro and short-eared rock-wallaby are also commonly seen
around the rock formations.
A large number of tour operators include the Bungles as part of a package or you
can hire a 4wd vehicle at
Halls Creek and see the area at a more leisurely pace.
Flying over the area by plane or helicopter is the best way to see the different
structures and formations and is something you will never forget.
The park only opens between April and December.
NPW Website for more
Phone 08 9168 4200