Purnululu National Park: Learn About This Site In Western Australia | Kidadl


Purnululu National Park: Learn About This Site In Western Australia

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Purnululu National Park is located on the Kimberley coast of Western Australia's Perth region.

A total area of nearly 593,053 ac (240,000 ha) has been preserved as a forest. This includes the Bungle Bungle Range, a magnificent scene of sculptured rocks.

Several examples are seen of this exceptional beehive-shaped karst sandstone, rising 820 ft (250 m) over surrounding semi-arid pastureland. It is said that over 20 million years of all-around weathering have produced these banded beehive structures and eroded sandstone towers of the Bungle Bungle Range.

History & Formation

National parks are built on centuries of land acquisition and legal confrontation, which contribute to their formation and security and the protection of animals therein. Following facts about the history and formation of the Purnululu National Park in Western Australia will educate you more!

The park is famous for the spectacular Bungle Bungle Range, first 'discovered' in 1983 by a production crew.

An adjacent buffer state to the north and west is the Purnululu Conservation Reserve (approximately 309 sq mi (800 sq km)), which is not part of the selected region but is working to help preserve the park's World Heritage Qualities. Purnululu, known for the 174 sq mi (450 sq km) Bungle Range, has already been designated as an exceptional landscape and unparalleled natural phenomenon. It helps unravel the tale of geological history by revealing the narrative of its creation over the course of thousands of years.

To the north, south, and east of the range is protected land, including sand plains dominated by spinifex and mulga. Among the dominant features in the west are those of the Osmond Ranges, which are in the Purnululu Conservation Park (PCP). Watercourses rather than watershed boundaries are the significant features of the existing park boundaries, deemed unfit for purpose. Such contamination could be caused by waste effluent from mining activities or nearby catchments.

Since July 2000, any project or task that might significantly affect the property has been subjected to the EPBC Act, which governs acts that will or are likely to influence the World Heritage values substantially. Purnululu was included in the National Heritage List in 2007 due to the Act's national heritage importance.

The Western Australia government manages the Purnululu National Park Heritage Landmark, a public property with solid legal security. While rangers live in the park while on patrol, the park is shut between December and April during the rainy season.

After the declaration, climate change has surfaced as an extra possible danger to the World Heritage values. As a result, Australia has taken several actions to mitigate possible dangers at both the national and institutional scales.

At its 44th session in July 2021, the World Heritage Committee accepted an amended mapping of the site. The complete wording of the World Heritage Committee's judgment may be seen on the UNESCO website.

Purnululu National Park and the renowned Bungle Bungle Range were only found by Europeans in the ’80s, despite being known to indigenous Australians for centuries. This gives you a decent indication of how isolated this location is and why it's ideal for people searching for an off-the-beaten-path experience in Australia.

Area & Location

The Purnululu National Park plays a vital role in the type of area and ecosystem it covers. This helps preserve wildlife and ecosystems simultaneously while providing ample recreation opportunities to people to be able to enjoy the surroundings.

Purnululu National Park covers almost 926 sq mi (2,400 sq km) and is included as a UNESCO site of World Heritage. Purnululu National Park is 186 mi (300 km) south of the closest populated area, Kununurra, a tiny provincial town.

From April to mid-October, the visitor center is available every day from 8 a.m. to 12 o'clock and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Fortunately, a few of the camping places are still available, but it is advised that even those will close once December arrives. The park is entirely accessible from early April to late December; however, this is climate-dependent.

Heavy rains and wildfires may rapidly make Purnululu National Park unavailable or dangerous, so consult the Western Australian National Parks webpage for the most up-to-date information before visiting.

In early October, the temperatures were blistering when we visited Purnululu, which indicated that the visitor season was ending and the campgrounds and visitor center were closed.

Echidna Chasm, Piccaninny Gorge, and Cathedral Gorges are among the park's major tourist attractions. The park's range of features and habitats is symbolic of the semi-arid terrain in which Purnululu is situated, acting as a visual cushion.

Inside Purnululu, there are two separate national park campsites: Kurrajong and Walardi. Restrooms bore water (which must be purified or boiled before using it). Vehicle-based campsites, like the rooftop tents or off-road solitary towable trailers, are available in Kurrajong and Walardi. Unfortunately, the garbage cans are nowhere to be found, so you need to carry all litter out with you.

Dogs and pets are not permitted, as they are in the great majority of National Parks. The time of departure is 10 a.m.

Bungle Tours is a company that organizes tours for those who want to. So if all of that bumpy roading seems like there's plenty of effort, you can go on a Bungle Bungle tour. Kununurra, Halls Creek, and Bungle Bungle Caravan Park offer a variety of 4WD tours of varying durations and prices. Most firms give strolls with tour operators where you can learn about aboriginal works of art and the plant life and geography of the region. Kingfisher tours are quite an endorsement. Nighttime tours include safari camp stays inside the area, allowing you the opportunity to view even more.

Sinuous, thin, sheer-sided canyons dotted with gigantic Livistona fan palms add to the complicated labyrinth of structures. Periodic waterfalls and ponds cut through them, and the towering peaks up to 820 ft (250 m) tall, form the park's main tourist sites like Echidna Chasm, Piccaninny, and Cathedral Gorges. The park's range of landscapes and habitats are symbolic of the semi-arid terrain in which Purnululu is situated.

The Bungles NP's Spring Creek Track has a poor reputation for being a hard 4WD track. The park itself is incredibly isolated, with few services within or even close, and all of Purnululu's trekking trails are harsh bushwalking paths.

Bungle Bungles, or striped domes, dot this semi-arid landscape, offering views of the grasslands of the savannah. There is a rich and diverse aboriginal heritage in the area.

Animal & Plant Life In Purnululu National Park

At Purnululu National Park, you can see all kinds of plants and animals. The facts below help us understand them a bit better.

The park's range of landscapes and habitats is symbolic of the semi-arid landscape inside which Purnululu is situated, and they provide a scenic cushion for the massif.

Purnululu National Park has around 600 plants. A few indigenous species only grow locally, although located in a bleak location.

Trees including bloodwoods and snappy gums, along with 13 types of spinifex, are some 600 varieties. In addition, there are several remote regions of the East Kimberley region of the rainforest nearby.

Purnululu has 149 bird species, notably honeyeaters, doves, wood swallows, finches, and rock pigeons, in complement to flora.

There are also 85 reptile varieties, such as a particularly unusual skink, 32 mammals, and 12 frog lifeforms.

It features the Bungle Bungle Range, a magnificently sculpted landscape of sculpted rocks with exceptional instances of beehive-shaped karst sandstone towering 820 ft (250 m) over the adjacent semi-arid savannah grasslands. These towers' remarkable black and orange striped look are due to biological processes involving cyanobacteria (single-celled photosynthetic microorganisms) that stabilize and maintain the prehistoric sandstone structures.

For millennia, the Gija and Jaru inhabitants have resided in the World Heritage area of the Purnululu region. Take a one- or two-night journey to Purnululu with a native operator to get an Indigenous viewpoint on the park. You'll take your time, take in the sights, and take naps to the natural sounds.

The flora of the park displays the biogeography shift from northern tropical savannah (Torresian) and interior deserts (Eyrean). Enclosed woods in gorges and slopes, open forests in riparian regions, open woods in dryer locations, stunted shrublands and grasslands in the hottest uplands, and adjacent plains are among the 17 vegetation types that may be categorized per relative humidity.

Open forest and spinifex Triodia spp. (spiny hummock grass) grassland dominates the Facility's flora, with several eucalyptus trees, acacias, and grevilleas, including Silverleaf bloodwood. The park also has sandstone Grevillea Grevillea miniata and rock Grevillea G. psilantha. Eucalyptus Collina and rough leaf range gums E. aspera also line the park.

During the rainy season, birds migrate from the north, while birds migrate from the south during the dry period. The near-threatened grey falcon Falco hypoleucos, almost around 1,000, are thought to exist, and the near-threatened Australian bustard (Ardeotis australis) are two uncommon grassland genera.

Importance Or Significance Of Purnululu National Park

Ever since the World Heritage designation, large swaths of territory have now been added to the reserve land of the World Heritage property. Consequently, the park is encircled by enormous swaths of conservation land.

The Australian Government's Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, which handles all possible influences on the estate's World Heritage values, manage the effects beyond the restricted area. Although there were no permanent residents on the land at the time of writing, traditional owners now occupy three segments recognized as special 'Living Area Leases' inside the land on a rotational basis. Land ownership disputes between the Indigenous community and the state (Aboriginal Land petitions) are currently being resolved.

Purnululu National Park has gained worldwide recognition for its remarkable prime scenery, even though it was not frequently referred to in Australia until lately, and stays somewhat isolated. There is no better place to see a variety of bands of beehive-shaped cone spires than at Bungle Bungle Range. These are becoming synonymous with the park and are one of Australia's natural attractions.

The impressively sculptured structures, which are unmatched in the world in terms of size, length, majesty, and variety of shape, endure great daily and seasonal fluctuation in look, featuring startling color transitions followed by rain and sun orientation.

Due to the isolated location at the fringe of Australia's monsoonal zone and thanks to infrastructural development, the park's hiking trails, airfield, and related helipad have all been upgraded. Defined flight routes govern aerial tours to reduce noise and improve safety. Scenic flights and scheduled Bungle Bungle trips that take you deep into the park are accessible from Kununurra or Halls Creek.

A complex web of geological, ecological, erosive, and environmental events led to the development of the Bungle Bungles, perhaps the best example of cone-karst and sandstone on earth. Purnululu National Park's sandstone karst is of tremendous scientific significance since it vividly demonstrates the process of cone karst development on sandstone, a phenomenon recently recognized by geomorphologists and yet not fully understood. Furthermore, in the formation of landforms under a Savannah climatic regime inside an old, stable sedimentary environment, the Bungle Bungle Ranges of the Park also demonstrate to unprecedented degree indications of geomorphic mechanisms of disintegration, corrosion, and attrition.

Mines on World Heritage sites can be managed in several ways to avoid adverse impacts. Firstly, the State Government prohibits mineral prospecting and extraction in the park. The Australian Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act of 1999 addresses possible ramifications on World Heritage Sites, despite research or mining in Purnululu Conservation Park and Ord River Regeneration Reserve nearby.

For just about 40,000 years, Aboriginal Australians continuously resided in the Ord River area. Approximately 200 rock art and burial grounds inside the park testify to the above. People moved from the deserts to the upland regions of the monsoon rains, to foothill ponds just after rainfall, and along the stream in the dry period, when it became an essential commodity and sanctuary. Traditionally, the flame was employed to control the ecosystem and produce a patchwork of plants with various functions. Two significant tribal groupings and their economic connections in the region, one rooted in the desert and another in the savanna, intersect, each speaking a different language.


Why is Purnululu National Park important?

On July 5, 2003, Purnululu National Park was included on the World Heritage List because of its influential international natural and historic qualities. It features the Bungle Bungle Range, a magnificently sculpted landscape of sculpted rocks with exceptional instances of beehive-shaped karst sandstone towering 820 ft (250 m) above the neighboring semi-arid Savannah plains. These towers' remarkable black and orange striped look are due to biological systems that involve cyanobacteria (single-celled photosynthetic microbes) that help to preserve and maintain the prehistoric sandstone structures. These magnificent cone karst specimens, which have deteriorated over a 20-million-year span, are beautiful and geologically interesting.

What was Purnululu once called?

It's unclear where the title Bungle Bungle originated from. Purnululu, the Kija name for sandstone, was given to the region by the Kija Aboriginals who had resided here for over 20,000 years. So Bungle might be a distorted form of the name, or it could be the name of a local grass called the bundle. Bungle was granted to a local station for the first time in 1930. When the Department of Lands and Surveys had to designate the region something in 1983, they chose the word of the station.

Why is Purnululu National Park a World Heritage Site?

Purnululu National Park encompasses the whole Bungle Bungle Range, the estate's most significant aspect. The protected area surrounds the range on all flanks, comprising sand plains characterized by spinifex and mulga in the park to the north, south, and east. The Osmond Ranges, part of the Purnululu Conservation Park, is the most prominent landmark in the west (PCP). With the proposal that the PCP be brought into the park and that neighboring pastoral land is included to offer more excellent buffers and border demarcation, these regions were deemed adequate to conserve the Range's World Heritage qualities. However, the present park borders, which are mostly stream channels instead of watershed limits, are not optimal, it was noted.

Can you swim at Purnululu National Park?

Bungle Bungle Savannah Lodge has given a swimming pool to visitors vacationing at the retreat; this is a first for Purnululu National Park. This exceptional swimming opportunity is all yours to have, and it's just next to the Bungles Bar and outdoor eating area.

How big is Purnululu National Park?

Purnululu National Park is a prime scenic attraction and one of the World Heritage attractions in the Eastern Kimberley region of Western Australia. The national park spans 592,370 ac (239,723 ha) and is about 186.41 mi (300 km) south of Kununurra in Western Australia.

When was Purnululu National Park discovered?

Considering Purnululu National Park's international significance, the park was listed on the World Heritage List on July 5, 2003.

On May 21, 2007, Purnululu National Park was one of Fifteen World Heritage Sites added to the National Heritage List.

How tall are the Bungle Bungles?

The Bungle Bungle range is around 656-984 ft (200-300 m) tall on aggregate, and it appears considerably higher when traveling through the gorges and fissures.

Written By
Joan Agie

<p>With 3+ years of research and content writing experience across several niches, especially on education, technology, and business topics. Joan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Anatomy from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria, and has worked as a researcher and writer for organizations across Nigeria, the US, the UK, and Germany. Joan enjoys meditation, watching movies, and learning new languages in her free time.</p>

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