Ultimate Guide to Purnululu National Park

Purnululu National Park, or commonly known as the Bungle Bungles is a UNESCO World Heritage site located in West Australia. This is a MUST do on any West Australian road trip and I urge everyone to visit. The famous beehive domes rise 300 metres above the grass plains, and are a fascinating geological landmark. These domes did not become known to the world until the mid 1980s. I recognise and pay respects to the traditional owners of this land.

How to get there

To get to Purnululu National Park, you can either drive into the park or fly to Kununurra.


The drive from Perth is fairly long, 2811 km or a 2 day drive, to be exact. The turn off from the Great Northern Highway into the park is around 53 km, and you will need a 4WD. It will take about 1-2 hrs to drive into the park from the highway, and beware the road can get pretty rough. It is windy, rough corrugations, and you may need to cross some rivers (after the wet season). The river crossings can be quite rocky. Because of this, I would recommend a high clearance 4WD. It is a long drive, however, if you have the time or are passing by, its is definitely worth the drive in. Furthermore, the drive into the Bungle Bungles is very picturesque.


If you would prefer a quicker way into the National Park, you can fly from either Kununurra or Warmun. These scenic flights are by plane (Aviair) or helicopter (Helispirit), and connect to Bungle Bungle guided tours. If you do not wish to drive completely into the park, you can stay at the Bungle Bungle Caravan Park and catch a scenic flight or transfer with HeliSpirit.

When to visit

Purnululu National Park is only open between April and November (weather permitting). Check with the Kununurra office of Department and Wildlife for weather updates.

The average temperature of the dry season (April to September) ranges from 29 degrees Celsius (C) at the start of the season to 38 degrees later in the season. Overnight, temperatures can fall to as low as 12 degrees C. The wet season starts in October and ends in April. The average daily temperature ranges from 35-39 degrees C during the day, and 20 to 25 degrees C during the night.

I would recommend visiting at the end of May or during June because during this time the weather won’t be too hot to explore during the day, and the river crossings going into the park should of dried up. I went during this time and also found that there was significantly less flys!

Camping at the Bungle Bungles

You have two camping choices at the Bungle Bungles, both which are DPAW campsites. Walardi campground, is closer to the domes, Cathedral Gorge and Piccaninny Creek. This campground has separate generator and non-generator areas, drop toilets and fairly large camping spots. Kurrajong campground is closer to Echidna Chasm and Mini Palms Gorge. This campground has similar size camping spots to Walardi and drop toilets, generators are not permitted at this campsite. Both campsites are $13 a night pp and can be booked in advance. Unlike other DPAW campsites, you cannot book a certain camping spot, it is a first come first serve basis. Alternatively, if you don’t book online in advance (which I do recommend), you can book at the visitor centre. Purnululu National Park also has a entry fee of $15 per vehicle.

Other Accommodation

If camping isn’t your style, you do have a few other options to stay in the park.

  • Bungle Bungle Savannah Lodge offers 26 hard-walled ensuite safari cabins (queen or king split beds) and 1 family cabin which can sleep up to 4 people. Offering a dinner, bed and breakfast package from $327. They also offer a range of tour packages. The lodge also has a swimming pool, licensed bar and restaurant.
  • Bungle Bungle wilderness Lodge offers standard tented cabins (twin bed) or superior tented cabins (king or two twin beds). Both cabin options include a private ensuite, 3 course dinner and breakfast buffet. Prices range from $508 to $607 per night, they do offer discount off multi night stays. Tours are also available if you do not wish to self drive into the park.
  • Bungle Bungle caravan Park, although this isn’t inside the park it is still a great option and 2WD accessible! They offer a range of drive or helicopter flight tours into the park. Accommodation options include, cabins ($349 p/n), safari tents (from $159 p/n) , powered sites (from $35 p/n) and unpowered sites (from $25 p/n).

The Best Bungle Bungle Walks

There are plenty of walks in Purnululu for all ages and skill levels. If you have the time, I would recommend exploring all of them. If you are short on time, these are the ones I recommend doing!

Echidna Chasm, Purnululu National Park


  • Echidna Chasm
    This walk is a MUST. If you walk at the right time of day usually around 11-12pm (ask the visitor centre for exact times), you will be rewarded at the end of your walk with the chasm filling with daylight and creating an amazing glow (a photographers paradise). This walk follows a creek bed full of stones, so it is rocky underneath the feet and can be hard on the ankles. I would rate this 2km return walk as easy to moderate.
Mini Palms Gorge, Purnululu National Park


  • Mini palms Gorge
    This walk follows a creek bed (rocky underneath the feet) and leads you through the gorges. There is some steep slopes and boulder scrambling needed. It also can get quite humid inside the gorge. There are two viewing platforms along the walk, at both you will be treated with magnificent views of the chasm. I would rate this 4.4km walk as being moderately challenging. I recommend this walk as I found it fascinating to see palm trees (of all things) in the middle of the dessert, and the contrast against the orange/reds of the bungle bungle ranges is amazing to look at. If you do this walk, look high up on the gorge edge and you will see lots of palm trees. Makes you think how they got up there! Gotta love nature.
Cathedral Gorge, Purnululu National Park


  • Cathedral Gorge
    A fairly easy walk 3km walk, along a sandy path. This is a very popular walk in Purnululu National Park. This walk will lead you through the bungle bungle domes, around waterholes and into an incredible natural amphitheatre. This amphitheatre has been shaped overtime by water running through the gorges during the wet season. If you have time you can walk the Piccaninny Creek and gorge trail which leads off from the Cathedral Gorge trail (30km and overnight camping). I didn’t have time to do this walk, but I would only recommend it to experienced hikers. When you arrive back at the Piccaninny carpark, take the time to do the short dome walk!

Suggested Itinerary

Now…I’m a bit of a speedy traveller and like to fit as many activities in as I can in a short amount of time. Usually because this is all I have to work with, and as I travel solo I like to keep myself entertained. With this in mind, this is the itinerary I did on my recent trip, and it is fast paced. If you are after a more relaxed itinerary, I recommend staying for an extra night.

Make your first night in the park at Kurrajong campsite, this way you can spend the first day and a half exploring the northern part of the park. For your second night book a campsite at Walardi. This means you can still go see the domes for sunrise and complete my day 2 of this itinerary. Alternatively, you can spread the activities over the second and third day. I don’t recommend doing the southern part of the park in the late afternoon as it doesn’t get much light. If you are planning on doing the Piccaninny Gorge trail and camping, you will need another night or two in the park.

DAY 1:

Early in the morning drive into the park. This is assuming you have already driven too or close to Purnululu National Park. From Kununurra it is a 4.5-5hr drive. Another option is the Spring Creek rest stop located just outside the entrance to the park. You can camp here the previous night to save driving long distances.
After you have arrived in the park, make a booking for the Walardi campground (or book in advance).

If you have driven in from the rest stop follow this itinerary:

  • 7am: Drive into the Park, 1.5-2 hrs drive. Prior to arriving at your campsite and setting up camp, drive to the Northern side of the park. This will save you time and fuel.
  • 9am: Echidna Chasm walk. The time you do this walk is dependant on what time the visitor centre has recommended. If you are ahead of schedule, check out the Osmand lookout or do the Mini Palms walk (this will depend on how much time you have to spare). Or take a seat, relax, have a coffee and enjoy the park.
  • 12pm: Mini Palms walk. It will be a bit warmer at this time of day, however most of this walk is protected from the sun. Bring plenty of water and sun protection.
  • 2pm: Drive to your campsite and set up camp. Relax for a few hours enjoy the campsite.
  • Prior to Sunset: An hour or so before sunset drive to the Kungkalanayi lookout. Find a spot and watch the colours of the Bungle Bungle ranges change. Grab a cold one and enjoy. TIP: This is the best place to watch the sunset in the national park in my opinion. Don’t do what I did and go to the southern part of the park as you won’t see much once the sun goes over the ranges. Instead save this side for sunrise.

If you have driven in from Kununurra, follow this itinerary.

  • 9am: Firstly, drive to Purnululu national Park. This will take roughly 5 hrs.
  • 3pm: Secondly, check in at the visitor centre and drive to Walardi campsite. Set up camp and relax for a few hours.
  • Prior to Sunset: Follow the itinerary as shown above.

DAY 2:

Prior to Sunrise: Drive to the Piccaninny Car park. This is the best place to watch the sunrise in my opinion. You can see the sun hit the beehive domes and watch them change colours. Be sure to drive slowly along the road to this carpark as you will see these domes from different angles. Furthermore, this area is where you will find some of the famous Instagram spots for photos in Purnululu National Park. Spend the early morning here taking photos and watching the sunrise. Afterwards have breakfast at one of the tables at Piccaninny carpark.
After sunrise: Walk the Cathedral gorge walk. As a result to completing this walk early, you might be lucky and have it all to yourself. Another benefit is it will be a lot cooler at this time of morning. Take the detour and do the short Domes walk.

Beehive Domes, Purnululu National Park
Beehive domes at Sunrise, Purnululu National Park.

If you drove in from the rest stop:

Drive back to camp and pack up. Slowly make your way out the park, as a result, you will miss the afternoon rush into the park. OPTIONAL: Book a scenic helicopter flight from inside the park as you will pass the airstrip on your way out.

If you drove from Kununurra:

After Cathedral gorge walk, drive back to camp and pack up. I would recommend you do this before you leave for sunrise. Yes, you’ll have to do it early but this is the speed travellers itinerary!
Firstly, drive to the Northern side of the park. Complete the itinerary above for day 1 “If you have driven in from the rest stop”.
After you have completed that itinerary you can make your way out the park!

In conclusion, you can easily see the park in 2 days. Those days will be full on, but if you’re like me you will enjoy all the activities! If you have time and the cash, go on a helicopter flight because you cant truly marvel at the Bungle Bungles till you’ve seen them from above.

Hopefully this guide was helpful with planning your trip to the beautiful Bungle Bungles. If you have any comments please leave them in the comments section or direct message me on Instagram.

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