There are amazing sandstone towers and cliffs in this area. Also in Purnululu, or Bungle Bungies, are the beehive formations comprised of alternating layers of silica and lichen. These alternate layers give the formations the layered colors, or bands of orange and black or gray. The beehive shapes came about from years of erosion and uplift. As solid as these formations may seem, they are really very fragile.
The only thing that holds the grains of sands together on these formations is the weight of overlying rock on top of them. When this weight is removed, the formation becomes very weak. When water starts flowing over the surface, the water will flow through any irregularities, and cause more erosion. However, what builds up can also tear down.
About 250 million years ago, a meteorite hit the earth just east of where these formations are. The only thing left of this meteorite site is a round structure on the Bungle Bungie range that measures 10 kilometers across. Therefore, in reality, the same erosion and uplift that built the sandstone formations eroded away the crater. Besides the beehive formations, there are other attractions in Purnululu.
Camping is allowed in designated areas. People, who come to Purnululu to camp, usually stay for a few days or longer. Water, tent sites, toilets, and firewood are all available at the campsites, but there are no facilities in the other areas of the park. If you do stay for a while, you will need to bring all your equipment, including your food and drinking water. If you do decide to go backpacking further and get a spectacular view of Picanny Creek and Gorge, it is required that you tell a ranger before you do so.
There are a few walking trails to consider as well. North of the car park at the park is the Echidna Chasm. However, it does take an hour’s walk to get there. To the south of the car park is Cathedral Gorge It too, can be viewed after an hour’s walk. The walk to Picanny Gorge takes about eight to ten hours. That is the reason why people usually backpack and stay overnight once they reach Picanny. Do not forget to tell the ranger when you do. While you are doing all this walking, do not climb on any of the sandstone formations. If you recall, they are very fragile.
With Aboriginal people living in the area for the past 20,000 years, you will also appreciate how rich this area is in Aboriginal art and culture. This area also has several burial sites and is also home to some wildlife.
There are about 130 different species of birds in this park. The nail tail wallaby and euro live around the area, while the short-eared rock wallaby live on top of the massif, (a part of the Earth’s crust that is surrounded by faults and may be shifted or displaced by tectonic movements). Other rare animals make their home in Purnululu as well. Until the 1980s, this park was virtually unknown to the public.
In 1982, there were aerial shots taken of this area, and in 1987, Purnululu got its name from the Aboriginal people. To appreciate the full scale of beauty of the park, you should take a helicopter or airplane ride to get closer to all the gorges. However, some people prefer to take the land route and take their time exploring. Whichever way you choose to explore the beauty of this park and its beehive formations, do not forget your camera.