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The Bungle Bungles

Purnululu National Park

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The Bungle Bungles rock formations

The Bungle Bungles striped rock towers near Piccaninny Creek

© 1997 Australian Tourist Commission

    The Bungle Bungles in northeastern Western Australia features spectacular rounded rock towers alternately striped in orange and black.

    In July 2003, Purnululu National Park and the Bungle Bungle range were declared a World Heritage site.

    The announcement was made in Paris by the World Heritage Committee of the United Nations in recognition of the area's "outstanding universal value from the aesthetic or scientific point of view."

The rugged Kimberley region of Western Australia is traversed by Highway 1 (which ultimately circles all of Australia) from Broome in the west to Kununurra near the Northern Territory border.

On either side of the highway lies largely undiscovered country, parts of it restricted Aboriginal land.

For explorers and adventurers, this is pretty much Australia's last frontier.

And yet this is the Kimberley which, rugged and forested as it is, is also the world's largest single source of diamonds and, from the waters off Broome, some of the finest South Sea pearls.

Eerie rock formations

A popular destination for adventurous hikers and four-wheel-drive enthusiasts is the area commonly known as the Bungle Bungles.

This is the more properly named Bungle Bungle National Park (although it is more commonly known as the Bungle Bungles), which is also known by its Aboriginal name Purnululu.

Drawing visitors to the Bungle Bungles are the rounded rock towers alternately striped in orange and black which rise from the floor of Piccaninny Gorge.

Particularly in the period between daylight and night, these Bungle Bungles rock formations seem to glow eeriely in the half light as if breathing out to the world the hidden mysteries of its centuried past.

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