Bungle Bungle

Travel Theme : Above

Mount Nelson signal  station 049_4000x3000

The view from the lookout on the top of Mount Wellington, Hobart, Tasmania.

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As I came down the mountain Hobart spread out before me on both sides of the Derwent River.

We house sat here for 3 months in 2013

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Another memorable flight was over the Bungle, bungles in the Kimberly area. This is the view from above.

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This is the view as I walked toward these amazing formations.

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Travelling is great and there is so much to see, but after an extended trip this is the best view of all from above.

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The best harbour in the world, Sydney. Can you see the iconic sails of the Opera House and the majestic curve of the Harbour Bridge, fondly known as “the old coat-hanger?

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This post is inspired by “ABOVE” Ailsa’s Travel Theme challenge for this week.

Categories: above, Australia, Bungle Bungle, Hobart, Mt Wellington, photos, Sydney, travel theme | Tags: , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Wild Weekly Photo Challenge : Mountains

Australia is mainly a country of sweeping plains and endless vistas, but round the edges we have some rather spectacular mountains.

The Great Dividing Range runs along the east coast and at the southern end the Snowy Mountains loom up. When we crossed them a bush fire had raged through and left the land scorched and devoid of trees, the scenery was stark and rugged but made beautiful subject for aerial perspective.

In the opposite corner, the north-west, there are the Kimberly’s. Hidden in the heart of this mountain range are the Bungles. Only discovered by Europeans in the 1980’s. Of course the Aboriginal people had known and worshipped them as a sacred place for thousands of years. These are now called our “last great wilderness”  and they are spectacular.

The fly over and then the walk among the domes of the Bungles and into Cathedral Cove I rate in the top three experiences on my journey around Australia.

So here is a gallery of photos I took of these two mountain areas.

This week, we’re challenging you to take inspiration from the mountains! If you happen to live in an area totally devoid of altitude, even moderate hills will do!

On Wednesday, April 24th (at 2pm EST, so be sure to submit your entries before that time, even at 1:59pm!) we’ll choose 1 judge’s choice winner, 5 runner ups, and 1 audience choice winner & share their entries here on LetsBeWild.com, announcing the winners by the following day! Send your friends to this page to leave a comment-vote for your entry to win the audience choice award!

This on-line travel magazine now provides an excellent photography course for both beginners and more advanced photographers. It has quality information and  if you click here you can check it out for yourself, and it is FREE…

Categories: Australia, Bungle Bungle, mountains, photos, Wild Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , | 27 Comments

CBBH Photo Challenge ; View of the Bungle Bungles from an Aircraft

I have just discovered this blog “East of Malaga” Marianne gives us photo challenges with a twist, as well as posting appropriate photos we also pass on a couple of other blogging buddies that we follow…

This challenge really excited me as I have photos of the amazing flight we took from Kununurra (I love the name of that town, it rolls off your tongue) Over the huge Ord river dam and Lake Argyle diamond mines into the heart of the Kimberly’s and landed among the surreal Bungle Bungles mountain range. We spent 8 hours walking through this ancient landscape before flying back as the sunset.

vegetables and sandalwood plantations

vegetables and sandalwood plantations

Lake Argyle used for the irrigation of this huge vegetable growing area

Lake Argyle used for the irrigation of this huge vegetable growing area

Huge irrigated vegetable crops

Huge irrigated vegetable crops with township of Kununurra in the distance

Lake Argyle

Lake Argyle

Argyle diamond mine

Argyle diamond mine

Escarpments stretch through the out back plains

Escarpments stretch through the out back plains

Bungle Bungles from the air

Bungle Bungles from the air

You can see the track we walked along into the domes

You can see the track we walked along into the domes

The track winds among the domes

The track winds among the domes

Deep canyons in the Bungles range

Deep canyons in the Bungles range

I had to include a photo from the ground they are the most amazing formations I have ever seen

I had to include a photo from the ground they are the most amazing formations I have ever seen

Information

Information

The Bungle Bungles domes

The Bungle Bungles domes

It took an hour to fly to the small landing strip and then we spent 8 hours walking among these ancient formations. This place rates as one of the most amazing places I have ever visited. The history of it is very recent in European discoveries as it was only in 1988 that these formations were discovered. Of course the Aboriginals had known of them for centuries and they are a very special and sacred place to the indigenous people.

In 2010 I did a 2 day over-land tour into this area and slept in a swag under the stars. It was truly a magical experience.

This time it was fly in and then as the sunset we flew back to Kununurra, my gypsy soul full to over-flowing with the experience…

If you come to Australia put a visit to this area at the top of your list it is truly a unique and inspiring place..

The sun sets slowly in the west

The sun sets slowly in the west

Now I have the pleasure to introduce you to a couple of my blogging buddies. It is hard to name just 2 as I follow and enjoy reading the posts and interacting with so many inspirational people out there in the blogosphere. I will be back to visit Marianne’s weekly challenge and I can then gradually introduce you to more.

Lisa of “Zeebra Designs and Destinations” is an artist living in Costa Rica. She is a very talented lady and shares stories and photos of her life and friends in the area she lives, taking us for walks along the muddy tracks into town. Showing us the food and interaction with the children and neighbours. I love chatting with her in cyberspace. Go over and say “hello”…

Ailsa of “Where’s my backpack” is a traveller, I love following her stories of the adventures and places she has seen and visited. She is a true free spirit and her descriptions and photos take you on the journey with her. She also organizes a weekly photo challenge “Travel Theme” each week she chooses a different subject to keep you searching for photos to portray the theme. It is hugely popular and hundreds of bloggers submit very interesting interpretations of the theme each week. Take a look, this week it is “shadows“..

Categories: australian travel, Bungle Bungle, CBBH photo challenge, photos, travel, View from aircraft | Tags: , , , , | 19 Comments

Travel Themes : Parks

Ailsa of <Where’s my backpack> blog has produced a stunning post about a park in New York. Now I had been to Central Park but the description and amazing photos of this High Line park have totally changed my image of New York. Go to her blog and drool over the beautiful photos.

Ailsa has also set the challenge this week for us to “show and tell” of Parks that inspire us…

Australia has many amazing National Parks. The diversity and range of climates, from desert to tropical rainforest create a country with National Parks, large and small to be enjoyed, walked in, camped in and all are well-managed by the Parks and wild life association.

I visited many of them on our trip around Australia, Kalbarri National Park during wild flower season, Katherine Gorge with the towering red ochre cliffs, the Daintree River winding through the lush rainforest, so many, and all so different. Still many more on my “to see” list.

Of them all the one that stands head and shoulders above the rest was the Bungle Bungle range in the Kimberley region of Western Australia…

Striking banded sandstone domes

I have had two very different experiences of these spectacular gorges and surreal landscape. The first was in 2005.

I booked on a tour with a local guide. Scott had been born in the area and he took small groups of 9 people in his 4 WD on a 2 day safari into the heart of the Bungles. Not many tours drove into this wilderness area. The track in, it could not be called a road, was rugged. The 4WD ploughed through bulldust, bounced and swerved along the deep, corrugated, rutted track as it twists and turns for approx 50 kilometres.Scott drove fast as he said that is the best way to even out the corrugations, sort of skim over the top of them. Twice we had to stop to let Teresa out to be sick and once we stopped to change a blown tyre. It was a 5 hour drive from Kununurra.

As we came in site of the spectacular orange and grey banded domes Scott let us out to walk the last hour toward them as he drove ahead to prepare lunch. The experience of walking toward these structures as they slowly fill our vision and then overwhelm us as we stand next to them is an unforgettable encounter.

This is the last true wilderness in Australia. It is amazing that this incredible range was only revealed to the world by a TV team that did a documentary of the Kimberleys in 1983, that is not a typing error, it was only 29 years ago. Of course the Aboriginals had known the area for thousands of years. It was entrenched in their Dreamtime and was a sacred site. The pastoralist had been aware of it but were too busy just surviving in this harsh land to wonder about the uniqueness of it. By 1987 it was a world heritage site.

People look like ants walking along the track

We spent the rest of the day walking along tracks among these beehive shaped domes and into deep gorges. That night after a superb BBQ dinner of steak and chicken with salad and a glass of wine Scott lit a fire and we sat around exchanging stories and Scott told us of many of the Aboriginal legends and other characters that had, and some still do, live in the area. Then we rolled out our swags and slept under a blanket of a million stars.

Next day it was more walking through this surreal landscape the azure blue of the sky accentuating the shape and colour of the domes. The final gorge Scott took us to was Cathedral Gorge.

This was to be a moment that will live with me forever and was the highlight of my trip around Australia.

Scott had carried a didgeridoo with him and when we reached the end of the gorge it was just our small group. We sat in the sand around a small crystal clear pool and Scott climbed up to an over-hanging rock and placed the end of the old Aboriginal instrument into a hollow. The haunting sound echoed and hung around us in the still air, time also seemed to stand still. The walls of the gorge towered above us and the top was a blaze of fiery red were the sun touched it. I sat entranced and awed by the majesty of the moment.

Next trip in 2010 I was anticipating taking Jack on the tour with Scott. I searched around Kununurra to find him but was told he no longer did the trips and was now a DJ at one of the night clubs. The larger tourist operations now had taken over. I was determined to go back to visit the Bungles so I booked a flight in.

Bungle Bungle from the air

It was a spectacular flight over Lake Argyll and the famous Argyll diamond mine. We landed at a small air-strip near the Bungle formations and trekked in to them. The landscape had not changed it was still amazing with the orange and grey domes, so photogenic. Again the highlight was the walk into Cathedral Gorge. The difference was the number of people we shared the experience with. Bus tours, air flights and many more independent 4WD travellers have found this majestic place. I think it has been well marketed and has become a must-see on tourist bucket lists. Approx 70-80 people were at the end of Cathedral Gorge gazing around in awe at the splendour of nature.

Then magic happened again. Suddenly a group started to sing. Beautiful voices soared with that iconic Australian song “Waltzing Matilda” followed by “I still call Australia home”. All those people went silent and stood entranced as the words echoed and swirled around the rock walls. I shut my eyes and felt the magic. Spontaneous applause broke out when the song ended. I learnt that it was a Welsh choir group touring together.

The sun was setting as we flew back to Kununurra and lit the Kimberleys in a blaze of fire.

Categories: aboriginal history, australian travel, Bungle Bungle, National Parks, photos, travel | Tags: , , | 16 Comments

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