Sunday, 4 July 2010

Bungle Bungles by helicopter


The Purnululu National Park was opened to tourists in the early 1980s. The Bungle Bungles is this specific rock formations within the park. There is a variety of walking trails within the park and my group walked into Cathedral Gorge and Echidna Chasm, and also had this flyover. My flight was the one prior to the one in the photograph. I was allocated the seat next to the pilot. The doors were removed to aid photography.


The 'bee-hive' domes are composed of sandstone - formed by the consolidation of sand grains - and conglomerates - composed of pebbles and boulders and cemented together by finer material. The sandstone has alternating orange and black/grey banding. The darker bands are on the more permeable layers of rock, meaning water is able to move through them more easily. They allow moisture to seep through to the rock surface, promoting a dark algal growth.

The less permeable layers in between are covered with a patina of iron and manganese staining, creating the orange bands. These outer coatings - the rock beneath is a whitish colour - help to protect the lower parts of the domes from continual erosion during the massive wet season.


Geological information from the WA Department of Environment & Conservation. The chopper ride cost $205 and lasted 30 minutes. I had never been in a helicopter before.

19 comments:

Luis Gomez said...

Julie, thank you for these wonderful shots and info. These are breath taking.

Tulsa Gentleman said...

These are spectacular photographs. Your helicopter ride was a good investment. The Bungle Bungles look like the Australian version of our Grand Canyon. The colors and formations are stunning. I appreciate the geological explanation of the various layers. Strata like these are built by eons of alternating cycles of geological formation. The regularity of these must indicate some interesting cycles of some sort of phenomenon. I'm off to Wikipedia. Glad you are back.

brattcat said...

Must have been heart pounding excitement up in that helicopter and yet these images are crisp and stunning, no indication of shaking hands or helicopter vibration. Well done, Julie!

That is the chicken said...

Spectacular...I love the last shot showing just how many of these amazing rock formations there are!

Jo said...

That ride was worth every dollar. What spectacular photos. I can only dream of flying over a beautiful place such as Bungle Bungles. So thanks !

Bruce Caspersonn said...

A couple of years back we did this by light aircraft, the Bungles are something else alright. The next time we were there, we planned a helicopter,,,but it rained for days.

Marka said...

Neat rock formations!

Ann said...

that flight is one of the best things I've ever done. I only wish I knew then how to take decent photos. these are great.

Jayne said...

That is money well spent!
Those are amazing photos, thanks for sharing :)

CafebyJW said...

WOW... thanks for sharing great photos and info.

My Bangkok Through My Eyes

Joan Elizabeth said...

Oooh aaaah. I've only flown in a helicopter once .. from JFK Airport to the centre of New York after a flight from London on Concorde ... but I reckon I would have been every bit as chuffed to have done this flight. Fab photos.

J Bar said...

They are awesome.

biebkriebels said...

Amazing pictures!

Woody said...

They remove the doors so you can photograph!!?? Cool, although I imagine it can be a bit unnerving!

Mary Ann said...

Gorgeous and informative. Stunning landscapes.

Clytie said...

I have never been in a helicopter - and probably never will. But if I do, I only hope I can go somewhere as beautiful as this!!! Amazing!

freefalling said...

Oh that last shot!
I didn't know they looked like that!
I just thought there was a Bungle here and a Bungle there - not Bungle Bungle Bungle Bungles!
I have instantly fallen in love.
They are calling me.

cara said...

Stunning. I would have made it there had I not rolled the car on the Gibb River Road. I am kicking myself.

♥ Braja said...

Wow :) Well, that brings it back. In 1987 I lived in Halls Creek, worked for Halls Creek & Bungle Bungle Tours at one stage....:))