Bungle Bungles, George, but no Zippy

Trip Start Sep 08, 2011
Trip End Jan 08, 2012

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Where I stayed
Kimberley Croc Backpackers

Flag of Australia  ,
Monday, October 31, 2011

Kununurra. Kununurra? Where the hell is that? This is a frequent response to my answer when asked about my next stop after Darwin. Now, I know why. Kununurra is a one donkey town (they don't even have the horse, although what they do have in abundance are cicadas – noisy buggers!). Thank God, I’m not staying longer than tomorrow.

Having said that, here at the hostel people say there’s loads to do in Kununurra...if you have a car. Scratch that then. However, the main reason (main? Who am I trying to kid? The only reason) why I am here is to visit the Bungle Bungles. I can now tick that off my bucket list.

It was a full day: I was picked up at 5:30am (again, thank God, I’m still on Northern Territory time, so in effect, for me it was 7:00am – still wrong, but now we’re talking degrees of wrong!) The van pulled up outside the backpackers and out jumped some fresh faced youth, still spotty faced. It took me some time to realise that he was also the pilot – I know the uniform should have given it away, but I thought he’d come from a Halloween party or some such.

Anyway, we (I and my companion for the day, an American called Theresa) were taken to Kununurra airport (and that’s stretching the term), where we boarded a four-seater Cessna plane. It was my first trip in a light aircraft and, somewhat understandably, I was more than a little nervous. "Would I fit in the plane? Would we get off the ground? Would we stay up in the air? These were some of the thoughts that raced through my mind. But there was really no need to worry. The flight went smoothly and was enjoyable. It was a chance to see the surrounding countryside from the air and it’s beautiful and that was before we even got to The Bungle Bungles!

What about the Bungle Bungles? I’m not even sure what they are, but what I do know is that they are impressive. Maybe they’re not as iconic as Uluru, but that does not diminish their stature. Flying over them was a real treat, but walking amongst them was even better. All I can say is that they are rock formations that have been sandblasted by the desert to form distinct shapes; some are in the shape of domes, some as hives and, of course, the typical gorges, but I don’t think it’s a mountain range. Unfortunately, I can’t find the words (nor the photographs, for that matter) to do them justice. It was an extremely expensive trip, but as a one-off experience, hang the expense!

The best part of the excursion was arriving at Cathedral Gorge. It’s an acoustically perfect gorge. The beauty of the day was that the trip is so expensive, it’s so difficult to get to and, well, it’s the off-season that we had not only the Bungle Bungles to ourselves, but, naturally, Cathedral Gorge as well. As there were just the three of us, I couldn’t resist I sang a rendition of Swing Low, Sweet Chariot in my best booming bass. Now, I’m not one to blow my own trumpet, but it sounded fantastic! I was well impressed, as were Theresa and Bruce, our guide (cliché? An Aussie called Bruce?)

On the way there and back Bruce pointed out the flora and fauna, but I was most impressed when he caught a frill-necked lizard and brought it over so we could take photos of it. And when he put it down it was hilarious to see the lizard run off on its two back legs – it was almost like a cartoon. By the way, I found out that Bruce agrees with me about the taste of crocodile meat, specifically, that it hasn’t got one.

Anyway, that’s Kununurra done. One of the main differences between here and Darwin (apart from the size) is the wildlife, or, more specifically, the insects, spiders and lizards. There weren’t many flies in Darwin (maybe the frogs and lizards ate them all), but here in Kununurra they are everywhere. There just aren’t enough spiders and lizards to deal with them. I imagine that for them it’s like an all-you-can-eat buffet, but even so there comes a point when you have to give up! Never mind, tomorrow I head off to Broome, though I won’t actually get there until the day after. It’s an overnight trip and it’s 13 hours. No worries!
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Brother Jay on

Where is the picture of the lizard?

spanna on

i'm with jay, where's the lizard? why didn't you domesticate it and take it with you all the trip, becoming your own personal version of george and the dragon? we want the lizard!

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