dumping van for the day

In 2015 we are contemplating going to the Bungles.

Is it safe to leave our van at the rest area (spring Creek??) for the day while we go into the Bungles with vehicle only? This would be in May.

Don't want to be tied to booking in the caravan park to give us maximum flexibility.

Alan
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Reply By: Bushranger1 - Wednesday, Dec 24, 2014 at 10:26

Wednesday, Dec 24, 2014 at 10:26
G'day Alan,
Can't answer the question about the safety of your van but I reckon you need more than a day in the Bungles.

Its a slow trip in & out & even if you want to do 2 short walks its a bit of a distance (time wise) to drive from one section to another once you are in there.
We spent 7 days in there & never ran out of things to do. We did however spend 3 days & 2 nights with backpacks on camping out in the gorges.

Spending the night in the gorges watching the stars is really something!

Cheers
Stu
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Reply By: Member - i'machocoholic - Wednesday, Dec 24, 2014 at 10:34

Wednesday, Dec 24, 2014 at 10:34
Hi Alan, not sure I'd do that either. It's probably a 2 hour drive each way from the highway to the Rangers station so 4 hours gone before you see anything. If it was me, I'd leave your van either at Halls Creek CP or Mabel Downs, just at start of park track. We have seen many people try to do it in a day, but there's so much to see and the drive between attractions takes time. Unless you only want to see a couple if things I think you'll cut it too fine in one day. They deserve at least a couple of days I feel.Camp overnight in the park and collect your van on the way out. Less stress!
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Follow Up By: Bushranger1 - Wednesday, Dec 24, 2014 at 11:10

Wednesday, Dec 24, 2014 at 11:10
Wow 2 hours each way in!
It took me about 4 hours in & about 3 hrs out but then I do tend to stop a lot & wander about the bush taking photos.

Only went away once with a 4wd club & I kept holding them up stopping to get wildflower shots!
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Follow Up By: Member - i'machocoholic - Wednesday, Dec 24, 2014 at 11:37

Wednesday, Dec 24, 2014 at 11:37
I've visited 3 or 4 times now and the track in this year was the best I've experienced. Although your comment got me second guessing our time so I went back through my notes and checked again with the other half. Yep, 2 hours each way.

We went late in the season this year and there was very little water and the track had been graded I don't think long before we went through. We did stop for some pics for our new guide and I was loading lots of waypoints. There were others overtaking us as well so track conditions have definitely improved.
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Reply By: Kumunara (NT) - Wednesday, Dec 24, 2014 at 12:12

Wednesday, Dec 24, 2014 at 12:12
Alan

I agree with the others. To see it in a day - don't bother. If you have only a day do a flight.

If you drive in spend some time there. When I drove in the road was okay and a caravan would do it without a problem. Having said that road conditions can vary considerably.

I suggest you check out the road conditions first and if the road is in good condition, drive in with your caravan and spend at least a few days there.

Merry xmas
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Follow Up By: Member - Laurie K (WA) - Wednesday, Dec 24, 2014 at 20:17

Wednesday, Dec 24, 2014 at 20:17
Caravans are not allowed in the Park. Camper trailers are OK - single axle only.

The earlier you do it in the year, the more water there will potentially be in the water crossings.

Cheers
Laurie
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Reply By: Member - There Yet - Wednesday, Dec 24, 2014 at 12:13

Wednesday, Dec 24, 2014 at 12:13
Hi Alan,

For good piece of mind we left our van at the caravan park at the entrance for a minimal price. They also supplied a lock for the hitch. (And a free shower when we got back). As stated in other posts you will definitely need more than a day there. You will also need to book a site with the WA parks department. Well worth staying if you can.

Cheers Kerry
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Wednesday, Dec 24, 2014 at 17:11

Wednesday, Dec 24, 2014 at 17:11
A minimal price Kerry? How much per day did you pay?

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Follow Up By: Member - There Yet - Wednesday, Dec 24, 2014 at 23:13

Wednesday, Dec 24, 2014 at 23:13
Hi Motherhen,
As I recall approx $15 per night for storage.(August 2012) I wouldn't consider that expensive for peace of mind.

Cheers Kerry
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Wednesday, Dec 24, 2014 at 23:35

Wednesday, Dec 24, 2014 at 23:35
Thanks Kerry. They don't show storage fees on their website and I had an idea that when they started it was more like $30 per night. You also gain by saving running costs and time. It would cost more than that in running costs to and from Warmun.

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Reply By: Member - Andrew & Jen - Wednesday, Dec 24, 2014 at 12:23

Wednesday, Dec 24, 2014 at 12:23
Hullo Alan

Here is another option for you to consider.

We flew over the NP and Argyle Lake and mine early one morning from Kununurra.

We stayed for 2 nights at the CP just inside the entrance to Purnululu NP - in the bush camping part around the back.

The owners of the CP run a very professional one day 4WD bus tour into Purnululul, leaving about 7-ish in the morning and returning late afternoon in time for a dinner under the big tent in the early evening - all included in the price.

From our perspective, the benefits included -
being driven meant I could enjoy the ride and see the sights plus no costs associated with the vehicle
a knowledgeable guide (natural history, geology, archeology, cattle industry past and present, local information, etc)
time at the park centre
lunch after a hike into Cathedral Gorge plus another walk
walk into Echidna Gorge
Dinner that night

As I said, just another option.

Cheers
Andrew

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Reply By: Member -Dodger - Wednesday, Dec 24, 2014 at 12:59

Wednesday, Dec 24, 2014 at 12:59
Sounds like your on a tight budget as we were when we visited.
We left our van securely locke at the rest area where there were many others doing the same and stayed 2 nights camping in the Bungles and enjoyed it.
When we returned to the van all was good so we stayed 2 more nights there whilst we kept an eye on a couple of other vans for their owners. It was a reciprical sort of thing.
Not one van was touched in the 6 days our van was there.
I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.

Cheers Dodg.

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Reply By: TomH - Wednesday, Dec 24, 2014 at 13:01

Wednesday, Dec 24, 2014 at 13:01
We did the day trip with Alligator Air Left 6 am got home about 5pm.

Had breakfast at the camp at the Bungles Got a Picnic lunch and then went to Echidna and came back and around to Cathedral gorge where we ate lunch.

Back to the camp for afternoon tea and flew home. Had a great day with a knowledgeable guide (Jimmy)

That and the Horizontal Falls with Horizontal Falls Adventures were the highlights of the trip around the country.

Expensive maybe but you only do it once. $1500 the falls and about $1400 Bungles.

Both were well worth it
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Reply By: Motherhen - Wednesday, Dec 24, 2014 at 17:25

Wednesday, Dec 24, 2014 at 17:25
Hi Alan

Your main choices are:

The Spring Creek rest area, where many do leave there caravans. Previous owners left ours there while they tented.

Bungle Bungle Caravan Park and pay the price. They are the closest so there is a saving on travel. If the road is good, it is even feasible to commute daily if you are not set up for camping.

Warmun Caravan Park for secure parking.

Halls Creek Caravan Park; mmmm.

Where did we leave ours? Kununurra. Changes to our plans saw us based with friends at a mango plantation on the banks of Lake Kununurra, and we drove from there. We slept on the back of the F250 so didn't need a tent.

We stayed a night at both Parks campgrounds and loved it. The weather was hot, so we walked early and late in the day and saw the sun setting on the range from both ends. In the heat of the day we relaxed and were entertained by the birds.

Helicopter flights if you want to include that in the experience were cheapest from inside the park when I last checked. We missed out due to tour groups coming just ahead of us and booking them out. We didn't book for the next day, which would have meant staying an extra night, mainly because my husband had been flown over in a private helicopter and I prefer to keep my feet on terra firma.

Which ever option you choose, do spent a few days at Purnululu.


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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Wednesday, Dec 24, 2014 at 17:26

Wednesday, Dec 24, 2014 at 17:26
Adding: May is early in the season, so no need to worry about bookings.

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Reply By: Member - Alan H (QLD) - Wednesday, Dec 24, 2014 at 17:40

Wednesday, Dec 24, 2014 at 17:40
Thanks everyone for your advice.

We will probably do a day trip to Echidna Gorge and Cathedral Gorge without too much walking and so will leave our vans at the Caravan park.

We are walking wounded but don't want to miss the area. I am recovering from a triple bypass and my mate is recovering from bone cancer. So a short walk from the vehicles will be our limit.

Thanks for the advice Motherhen - we will leave booking until closer to the time.

Thanks Alan
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Follow Up By: Kevin S - Life Member (QLD) - Wednesday, Dec 24, 2014 at 18:10

Wednesday, Dec 24, 2014 at 18:10
All the best with your post coronary travel. Bypasses work well. I had a triple job done 25 years ago and it is still going strong. Get your fitness level up. There is a fair bit of walking in what you propose.
Cheers, Kevin
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Follow Up By: Member - Alan H (QLD) - Wednesday, Dec 24, 2014 at 20:56

Wednesday, Dec 24, 2014 at 20:56
Thanks Kevin

Alan
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Reply By: Curlynan - Friday, Dec 26, 2014 at 13:06

Friday, Dec 26, 2014 at 13:06
I'm shaking my head....
Why bother going in and out of the Bungles on a DAY TRIP?
Waste of time and effort.
I'm always amazed at how anyone can say "Ive been to the Bungles in & out in a day." Obviously they saw absolutely nothing of what this marvelous part of our country has to offer. It's like saying I did the full circuit of Australia in 6 weeks. (Was it all a blur?)
If you are going to make the effort to go in to the Bungles do yourself a big favour and spend at least 1 night in there other wise you really shouldn't bother. I've been in twice (1st time 4 nights, 2nd time 2 nights) and to be honest still haven't seen or experienced half of it.
You mentioned your looking at heading into there in May 2015. You will want to hope the wet season is a bad one. The track in especially at that time of year will take you way more than the 2hrs each way that others reckon it will take.

Answer to Q 1: Probably would be ok if you have an anti theft lock for the caravan. The caravan park is $$$$$ for storing it there. We did it in 2012 and we were charged per 24hrs. Even if you are only 1-2 hrs into another 24hr period you WILL be charged for another day.

Good luck. My advise is if your time is limited then you probably need to re-think travel destinations.
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