East Kimberley Day 18 - Bungles to Kununurra

Monday, Jul 09, 2001 at 00:00

ExplorOz - David & Michelle

Day 18 - Monday 9/7/01
Start - Bungles
Stop - Kununurra
Trip Odometer - 313km
Stopped time - 2.03hrs
Moving average - 64.1km/hr
Moving time - 4.53hrs
Max speed - 6.57hrs

We all decided that to do a Bungle trip you really need to allow a day to drive in and to setup camp, with possibly the walks at the Echidna Chasm end. Another full day is needed to do the beehive domes with Cathedral Gorge etc as the driving distances are much longer, with the final day being left for the long trek back out to the highway and onto Kununurra. The suggested driving times from the Bungles to Halls Creek is 4hrs, with Kununurra being 5 hrs away. We found this about spot on, although we tend to stop for baby-breaks etc, hence our stats above. So, we left Kurrajong Camp at 9.15am and it was after 3.30pm when we made it into Kununurra.

At the end of the 2hr trek out of the Bungles to the highway, we stopped to chat to a couple heading in – Adam and Sue who were on the final leg of their on/off again 9 ½ yrs of working travel around Australia. They had some great info to share about Kalumburu where we are headed but surprisingly, in all that time travelling they have never ventured far from the coast and have not done the Simpson Desert, Oodnadatta Track, Gunbarrel, Tanami etc. They were well setup for fishing, so that’s probably the reason. Anyway, they were very friendly and it is always refreshing to met other young couples making a good go at travelling.

The final leg of the drive along the Great Northern Highway from the Spring Creek turnoff to Kununurra was very scenic. Although we’ve done the Gibb River Road a few years ago and enjoyed the ranges, we found this section to be equally impressive. Most of the creek crossings had water, and the surrounding plains were green and most plants and flowers were in bloom. In contrast, when we were last in the region it was October so seeing it at this time is quite different.

The major drawback is the number of other travellers. We are right in the middle of the school holidays and it seems everyone has a fully setup 4WD and is off on a great adventure. Sandy found a great quote from a book for the definition of Adventure – “participating in an exciting, possibly hazardous enterprise with an uncertain outcome”.

We stopped for lunch at Turkey Creek, which although just a shack from the road, is a well stocked roadhouse, caravan park, and major heli tour location for Bungles scenic flights. A helicopter flight from the heliport in the bungles will cost you $185pp whilst out on the highway at Turkey Creek it is $190pp. We didn’t get to view the Bungles from the air, and at this point in time I’m not disappointed. 3 days of rocks was about enough for most of us – amazing as they were. Anyway, got to leave something for next time!

Kununurra also was quite different to how we saw it last time. Dunham Creek is quite full, with possible campsites by the river – not sure if you are allowed bush camping here though. There are also many bush camp opportunities along the Parry Creek Road, but all are signed No camping – fines up to $1000. We found locals and travellers camping or day stopping at all of these.
David (DM) & Michelle (MM)
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Always working not enough travelling!
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