I survived the road into the Bungle Bungle

by Enrico Sasso
(Milano, Italy)

Piccaninny Creek , shot at noon

Piccaninny Creek , shot at noon

Title of this my story, comes from the words of the sticker my wife bought me at the visitor center after the 53 kms driving from the turn off on Northern Highway (my wife was afraid about driving, thinking more for a scenic flight, but is worldwide known women have a higher level of worrying than men...).

This was my second trip from Italy to Australia and unfortunately I visited the Bungle Bungle only during one day last August, 17, 2009.

I was excited and at the same time a little bit afraid about travel waiting me, after all readings about driving, 4WD car, etc., but everything went right.

Because of limited time for visit, I left Halls Creek early in the morning 6 AM with a 4WD car I rented there.
I organized my trip in order to visit only Cathedral Gorge and Piccaninny Creek area in order to have time enough also to drive back and to be in Halls Creek before dark, so 6 PM.
I driven a little bit faster than required, taken less than two hours to drive the 53 Kms to the visitor center, so vibrations because of corrugated road was very high (sand dust also, but left behind me...).

About 4WD drive, I had a Ford Ranger that was good enough (Toyota I'm sure should be better) for road conditions I found: more critical places was a deep sand road crossing and 4-5 creek crossings with water, depth half a meter, also bending road crossing hills needed to be careful.

My experience is 4WD car high clearance is mandatory to drive to Bungle Bungle: people asking about 2WD, forget it! (At least creek crossing with water are impossible.)

I spent a lot for one day 4WD hire, but I was not so sorried to spent that money: because of road conditions and consequent mechanical stress I suggest don't use your own car... at least some vibrations will remain later it.

What about my Bungle Bungle impression? For the small area I've seen at Piccaninny, wonderful! I'm sorry to had so limited time, but I'm sure I'll visit a second time Bungle Bungle, and I'll take some more time, 2-3 days that's also my recommendation for new visitors. Nice experience for people like wild nature, to be on the road and have photograph hobby!

Comments for I survived the road into the Bungle Bungle

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Nov 01, 2009
A good drive
by: Roger

Yes I went into the Bungle Bungles from Leycesters rest about 2 kms South of the turn off about mid July 2009. Our party left 2 smaller all wheel drive vehicles and 4 caravans in the rest area, and we travelled in using current model Toyota Kluger AWD and Toyota Prado 3litre deisel. The road is very poor and badly corrugated most of the 53 kms in to the Visitors centre. Some of the creeks were up to 70 cms deep and both vehicles trvaersed them without any problems. The Kluger was very sure footed for a single range AWD car and it handled the corrugations probably better than the more rugged suspension on the Prado, but I think in the long run, travelling on such roads frequently would eventually cause severe damage on the Kluger, being a monocoque construction with no true chassis. Any way it did a terrific job all through the kimberly. It was a long day trip in and out of the Bungles and we visited Cathedral Gorge (enjoyed an impromptu concert in there given by 4 octogenarian singers..the "Mentones"), visited the Dome Walk, helicoptered over the Bungles for 30 mins, and travelled up to the other end to walk through Echidna Chasm. Yes it was a long day for 8 x 60+ year olds, but the roads from the Visitors Centre through Bungles are better than the road in/out. Just a point of interest...there were over 70 caravans pulled up for the night at Leycester's Rest Stop over the afternoon/ night we arrived and it is reasonably safe to leave your vans there locked up for the day while visiting the Bungle Bungles. A fantastic experience for all.

Nov 04, 2009
Bungles driving
by: Enrico Sasso

So Roger, also you and your friends had a very full day into the Bungles, visiting more places than me !
Yes, the tracks after the visitors center was in a better condition, I remember also that just before to arrive to the Piccaninny parking I met
a truck dragging three big rubber tyres in order to decrease corrugations on the road.
In order to explain better what can be the result
of mechanical stress, consider that my drive on the Northern Highway with the 4WD car I rented was with the 5th speed continuonsly coming out! (only way to drive at 5th speed was leaving my hand forced onto the car shifter).
Probably a defect of the car but for sure connected to vibrations due to unsealed roads driving.

As you told Roger a fantastic experience, now here in Europe winter is coming, I would like to be there again for new adventures !

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