Purnululu National Park
|Purnululu National Park|
|Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List|
The Bungle Bungles, a predominant feature of the area
|Location||East Kimberley region, Northern Australia|
|Inscription||2003 (27th Session)|
|Purnululu National Park
Sunset, Purnululu National Park
|Nearest town or city||Halls Creek|
|Area||2,397.23 km2 (925.6 sq mi)|
|Managing authorities||WA Department of Parks and Wildlife|
|Website||Purnululu National Park|
|See also||List of protected areas of
The Purnululu National Park is a World Heritage Site in the East Kimberley region of Western Australia. The 239,723-hectare (592,370-acre) national park is located approximately 300 kilometres (190 mi) south of Kununurra, with Halls Creek located to the south. Declared a World Heritage Site in 2003, the park was inscribed as follows:
...[is a] remote area managed as wilderness. It includes the Bungle Bungle Range, a spectacularly incised landscape of sculptured rocks which contains superlative examples of beehive-shaped karst sandstone rising 250 metres above the surrounding semi-arid savannah grasslands. Unique depositional processes and weathering have given these towers their spectacular black and orange banded appearance, formed by biological processes of cyanobacteria (single cell photosynthetic organisms) which serve to stabilise and protect the ancient sandstone formations. These outstanding examples of cone karst that have eroded over a period of 20 million years are of great beauty and exceptional geological interest.
Purnululu National Park World Heritage site
The World Heritage status of the region was created and negotiated in 2003, and the adopted boundary of the existing national park. Since its listing, the Government of Western Australia has reserved additional areas located adjacent to the World Heritage Area, including the Purnululu Conservation Park and the Ord River Regeneration Reserve. The site was gazetted on the Australian National Heritage List on 21 May 2007 under the Environment and Heritage Legislation Amendment Act (No. 1), 2003 (Cth).
Purnululu is the name given to the sandstone area of the Bungle Bungle Range by the Australian Aboriginal Kija peoples. The name means "sandstone" or may be a cordon of "bundle grass".
The Bungle Bungle Range, lying fully within the park, has elevations as high as 578 metres (1,896 ft) above sea level. It is famous for the sandstone domes, unusual and visually striking with their striping in alternating orange and grey bands. The banding of the domes is due to differences in clay content and porosity of the sandstone layers: the orange bands consist of oxidised iron compounds in layers that dry out too quickly for cyanobacteria to multiply; the grey bands are composed of cyanobacteria growing on the surface of layers of sandstone where moisture accumulates.
The Bungle Bungle Range is one of the most extensive and impressive occurrences of sandstone tower (or cone) karst terrain in the world. The Bungle Bungles were a plateau of Devonian sandstone, carved into a mass of beehive-shaped towers with regularly alternating, dark gray bands of cynobacterial crust (single cell photosynthetic organisms). The plateau is dissected by a 100–200-metre (330–660 ft) deep, sheer-sided gorges and slot canyons. The cone-towers are steep-sided, with an abrupt break of slope at the base and have domed summits. How they were formed is not yet completely understood. Their surface is fragile but stabilized by crusts of iron oxide and bacteria. They provide an outstanding example of land formation by dissolutional weathering of sandstone, with removal of sand grains by wind, rain and sheet wash on slopes.
Access to the park by road is via Spring Creek Track, from the Great Northern Highway approximately 250 kilometres (160 mi) south of Kununurra, to the track's end at the visitor centre. The track is 53 kilometres (33 mi) long and is usable only in the dry season (about 1 April to 31 December), and only by four-wheel-drive (4WD) vehicles. Safely navigating it takes approximately three hours. Access by air is less demanding; helicopter flights are available, from Bellburn Airstrip in the national park, and light aircraft, from both Warmun, 187 kilometres (116 mi) south of Kununurra.
- "Department of Environment and Conservation 2009–2010 Annual Report". WA Department of Environment and Conservation (Government of Western Australia): 48. 2010. ISSN 1835-114X.
- "Purnululu National Park". World Heritage List. UNESCO. 2014. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
- "Purnululu National Park (Australia)". Committee Decisions. UNESCO World Heritage Convention. 2003. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
- "Determination regarding including World Heritage places in the National Heritage List". Special government gazette (PDF) (S.99). Department of the Environment and Water Resources, Commonwealth of Australia. 21 May 2007. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
- "Ausanthrop - Australian Aboriginal tribal database". 2012. Retrieved 29 April 2012.
- "Purnululu National Park, Australia". Encyclopedia of Earth.
- Hoatsan, Dean et al.(1997) Bungle Bungle Range : Purnululu National Park, East Kimberley, Western Australia : a guide to the rocks, landforms, plants, animals, and human impact Canberra : Australian Geological Survey Organisation. ISBN 0-642-25010-3
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Purnululu National Park.|
- World heritage listing for Purnululu National Park
- Purnululu National Park
- Purnululu National Park (Bungle Bungle Range) "Information Site" including all relevant history, Photos and information about the local area...Kununurra, Halls Creek and surrounds.