Purnululu National Park Travel Guide

Discover the natural beauty, cultural highlights, and practical information for visiting Purnululu National Park in Western Australia. Find the best places to visit, things to do, and where to stay in this travel guide.

Introduction to Purnululu National Park

Purnululu National Park is one of the most stunning natural wonders in Western Australia. This UNESCO World Heritage Site, located in the Kimberley region, is known for its distinctive beehive-shaped sandstone formations, called the Bungle Bungle Range. The park boasts of unique flora and fauna, ancient rock art, and rich indigenous culture.

The rugged terrain of Purnululu is unmatched in its beauty and remoteness. Visitors each year flock to the park to explore its many natural and cultural attractions. This travel guide covers everything you need to know to plan your visit to Purnululu National Park and make the most of your experience.

List of Places to Visit in Purnululu National Park

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  1. Bungle Bungle Range – These unique orange and black striped sandstone domes are the main attraction of the park.
  2. Cathedral Gorge – A beautiful natural amphitheater formed by two giant rock faces. It’s an excellent spot for photographs and picnics.
  3. Echidna Chasm – A narrow gap that opens up into a shady chamber with boulder-strewn creek. Best visited at midday for the sun’s rays to light the chasm.
  4. Domes Walk – A 1.5 km loop trail that leads to Cathedral Gorge and the Beehive Domes.
  5. Piccaninny Creek – A wilderness adventure experience in the heart of the park.
  6. Old Halls Creek Cemetery – A look into the past with the graves of early settlers.

Natural Attractions of Purnululu National Park: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  1. Mini Palms Gorge - A stunning gorge with a hidden waterfall and lush vegetation.
  2. Osmand Lookout – A panoramic viewpoint of the park, giving the best view of the Bungle Bungle Ranges.
  3. Picaninny Lookout – A 360-degree view of the park and its winding valleys.
  4. Whip Snake Gorge – A beautiful gorge with an inviting swimming hole.
  5. Kungkalanayi Lookout – An impressive natural lookout point off the road to Echidna Chasm.
  6. Windjana Gorge – A long, deep water hole bounded by high cliffs that create an oasis in an otherwise dry landscape.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Purnululu National Park

Purnululu National Park offers a host of hiking and mountain biking trails that explore the park’s unique rock formations, diverse flora, and fauna. Some of the best hikes and trails include:

  • Cathedral Gorge to Picanniny Lookout Walk – An easy, well-marked trail that yields exceptional views.
  • Mini Palms Gorge & Tracks – A moderate hike that takes you through verdant palm groves, a hidden waterfall, and up a canyon wall for captivating views.
  • The Domes Walk: – This is a gentle 2-hour stroll with plenty of photo stops and some hidden gem waterholes to cool off.
  • Kungkalanayi Lookout Walk – A steep walk up to a picturesque lookout beneath impressive sandstone walls, this is a fairly easy but steep walk.
  • Picaninny Creek Walk – A challenging yet rewarding 2-3 day wilderness adventure that takes you through wide valleys, over high ridges, and across deep creeks.
  • Osmand Lookout & Tracks – A moderate 1 km walk with an impressive viewpoint over the Bungle Bungles.

Best Things to Do in Purnululu National Park: Activities and Tours

There is no shortage of activities and tours to enjoy in Purnululu National Park. These include:

  1. 4WD Adventures – Purnululu is only accessible by four-wheel drive, so hire a vehicle to explore the varying terrain.
  2. Scenic Flights – Take a scenic flight over the national park for a breathtaking bird’s eye view of the stunning landscape.
  3. Hiking – Explore trails such as the Cathedral Gorge walk, the Piccaninny Creek trail, or the Mini Palms Gorge trail.
  4. Horse Riding – Visit the nearby cattle station and ride a horse on the scenic trails.
  5. Aboriginal Culture Tour – Learn about the rich culture and history of the traditional owners of the land.
  6. Camel Riding – Take a gentle ride through the park’s rugged terrain on these regal animals.
  7. Camping – Experience the beauty of Purnululu at night by camping in the heart of the park.

Week-Long Itinerary for Purnululu National Park

Day 1: Visit Echidna Chasm and hike through its scenic narrow gorge
Day 2: Explore Mini Palms Gorge and finish the day at the natural lookout of Osmand Lookout
Day 3: Head for Beehive Domes and Cathedral Gorge, with overnight camping
Day 4: Leave the Cathedral Gorge area for Picaninny Creek Day 5: Go for Horse riding and visit Old Halls Creek Cemetery in the afternoon
Day 6: Take an Aboriginal Culture Tour in the morning and enjoy the Scenic Flight in the afternoon
Day 7: Relax and unwind while enjoying a laid-back day camping in the park.

Food and Drink Scene of Purnululu National Park

Must-Try Dishes

  • Kangaroo meat – A delicious local meat that’s lean, healthy, and widely available.
  • Barramundi fish – Grilled and served with a side of salad or chips, or in a fish ‘n’ chips style.
  • Damper – A traditional Australian bread baked on an open fire or in a camp oven.
  • Billy tea – A simple and hearty brew that is prepared by boiling tea leaves over a campfire in a billy can.

Local Beverages

  • The Kimberley rum – A locally brewed rum made from sugarcane.
  • Local Craft Beer – The wind-down local breweries in the area provide a delicious refreshing taste of beer with breathtaking panoramic views.

Where to Stay in Purnululu National Park: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

  1. Spicer’s Bungle Bungles Camp – A luxury glamping experience with excellent on-site facilities and views of the Bungle Bungle Range.
  2. Bungle Bungle Wilderness Lodge – A luxury safari-style lodge nestled in the heart of Purnululu.
  3. Emma Gorge Resort – A beautiful resort with views of the stunning Western Kimberley landscapes.
  4. Home Valley Station – A working cattle station with a luxury resort and a range of nature-based tours.

What to Buy in Purnululu National Park: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

  1. Aboriginal Art – Purchase authentic Aboriginal art from local artists and support the local community.
  2. Kimberley Jams and Chutneys – These spicy and imaginative condiments make great gifts or tasty souvenirs.
  3. Local Wines and Beverages – The rich soil in the region produces some of the best wine and beer in Australia; they make a perfect gift.

Local Culture and Customs of Purnululu National Park

Purnululu National Park has a rich indigenous history that dates back over 40,000 years. The Indigenous traditional owners of the land are the Kija and Jaru peoples. It’s important to respect their culture and customs during your visit. These include:

  • Respecting sacred sites
  • Avoiding taking photos of Indigenous people without permission
  • Not taking anything from the park, including rocks and plants

Best Time to Visit Purnululu National Park

The best time to visit Purnululu National Park is during the dry season, which runs from April to September. Temperatures are mild, and the skies are clear, making outdoor activities more enjoyable. During the wet season, from October to March, heavy rainfall and humidity can make hiking and biking trails more challenging.

Do’s and Don’ts of Purnululu National Park


  • Take plenty of water and snacks on hikes.
  • Respect and follow Indigenous customs and traditions.
  • Book in advance for tours and accommodations.
  • Keep the park clean by disposing of your rubbish properly.


  • Take anything out of the park, including plants and rocks.
  • Litter or damage the environment in any way.
  • Swim in restricted areas or without permission.

Safety and Health

Safety in Purnululu National Park

  • Plan your route in advance and avoid hazardous areas.
  • Stay on designated trails and avoid off-road driving.
  • Be aware of weather conditions and avoid hiking during extreme heat.
  • Stay alert for wildlife like snakes and spiders.

Health in Purnululu National Park

  • Carry enough water and snacks, especially when hiking.
  • Wear appropriate clothing and sunscreen to avoid sunburn.
  • Check for any specific health advisories before traveling to the area.

Getting to Purnululu National Park: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Purnululu National Park

The closest major airports near Purnululu National Park is located in Kununurra, 250 kilometers away. Flights operate daily from Darwin and Perth to Kununurra Airport. From Kununurra, take a pre-booked transfer or hire a car for the four-hour drive to Purnululu.

Bus Stations Near Purnululu National Park

There are no bus stations near Purnululu National Park.

Other Options

A popular way of reaching Purnululu is by road. Purnululu is only accessible via 4WD vehicles, as the roads in the park are rough and rocky, and not suitable for standard vehicles.

How to Get Around in Purnululu National Park

The only way to explore the national park is on foot, horseback, or with a 4WD vehicle. There are no public transport options within Purnululu National Park.

Where to Go Next from Purnululu National Park: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

Visit the nearby town of Halls Creek, and explore its unique historical sites, including the China Wall and the Halls Creek Gold Rush Trail. You can also drive to the nearby Fitzroy Crossing, which is known for its beautiful gorge, arts center, and historical landmarks.


Purnululu National Park is a breathtaking Australian natural wonder that shouldn’t be missed on any visit to the Kimberley region in Western Australia. Plan your trip using this comprehensive guide and immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage, stunning landscapes, and unique adventures the park has to offer. Ensure that you respect local customs and traditions, stay safe and healthy, and take in the sights and sounds of this amazing national park.