Having navigated the often hellish high-clearance 4WD track into World Heritage-listed Purnululu National Park, it’s time to explore a bushwalking Western Australia treasure on foot. A fairly easy 3-hour leg stretch to Cathedral Gorge reveals the wonders of the Bungle Bungle Range at the park’s heart.
Cathedral Gorge is the headline act. But an easy 500m detour on the Domes Walk takes you through a colony of emblematic beehive formations. Sedimentation and protective cyanobacteria produce their distinctive black and orange stripes. Back on the main track you’ll cross dry creeks and pass more perfect domes as the way narrows between rock walls that glow in the sun. In contrast, water-carved Cathedral Gorge is softly lit and cool. The domed ceiling and stained glass widow-like view out the entrance increase the church-like atmosphere. It’s tempting to sit here for hours soaking up the tranquility.
Back out in the light, follow track signs to Piccaninny Creek Lookout for a raptor’s view of the plains through which the often dry creek rushes in the wet season. As you go, watch for red Sturt’s desert rose and bronze flashes of rainbow bee eaters.