Once everyone was packed and ready to go, we started the slow and steady drive down south to the Bungle Bungle turn off in convoy with the boys. The stops for smoko and topping up cold bottled water were actually nice to break up the fairly boring drive! Came across a few brumbies at one of the road houses but other than that it was an uneventful trip.
We arrived at the turn off and left the Renault at the caravan park overnight, gathered our stuff for the two days and got in the back of the boy’s shlick 2014 Prado 4WD with Ray and his uke, with Shane riding shotgun and Jack behind the wheel. Jack did excellently on a fairly bumpy, rough road with about 6 pretty deep and boulder-y river crossings, so by the time we got to the ranger station the driver and his passengers were all in need of a cold drink and a stretch! We chatted to the ranger about life in the Bungle Bungles and perused postcards and souvenirs before driving down to the southern section of the park to do a couple of walks before the sunset.
First stop was the huge amphitheatre-like gorges of Homestead Valley which left us with our jaws on the floor. The scale of the gorges here was insane, and we were constantly reminded of the fact that the park is so remote that we can only access a small section of what’s really out there. Amazing.
We walked back to the car and drove on to Echidna Chasm, a narrow passage with sheer cliffs of rock on either side rising straight up for tens of metres and the light filters down through it. Very eerie and very beautiful. Also, very cool – nature’s air conditioning. The chasm itself twists and turns and you just keep walking as it gets narrower and narrower until it eventually just stops and you face a wall of rock instead of more of a path.
Really awesome spot and an amazing little walk in and out the way we came, just in time to see the sun set at the lookout point through the storm clouds that were forming over the rugged and remote Osmond Ranges to the west. Then Jack drove us all back in the dark (slowly and with 4 other sets of eyes on the road watching for wildlife) to our campsite at the northern end of the park. The boys cooked up a feast of potato chips, corner beef and onions that everyone devoured. The rain held off on us too – we watched some epic lightning strikes on the horizon, but nothing came of it except a couple of light drops and a pleasant drop in temperature, so no complaints here! Bedtime came early in the dark and we all took refuge from the bugs and moths to get a good night’s sleep in preparation for more walking first thing tomorrow.