Distance: 1.5 km
Another brilliant day… Was standing outside the caravan park at 8.10pm when the little bus picked me up to go to Kununurra airport. At the airport we were briefed on where we would be flying and the day’s schedule. The flight was due to leave at 9am so we didn’t have long to wait before we board.
The flight to the Bungle Bungles airstrip at Bellburn took about one hour and flew down the western side of Lake Argyle (the lake is far more impressive from the air than from a boat), over a couple of cattle station homesteads before reaching the Bungle Bungles.
Those rectangles (above) are the tailings dams from an abandoned alluvial diamond mine. It took this mine a year to produce the amount of diamond that the Argyle Diamond Mine produces in a week.
At the airstrip we were met by a 4 wheel drive truck to take us the 10km drive to Piccaninny Creek Carpark and the start of the walk into Cathedral Gorge.
The beehive shaped mountains have red and black stripes where the blonde coloured sandstone has either reacted with algae to form the dark colour or the iron has oxidised to form the red. When you find a flake of the surface rock the colour is only as thick as a fingernail over the underlying yellow sandstone. This coating protects the rock and slows down erosion.
Millions of years ago these northern ranges were as high as the Himalayas, in 30 million more years they will be gone and northern Australia will be a coastal plain.
The guide took us on a slight detour to see where the Qantas ad was filmed in Piccaninny Creek.
The walk is only about 1.5km to get to the gorge but the path is very uneven and is often just soft, dry sand (it was hard to walk on).
The Cathedral Gorge is immense and the acoustics are unbelievable. It was so cool and an incredible place to sit, relax and have the packed lunch provided for us.
After hiking back to the carpark we were driven to the company’s Savannah Lodge for afternoon tea.
After cake, biscuits and tea it was time to return to the airstrip for the flight back to Kununurra which included passing over the massive Argyle Diamond Mine.
The plane landed at about 5pm so it was a pretty full day.
BTW I remembered to count the seats on this plane – there are 12 plus the seat beside the pilot.