Welcome to Life Images by Jill

Welcome to Life Images by Jill.........Stepping into the light and bringing together the images and stories of our world.
I am a photographer, writer and multi-media artist. Through my blog I am
seeking to preserve images and memories of the beautiful world in which we live and the people in it.



Friday, 22 July 2016

Cathedral Gorge, Purnululu, Western Australia

Cathedral Gorge is well named. Entering its immense towering cavern is like entering 
a magnificent natural cathedral, a place steeped in time and history. The red and orange 
sandstone walls tower above you, and the white sand crunches softly underfoot. Tiny 
tracks from night time animals can be seen going across the sand to the central pool 
which sits still and undisturbed like a mirror. Bird calls echo. It is a place for hushed voices 
and to sit quietly with your own thoughts. If you come early in the morning, as we did, 
you can enjoy the peace undisturbed. It has the atmosphere of a holy place, a sanctuary. 
It is my favourite gorge in Purnululu. You can feel the spirituality. Peace.

Cathedral Gorge is just one of the magnificent gorges within the Purnululu National Park 
(also known as the Bungle Bungles) in the Kimberley region in Western Australia’s far north 
west. Given World Heritage listing in 2003, Purnululu is one of Western Australia’s newest 
and most spectacular National Parks. 

In the Kija Aboriginal language purnululu means sandstone. The Aboriginal people 
inhabited the region for thousands of years, however Purnululu was known only to a few 
Europeans until the mid 1980s. 

The distinctive black and orange bands of the bee-hive shaped rock domes of Purnululu 

are actually more delicate than you might imagine. Once the rough outer layer is removed,
 the soft white sandstone is exposed, making the domes very fragile.  

How it received the name Bungle Bungles remains an intriguing mystery with several 
explanations including the corruption of the Aboriginal name Purnululu, or derived from 
the name of a common Kimberley grass, bundle bundle grass, or the ranges proximity to 
the old Bungle Bungle cattle station. 

Purnululu is located off the Great Northern Highway, 250km south of Kununurra, west of 
the WA/Northern Territory border. There is a 53 kilometre unsealed road only accessible 
by 4WD and offroad campers from the Highway, through Mabel Downs Station to the 
Department of Parks and Wildlife (DEPAW) Rangers / Visitor Centre and roads are unsealed 
throughout the Park. You should allow approximately 2-3 hours for the 53 km drive in 
(approximately 5 hours total travel time from Kununurra). 4WD recommended as the road 
can be very rough and you will need to negotiate several wet creek crossings. 

There are 3 campgrounds - Kurrajong and Walardi are management by the Dept of Parks 
and Wildlife, and Bellburn Creek is a commercial operation.  Please register at the Visitor 
Centre when you arrive. 
There are numerous walks in the Park ranging from half an hour and easy difficulty, 
to an challenging overnight trek. Please be aware of your own ability before you set out, 
wear a hat, sturdy walking boots, and carry plenty of water. It gets very hot in the gorges, 
and they recommended 1 litre per person per hour. 
The Park is only open in the dry season - usually April to November. 

My article about Purnululu which I wrote following our July 2016 visit was published in the 
Summer-December-January 2016-2017 edition of Go Camping Fishing & 4WD Adventures 



For more information - DPAW-Purnululu

Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope you 
have enjoyed this visit to Cathedral Gorge in 
Purnululu. I value your comments and look forward
 to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in 
return. Have a wonderful week. 

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On the Road in the Kimberley


  1. It is a mammoth drive over very rough terrain to get into the Bungle Bungles but definitely a rewarding experience when you get there. I loved your photos Jill as I have similar shots also and have been meaning to write a post about the Bungle Bungles for ages. Cathedral Gorge is an amazing natural amphitheatre but unfortunately it was rather crowded the day we hiked in.

  2. What amazing landscape! Though it is different in many ways, it reminds of the Badlands of southern Alberta where we have Hoo Doos that are also banded in shades of grey, brown and orange,

  3. This is an area on my bucket list! The rock formations are fabulous!!

  4. Your photos brought back so many memories for me Jill of our trip to Purnululu in 2012. It was the most amazing sight from above ... we were lucky to do a helicopter trip ... but hiking to Cathedral Peak was wonderful, and I loved reading your words about your experience too. Long live ancient natural wonders.

  5. Cathedral Gorge is a very peaceful place. When we were there someone was playing a didgeridoo. So eerie

  6. Purnululu it's powerful landscape that stirs your soul. I know what you were feeling. Great pictures Jill


I hope you have enjoyed your visit to my blog. Thank you for stopping by and for taking the time to comment. I read and very much appreciate every comment and love hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return.