Five Days in Kununurra – Kelly’s Knob & Mirima National Park, June 2015

Kelly's Knob, Kununurra

It was only when I was planning this trip out to Kununurra that I found out that the Bungle Bungles were fairly close to the town. The Bungle Bungles became one of those slightly mythical places thanks to Neighbours and Helen Daniels’ patronage of the place whenever she went off painting in the outback. To be honest, I think everyone in the UK who was watching Neighbours in the late 1980s/early 1990s thought that anywhere called the Bungle Bungles had to be a made up place for television. It was a bit of a surprise when they actually turned out to be a real place.

When I say fairly close, that’s in Australian terms, it’s still a 2 hr 40 minute hour trip down there and with the time I had available I just wasn’t going able to be able to get down there and back before I flew out again. It wasn’t just the drive there that was the problem; there’s still an track into the national park that’s only suitable for 4WD vehicles (which I didn’t have) and the only way I was going to be able to get out there was with an organised day tour. This would have meant driving down the day before, staying at the Roadhouse camping place near the turn-off, and then staying there the next night before driving back to Kununurra the following morning, as my hire car insurance specifically didn’t allow for night driving outside the town boundary. I needed three days to visit the Bungle Bungles, but as I only had one free day available, it, sadly, just wasn’t possible.

Instead of I had to make use of the next best thing and visit the Mirima National Park, described as the mini Bungle Bungles and situated right on the edge of town. There’s a few short walks around the valley and you only need an afternoon to do all of those. The dome structures aren’t as impressive as those you see in the photos of the Bungle Bungles and, from what you can see, there looks to be a lot less of them. There’s some nice views of the area around Kununurra though.

After work, a few evening earlier, I ventured up to Kelly’s Knob, a lookout that’s again right on the edge of the town. The walk up was a lot harder than I thought it would be, although I was doing it at breakneck speed to make sure I had enough time up there for sunset but also enough light to get back down before it was dark. When you get to the top, there’s a telecoms tower that’s plastered in warning signs. It’s a real eyesore, as well as being slightly alarming, but doesn’t spoil the views of the area around the town and of the Mirima National Park.

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