Bungle Bungles

The Bungle Bungles Range and its distinctive beehive shaped domes is the major part of World Heritage Listed Purnululu National Park.

It was only 1983 when it was ‘discovered’ by a film team and very soon gained world wide attention.

The distinctive beehive towers are sedimentary sandstone and conglomerates formed 350 million years ago. The weathering effects of wind from the Tanami Desert to the south-east and rainfall over millions of years have shaped the domes.

The name is derived from a misspelling (deliberate or otherwise) of a common Kimberley grass known as bundle bundle grass.

The Bungle Bungle Range is known in the language of the traditional Djaru owners as ‘Ballinjul’, which means ‘place of falling sand’. Four major language groups – the Kija, Djaru, Malngin, and Minuwung – have a connection with the area. The groups were river people and came together to arrange marriages, trade goods and perform ceremonies.

The beehive mounts of the Bungle Bungles were explained in Dreamtime stories to be the children of four tribes who had argued over who would lead the clans. According to the Dreamtime legend the groups had argued over which clan should be the sole owner of the ‘Bungles’. A dreaming spirit had gone up into the night sky taking with them sand from the earth. When the moon was full they sprinkled sand down and out of the earth rose all those ‘Piccaninny Domes’, so named because they are the children of the clans.

Source: Geonoma


The reports of the various trips, tours and travels on the Adventures website have a lot of information about place names – their naming and features – toponymy. More information.

© Kim Epton 2016-2019
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