Reviews

Bungle Bungles (Purnululu) & Carr Boyd Ranges

Cleve Magree (Victoria)

I have just completed a 3 week tour with Sebastien from No Traces Bushwalking comprising one week in the Bungle Bungles (Purnululu) and two weeks in the Carr Boyd Ranges.
The Bungle Bungles is a truly remote, unique and other-worldly place completely worthy of its World Heritage listing. I have seen nothing like it and the experience of exploring there, away from other tour groups for an entire week will remain as a precious memory forever. The unique sandstone formations, deep, steep-sided gorges and swimming holes were highlights. Exploring the ‘five fingers’ revealed unique gems; hidden, elevated, secret gardens and lengthy swims down ever-narrowing gorges in cool water, moving from narrow passages to wide, deep wells of crystal clear fresh water.

The little-known Carr Boyd Ranges lie west of the huge and impressive Lake Argyle, source of the Old River irrigation scheme. This is rugged and breathtakingly beautiful, ancient sandstone country punctuated by deep gorges and seemingly endless, beautiful fresh water swimming holes, making the hot, dry walking climate easy going. The vegetation and rock formations form a beautiful palette of greens and reds against the brilliant blue, cloudless skies. The nights were cool (no tent fly was needed however) and the night sky brilliant with stars. The ‘dark emu’ was clearly visible on nights with less moonlight. We moved from beautiful campsite to another beautiful campsite, every day ending with a cooling swim, relaxing in the shade and dinner before an early bedtime for the star show. A helicopter transported us from South to North Carr Boyd Ranges, allowing a different perspective of the amazing country through which we were walking. The beautiful campsites, gorges and views from the North Carr Boyd escarpment are too numerous to mention.

It’s difficult, almost impossible for me to find words to adequately describe the vast beauty of these places. The many photos we took, although beautiful, also fail to portray their true nature. Spending three weeks in the Kimberly wilderness has been a life-changing experience for me. The first week was breathtaking and exciting. The following two weeks I found a feeling of inner peace growing inside me, away from the noise and static of the world, a feeling of becoming smaller in a vast wilderness, a feeling of being connected to the places I was in. Life becomes simple; sleep, eat, walk, swim, all surrounded by incredible beauty. The walking is challenging and some days are hard, but there is no reward without work. I like to think of the wilderness as a ‘default reality’, something that is always there, constant, unaffected by the outside world in which we all live – the ‘alternate reality’.
A word about Sebastien, our guide and founder of No Traces Bushwalking. He is an incredibly experienced guide and adventurer (check out his bio on the website https://notraces- bushwalking-australia.com/sebastien-bio/) and has extensively explored this country, both solo and as a guide. His tour itineraries are extremely well researched and planned to have a ‘wow factor’ for his clients every day. Sebastien’s knowledge of the country, its people and culture is extensive. He is a highly skilled bushman who is capable of guiding you safely through this rugged country whilst you appreciate its beauty. He is intelligent, extremely capable, a great cook (his evening meals constitute ‘camping haute cuisine’) and great company. He is part guide, part adventurer, part philosopher and has become a friend. I’m certain that anyone would enjoy his company.
I highly recommend Seb and No Traces Bushwalking to anyone seeking an ‘off piste’ wilderness experience that you will never forget.

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