Echidna Chasm

Useful Information

Location: Bungle Bungles, Purnululu National Park, East Kimberley.
Great Northern Highway between Kununurra and Halls Creek. Turn east 250 km from Kununurra or 100 km from Halls Creek. 53 km to the park entrance, strictly four wheel drive and off-road trailers only. 20 km north of the visitor centre.
Open: No restrictions except weather conditions.
Visitor Centre: APR to mid OCT daily 8-12, 13-16.
Fee: Park: per car AUD 10.
Gorge: free.
Classification: GorgeGorge
Light: n/a
Guided tours:
Address: CALM Kimberley Regional Office, Messmate Way, PO Box 942, Kununurra 6743, Tel: +61-8-9168-4200, Fax: +61-8-9168-2179.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.



Echidna Chasm is a narrow gorge, at some points only two meters wide, but with 200 m high vertical walls. The walk is about two kilometers long and is moderate with a challenging short climb at the end. A steel ladder allows access the innermost section. Like other gorges in the northern part of the Bungle Bungles it is home to Livistona palms, which survive the dry and hot summer days through the protection by the steep gorge.

The gorge was formed along a joint in the sandstone and conglomerate rocks. The rocks were weakened by the tectonic forces, water was able to enter the rock along fissures. Salt and ice destroyed the rock along the joint and speedened the erosion, which created the narrow and deep gorge.

The Bungle Bungles are famous for their extraordinary beehive hills. The rocks reach 578 m asl, which is about 370 m higher than the surrounding plains. During times with higher amounts of rain the sandstones of the area were eroded and deep gorges cut into the rocks. The rocks got their typical beehive shape. The unique colouring is a result of changing bands of sandstones and conglomerates. This sedimentary rocks were deposited some 375 to 350 million years ago during the Upper Devnian, a stage which is internationally called Famennian. The continental sediments were deposited on dry land while in the north mountains were uplifted, which were the source of the material. Later the sands and gravels were lowered and became solid rocks. Only 20Ma ago again uplift started and exposed the rock to erosion. The Bungle Bungles were formed during this time.