About the Kimberley
• The Kimberley in Australia is one of the last true
wilderness areas on Earth, with rustic unique outback landscapes
and landmarks billions of years in the making. Covering app 423,000
square kilometres in north Western Australia and with a population
of less than 40,000 people, it’s here you’ll encounter some of
the most extraordinary outback adventuresand folks in Australia.
Discover ancient gorge country with hikes and trekking a must
in planning your Kimberley vacation to enormous cattle stations,
pristine coastline and sandy beaches, to one of the oldest cultures
on the planet and the world’s only horizontal waterfalls.
Self drive along the Gibb
River Road from Broome or Darwin is a Australia four wheel
drive hire camper or wagon. The Gibb River Road was initially
constructed as a beef road to transport cattle from the surrounding
stations to the ports of Derby and Wyndham.It spans some six-hundred
and seventy kilometres from Derby to the junction of the Great
Northern Highway between Wyndham and Kununurra. ©
source and courtesy of wikipedia.org
Planning a vacation to self drive to kununurra then 4x4 trek
The Gribb River Road and into Broome. When you are visiting the
north of Australia, Lake Argyle is your first stop in Western
Australia after the Quarantine
Check Point when travelling from the Northern Territory and
the last of the Kimberley’s amazing attractions when leaving Western
Australia. The closest town is Kununurra – one of our younger
country towns in Australia and a service centre for the East Kimberley’s
growing industries in tourism, agriculture and mining industries!
Industry includes melons, mangoes and until recently, sugar
Lake Argyle is situated at the end of one of the most scenic
drives in Australia. The easiest way to visit Lake Argyle is to
drive the sealed road from either the Northern Territory or the
town of Kununurra.
Lake Argyle is Australia’s largest expanse of freshwater covering
an area of more than 900 square kilometres at full supply level
and up to 2000 square kilometres when in flood. Once a habitat
that was subject to the cycles of the wet and dry seasons, now
this massive expanse of permanent fresh water has allowed a thriving
ecosystem to develop. The magnificent scenery and peaceful isolation
make Lake Argyle a must see destination when visiting the Kimberley!
Stage One: Diversion Dam By 1958 the WA government was convinced
of the viability of an irrigation scheme on the Ord. The Federal
Government agreed to share the cost of stage one and this was
completed in 1963 at a cost of $20 million. 1966 had allocated
31 farms. The irrigation project suffered initials setback, but
is now extremely successful and grows a huge variety of produced.
Stage Two: The Ord Dam The second stage was the construction
of the Ord River Dam to provide a major storage reservoir called
Lake Argyle at a cost of $22 million. This was officially opened
in 1972. As a part of stage 2 a further 200ha were allocated on
the Packsaddle Plain and 5 farms were released in 1974.
Stage 3: The Hydro Power Station Aside from providing a reliable
source of power to the region, the project has had a positive
effect on tourism. It is the only commercial hydro power station
in W.A. Replacing fossil fuels previously used to generate power.
The hydro station harnesses a resource that would otherwise go
to waste, which is environmentally a far better option. The power
station was designed using 4 turbines and two 15 mega-watt generators
to produce more than 220gigawatt hours of electricity per annum.
At present the power station provides power for the towns of Kununurra
and Wyndham and to the Argyle Diamond Mine.
Argyle Diamonds is the largest diamond producing mine in the
world and in conjunction with a local Kununurra tour operator
offer ground tours of the mine on a fly in basis only. Argyle
Diamonds play a major role in the Kununurra community with support
and sponsorship of various East Kimberley events. Argyle Diamonds
Alongside the East Kimberley's wealth of natural wonders is one
of the state's most unique tourist attractions- Rio Tinto's Argyle
diamond mine. In support of the local tourism industry, the Argyle
diamond mine is open to visitors on guided tours departing from
Kununurra. A day trip to the mine will give visitors a rare insight
into the scope of a large mining operation and the history of
its relationship with Traditional Owners.
source and courtesy of visitkununurra.com
Lake Argyle and Kununurra
Kununurra to Western Australia and Northern Territory border
is 37 kilometres (23 miles)
Kununurra is a town in far northern Western Australia located
at the eastern extremity of the Kimberley Region approximately
37 kilometres (23 mi) from the border with the Northern Territory.
Kununurra was initiated to service the Ord River Irrigation scheme.
Kununurra is the largest town in Western Australia north of Broome,
with the closest town being Wyndham, 100 kilometres (62 mi) away.
Kununurra is 3,040 kilometres (1,889 mi) from Perth via the Great
Northern Highway. The town is situated in among the scenic hills
and ranges of the far north-east Kimberley Region, having an abundance
of fresh water, conserved by the Ord River Diversion dam and the
main Ord River Dam. The tropical agriculture crops grown in the
Ord River Irrigation Area (ORIA) have changed over the years.
Tourism and mining have also become important to the local economy.
Things to do around Kununurra
City of Ruins (Lost City)
These natural sandstone formations resemble an ancient city, and
provide an interesting walk. Take the signpost to the right from
Weaber Plain Road.
Ivanhoe fishing - The crossing is a concrete causeway over the
Ord River, north of Kununurra, originally part of the main road
through to Wyndham. Since the start of the Ord irrigation project
in the 1960's, the river now flows all year round, making the
crossing impassable during the "Wet season" when the river level
is higher. It is a popular spot for barramundi fishing and picnicking.
Swimming and standing on the crossing to fish is not recommended
due to the presence of salt water crocodiles.
Kelly's Knob Lookout
Great place to watch a glorious sunset and finish a day of looking
around the town. Sealed road to the top with a short walk to look
over the town of Kununurra, the Ord irrigation area, Lake Kununurra
and the Sleeping Buddha.
Designed to divert and regulate the flow of water from the Ord
River into the Ord Irrigation area. The dam consists of 20 radial
gates mounted within a concrete framework and spillway structure.
The water is gravity fed into channels to service the area to
the north of the town and is pumped into the Packsaddle Plains
area to the south. The dam also forms part of the Victoria Highway.
Lions Park Picnic
Area Take a drive out over the Diversion Dam and turn right after
Packsaddle Road, into the track behind the Information Bay. Here
you will find a great spot to take photos of the dam, have a picnic
or launch your boat. No swimming due to the presence of saltwater
The lake was formed after the completion of the Diversion Dam.
It harbours a large variety of flora and fauna, contains wetland
areas and provides a water frontage to the town, many small farms
and tourist developments. It is also used extensively for sailing,
rowing and skiing, supports several tour boat operations and is
the landing field for float planes.
Celebrity Tree Park
During Kununurra's short history, the Ord Irrigation scheme has
attracted world wide attention bringing a wide range of celebrities
through town. The park was opened in 1984 and celebrities such
as John Farnham, HRH Princess Anne, Rolf Harris and Harry Butler
have all planted trees here.
Lily Creek Lagoon
Lily Creek Lagoon filled after the completion of the Diversion
Dam. The old Darwin road once ran through the lagoon disappearing
at what now is the central boat ramp for the town. For anyone
interested in bird watching, there is a large variety of birds
to be seen around the water's edge.
Historical Society Walk
The walk trail was developed by the Kununurra Historical Society
(Inc) to provide an historical overview of the town and give visitors
an opportunity to view the local bird life. The booklet describing
the trail can be purchased from the Kununurra Tourist Bureau.
Kununurra Historical Society
The Museum is situated in Coolibah Drive across from the Picture
Gardens complex. The museum is a must for anyone interested in
the area's colourful beginnings with many artifacts and photos
The Picture Gardens
Have a night out at Kununurra's open air movie theatre in Coolibah
Drive during the dry season. Drive in or walk in - it's up to
you. Enjoy a night under the stars reliving your old Drive-In
days or finding out what they were all about.
Elephant Rock/Sleeping Buddha
Sleepingbudah Large rock formation on the edge of town, officially
known as Carlton Ridge but nicknamed locally with the above names.
To look at it as Sleeping Buddha from the side, the best view
is from Celebrity Tree Park in town. Looking at it from one end
it resembles an elephant's head and this can be seen from Packsaddle
Road or by travelling on the upper Ord River towards Lake Argyle.
Valentine Springs/Middle Springs/Black Rock Pool
During the wet season after heavy rains, these areas show off
their brilliant waterfalls making for excellent swimming and picnic
spots. Access is by 4WD, taking the turn off about 10km out of
Kununurra, on the highway to Wyndham. Caution if creeks are flowing
after rain. This road may be closed during the wet season.
source and courtesy of visitkununurra.com
Turkey Creek Roadhouse - Warmun is on the Great
Northern Highway, 200km south of Kununurra, 860km east of Broome
and 160km north of Halls Creek.
• See the Kimberley
Creek Roadhouse to the Bungle Bungle Ranges 4x4 road
source | courtesy of www.derbytourism.com.au
source and courtesy of outbacktravellers.com.au
source and courtesy of wikipedia.org
| courtesy of westernaustralia.com