We’ve spent several days around Kununurra, in WA’s eastern Kimberley region. Kununurra is a nice green town only 35km’s from the NT border, and it clearly has a good water supply. The town is greened thanks to constant irrigation, and there are plenty of irrigated orchards and fields around the place. The water source is of course the Ord River and the massive Lake Argyle (or Ord Dam) further upstream in the Ord River.
We’ve looked at most of what there is to see in Kununurra itself. Been to Lake Kununurra (stayed on the edge at Kimberyland caravan park one night), bought fruit from a farm (Daniel got the carambola’s – also known as star fruit – that he asked for), looked at the Zebra Rock Gallery (nice enough but overpriced) and fed the fish there, went to the Sandalwood factory/store (Nicole didn’t particularly like the smell – yay, cash stays in my wallet!), went to the Saturday markets, fished in the Ord River, went to the lookout and looked around town.
Lake Argyle is quite pretty, with a harshness but beauty to the surrounding hillsides (have I said that about most of Australia?). It was interesting to read in ABC news today about someones proposal to build a city there. This area is in the news a lot as being ‘the place’ for expanding Australia’s food production.
Lake Argyle in Western Australia’s remote Kimberley suggested for future ‘second capital’
Doesn’t the artists impression of the new city (in the article) look lovely…??? Oh well, it is a man made dam anyway I guess.
Looks like I didn’t take any photos of Lake Kununurra, or the Ord River, but they are quite pretty too.
There are several aboriginal art galleries in Kununurra, and I really like a lot of the canvas paintings (very different from rock art as referred to in this Kakadu post). Crisp clear simple patterns/designs in very natural earthy colours. However, with the average price being somewhere around $3k for a nice wall hung canvas, we certainly aren’t splashing out and buying!
The Argyle Diamond Mine, the largest diamond mine in the world, is also nearby. There are no tours available, with the next best thing being to look in the two diamond shops in town. They have some very nice diamonds and rings – some of the nicest rings I’ve ever seen! However they are also very expensive – I don’t recall seeing any rings under around $2k (or perhaps none that I liked anyway…), and the cut diamonds on display were up to $165,000! What I didn’t realise is that diamonds come in different colours – pinky, green, orange etc.
We did a day trip out to Wyndham, which is the oldest and most northern town in Western Australia. There is a nice lookout there with almost 270 degree views, but unfortunately there was a lot of smoke in the sky (and it was hard to capture the place with a camera anyway). They call it the 5 rivers lookout, but you also get to see the port and plenty of salt/clay pans! The port is not large, but some iron ore is exported (probably what keeps the place alive). Apparently a ship was bombed during WWII here, and the wreckage is still in the port! We’ve been told there is a lot of history at this place, but you have to dig to find it (and we aren’t super keen history buffs or anything…).
There are several historical cemeteries there, and I was stunned to find out that my boys were scared to go in! There’s dead people there apparently (who would have thought….)! They overcame their fears, and Jonathan enjoyed ‘helping’ Daniel by making scary ghost noises. Even his cough, when we got back in the motorhome, was apparently a ghost coughing, which got a reaction from Daniel and made Nicole and I laugh.
I’ve collected some seeds from boab trees, much to Nicoles disgust! Apparently they are ugly, and I can only grow them in the back corner of the yard. I think they look good, and will compliment my adeniums (desert roses), but thanks for the encouragement darl!
We had a look at the ‘Grotto’. Steep steps down into it, and it would be nice if it were flushed out (ie. following the wet season), as at the moment the Grotto has a pretty grotty appearance! The water reaches 100m deep apparently!!!
We are free camping tonight, on the outskirts of Kununurra, as tomorrow morning we pick up a 4wd rental car to go and explore the Bungle Bungles! We’ll be leaving the motorhome in town and returning to it Wed night. Not sure how we’ll survive going back to a tent!