Kununurra

A well planned, modern town built as the administrative and residential centre of the Ord River Irrigation Scheme. It is a popular base for exploring the north Kimberley region.

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 landscape surrounding Kununurra includes many often visited features such as Valentine Spring, Black Rock Creek and Middle Springs along with many other waterfalls and swimming holes. Popular fishing spots include Ivanhoe Crossing, The Diversion Dam, Buttons Crossing, and various locations along the Dunham and Ord Rivers. Watching the sunset at Kelly’s Knob Lookout, the highest point in Kununurra, is a must.


Lake Kununurra

Lake Kununurra is a long linear lake in the Ord River valley formed in 1963 by the construction of the Ord Diversion Dam in Kununurra, northern Western Australia, which was built to supply water to the Ord River Irrigation Area. Prior to the Diversion Dam construction a natural permanent waterhole (or lake) held back by the Bandicoot Bar was known as "Carlton Reach," which was reputed to be the largest waterhole in the Kimberley


Lake Argyle

Lake Argyle is a year-round playground for water sports enthusiasts. The lake is so vast it is rated as an inland sea. Visitors can explore the wetlands packed with bird life by cruise and canoe. Lake Argyle is part of the Ord River Irrigation Area (ORIA), the product of a bold and imaginative plan to develop part of the nation's tropical north for intensive irrigated agriculture by harnessing the waters of the Ord River.


Argyle Diamond Mine

Argyle Diamonds is the largest diamond producing mine in the world. The 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.

Celebrity Tree Park

Celebrity Tree Park is planted with many trees planted by famous people including Rolf Harris, and more recently Baz Luhrmann, after the majority of the filming for his film Australia was conducted just outside of Kununurra.

Kununura the gateway to the East Kimberley. From here visit Purnululu National Park and Bungle Bungle range, Gibb River Road and Mitchell Plateau, El Questro Wilderness Park and Keep River National Park (NT).


El Questro Wilderness Park

A unique holiday destination, a privately owned Wilderness park that was previously a cattle station. The park encompasses an area of approximately 10,000 sq kilm that extends some 80 km into the heart of the Kimberley. Activities include barramundi fishing, treks on horseback, exploring remote areas by helicopter, bushwalking up Emma Gorge and boating through Chamberlain Gorge.



Natural features: Ord River Nature Reserve; Thompson Springs; Mirima National Park; Mirima (Hidden Valley) National Park; Packsaddle Plains and Falls; Black Rock Falls; Zebra Rocks; Carr Boyd Range; Mitchell Plateau; Middle Springs; Palm Springs Reserve (27 km north-east); Parry Lagoon; Ascot-Parry's Creek Area Nature Reserves (25 km south-east); Pelican Island Nature Reserve; El Questro Wilderness Park

Built features: Lake Kununurra (Diversion Dam); Lake Argyle (2nd biggest storage reservoir in Australia) and Argyle Dam; Cotton Ginnery; Argyle Diamond Mine.

Heritage features: Durack homestead; Waringarri Aboriginal Arts Centre; Ivanhoe Crossing (historic concrete causeway over the Ord River)


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Where is it?

3,184 km north of Perth; 1057 km north-west of Broome (the nearest major town in Western Australia); 1,057 km south-west of Darwin; 4,300 km from Sydney.


Keep River National Park

Entry to this isolated park is 3km east of the Northern Territory and Western Australian border. There are some excellent bushwalking tracks that explore the rugged terrain of sandstone formations that are similar in structure to the Bungle Bungles, including the Keep River Gorge and some Aboriginal art sites.

Short-eared rock wallabies, white-quilled rock pigeons and sandstone shrike thrush are some of the interesting animals that inhabit this area. Two camping areas are provided within the park. Drinking water is available at Jarnem campground and 2kms from the Ranger Station. No Pets Allowed.


Mirima National Park

Mirima National Park, known by locals as ‘Hidden Valley,’ is a short drive from town, packed with unusual rock formations in dramatic colours and shapes, providing excellent photo opportunities.


Mitchell Plateau

This rugged 115,000 ha wilderness area in Western Australia's Kimberley region boasts the spectacular Mitchell Plateau, featuring Mitchell Falls and Merton Falls, along with Surveyors Pool, and the Mitchell and King Edward Rivers. It is a landscape of beauty and diversity that is absolutely unique and highly significant on a world scale.


Purnululu National Park

The Bungle Bungle Range is one of the most fascinating geological landmarks in Western Australia. Contained within the park, the range is best known for its striped, beehive-shaped domes.

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Wyndham

Wyndham (106 km north west): the historic town of the region, it was settled in the mid 1800's to service the Halls Creek goldfields and the outlying cattle stations. The Wyndham Port was first established in the 1880's and to this day provides a vital link in the export of live cattle, sugar from the Kununurra sugar mill and serves as a shipping facility to the numerous mining ventures in the region.


Brief history

The pastoral history of the area is well documented in books by Dame Mary Durack, and the famed Durack homestead that was built by Michael Patrick 'Patsy' Durack, on a site now covered by Lake Argyle, has been reconstructed as a museum. The Ord River Irrigation Scheme was first mooted in 1945 and came to fruition with the building of the Diversion Dam and the support town of Kununurra in 1963, followed by the main dam soon after.

Kununurra an Aboriginal word meaning 'big water'.

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