WANowandThen.com

 

KUNUNURRA

 

HEMA Map reference 81/E14

 

15 46' 47" S 128 44' 30" E

 

 

Where is this?

 


 

 

 

Statistics

 

Km from Perth

3336

Population

6000

Rainfall

794mm (134)

Max Temp

35C (45C)

Min Temp

21C(4.8C)

Autogas

Yes

Telecentre

Yes

 

Include

 

Caravan Parks

 

Kona Lakeside

 

08 9168 1031

Lakeside

Visit website

08 9169 1092

Town

08 9168 1763

Kimberleyland

Visit website

08 9168 1280

Hidden Valley

Visit website

08 9168 1790

Ivanhoe

Visit website

08 9169 1995

Lake Argyle

 

08 9168 7777

 

Accommodation

 

Country Club Resort

Visit website

08 9188 1024

Freshwater Apartments

Visit website

1300 729 267

Hotel Kununurra

Visit website

1800 450 993

Lakeview Apartments

Visit website

08 9168 0000

 

Services

 

Hospital

08 9166 4222

Police

08 9166 4530

Fire

08 9168 1000

SES

08 9168 1436

RAC

08 9168 2236

Visitor Centre

08 9168 1177

 

Attractions

 

Kelly’s Knob, Lake Kununurra, Ord Valley, Lake Argyle, Hidden Valley, Ivanhoe Crossing, Packsaddle Falls, Valentine Rock Pool, Middle Springs, Black Rock Falls, Dead Horse Spring.

 

Buildings of note

 

Durack homestead at Lake Argyle.

 

Calendar Of Events

 

January: Australia Day breakfast. April: Dam to dam dinghy race. May:  Kimberley moon experience, Ord Valley muster. June: Mardi gras, Writer's festival. July: Agricultural show. August: Race round and cup day, Camp draft and rodeo. Ladies Day. September: Kununurra Cup. October: Night rodeo.

 

Crops

Hidden Valley

Ord River dam

 

 

 

Description

 

Kununurra is the major centre for the Argyle Diamond Mine (the mot prolific producer of diamonds in the world) and the Ord River Scheme (Lake Argyle) which is Australia’s second largest reservoir.

The mine is about 250km from Kununurra and produces about 35% of the world’s diamonds, (mostly industrial). The Argyle mine started operation in 1985. In 1988 a second mining operation started at Bow River just 30 kilometres from the main site.

The town is the residential and administrative centre for the Ord River Scheme. The initial construction began in 1958 and the first stage was completed by 1963. Three years later there were thirty one farms in the area. It wasn't until 1972 that the second stage of the project was completed with the opening of the Argyle Dam.

The townsite was gazetted in 1961 but much of the construction of the town occurred later in 1967.

 

The Australian Inland Mission established a hospital in 1963 and a pre-fabricated building was shipped to the new town from Sydney. Over 7 tonnes of medical equipment were brought in from the defunct hospital at Radium Hill. On the first day of operation 22 patients were treated. In the first 5 months of operation the two nurses treated 2215 patients with only 754 of these actually paying their bills. A new hospital was built in 1967 and taken over by Government health services the following year.

 

The name is an Aboriginal word meaning ‘meeting of big waters.’ The original proposed spelling of the name was Cununurra but this was changed due to its similarity to a name in use in Queensland..

Many crops have been tried in the area, and most have failed. Rice seems to be the most successful. Many new crops are being tested in the area including melons, peanuts and soy beans. Due to the irrigation scheme, crops can be sown and harvested without any rain at all falling in the area.

Kununurra is 36km from the Northern Territory border. It is a modern town with good shopping facilities and a host of scenic attractions in the immediate area. If you are going to spend time in any of the other small towns around the Kimberley then take the chance to stock up while you are in Kununurra. Prices in the smaller towns like
Halls Creek and Fitzroy Crossing are ludicrous.

Some mileage figures for distances from Kununurra are:
Perth 3336km, Broome 1057km, Darwin 1057km, Sydney 4300km.

Set almost in the middle of the town is
Hidden Valley which is more-or-less a miniature Bungle Bungle. There are three different tracks in the park ranging from the easy Lily Pond to the more difficult Didbagirring Track which traverses the slopes of the valley.

A special mention needs to be made of both Kona and Kimberleyland caravan parks. Both are situated on Lake Kununurra and both are beautifully maintained. Kimberleyland just has the edge in my opinion as it has a large attractive pool.
 

The Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley covers 121,000 square kilometres and is one of 4 local government districts in the Kimberley.

 

The best time to visit the area is between May and August as the weather at this time of year is dry and cool.

 

Tall tales and true: Sleeping crocs.

 

When Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh visited Kununurra on a tour of inspection the locals thoughtfully shot two large salt water crocodiles and laid them out so that the Royal couple could see some of the local wildlife 'sunning' themselves on the river bank.

 

REVIEW

 

Triple J Ord River Tours

 

This is an excellent cruise from Lake Kununurra along the Ord River to the base of the Ord River Dam at Lake Argyle. Pickup is around 10:30am and the tour finishes after sunset (around 5:30pm.)

The boats average about 50kph and have a top speed of 80kph. They are fully covered although it isn't possible to be in full shade all the time so hats and sunscreen are a good idea. The tour covers about 110 kilometres and includes a light lunch (basically cold meats, salad, cheese and crackers and cool drinks.) and afternoon tea (coffee, tea, scones and cake.)

It is very hard to find fault with the tour but it is quite expensive. There is plenty to see along the way including gorges, birds, fish, turtles, fresh water crocs, wallabies, some bush tucker and of course the Ord itself.

Our tour guide (Jeff) was a founding member of the business and has taken tours along the river for many years. His knowledge of the area and wildlife is encyclopedic and he is very keen to share his knowledge with anyone who is interested.

We had been told by a number of people that this was the boat trip to do in Kununurra and having done the trip we have to recommend it to anyone coming up this way.

Reviewed: May 2003
 

 

 

 

 

I'm lost please take me home...

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