We drove east for two days from Broome and ended up in Kununurra in the East Kimberly. We used this as our base for the area, so stayed for six nights and really gave the area a good shake. Due to the corrugated roads the car got a good shake too. We stayed at a caravan park on the freshwater Lake Kununurra. It has a resident freshwater croc called ‘Gummy’, a fair few trees, and a pool. It’s a winner. The weather was perfect and Kununurra was big enough to supply all our needs; except for good fishing….. everyone was disappointed about that.
We booked a tour at El Questro the much televised resort. Had a good day with a group of 12 people walking up a gorge called Emma, checking out a spring called Zebedee and doing a boat trip along a river called Chamberlian. Great day all in all.
The next day we did a lunchtime cruise and swim on Lake Argyle and finished off with a dip in a freezing infinity pool. The Lake Argyle resort opened in the sixties as a workers camp for the guys working on the dam. They haven’t done a lot of upgrading since then, but it has it’s charms. They suggested that we arrive at the place an hour early to watch a special video about Lake Argyle before the tour. This video is a classic 1970’s company made documentary full of white blokes in shorts driving massive earthmoving equipment and blowing things up (the largest non nuclear explosion in the southern hemisphere for a number of years), without the aid of shirts. They take pains to tell you of the enormous amount of water that the lake holds, but I still don’t get why they needed that much water. There is some farming going on but most of the soil around here looks like sandy rubbish that wouldn’t grow a crop of thistles, so why do they need 19 Sydney Harbours worth of liquid? There is only one small area where the public can access the lake, so it’s not big for recreational purposes either, not that there is the population to support that around here anyway. Perplexing, but they said very little about it. They also completely neglected to mention that any of aboriginal people were in any way effected by this huge inundation. I gotta say I don’t really know what the fuss was about. Lots of water with hill sides popping out of it. meh
Mirimar National Park was basically the outer eastern edge of the town of Kununurra. It is said to be a mini version of the Bungle Bungles, which is great for us as it was too hard for us to get to the maxi version of them. It was a couple of short walks with the gorgey like walls everywhere.
We spent a day doing the Parry’s Creek Road, which takes you across the much videoed Ivanhoe Crossing and then along a dirt road that felt like a carrot grater, to the less than picturesque, but very interesting town of Wyndham. I ate a crocodile pie at a bakery there. The rest of the gang didn’t like this day so much as the road was too bone shaky.
The last day was spent going into the Northern Territory to the Keep River National Park. We did one of the walks that led to rock overhang that was an aboriginal site that has been used for thousands of years.
We have agreed that the decision to stay at Kununurra and do day trips was a good one and gave us a chance to chill out a bit. It all sounds so rosy doesn’t it? Eventually I’ll write a post telling of the other aspects of life on the road with a travelling troupe of various performers.