The east Kimberley town of Kununurra, is the springboard into various natural and man made wonders. The Bungle Bungles and Purnululu National Park; man made Lake Argyle at 9.5 times the size of Sydney Harbour; Ord River; Ord River Irrigation Scheme; Lake Kununurra.
Kununurra is 1057km east of Broome and over 3000km north of Perth, depending on which the road travelled.
Sitting along side Lake Kununurra, Kununurra is the key service town for the Ord River Irrigation Scheme and Lake Argyle Diamond Mine, and an excellent base for exploring the natural attractions of the beautiful Mirima Valley National Park.
Lake Argyle is Australias only inland sea. Storing 10,760 million cubic metres of water or about nine times the size of Sydney Harbour Lake Argyle is also Australias largest man-made reservoir!
Water is released from Lake Argyle into Lake Kununurra then supplies irrigation channels needed by 80 or so Ord River farms. Today, farms grow everything from melons, sugar cane, pumpkins, bananas, mangoes, cotton, hybrid seeds and other crops. Driving through the irrigation area, you can see the developments that have taken place over the years. Flying over the area, with crops for as far as the eye can see, it is difficult to believe that you are in the outback of Australias North West.
Near Lake Kununurra lies magical Mirima Hidden Valley National Park, just minutes drive from the Kununurra town centre. Local Aboriginal people call this area Mirima and stories of its year-round wealth of plant and animal food are still told. There is a lot of evidence of ancient Aboriginal activity throughout the park including rock art carvings on boulders where Aboriginals have sharpened their weapons. Famous for its steep, broken walls of rock that vividly reflect the changing light and distinctive tropical tree species such as the Kimberley boab, Mirima National Park is also known as a kind of mini Bungle-Bungles. The quartz sandstone wonderland has been eroded by wind, rain and nearby Lily Creek into banded domes reminiscent of those in the Purnululu or Bungle Bungle National Park.
Mirima boasts a wide variety of wildlife. Agile short-eared rock wallabies are active during the day, as are dingoes – ginger-coloured wild dogs that have white-tipped ears and tails. Echidnas, frogs, tortoises, geckoes, goannas, snakes and other reptiles can sometimes be seen, especially near the waters of Lily Creek. There is an abundance of birds in Mirima, particularly black kites, double-barred and crimson finches and the white-quilled rock pigeon, a distinctive bird of the Kimberley.