Into luminous sandstone, the Ord River cuts a 650km path, framed boldly by tropical rainforest through Australia’s Top End. But the river’s forces soften as its pools into man-made Lake Kununurra, breathing life into Kununurra, a young, vibrant community.
Nomads seeking sunshine holiday upon Lake Kununurra’s banks for months at a time, feasting on the regions’ tropical bounty.
Though remote, and just 60 years old, Kununurra is the largest town north of Broome that prospers on the back of multiple industries.
KUNUNURRA, WHERE NOMADS HOLIDAY
Kununurra is in Miriwoong Country, sacred to the Waringarri people. And you can hear their secrets, and admire their art and traditions at the Waringarri Aboriginal Arts Centre. Ever gracious, hosts regale Dreamings as you wander the gallery halls. Or you can join them on art site walks, with the option of a bush dinner and sunset views.
For treasures from beneath the surface, admire exquisite Argyle pink diamonds and locally-inspired jewellery at the Kununurra Fine Diamonds in town.
Then head for healing sandalwood plantations or kick back at Hoochery Distillery for tastings of wine, beer and rum.
LAKE ARGYLE, LAKE KUNUNURRA AND THE ORD RIVER
Whether it’s by the air, on a paddleboat or aboard a powerboat, the grand Ord River is best explored by the hands of a tour operator.
From Lake Kununurra, via the Ord, you can reach the dam wall of Lake Argyle. Here, learn about this monumental dam that’s equivalent in volume to 20 Sydney harbours.
Although accessible via bitumen, Kununurra forms the eastern gateway into the Gibb River Road. Here, take in the fabulous El Questro, before hitting gravel for iconic adventures. Uncover the gorges, rock formations and ravines that have inspired Dreamings for tens of millennia.
Or, for a quick challenge closer to Kununurra, traverse the Ivanhoe Crossing just 15 minutes from town. By the edge of this causeway, cast out and lock battle with illusive Barramundi.
Keen to strap on the boots? Enjoy a quick stroll down to a small gorge within the Hidden Valley a 20 minute drive from town.
Or by 2WD find Molly Springs within the newly-created Ngamoowalem Conservation Park close to other gorgeous water features like The Grotto, Blackrock and Valentine Springs.
Then head to Kellys Knob for a view of the town to round out your Kununurra holiday.
Molly Springs within Ngamoowalem Conservation Park