Kununurra

Leaving Lake Argyle, we moved on to Kununurra, the town that has grown as a centre for the Ord River Irrigation Scheme fed by Lake Argyle.   We based ourselves for the next 5 nights at a lovely bush camp on a small hobby farm about 10km out of town (sort of – we actually spent one of these camped out on the Ord River) .   It was good to be away from the chaotic humdrum of caravan parks and after experiencing the one at Lake Argyle we were certainly glad to drive past those in Kununurra town itself.

Sadly, we think that the days regularly of having quiet camps to ourselves are largely over as we find ourselves in northern Australia in the peak season.   For this same reason we also spent the best part of the first day in Kununurra planning our trip for the coming few weeks as it is now necessary to book certain places and tours in advance to ensure we don’t miss out.    It’s a bit frustrating to no longer have the flexibility to stay as long as we like in a place if we like it and move on quickly if we don’t – but that’s the way it is.

That evening we drove back to town and went for a stroll in a park on the shore of Lake Kununurra – a very scenic lake lying behind the Ord River diversion dam that is kept permanently full by the outflows of Lake Argyle.    The park has a number of trees planted by various celebrities with both trees and celebrities being of varying stature.

john farnham tree
A nice 30 year old Raintree planted by John Farnham

Boab and Lake Kununurra – Celebrity Tree Park

There were a few birds along the shore of the lake, but no new species, however I did get this nice shot of a white-gaped honeyeater and when we got back to our camp, we saw some cattle egret in the last light of day.

fig at kelly knob
A fig tree clings to life at Kelly’s Lookout – on the edge of town.
Kununurra from Kellys knob lookout
Kununurra town from Kelly’s Knob

Unfortunately an unexpected public holiday in Western Australia meant that some of our plans for the next day (like getting hair cuts) were foiled, but we still had an enjoyable day exploring some of the areas around Kununarra and managed to add another 4 new birds to the list.

redbacked kingfisher
Red-backed Kingfisher – I could not get it to turn around and show its back, but you can just see a small red patch above it’s tail
kununurra fields
Plantations fed by the waters of the Ord River Scheme with Kelly’s Lookout on the left and in the distance, the mountains of the Carr-Boyd Range through which the Ord River carves a beautiful channel – our destination for the coming days.
kununurra goat
It seems that the waters of the Ord River are not just good for growing plants.
pelicans at ivanhoe bridge
Pelicans wait for an easy feed below the rather exciting looking Ivanhoe crossing of the Ord River.

Ivanahoe crossing sign

Ivanhoe crossing and vehicle
We didn’t need to cross the Ord River, so just watched others instead then headed back to a nearby lunch stop
Rum distillery lunch
While famous for its rum, the barramundi salad and burger weren’t bad – although a bit on the small side for the price.

Hoochery rum distillery lunch

starfinch
Star Finch perched on a helical vine of Aluminica ferrocentrum
finches double barred and star
Star finches and double barred finches perched on a dead shrub with another form of helical vine.
golden headed cisticola
Golden-headed Cisticola.
mirima NP sign
This little national park – just on the edge of town – has some curious rock formations and potential sightings of the White-quilled rock pigeon. Maddy with her new bird spotting binoculars ready to spot a pigeon.
windswept hair
We experienced south easterly winds but it looks like the prevailing wind was north westerly judging from the girls head rock above Maddy
kununurra panorama from mirima NP
The view from the western edge of Mirima National Park and adjoining industrial area.
white quilled rock pigeon
White-quilled Rock Pigeon – first spotted at Mirima NP

 

 

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