Smithsdownunder
Our journeys around Australia

Western Australia at the end of our journey

15-Jun-2005
   
After leaving Timber Creek we headed west to the border with Western Australia. There was a short queue at the border crossing quarantine station where the car and van are inspected to make sure we were not carrying fruit, plants of other prohibited items. We had stopped before the border to finish off the remaining apples and oranges so we got through the quarantine check OK and hoped that the loos were good in the campsite! We also had to reset our clocks back by 1 ½ hours to bring them onto WA time.

We spent a couple of nights at Lake Argyle. This is the biggest freshwater lake in Australia covering an area of more than 2000sq km or 54 Sydney Harbours. It is a manmade lake which was formed when the Ord River Dam was constructed in 1971. The primary purpose of the lake is to provide irrigation water in Kununurra and the surrounding area. The main produce grown here are sugarcane, cotton, sandalwood and fruits including melons, butternuts, pumpkin, mangoes, bananas and citrus fruits. In 1996 a hydro power station was added to the dam that supplies power to Kununurra, Wyndham and the nearby Argyle Diamond Mine.

Ord River Dam with Lake Argyle in the background

The Ord River Dam
The Ord River

Downstream of the dam there is a constant supply of water flowing in the Ord River through to the irrigation areas around Kununurra 35kms away. As you can see, the countryside around here is spectacular with rugged hills that seem to glow red especially later in the day as the sun drops.

Ord River downstream of the dam

We walked through the bush to a place where we could get access to the water for a swim and the view out across the water was great.

Lake Argyle

Lake Argyle
Cruising on Lake Argyle

We took an evening cruise on the lake to watch the sunset. The wind dropped and the surface of the water turned to glass, the views were magic.

Reflections of the islands on Lake Argyle

There was a large 4mtr long freshwater croc sat sunbathing on one of the islands. The Skipper of the boat reckoned it was the largest freshwater croc he had seen.

A 4mtr croc on Lake Argyle

4mtr Croc in Lake Argyle
Sunset on Lake Argyle We stopped in the middle of the lake for a swim (away from the crocs) and had a glass of champers as the sun went down. Ali's first fizz since March!! Sunset on Lake Argyle