A Travellerspoint blog

Day 89 - Thursday 2 August 2012

Kununurra - Ord River Cruise

It was a 9:00 am start today for our Triple J Cruise on Lake Kununurra and the Ord River. Because of a breakdown the back-up bus had been pressed into service to do the rounds of the caravan parks and hotels and transport us to the boat. Our boat for the cruise was Triple J’s newest boat the “Peregrine” which was about 15 metres long with 3 V8 350 HP outboard motors, capable of speeds of 30 knots (55 kph).

Triple J Bus

Triple J Bus

Triple J Base

Triple J Base

Seaplane

Seaplane

The Perigrine

The Perigrine

3 x 350HP V8 outboards

3 x 350HP V8 outboards

Our skipper for the day explained how Lake Kununurra was formed by the construction of the Diversion Dam in the 60s that held back the waters of the Ord River for diversion into the down river irrigation canals. The Diversion Dam is built in a way that allows the gates to be lifted clear of the flood waters in the wet season.

Lake Kununurra Diversion Dam

Lake Kununurra Diversion Dam

Canal Outlet

Canal Outlet

The Pumphouse - now an upmarket restaurant

The Pumphouse - now an upmarket restaurant

Pump Station

Pump Station

The Ord River Dam completed in 1971 created Lake Argyle, which holds more than 20 Sydney Harbours of water, is used to maintain Lake Kununurra at a steady level for irrigation purposes. Since the completion of the Ord River Dam a small hydro-electric scheme producing 30 MW of power has been added to supply power for Kununurra, Wyndham and the Argyle Diamond Mine.

Our cruise took us the full length of Lake Kununurra before continuing up the Ord River to the base of the Ord River Dam, a total distance of 55 kms. On the way we explored a few side creeks for the opportunity to see the local wildlife, including fresh water crocodiles, birds, wallabies and a wild bull. Just before entering the river we stopped at a landing for an excellent smorgasbord lunch.

View from Lake Kununurra

View from Lake Kununurra

Brolga perched on a rock

Brolga perched on a rock

Lake Kununurra

Lake Kununurra

More Lake Kununurra

More Lake Kununurra

Birdlife on Lake Kununurra

Birdlife on Lake Kununurra

Fresh water crocodile

Fresh water crocodile

Spillway Creek

Spillway Creek

Crocodile

Crocodile

Spillway Creek

Spillway Creek

Further up the creek

Further up the creek

Old wild bull

Old wild bull

Lake-side cliffs

Lake-side cliffs

Sea Eagles nest in a Boab Tree

Sea Eagles nest in a Boab Tree

Lake edge

Lake edge

Pelican

Pelican

Jesus bird

Jesus bird

Ibis on the bank

Ibis on the bank

Crocodile waiting for lunch

Crocodile waiting for lunch

Black Cormorants

Black Cormorants

Head of Lake Kununurra

Head of Lake Kununurra

View at our Lunch Spot

View at our Lunch Spot

Unloading the boat for lunch

Unloading the boat for lunch

Our lunch spot

Our lunch spot

Di on boat

Di on boat

Ord River running into the Lake

Ord River running into the Lake

Canoists on the Ord River

Canoists on the Ord River

Our Skipper

Our Skipper

Ord River bank

Ord River bank

Burnt hills

Burnt hills

30 mph (56 kph)

30 mph (56 kph)

Power Station at base of the dam

Power Station at base of the dam

After arriving at the base of the Dam we were transferred to a coach for the trip across the Dam wall to the Lake Argyle Tourist Village for ice-creams and souvenirs, before a visit to the nearby Durack Homestead Museum. The Argyle Station Homestead was moved to its present location before it was inundated by water as Lake Argyle filled. We continued back to Kununurra on the coach arriving about 3:30 pm, and the passengers who had come by road on the coach took our place on the boat to go back to Kununurra.

View from the top of the Dam

View from the top of the Dam

Lake Argyle

Lake Argyle

Argyle Dam Wall

Argyle Dam Wall

Triple J Tour Bus

Triple J Tour Bus

Di at the Dam Wall

Di at the Dam Wall

Perigrine heading down river

Perigrine heading down river

Durack Homestead

Durack Homestead

Durack Cemetery

Durack Cemetery

Posted by TwoAces 04:47

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