19th July, 2015
After arriving in Kununurra and setting up camp on property owned by friends of Kay and Bruce, we went in to town to stock up on groceries and visit the Information Centre to pick up a locality map and some brochures on what to see and do in the area.
At the Cockburn Ranges lookout a couple of days ago, a couple had stopped for a cuppa and told us about a great cruise we should do on the Ord River so we were keen to get some information about this. We also picked up a brochure about Wyndham, the port to the north of Kununurra. We had been told that the best view of Wyndham is in the rear view mirror as one leaves town! However, our past experience told us not to take too much notice of this type of advice but rather to make up our own minds.
So we set off to discover the delights of Wyndham. They were not numerous but we were very glad that we made the climb up to the Five Rivers lookout, also known as The Bastion. The elevation here is around 330 metres, basically climbing from sea level. It was not a drive for the faint hearted and certainly not one to be undertaken with a caravan in tow. The views were spectacular taking in the mouths of the Ord, Pentecost, Durack, King and Forrest Rivers.
Back down at sea level, we refreshed ourselves at a very nice café, appropriately called the Five Rivers Café, with delicious local barramundi and chips. For those who don’t know, Barramundi is a very sought after table fish and we take any opportunity to have it. After lunch, we did a quick drive around. Out to the jetty….
Looking from sea level back up to The Bastion with the ruins of The Residence in the foreground.
And then a quick stop at the Pioneer Cemetery.
Heading back into Kununurra, we found the entrance to Lions Park below the diversion dam on the Ord River. Yesterday as we drove into Kununurra, I could see how beautiful this area was but there was no opportunity then to stop on the dam wall. Now we could get below the wall and capture some of the lovely scenery.
A good view of the Ord River diversion dam.
I can remember learning about the Ord River Project back when I was in High School but never really knew what it was all about till now. I recalled it was originally set up for growing cotton in this remote area. Apparently that was a failure as was growing sugar cane. However, the damming of the Ord has resulted in a wonderful oasis where water and crops are plentiful, not something one would expect here. Sandalwood is currently the favoured crop but as the first crop has just been harvested, it remains to be seen whether this will be sustainable. We would learn more about the Ord River project on our river cruise.