EAST KIMBERLEY MUST-SEES
In the northeastern corner of WA, what Lake Argyle lacks in convenient accessibility it makes up for in sightseeing opportunities once you’re there.
KIMBERLEY AIR TOURS
Although the Argyle Diamond Mine site might not look as majestic from the air as the famed lake to its east, pilot tales of subterfuge and espionage in the early days of the mine’s development make for cracking yarns. Flights also take in sights including Lake Argyle, the Bungle Bungle Range and even Bow River, celebrated in the Cold Chisel song of the same name.
MIRIMA NATIONAL PARK (LITTLE BUNGLE BUNGLE)
For those who can’t make it to the Bungle Bungle Range, Mirima National Park offers an easy, accessible alternative to the real thing. Featuring some similar geological formations to Purnululu’s famed sandstone carbuncles, the park’s walks are undemanding and offer a view across Kununurra. Take lots of small change – the parking machine requires more than $10 of coins per car.
ZEBRA ROCK MINE
An off-road gem wedged right on the border of WA and the Northern Territory, this dusty shed on Duncan Rd displays one of the world’s most impressive collections of the local geological enigma zebra rock. Mine tours are also available but an ongoing battle with rock thievery keeps the owners cagey about revealing the exact location of their unique lode site.
LAKE ARGYLE BOAT TOURS
The various boat tours available offer an excellent chance to take in some of Lake Argyle’s 1000sq km of surface area. Morning cruises offer sunrise photo opportunities, while longer sunset journeys include the chance to evade the crocodiles and swim in the freshwater expanse.
Erected in 1895, the original Argyle homestead was built with limestone and used crushed termite mounds as mortar. Originally located in an area now on Lake Argyle’s floor, the home was disassembled prior to the 1972 flooding to save it from a submerged purgatory. Reconstructed on a clifftop a short walk from the Lake Argyle township, Durack Homestead has been reborn as a museum offering an informative history lesson to those wanting to learn more about the dam’s development.
Perfect for a day trip, the privately owned El Questro Wilderness Park features a number of picturesque walks. An off-road excursion down an unassuming, dusty 4WD track leads to the wonders of El Questro Gorge, where red cliffs meet lush rainforest palms and waterfalls. El Questro also offers fantastic restaurant meals and high-end accommodation for millionaires, royalty and the entertainment elite: Hollywood stars including Ewan McGregor, Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman have all spent time here.