• Aug4

    Wyndham and Kununurra

    August 4, 2018 in Australia ⋅ 🌙 20 °C

    We left Home Valley Station early and stopped at the iconic Pentecost River crossing which is also used in numerous promotional photos for the Kimberleys. Fortunately a couple of 4 wheel drives cooperated and we managed to get a few photos.

    Next stop was El Questro Station which is one of the (very few) luxury accommodation options on the Gibb River Road, Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman stayed there when they were filming the movie Australia and took a helicopter out to the film site each day. We didn’t actually go into the Station accommodation but did go to one of the popular springs on the property: Zebedee Springs.

    These springs are amazing, they are geothermally heated and never run dry. They spring out of the rocks and flow between livistonia palms with a backdrop of stunning red cliffs. The springs are very popular with lots of people visiting when we were there but El Questro Management close the springs to non-guests at 12 noon each day so guests can visit without the plebs.

    After visiting the springs we headed back to the Gibb River Road and something we have all been looking forward to - the end of the gravel and its corrugations! Finally we could hear ourselves think! After a couple of kilometres we reached the end of the Gibb River Road.

    We turned left and headed towards Wyndham for lunch. We drove up to the top of the Bastion Range to the 5 rivers lookout to take in the amazing view. Wyndham is on the Cambridge Gulf and used to be a major port but changes in the cattle and iron ore industry have meant it has lost a lot of its main businesses and so is a shadow of its former glory.

    The 5 rivers lookout gives panoramic views across the flood plains and Cockburn Ranges. The Town actually moved from its original location as it didn’t have enough room so the original town became known as Wyndham Port and the new town was built 3 kms away.

    After lunch we headed into Kununurra to check in to our cabins at the Ivanhoe Caravan Park and to get organised for our afternoon cruise on Lake Kununurra. The Lakes were created in the early 1960s to try and harness the massive amounts of water flowing through the Ord River system during the wet season. The initial attempt at an irrigation system was a bit of a failure as they planted cotton then found there is a local moth that eats cotton so farmers ended up having to spray every 3 days which was of course unviable. Next they tried rice but the bird life here ensured that was not going to work. To their credit they are now trying a genetically modified cotton plus sugar cane and chia which seem to be working a little better. The amount of water going into the ocean each year is staggering so it is a good idea to try and harness it.

    Anyway dinner was excellent and the sunset was fantastic. Another great day in the Kimberley!
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