Sunday, 17 July 2011

Kununurra & Mirima Nat Pk

The town on Kununurra is only a few decades old. It was built around the time Lake Argyle was built.
Construction on Lake Argyle finished in  1972 & Kununurra  was developed for the Ord River Scheme.
Kununurra is only a small town of 8000 people, swelling to many thousands more during the tourist season.
There are many open channels of water coverin many thousands of hectares of land for irrigation of the crops grown there. The main crops grown here are the Indian Sandalwood trees, used for it's oils in cosmetics & perfumes. You can buy sandalwood sticks for insect repellent.
There are also many thousands of hectares of mango trees. 
Coming into town you pass 1 of the biggest Boab trees you could imagine.
Lake Kununurra & Lily Pond Lagoon were created as a result of Lake Argyle being built.
Lily Pond Lagoon is emptied towards the end of the dry season & refilled when the wet season arrives.
Lake Kununurra was built as a diversion dam to supply it's town of water from the Ord River.
Confused - because I still am :)

Kununurra is surrounded by impressive Mt ranges as well, making the place very picturesque driving around town.

These pics are the Lily Pond Lagoon, which has a huge park surrounding nearly half of it. 2 caravan parks are also next to the lagoon.The mountain way behind, when looked at from another angle, looks like a Budda. Maybe that's why the lagoon looks so peaceful.
It's great for birdwatching also :)

2011 was a huge wet season all around the top end of NT & WA (besides Qld & Vic having their floods)
Double it's usual 1.5meters of rain - they talk in meters here!
Hence Lake Argyle filled to 21 times the size of Sydney Harbour & that water had to be released down the Ord River. Water under the main bridge heading west of town is still flowing higher than normal

The last pic shows water over the causeway that was the original road to Wyndham. The causeway turns right to behind the tree on the right. It's usually open by July.

Kununurra also has it's National Park in town.
Mirima is on our door step at the van park we've been at, &this is the stunning view we have. Better than lagoon views I think. (a row of campers have same stunning views. This view is at sunset.

Mirima National Pk was easy to access - there's a track behind the van into the park.
Mirima is written as being a mini Bungles ( like Keep River Nat Pk)  There are beehive like sandstone formations weathered from the wind & rain over 350 million yrs.

 This the views of Kununurra from 1 of the lookouts.
 The irrigation farming starts just to the north of the town. I think this may be a crop of sandalwood trees.

This Fairy - wren here was curious when I hung around his patch for too long. Couldn't get a good pic of him in the sun. :)

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