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Trip List by Ellemay

Kununurra. - The Last Frontier.

11 Nov 2008  Remoteness is an interesting word.
4.5 of 5 stars based on 8 votes

Kununurra is located in North Western Australia and just 37kms from Northern Territory.

  • Explore locations featured in this Trip List: Kununurra, Western Australia, Kimberley, Australia, Wyndham
  • Category: Best of
  • Traveler type: Culture, Sightseeing, Active/Outdoors, Never been before, Repeat visitors
  • Appeals to: Business travellers , Couples/romantics, Honeymooners, Singles, Families with small children, Families with teenagers, Large groups, Seniors, Students, Budget travellers , Active/adventure, Tourists
  • Seasons: Winter, Spring, Fall
  • 1. Kununurra - The last Frontier.
    Kununurra, Western Australia

    Kununurra is isolated and remote .The scenery is gorgeous with the stunning rugged ochre Cockburn Ranges and sweeping Savannah Plains, waterfalls and deep gorges which are all magnificent nestled beside the Boab tree making the Kimberley's a unique, spiritual and treasured destination to visit..

    The Boab trees ( (Adansonia gregorii) are the most interesting attraction , they stand so regal and totally stamp their trunks solidly into the earth to make a huge statement against the rugged rough terrain. Their solid roots dig deep and filter their own religious beliefs unknowingly with their long thick shoots and arms into a solid confirmation or affirmation of "I AM " because I AM.

  • 2. Where we stayed - Kimberley Grande Kununurra Australia
    Pinctada Kimberley Grande, Kununurra, Western Australia
    Show Prices
    Avg price: $194

    Room - Our room 619 was called The Durack Suite and I highly recommend spending a few more dollars for a luxury stay in Kununurra. The suite was enormous with a large open plan living space with tasteful cane furniture and a comfortable queen size bed. Off the living area a modern chic bathroom with walk-in shower and an enormous spa bath.

    The suite doors lead out to a veranda balcony which connects to the delightful 25metre long deep swimming pool and BBQ garden area. A great place to sit under the umbrella to cool down and relax in the afternoons after a day's exploring this truly unique region of Australia.

    The rooms also have internet connection, air-conditioning , mini bar , TV and remote controls.
    Overall - We loved our room and the outback Kimberley hotel with its tasteful décor mixed with a touch of country opulence. Located in the magnificent remote region of the Kimberley's the area offers extraordinary outback scenery and remarkable unforgettable experiences.

  • 3. Where else to stay.
    Kununurra, Western Australia

    There are some interesting places to stay in Kununurra considering you seem to be in the last frontier.

    * Expensive :
    El Questro
    Emma Gorge Resort

    * Middle Range :
    Kimberley Grande
    Kununurra Country Club
    Lakeside Apartments

    * Cheap :
    Kununurra Hotel
    Discovery Holiday Park (cabins)

  • 4. Kununurra - What to see
    Kununurra, Western Australia

    * Lily Creek Lagoon.
    * Lake Argyle
    * Argyle Diamond Mine.
    * Gibb River Road.
    * El Questro Wilderness Park.
    * Emma Gorge.
    * Home Valley Station.
    * Ivanhoe Crossing.
    * Bungle Bungles.
    * Wyndham

  • 5. Lili Creek Lagoon.
    Kununurra, Western Australia

    Lily Creek Lagoon is located opposite Kimberley Grande Hotel and is apart of the Diversion Dam. It's home to many species of wetland birds and many fresh water crocodiles. There are numerous tours available the most popular being the Sunset BBQ Dinner Cruise which operates from April to October.

    * Departs 4pm daily - Returns - 6.30pm. Costs $85.00 per Adult.

  • 6. Lake Argyle
    Lake Argyle, Western Australia, Australia

    Lake Argyle is enormous and is Australia's largest fresh water lake. Its home to thousands of fresh water crocodiles, over 240 of Australia's bird species and countless rock wallabies.

    The lake was created by the Ord River Dam and covers a massive 1000sq km and is the biggest man-made lake in Australia. Its certainly well worth a drive to see it , the scenery is unique with huge ochre mountains, orange soil melting into desert designs and weird rock transformation which resemble a lunar effect. There is a fabulous lookout just past the village to take some photo's.

    You can camp overnight at the village and there are cute basic cabins available if you want to explore and spend more time at the Lake. A basic restaurant and shop is available at the village.

  • 7. Lake Argyle Cruises
    Lake Argyle Cruises, Kununurra, Western Australia

    There are plenty of cruises to do at Lake Argyle in the high season but nothing is available in the wet season which starts on 31st Oct - April. We happened to be there on the ist November and everything was shut except for the local shop.

    * Peak Time Cruises -
    * Morning Cruise - 9.15am - returns 11.15am - pickup Lake Argyle office.
    * Half Day Cruise - 12.45pm - return dusk - pickup Lake Argyle office.
    * Sunset Magic - 2.45pm - return dusk - pickup Lake Argyle Office.
    * Ord River & Lake Argyle - pickup Kununurra 9am - return 6.45pm.
    * Catch a fish - Morning Trip - 7.00am

    For more tours check out - www.lakeargylecruises.com

  • 8. Argyle Diamond Mine
    Kununurra, Western Australia

    The best way to see the mine is by scenic flights. There are numerous companies which operate from the airport.

    * www.slingair.com.au
    * www.alligators airways.com.au

  • 9. Gibb River Road
    Gibb River Road, Kimberley, Western Australia

    The road to the Gibb River turn off is excellent all sealed and well sign posted. It takes approx 40 minutes (53kms) from Kununurra. The Gibb River road is a dirt road but is in excellent condition too and before proceeding, we check out all the signs which tell you exactly what part of the road is closed and the conditions. (excellent for drivers doing the whole trip to Broome).

    The scenery is gorgeous the road flows along the Cockburn Ranges and sweeping Savannah Plains, waterfalls and deep gorges which are all magnificent.

    We pass the turnoff to El Questro and Emma Resort and Gorge and decide to drop in after visiting Home Valley Station. Gibb River Road was originally made for carrying cattle from cattle stations to the ports of Wyndham and Derby.

    Using a 4WD is a MUST.

  • 10. El Questro Homestead
    El Questro Homestead, Kununurra, Western Australia

    El Questro belongs to Voyages which also own Uluru and most of Australia's pristine islands. It covers over one million acres. Its opened from 1 April 2008 - 31st October each year. To enter into the park The Wilderness Park Permit is $15.00 per adult.

    We decided to visit El Questro Wilderness Park. At the turn off is a sign saying " CLOSED" due to the wet season. Hubby decided to drive past the sign and explore, as there are supposed to be a few gorgeous gorges along this route. After crossing a few more rivers we finally arrive at El Questro village but we were greeted rudely by Voyages staff who told us we are NOT allowed to travel along this route or be in the park. ( VOYAGES) monopoly.. . hubby played stupid "sorry mate, I thought the sign meant the accommodation was closed !" we then decided that staying in Kununurra is much more fun than dealing with a pack of snobs in the outback.

  • 11. Ivanhoe Crossing
    Kununurra, Western Australia

    Ivanhoe Crossing is a short drive north from Kununurra, it located on the old highway to Wyndham. A 4WD is a MUST if you want to cross the river. You may see the locals swimming near the falls but be aware this is crocodile country. Its a must to see if you are visiting Kununurra especially on a weekend when all the locals sit in the water drinking.

  • 12. Home Valley Station
    Kununurra, Western Australia

    Home Valley Station is a working cattle station located in far North Western Australia, it also is an on-site training school for indigenous men and women from the area. The Cattle Station also provides a fabulous outback tourist farm which caters for outback adventure tours and activities in the Kimberley's. Its also where the movie Australia was filmed and on the bar counter is a huge photo of our Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman.

    Just check out their webpage its fabulous www.homevalley.com.au/ and listen to their song and you will understand why I love this region. After checking out the station we were starving so we indulged in a fabulous barramundi burger at the local bar and grill. It would be a wonderful place to stay for a few nights and the cabins looked excellent too.

  • 13. The Savannah Way
    The Savannah Way, Australia, South Pacific

    The Savannah Way is a road trip which starts at Cairns QLD and ends in Broome WA. The journey takes 3699kms and if visiting Kununurra you can hop onto the Savannah Way just outside town and say "I've been on the SW ".

  • 14. Purnululu National Park - Bungle Bungles.

    Purnululu National Park is 304km from Kununurra and 160km from Halls Creek by road.
    Kurrajong Caravan Park iaccess in is by 4WD ONLY - caravans or normal cars are NOT allowed.

    The best way to see the Bungle Bungles is by taking a scenic flight from Kununurra.
    All visitors must register at the Dept of Environment on arrival. There are 2 caravan sites located in the park which have basic facilities.

    This camp site can only be accessed by four-wheel-drive vehicles. Due to the poor road conditions caravans are not allowed.

    The camping ground has spaces for 70 cars. You can book online which is advisable due to limited spaces available.

    Other facilities available are picnic tables & toilets are provided Rubbish must be taken with you. Untreated bore water us also available.

    The visitor centre is open from 8am to 12 noon and 1pm to 4pm daily from early April to the middle of November.

    You can pick up supplies at Turkey Creek , a small roadhouse owned by the local Warnum Aboriginal People just before gateway to the Purnululu National Park or before you leave Kununurra.

    Contact: (08) 9168 4200 for road conditions and park opening dates

  • 15. Wyndham
    Wyndham, Western Australia

    After an hour or so driving from Kununurra, we arrived into Wyndham (well the sign post said so). You are greeted with a huge crocodile statue leaping out from the pavement but unfortunately that's when every thing terminates. Basically, the town is located on one street and all the six or so shops have the deteriorating dreaded "For Sale " signs declining into a whispering hollow murmur of despair and desolation.

    The only scent of life was a bunch of Aboriginals hanging out under the shade of a (Adansonia gregorii) Boab tree.

  • 16. Parry Creek Road.
    Kununurra, Western Australia

    The original "old" highway from Wyndham to Kununurra is called the Parry Creek Road. (4WD only).

    This road was interesting as we ventured through some real Savannah way shrubbery and I decided hubby was NOT allowed to venture off the track for any little whims, as already we were on a dusty red bare sandy road. The road travelled along for ages and we saw little life except for the no " Please Shut the Gates" which meant every 10kms I had to get out and open and shut the station gates, which to me was totally awesome as I stood still for a moment and invited the fragrance of our sunburnt outback gigantic country into me and not to mention the 40+ degree heat.

    This opening / closing gates occurred numerous times throughout our journey back to Kununurra until unfortunately I cut myself on an old rusty piece of iron hanging aimlessly from the cattle gate. Luckily, hubby only had to open one more station cattle gate until we reached Ivanhoe Crossing which we absolutely had no idea that it existed.

  • 17. Shops
    Kununurra, Western Australia

    The best thing about Kununurra are the diamonds on display at Kimberley Fine Diamonds located at 93 Konkerberry Drive. There are some exquisite pink and yellow diamonds to drool over but bring your credit card as they are not cheap.

    If you are looking for any Aboriginal Art then Kununurra has some very interesting Art Galleries which is definitely worth visiting.

    * Lovel Gallery - 144 Konkerberry Drive
    * Waringarri Aboriginal Arts - Speargrass Road.
    * Red Rock Art - 50 coolibah Drive.
    * Zebra Rock Gallery - Located 5 mins drive along the Packsaddle Road just past the Airport turnoff. Zebra Rock is over 600 million years old and only found in this region.

    * The Kununurra Markets are opened every Saturday located just near Lovell Gallery.
    * A drive-in bottle shop is located at Kununurra Hotel.
    * A Coles Supermarket is located in town.

  • 18. Restaurants.
    Kununurra, Western Australia

    There is a few good spots to eat at in Kununurra. If visiting the region one must try the Barramundi Fish its so tasty.......

    1. Kimberley Grand Hotel - The Argyle Room.
    2. Kununurra Country Club - Boab pool Bar / Kelly's Bar / Chopsticks.
    3. Hotel Kununurra - Zebra Rock Restaurant.
    4. Lakeside Resort - Durack Restaurant.
    5. All Seasons Hotel - Ivanhoe Restaurant.
    6. Chinese (cannot recall name )but its located nest door to the Tourist Information Centre.
    7. Boab Bookshop Cafe - good coffee.

  • 19. Distances from Kununurra to attractions.
    Kununurra, Western Australia

    Kununurra to>
    1. Kununurra to Lake Argyle - 78km.
    2. Kununurra to Gibb River Road Turnoff - 53km.
    3. Kununurra to Ivanhoe Crossing - 12kms.
    4. Kununurra to Purnululu National Park - 303kms
    5. Kununurra to Western Australia/ Northern Territory border - 42kms.
    6. Kununurra to Diversion Dam - 8kms.
    7. Kununurra to El Questro -
    8. Kununurra to Home Valley Station -

  • 20. Getting There by Air -
    Kununurra, Western Australia

    Air - Direct flights from Darwin or Broome with Skywest or Qantas/ Airnorth on schedule days.

    Domestic Airlines - www.qantas.com.au or www.skywest.com.au www.airnorth.com.au

    Optional Routes -

    Perth - Broome - Kununurra.
    Darwin - Kununurra.
    Darwin - Kununurra - Broome - Perth.
    Sydney - Darwin - Kununurra - Broome - Perth. - (Outback route).
    Airnorth - Kununurra to Darwin - Kununurra to Broome return.

  • 21. Getting There by Car -
    Kununurra, Western Australia

    There are numerous routes one can take to get to Kununurra. It's highly advisable to use a 4WD.

    1. Darwin to Kununurra - approx 820 km - (allow a full day.)
    2. Broome to kununurra - approx 1044kms.
    3. Katherine to Kununurra - 526km ( 6hrs)
    4. Jabiru (Kakadu National Park) to Kununurra - approx 800 km.
    5. Perth to Kununurra - 3,200km - approx 38hrs.
    6. Alice Springs to Kununurra - approx 1730 km

  • 22. Dangers.
    Kununurra, Western Australia

    1. Carry plenty of water in your car.
    2. Be aware that salt and freshwater Crocodiles are in this region.(NO swimming).
    3. Advice family of your whereabouts.
    4. Carry extra spare tyres.
    5. Carry extra fuel
    6. bring a selection of spare parts for your car - fuel filter/ fan belt etc.etc
    7. No lighting of fires.
    8. No pets allowed into National Parks.
    9. Don't drive after dusk or before Dawn.
    10. Watch out for wildlife on the roads.