Lake Argyle

Our next destination was Lake Argyle – only 76kms from Kununurra.  We had flown over it a few days before on our day trip to the Bungle Bungles and now we were planning on seeing it from the ground and from the water. The camp site is regularly voted one of the best in WA – so I was expecting big things. Only the price didn’t disappoint. However one lovely part of being here was another chance to catch up with the Lonerghans and Whitemans again, this time with all of us at the same CP.

After setting up, we walked down to Durak House with the Whitemans – the homestead of one of the founding early grazier settlers which was relocated when the Ord River was dammed in 1970 to create the colossal expanse that is Lake Argyle. The homestead only gets 4/10 from me, as most rooms are pretty bare, with painted outlines on the floor saying ‘chair’ or ‘bed’ rather than having many actual items. They did however, have a video showing the construction of the dam, which brought out the inner civil engineer in Kris, I think.
The next morning was spent helping Darren change worn van suspension components and attending our friends daughter’s 4th Birthday party complete with musical statues and pass the parcel (when there are no other 4 year olds to join in you have to take what you can get so all the adults joined in as well) . Then it was off for a quick walk up to a local lookout before jumping on board ‘Lake Argyle Cruises’ boat for a sunset cruise around the lake. The owner/operator, Greg, is a 20 year veteran local, and is a wealth of knowledge on the flora, fauna, Ord river damming and Durak family history. We saw rock wallabies, cobbler, fresh water crocs and archer fish that spit water up to a meter in the hope of catching flying insects!

DSC_4816Only a little fellow – but one of approximately 35,000 in the lake.

After the wildlife and history lessons, it was off to a deep part of the lake to watch the sunset, have a swim in the dam and then float around on a pool noodle (freshies don’t come out to the middle??), complete with beer (or two) in hand.

P1050957Only James and I were brave enough to enjoy the warm (25 C) water.


Seeing the moon rise over the glassy lake after the spectacular sunset was amazingly beautiful. This was really worthwhile, especially as I was initially the doubting Thomas.

Next morning, the 1st of July, we met Darren down by the lake, fishing gear in hand, to try our luck catching Cobbler – the resident cat fish. Using only cheese as bait, we managed about a dozen or so that were well above the 43cm size limit (I was feeling pretty good about a 53 cm fish, until a deckhand later told me he regularly catches Cobbler over a meter long, and they can grow to twice that length – up to 40 kg!). Apart from avoiding the poisonous spines, we all had a great fun. You can now guess what we had for dinner!
This was our last stay in WA and I think we are all a little wistful to be moving on from this great state – our temporary home since February. There is so much to see over here with a full gamut of landscapes and climates. We have all really enjoyed it.  It is obvious now that a large chunk of our 12 month journey is over – almost, but not quite half! We both feel a little doubtful that the east can top the west but I guess only time will tell.

One thought on “Lake Argyle

  1. I must agree with you regarding rooms without furniture. We encountered the same in former Moorish palaces in Spain, whereas Sintra had some items. When we visited the Durack homestead, I looked for Fanny Durack in the family tree, only to find there was no such name. Fanny Durack was the first woman to take away an Olympic gold medal for Australia (Stockholm 1912). It was at the Ord I found her real name was Sarah. Cheers, Dad