Heading to the eastern part of the Kimberley on your travels? There's more to do than you can shake a stick at! We've created a list of our top experiences at Lake Argyle, and in the Bungles and Kununurra, and there's even more for you to discover for yourself!
- Dine under a star-lit sky from a private lookout. Cue an incredible sunset with the glow of the lake’s rugged red surrounds and you will wonder why you would ever choose to dine indoors again. The Gourmet Camp Oven Experience combines local produce and bush tucker with creative flair. Ord River rum chocolate brownie, vanilla bean ice-cream, salted caramel sauce and powdered boab anyone?
- Camping’s always fun at Lake Argyle Resort but sometimes you just need a real bed with the comforts of home. That’s where the Lake View Villas come in. Did we mention you have your very own uninterrupted view of one of the most beautiful vistas in the Kimberley?
- Naysayers said it was impossible to build an infinity pool on what appears to be the edge of the rugged Kimberley itself. Thank goodness Lake Argyle Resort’s owner Charlie Sharpe didn’t listen! An attraction in itself, you will have a ‘pinch me’ moment as you submerge yourself in the pool’s refreshing water and gaze across the ancient landscape.
- Let your expert guide show you the lake’s highlights on a relaxing day cruise. Explore the islands and sip a beverage on board or in the water as the sun goes down. If ‘twitching’ is more your style, you’re in luck as there are 270 species of birds recorded in this region. Lake Argyle’s birdwatching tours won’t disappoint, especially if you spot the rare Gouldian finch.
- Have your James Bond moment and land on the immense Lake Argyle in a seaplane. Kimberley Air Tours takes it to the next level with sunset nibbles on one of the lake’s secluded island beaches. They also offer a seaplane tour option which flies you to the Bungle Bungles and Lake Argyle. Both depart from Kununurra with the Bungle Bungle option also departing from Lake Argyle If there is a minimum of 2 people.
- Sure, gazing out at the magnificent view of the lake and its picturesque surrounds will leave you gobsmacked, but for a different water perspective hire a paddle board, a kayak, or a boat. Feeling social? Grab the family or some buddies and take one of the BBQ Pontoons for a spin on the lake – no boat licence necessary.
- You’ve been wowed by the view of the lake now get yourself in it! It’s as good as it looks. You can paddle out from the boat ramp or swim from your boat. Stroll the bush trail below the resort to access the lake and get that swimsuit wet. If you are a serious swimmer take it up a notch and enter the Lake Argyle Swim on 1 May 2021.
- Try your hand at fishing. The lake’s ‘Silver Cobbler’ can reach up to an astonishing 40kg! Fishing guides can lead you to where the fish are biting to give you a fighting chance of a catch.
- Cycle the moderate 5km Lake Argyle Mountain Bike Track. When a mountain bike ride has lake views this stunning, it takes all your concentration to focus on the trail ahead. Ready for a bigger challenge? On 29 August 2020 you can swim, paddle, run and cycle your way to victory in the Lake Argyle Adventure Race.
- Follow the network of bush walking trails adjacent to Lake Argyle Resort. Inhale the fragrance of the Aussie bush as you keep an eye out for the local wildlife. Bonus points if you spot the elusive echidna.
- Discover the region’s past as you wander through the former home of the pioneering Durack family. Transformed into the Durack Homestead Museum at Argyle Downs, you will get an insight into the area’s social history of the 1800s.
- Explore the lake from a different perspective. Underwater! Visibility will be high in October 2020 perfect for a scuba diving tour. Whether you want to see schools of fish or remnants of the original homestead site, which was submerged in the 1970s, there are dive tours for all interests and abilities.
- Be a ‘rock star’! Belt out a soulful tune in Cathedral Gorge surrounded by the ancient red rock carved by water erosion through the ages. The acoustics are so phenomenal that members of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra have performed there in the past.
- Hike to Echidna Chasm for ‘golden hour’ when the sun streams in to highlight the striking colour variations within the narrow chasm. The lofty Livistonia palms that fringe the gorge are a bonus. This two-kilometre walk requires some scrambling over rocks and a climb at the end.
- Sunsets and sunrises are always breathtakingly beautiful in the Kimberley as they enhance the burnished glow of the rugged red landscape. As you peacefully watch the sun seep slowly into the horizon, behind the Bungles, it feels almost spiritual. Grab your camp chair and head to Kungakaylani Lookout for an unforgettable Bungle sunset.
- To appreciate the sheer scale and number of the orange and black domes you need to fly above them! The park is enormous and a bird’s eye view from a helicopter or small plane with a guide ensures you don’t miss a thing including Deep and Y Gorges in the southern end of the park. Scenic flights depart from Kununurra, Halls Creek, Broome and the Bungle Bungle Caravan Park.
- Of course, you need to explore the Bungles by foot too! A walking tour will blow your mind with interesting facts about this geological rarity. Plus, an expert guide will show you the best vantage points for all those social media pics you want to snap. Join a walking tour within the park or go all out and enjoy one of the combination fly/ground tours which depart from Kununurra and Broome.
- West Aussies love a good road trip, so there is nothing stopping you loading up that 4WD and exploring the Bungles yourself. Sure, it’s a rough 53km track into the national park, but when you lay eyes on those iconic striped sandstone domes you will be glad you made the effort. Self-drive not your thing? Let a 4WD tour guide do all the hard work, relax and enjoy the scenery and their insightful commentary.
- Not feeling your fittest today? Leisurely explore the Domes Walk. It’s an easy 1km return walk track. As you amble around the towering beehive shaped domes you will view the Bungles from yet another perspective, giving you an additional opportunity to snap some incredible images of this World Heritage Listed icon.
- You may have to navigate some steep slopes and large boulders when hiking the Mini-Palms Gorge but your reward will be soaring cliffs, a natural amphitheatre, prehistoric looking palms, the gorge itself and two viewing platforms to take it all in.
- If you are a serious hiker then the remote but spectacular Piccanniny Gorge is for you. Trekking 30 kilometres with no signage or facilities along the way, you need to be fit and well prepared. Given it’s a challenging hike, you will be rewarded with scenery that many visitors to the Bungles don’t encounter. Not confident enough to take it on by yourself? There are guided tours available including a Heli Hike.
- If you think the Bungles are magnificent in the dry season, the wet season rain adds a gloss-like finish and emphasises the contrasting colours of the orange and black striped domes even further. But how do you see the Bungles during the wet when the park is closed and inaccessible to vehicles? HeliSpirit have worked their magic and been granted special permission to land in the Cathedral Gorge carpark where your pilot guide will lead you on a unique wet season walking tour.
- Traipsing through the Bungles all day, can lead you longing for a hot shower to rinse off the red dust, a gourmet meal that you don’t have to cook for yourself and a deep mattress to sleep soundly on before your next adventure. Just because you are in the Bungles doesn’t mean you have to skimp on comfort. Check out the glamping and cabin options which retains the bush experience your mind craves, but gives your body the comfort it deserves.
- Don’t forget to look up! As darkness falls marvel at the bright intensity of the star-lit sky. With no light pollution in this neck of the woods, the Milky Way sparkles hypnotising all that gaze skyward.
- Bag a barramundi. Easier said than done, but if you tap into the knowledge of a fishing guide your odds increase substantially. If the fish are just not biting for you, then rest assured you will find barra on the menu at most Kununurra cafés and restaurants.
- Stressed? Then head out for some ‘float therapy’ on one of the local waterholes. Floating on your back surrounded by nature will soothe your soul. While it can be tricky convincing a local to share their secret swimming spot, the Kununurra Visitor Centre will help you find those spring-fed and seasonal gems and perhaps a waterfall too.
- Sip a home-grown rum at the Hoochery. Refreshingly, this is no slick, industrialised distillery. Brimming with character due to founder Spike’s magpie nature, the corrugated iron interior unquestionably radiates outback charm but it’s their award-winning rums produced the old-fashioned way that ultimately impresses. Their booze filled desserts will also tempt you.
- Taste the local produce. Kununurra’s mango smoothies are legendary! The fertile soil and tropical climate make Kununurra the ideal place to grow juicy mangoes, sweet melons and the ever-popular superfood chia seed. With French cosmetic houses holding Kununurra’s sandalwood in high regard, don’t forget to try the local sandalwood creams and soaps on offer.
- Wander the art galleries and meet the talented artists at work. Inspired by, and deeply connected to the land, Aboriginal artists use traditional techniques and modern tools to craft a special piece of the East Kimberley for you to take home.
- Pressed for time and not able to see the Bungles this time around? We’ve got you sorted! A mini version exists five minutes-drive east of Kununurra at Mirima National Park. The changing light brings out those rich Kimberley hues and you will almost question whether you are indeed at the Bungles themselves. Follow the signposted bush trails and boardwalk or climb the stairs to the elevated platforms to get right amongst the layered rocky cliffs.
- Want to see a crocodile? Or maybe a fish that oddly shoots water to catch its insect prey? Keen to see the many birds that populate Kununurra? The Ord River is jam-packed with wildlife both in the water and on its banks. Cruise the waterways with a tour guide. Not only will their trained eyes seek out camouflaged wildlife but these guides are also geological geniuses, able to answer any questions on those imposing rock formations that line the river. Watching a stunning sunset from a cruise on Lake Kununurra is also a must-do.
- We all know the swagman camped by a billabong, but how many Aussies have seen a billabong in real life? Crank up Waltzing Matilda, take the unsealed Parry Creek Road and discover Marglu Billabong at Parry’s Lagoon Nature Reserve. This tranquil wetland is a haven for some 160 bird species. Stroll the boardwalk, find a comfortable spot in the bird hide and see how many birds you can tick of your list. Want to stay a little longer? Accommodation, powered and unpowered sites are available.