We farewell Wyndham and head towards Kununurra, booking a caravan site at Hidden Valley along the way. We book for one night but as soon as we arrive I know we’ll stay longer. The park is picturesque and backs onto the stunning Mirima National Park, which looks like a mini version of the Bungles Bungles.
Plus, there’s a lot to see and do in Kununurra. At check in with affable Jo at the Caravan Park we get plenty of ideas on what to do and we start our stay by booking a cruise at Lake Argyle. But that’s looking ahead, down the track.
From Lipstick to Gin
After a refreshing swim in the pool at Hidden Valley we head out to the much acclaimed Sandalwood Shop. It’s a treat for the senses.
As you walk in you’re enveloped with the gorgeous scent of sandalwood. With testers of oils, hand lotions, balms and lipsticks everywhere, all senses are on overload. There’s a theatre room inside showing a video on the production of sandalwood and it’s products and while I chat to store manager Toni Doug grabs a coffee and muffin next door.
I walk out with a few gifts of hand balm plus sandal infused mozzie repellent sticks for us and two luscious lipsticks for moi. When Doug grizzled it was an indulgence I declared that so was his slab of beer!
Barely a kilometre away, at the next farm gate, we found common ground! Hoochery is a gin distillery and the oldest operating legal still in WA. The small pot distillery and the building itself were created entirely by hand.
Barn doors lead us into a friendly welcoming space and a bar filled with tasting paddles for a gin extravaganza. You can also pick up a local produce platter with focaccias and an assortment of gin balsamic for dipping.
We enjoyed our visit so much that we went back for an encore the next day, this time enjoying a cocktail gin paddle and some local produce. Kununurra has so much to offer and the landscape is unique. Aside from tasting gin we drove past cotton fields, visited Stone Craft Gallery, just one of many impressive art galleries featuring the unique Zebra stonework formations of the Kimberley and we also went for an exciting drive through a river.
The precautionary sign advises of drop offs, crocs, not to swim here and that driving across is done at your own risk … but as a fellow blogger commented recently “it’s good to test life and have some fun.” Truth be told it wasn’t that deep nor that much of a test for our car. And isn’t every day a risk anyway? Whatever happened to being responsible for our own decisions?
We see a woman wading in the river, a guy hitching a lift on the back of a car in front of us … now, whether you call them brave or silly, THEY were testing life.
The Ivanhoe Crossing is an iconic crossing on the Ord river that is impassable in the wet but a scenic must do in the dry season.
Back at camp we head to Kelly’s Knob for sunset, a local lookout point with sweeping views over Kununurra. Early the next morning we hike from the back of the caravan park into the Mirima National Park, a 1.5 walk that is truly stunning. It’s like a mini Bungles and a taste for how impressive the real ones will be.
Lake Argyle is the largest man made lake in Australia. It’s up to twenty times bigger than Sydney Harbour, covers an area of some 800 odd thousand kilometres, it’s huge and it’s magnificent.
Leaving Kununurra and trying valiantly to find the Spillways free camp (which we find out later is no longer) we secure a fantastic powered site at the Lake Argyle resort.
We have a swim in Australia’s most iconic infinity pool and it’s just as amazing as I imagined. It’s not as cold as I’n told, but maybe that’s because I’ve become immune to cold water after all the gorges we’ve swum in. It has views that go on forever.
Down the road is the recreated homestead and pioneering museum which tells the fascinating story of the Duracks, the first pioneering settlers here. We explore a bit more, drive to a couple of nearby look out points, including a spectacular lookout reached via a four wheel drive track.
That night we’re entertained at sunset by musician Steve Case, originally from Wagga Wagga but now a regular here at Lake Argyle during the dry season. He has the ultimate stage and backdrop with a golden sunset and the colours of the Kimberley behind him.
He sings, plays guitar and writes songs about the Kimberley and his life about giving up his day job, travelling and living the dream. What a gig. Later that night over in the beer garden he has virtually the whole resort up dancing with his version of GI Jo.
The energy is palpable, it’s pure joy and high vibe with no restraint, fear or separation, only unity and togetherness. The feeling is so light it’s as though in this moment music and love transcends everything and all is right in the world. I want to bottle it and spread it around the globe.
Out on the Lake
We loved everything about Lake Argyle but the highlight was undoubtedly the cruise the next day. There are many options with sunset cruises, combined river and lake cruises however we chose The Best of Lake Argyle run by Greg Smith, owner of Lake Argle cruises.
We’re out all day, from 11.30am until 6.30pm and our day includes lunch, a stop on a deserted island and a swim at sunset complete with drinks in the water and dips on an eskie lid!
We also received and made a phone call that potentially saved a horse from serious injury, all while we were in the middle of the lake! But more on that in another post.
Life is amazing, the timing and synchronicity of how things happen. It’s happened more times than I can remember on this trip and I’m continually surprised and in awe at how “guided” and in sync with the Universe I feel. As though things are happening just as they should, even if at the time I don’t understand. Perhaps it’s all about letting go of outcomes, going with the flow and trusting in the journey.
Wherever you are I wish you peace and joy and the ability to see through the dark challenges of our times into the light of a new future and world.
See you next time as we continue to explore the incredible Kimberley region of Australia.
Sending love and light