Kununurra

Lake Argyle, Nick Rains / Explore Australia Publishing

Population 8581

Kununurra lies in the East Kimberley region not far from the Northern Territory border. It was established in the 1960s alongside Lake Kununurra on the Ord River at the centre of the massive Ord River Irrigation Scheme. It has transformed a dusty, million-acre cattle station into a habitat for waterbirds, fish and crocodiles; the hills and ridges of the former station have become islands. Adjacent is the magnificent Mirima National Park. Lake Argyle to the south, in the Carr Boyd Range, was created by the damming of the Ord River and is the largest body of fresh water in Australia. The word 'Kununurra' means 'meeting of big waters' in the language of the local Aboriginal people. The climate in Kununurra and the East Kimberley is divided into two seasons, the Dry and the Wet. The Dry extends from April to October and is characterised by blue skies, clear days and cool nights. The Wet, from November to March, is a time of hot, humid days, when frequent thunderstorms deliver most of the annual rainfall to the region.

Visitor Information

Lot 75 Coolibah Dr; (08) 9168 1177

www.visitkununurra.com

Nearby national parks

  • Keep River National Park

    Keep River National Park has outstanding beehive-type geological formations of layered sandstone. The weathered outcrops and escarpments lie...more

  • Judbarra/Gregory National Park

    Judbarra/Gregory National Park lies in the transitional zone between the tropical and semiarid regions of the Northern Territory, and...more

  • Purnululu National Park

    Lying deep in the rugged east Kimberley region, Purnululu National Park protects one of the world’s natural wonders, the Bungle Bungle...more

Nearby towns

  • Wyndham

    Wyndham, in the Kimberley region, is the most northerly town and safe port in Western Australia. The entrance to the town is guarded by the...more

  • Timber Creek

    In 1855 explorer A. C. Gregory followed the Victoria River south from the Timor Sea. Cattle and sheep graziers came to the area, following...more

In Town

Historical Society Museum: artefacts and photos provide a historical overview of the town; 72 Coolibah Dr; (08) 9169 3331; 11am–5pm Mon–Fri Apr–Nov or on request; (08) 9169 1600. 

Lovell Gallery: art gallery exhibiting Kimberley artworks for sale; seasonal opening times, check with visitor centre; 144 Konkerberry Dr; (08) 9168 1781. 

Waringarri Aboriginal Arts: large and varied display of Aboriginal art and artefacts for sale; open Mon–Fri, Sat–Sun by appt; 16 Speargrass Rd; (08) 9168 2212.

Red Rock Art: gallery and studio for Indigenous painters from across the Kimberley; 50 Coolibah Dr; (08) 9169 3000. 

Birdland Functional Art: outstanding pottery and ceramics; 22 Poincettia Way; (08) 9168 1616. 

Kelly's Knob Lookout: panoramic view of town and Ord Valley; off Speargrass Rd.

Celebrity Tree Park: arboretum on the shore of Lake Kununurra where celebrities, including John Farnham, HRH Princess Anne, Harry Butler and Rolf Harris, have planted trees. Lily Creek Lagoon at the edge of the park is a good spot for birdwatching. The boat ramp was once part of the road to Darwin; off Victoria Hwy.

Historical Society walk: brochure available at visitor centre.

Nearby

Mirima National Park Known by locals as the 'mini-Bungle Bungles', a striking feature of this park is the boab trees that grow on the rock faces, the seeds having been carried there by rock wallabies and left in their dung. There are walking trails within the park, and between May and Aug guided walks are available. Details at visitor centre; 2 km E.

Ivanhoe Farms: tastings and sales of melons and other local produce; open Apr–Sept; Ivanhoe Rd; (08) 9168 1774; 1 km N.

Lake Kununurra: formed after the completion of the Diversion Dam as part of the Ord River Scheme, the lake is home to a large variety of flora and fauna and is ideal for sailing, rowing, waterskiing and boat tours; details at visitor centre; 2 km S.

City of Ruins: unusual sandstone formation of pinnacles and outcrops that resemble the ruins of an ancient city; off Weaber Plains Rd; 6 km N.

Ord River and Diversion Dam: abundance of wildlife and spectacular scenery and a variety of watersports and cruises available; details at visitor centre; 7 km W.

Ivanhoe Crossing: permanently flooded causeway is an ideal fishing spot; Ivanhoe Rd; 12 km N.

Hoochery Distillery: visit a traditional old Country and Western Saloon Bar or take a tour of the only licensed distillery in WA; open Mon–Sun May–Sept; 9am–4pm Tues–Fri, 9am–12pm Sat Oct–Apr; 300 Weaber Plains Rd; (08) 9168 2467; 15 km N.

Zebra Rock Gallery: view the amazing display of zebra rock, nearly 600 million years old and believed to be unique to the Kimberley, or feed fish from the lakeside jetty; Packsaddle Rd; 16 km S.

Middle Springs: picturesque spot with diverse birdlife; 4WD access only; 30 km N.

Black Rock Falls: spectacular waterfall during the wet season that spills over rocks stained by the minerals in the water; 4WD access only; Apr–Oct (subject to road conditions); 32 km N.

Parry Lagoons Nature Reserve: enjoy birdwatching from a shaded bird hide at Marlgu Billabong or scan the wide vistas of the flood plain and distant hills afforded from the lookout at Telegraph Hill; 65 km NW.

The Grotto: ideal swimming hole (in the wet season) at the base of 140 stone steps; 70 km NW.

Argyle Downs Homestead Museum: built in 1884 and relocated when the lake was formed, the building is a fine example of an early station homestead; open 7am–4pm dry season, wet season by appt; Parker Rd; (08) 9168 1177; 70 km S. Lake Argyle: the view of the hills that pop out of the main body of water is said to resemble a crocodile basking in the sun. Read More

Argyle Diamond Mine: the largest producing diamond mine in the world. Access is via tour only; details at visitor centre; 120 km S.

Purnululu National Park: scenic flights available in town; 375 km S; see Halls Creek.

Mitchell River National Park: one of the Kimberley's newest national parks protects this scenic and biologically important area. Mitchell Falls and Surveyor's Pool are the 2 main attractions for visitors. The area is remote with 4WD access to the park only, and is about a 16 hr drive from Kununurra; 680 km NW.

Scenic flights: flights from town take visitors over the remarkable Bungle Bungles, Argyle Diamond Mine, Mitchell Plateau or Kalumburu; details and bookings at visitor centre.

Tours: bushwalks, safaris, camping, canoeing, 4WD or coach; details at visitor centre.

Cafes & restaurants around town

Gulliver’s Tavern

With a reputation as being the place in town to let down your hair, Gulliver’s Tavern has been host to many travellers over several years who are still reliving their tales to this day. The menu is typical pub fare... Find out more


Ivanhoes Gallery Restaurant

Serving an à la carte menu or buffet, Ivanhoes inspires relaxation as you dine in air-conditioned comfort inside or out beside the pool. In case you haven’t chilled out enough, the cocktail bar is a popular... Find out more


Kelly’s Bar & Grill

Chill out with the locals or the other hotel guests at popular Kelly’s, where the tempting menu includes many specialities of the region. The contemporary restaurant is part of the Best Western Country Club Hotel... Find out more


Campsites around town

Kununurra Agricultural Society Showgrounds

Only visitors with pets and large camping rigs can stay at this showgrounds caravan park. Within walking distance of town, it offers basic camping facilities but is closed in July, when the local show takes over the... Find out more


Lakeside Resort 1 km

Lakeside Resort’s caravan park offers travellers shady, grassed sites with water views in a tranquil, relaxing environment. It is an ideal base from which to explore the raw wilderness of the Kimberley. A swimming... Find out more


Buttons Crossing camping area 19 km

Buttons Crossing camping area is by scrub near the Ord River and Kununurra township, where visitors have a large range of activities and attractions to choose from. Facilities here are limited: use the fireplaces and... Find out more


Skull Rock camping area 31 km

This area floods in the wet season so the campsite is very rocky and sandy. There are basic facilities here as well as the chance to catch a good feed of fish. Come with your own firewood and drinking water. The camping... Find out more


Gurrandalng camping area 35 km

This campsite is 18 km past the ranger station. Generators are permitted within certain times. There is no drinking water here but it is available at Jarnem and the ranger station. A 2 km walk gives magnificent views of... Find out more


Mambi Island camping area 36 km

This camping area has dispersed sites set among paperbark trees near the boat ramp on the bank of the Ord River, in an area that is popular for fishing. Bring firewood and drinking water. Mambi Island is 45.9 km north of... Find out more


Lake Argyle Caravan Park 38 km

Lake Argyle is Australia’s largest body of fresh water, covering over 800 sq km at normal full-supply level and in excess of 2000 sq km at flood capacity. Adjacent to the lake, 70 km south-east of Kununurra, Lake... Find out more


Jarnem camping area 38 km

From this isolated campsite, about 30 km off the highway, you can do the Jarnem Walk. This excellent 7.5 km hike is the highlight of a stay here, with eroded sandstone beehive formations reminiscent of the Bungle Bungle... Find out more


Parry Creek Farm camping area 57 km

Parry Creek Farm camping area, off the Great Northern Hwy, is surrounded by the reserve and provides visitors with an ideal base for birdwatching. A bar, restaurant (open April–September) and other accommodation... Find out more


Diggers Rest Station 73 km

Diggers Rest is an authentic, working cattle station, nestled on the banks of the tidal King River in the King River Valley. It is on King River Rd, 40 km south-west of Wyndham, with the majestic Cockburn and Erskine... Find out more


Caravan parks around town

Ivanhoe Village Caravan Resort 2 km

This is a high quality park just 600 metres from the town centre. It has excellent amenities and a wide range of facilities, including a resort-style pool with a spa. Bookings are required in peak periods.... Find out more


Discovery Holiday Parks – Lake Kununurra 3 km

This caravan park is just 2 km west of town, on the banks of Lake Kununurra. The popular park is off the main highway in a picturesque, quiet location. There is a nice grassy tent area, and shady waterfront sites.... Find out more


Doon Doon Roadhouse Caravan Park 79 km

This is a new park adjoining the roadhouse and appears well laid out and competitively priced. The roadhouse sells a range of products including takeaway food. Only approved pets are allowed.... Find out more


Hotels, motels & B&Bs around town

Diversion Cruises & Hire

On the upper reaches of the Ord River, experience the beauty of Lake Kununurra aboard a houseboat. With five moorings stretching over 35 kilometres, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the stunning scenery and... Find out more


Hidden Valley Tourist Park

With the Mirimar National Park as the camp’s backdrop, and a short distance to the town centre, the Hidden Valley Tourist Park is ideally located to explore the Ord River, Bungle Bungles and Lark Argyle. Savour the... Find out more


Hotel Kununurra

Offering comfortable accommodation for excellent value, Hotel Kununurra has a convenient central town location and is the perfect base from which to explore the Kimberley region. The hotel has a range of accommodation... Find out more


Kimberley Croc Backpackers

Although geared towards the budget traveller, guests at the Kimberley Croc Backpackers are always impressed by the standard of accommodation and facilities. All the rooms are clean, air-conditioned and secure, and they... Find out more


Kununurra Country Club Resort

Centrally located in the middle of town, the Kununurra Country Club Resort is only a few minutes from the airport. Standard hotel rooms, two-bedroom apartments and club rooms for a touch of luxury are available, and... Find out more


El Questro Wilderness Park

As if the sheer size of the El Questro Wilderness Park isn’t unique enough – it’s a million acres, or 400,000 hectares – it’s the diversity of its landscape and wildlife that wows visitors.... Find out more


Rest areas around town

Diversion Dam park area 6 km

T/O 6km W of Kununurra (R) or 39km E of Great Northern Hwy (L)

Near the boat ramp behind the information bay.


Gurrandalng Camp Area 35 km

T/O 183 km W of Timber Creek (R) or 45 km E of Kununurra (L)

Surrounded by sandstone cliffs 17 kilometres (unsealed) north of the highway in Keep River National Park. 


Northern Territory–West Australian Border park area 35 km

At Northern Territory border (L)

At the agricultural quarantine station; no fruit or vegetables to be taken into WA. For westbound only.


Cockburn rest area 41 km

152km N of Warmun (L) or 59km S of Wyndham (R)

Just off the highway at the junction with the Victoria Hwy.


Dunham River rest area 55 km

117km N of Warmun (L) or 94km SW of Wyndham (R)

Just off the highway under a couple of trees at the Dunham River.


Saddle Creek rest area 90 km

116km W of Timber Creek (L) or 169km E of WA border (R)

Among a few trees at the base of an escarpment.


What's on around town

Lake Argyle Swim: May.

Ord Valley Muster: May/June.

Kimberley Moon Experience: June.

Kununurra Races: Aug/Sept.

Dam to Dam Dinghy Dash: Sept. 

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