Published: May 8th 2012May 1st 2012
We packed up our bush camp this morning and headed towards Kunnanarra. Once again the bus was playing up and so it was a very slow journey, especially with having to stop every 5mins to disconnect the battery. So once we reached the first road station the guides decided to arrange for the spare part to be driven to us whilst we waited at the road station.
We had an hour or so to wait but once the engineer arrived it was fixed pretty quickly and Nina was soon taking us to Kununurra.
In Kununurra we stopped at a run distillery where we got to taste the different varieties of runs they make. As it was still before lunch we decided to just share our tastings rather than get some each. We chose 4 of the rums to taste; their best selling rum, a 71% proof rum, a mango rum and a coffee and chocolate rum. The coffee and chocolate was definitely the favourite for such an early hour of the day.
We then went to check out a Zebra Rock Shop. The Zebra rock can be up to 600 million years old and is unique to this
area of Australia and they make all kinds of jewellery and ornaments from it. Although the highlight of the shop for Jo was the little dog Kelly who was still only a pup and intent on chewing on our thongs (aka flip flops, just in case you were wondering). If the owner had looked away from Kelly for 2 minutes then we would probably have her travelling with us now!
Next up was a park in the centre of Kununurra where we stopped for lunch. Then it was a speedy drive onto Lake Argyle to make it for a 3pm cruise on the lake. Lake Arglye is man made lake created between 69-71 and took 3 wet seasons to fill. The Argyle cattle farm was the only property which was destroyed by the lakes creation. It was created to boost the agriculture in the area through providing an irrigation system. It is now a very rich area for agriculture with all kinds of produce grown, from mango's, bananas and sandalwood
Nick dropped us off at the jetty and we met our Skipper Matt. As we boarded the boat we could see lots large fish swimming around the boat
which Matt informed us were Catfish as well as a couple of smaller species. Lake Argyle is 40km wide and 70km top to bottom with 1000 square km surface area. At its current level it would fill Sydney harbour 21 times. However Matt pointed out a higher water line on the cliffs as we left the jetty which marked the highest point that the water had reached and this was 9metres higher than its current level, had a surface area of 2000 square km and would have filled Sydney harbour 41 times. Although it was so large it almost looked like the ocean as it was so large the water was very still so the cruise on the boat was smooth.
First Matt took us over to a cliff edge where we saw Short Eared Rock Wallabies who came down to the boat for a feed. There was only one female which we could see at first but we then spotted her Joey waiting further up the cliffs as he wasn't brave enough to come down to the boat yet. Just as we were leaving there was another of the larger females who made her way down for some
Our tour guide had suggested that there were fresh water crocodiles in the lake, so when Matt stopped the boat and asked if we wanted to jump in for a swim we asked about the crocodiles and he said not so a few people jumped in for a swim, including Will. We were next to some large cliffs which Matt confirmed were hanging over deep the deepest part of the gully and was 40m deep, so it was safe to jump off from if we wanted. A couple of daredevils wasted no time in climbing 9 metres up the cliff and jumping into the lake but Matt showed how it was really done when he climbed up 12 metres and took a running jump into the water. No one was brave enough to copy that one!
Matt then took us over to one of the small islands in the lake where we saw a data bird basking in the last of the days sun and drying his wings. We had some stale bread which Matt had given us to feed the fish and Matt told us just to hold it slightly above the water and tease
the fish. We soon realised why he had said to tease them as the Archer fish spat water out at us. Apparently it's their method for knocking insects off leave hanging above the water. Some of them were even braver and actually jumped out of the water and had a nibble on our fingers! Luckily they didn't have too many teeth.
It was only then that Matt said we should keep our eyes peeled as we might spot a freshwater crocodile. Yep, in the same water as Will had been swimming just 10 minutes earlier! We did spot some movement under the water and after a minute or so of watching the movement we saw the head and back of the crocodile peek out of the water. We all had our hands firmly tucked back inside the boat by this time. Unfortunately we had run out of bread by this time to keep the fish pre-occupied so that we could see the crocodile catch one.
The views all around the lake were beautiful and the water was so still it almost looked like a picture. We stopped in the middle of the lake so that we could watch
sunset from all sides whilst we enjoyed a couple of beers. On the way back to the jetty Matt pointed out one of the hills surrounding the lake which looked very much like a crocodile.
Nick picked us up from the jetty and drive us back to camp where the kitchen had already been set up and dinner was cooking away, do we could all go and enjoy our first shower in 3days before enjoying fajitas and a savoury damper for dinner.
There are more photos below