Day 4 Thursday 15 May 2014
Bungle Bungle Ranges, Lake Argyle, Ord River Scheme, Kununurra (see map of our flight path in the photos)
Overnight we had sailed to the Wyndham jetty. It was high tide. After a beautiful breakfast we boarded one of the local busses driven by one of the local Councillors (who had lived in the region for 40 years). He took us to the Wyndham Airport (see photos) where we boarded a DC3 plane, carrying 10 passengers + the pilot.
We were off to see something which Tom & I had been wanting to see for a long time - the Bungle Bungles. When Tom & Richard drove around Australia in 1968, the Bungles were not even a tourist feature.
It took us 45 minutes to fly to the Bungles (Purnululu National Park), the spectacular landform of striking beehive dome-shaped sandstone towers and breathtaking gorges. Absolutely spectacular. I hope the photos do them justice.
On the way to the Bungles, we flew over the Argyle Diamond Mine which is massive. It is one of the largest diamond mine in the world, owned by Rio Tinto Ltd. It is where the world's primary
source of the rare pink diamond is mined. The mine started as an open-cut mine but is now all underground. Since going underground, they have also found yellow & green diamonds, which are not as valuable as the pink diamonds.
We also flew over Lake Argyle which is filled to 92m above sea level, with a maximum capacity of 116m a.s.l. It is 27 times larger than Sydney Harbour. The Lake resulted from the damming of the Ord River (named after the Governor of WA between 1878-1880). The Ord River Scheme resulted. There is now 22,000 hectares of irrigated agricultural land in the Scheme.
We also saw the old Bow River Diamond Mine which closed in 1995 after 7 years of operation.
We also flew over the Lissadell & Texas Downs Cattle Stations.
After flying over the Diversion Dam at Kununurra, which was completed in 1963, we landed at the Kununurra Airport.
After driving around the Kununurra township and having lunch in one of the local parks, we bussed it back to Wyndham.
Once back at Wyndham, we took a shuttle bus around the sites of Wyndham which included to 5 rivers lookout.
We then boarded to Orion at the jetty feeling very, very satisfied with what we had seen during the day.
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