The region surrounding the Eastern Kimberley town of Kununurra is a stunning smorgasbord of rivers, lakes and gorges.

Story Nathan Dyer 

From the air, Lake Argyle looks more inland sea than lake. Australia’s largest mainland freshwater body covers a thousand square kilometres and pumps more than 4000 gigalitres a year down the mighty Ord River, spreading like a never-ending blue sheet among the buckled green and red ranges of the East Kimberley.

Completed in 1971, Lake Argyle was built to supply water to the Ord River Irrigation Area, which spreads around Kununurra. It’s a vast feature of which Kimberley Air Tours chief pilot Stephen Riches never tires. “People can see it coming from a bit of a distance, but what staggers a lot of people is that you can’t see the other side of it,” Stephen says. “Even from the height we approach the lake at, typically about 2500 feet, you can see one side but not the other. It stretches all the way to the horizon.” 

This story excerpt is from Issue #141

Outback Magazine: February/March 2022