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Kununurra: Amidst Majestic Landscapes
Kununurra is a speck civilization in the vast, wild Kimberley Region, the main town between Darwin (800 km away) and Broome (1000 km away). In spite of its remote location, Kununurra is increasingly becoming holiday hub for adventure seekers.
Get ready for national parks sheltering age-old rocky landscapes and waterfalls that come rushing into the sea. Cruise Lake Kununurra to catch one of the region’s famous sunsets. Swim in warm, freshwater lakes populated by alligators - that pose no threat to humans!
In the town of Kununurra itself, visitors can easily immerse themselves in Aboriginal culture. Browse gallery collections or purchase works by Indigenous artists. Some galleries offer tours, allowing you to find out more about the region’s First People. Throughout the year, Kununurra hosts markets and festivals, showcasing local talent.
Most holiday rentals in Kununurra are very modern and provide water views.
National Parks and Reserves near Kununurra
Visitors are spoiled for choice when it comes to parks and reserves near Kununurra. Mirima National Park, just a short distance from town, is home to 350 million year-old sandstone cliffs separated by lush valleys. Several walks of varying difficulties lead to scenic lookouts. For a different type of scenery, explore the wetlands at Parry Lagoons Nature Reserve. This is a birdwatcher’s paradise. The park is a haven for migratory birds, including some Siberian species spending the coldest months in Australia.
Ngauwudu Management Area, meanwhile, is nestled all the way up in the North of the Kimberley Region. The reserve harbours a variety of ecosystems, from a rainforest to rocky plateaus and mangroves. Significant to local aboriginal people, the park also features rock art and cultural sites. While here, you might spot the tiniest rock wallaby of them all, the Monjon. Ambitious hikers can undertake an 85 km walking trail. But please note, some parts of the park are only open to the public at certain times of the year.
Lakes and Falls near Kununurra
The Kimberley Region is known for its abundant bodies of water. To see the full impact of mother nature, it is best to visit the area’s waterfalls during or just after the wet season. The Horizontal Falls, 70 km from town, are one of the region’s most visited attractions. These falls flow in the ocean horizontally, between 1.8 billion-year-old rock formations. To see the phenomenon from up high, book a seaplane ride.
Much closer to town, the Ord River pours into Lake Kununurra. This is a popular spot for watersports, such as water skiing or canoeing. The lake offers safe swimming areas.
You could also rent a boat or hop aboard a sunset cruise. Ramps are available for those bringing their own boat.
Lake Argyle is a freshwater lake with an infinity pool, just a short drive from Kununurra. The water is warm no matter the season, providing comfortable swimming conditions. 35,000 freshwater crocodiles live in the lake, but they leave humans alone. If you don’t want to get in the water, just stroll along the shoreline trail or settle down with a picnic and watch the sun set.
Kununurra: in Town
If you’re ready to take a break from outback adventures, there are plenty of activities right in town. Head to the Kununurra Museum to see thousands of photographs depicting life in the area over the last 70 years. Starstruck fans can make their way to the Celebrity Tree Park to see plants and trees put into the ground by Australian and international celebrities. Nicole Kidman’s tree is among them.
For views of the surrounding area, opt for a challenging hike up a rock formation called the Sleeping Buddha, in the outskirts of town. Throughout the year, Kununurra hosts festivals and events, including dance shows, rodeos and an agricultural show. On Saturday mornings, browse the stalls at the Kununurra Markets, where you can purchase arts and crafts, fresh produce and clothing.
Aboriginal Culture in the Kimberley
Kununurra opens a window to the rich Aboriginal culture of the Kimberley Region. To immerse yourself, start off by visiting the numerous Indigenous art galleries. Spend some time at the Warmun Art Centre to discover works by artists, representing dreamtime story scenes. Venture over to Artlandish Aboriginal Art Gallery to purchase works catering to every budget. View and buy sculptures at Warringarri Arts, a gallery that doubles up as a cultural centre.
Delve deeper into First People’s heritage by signing up for walking tours. Warringarri Arts runs several tours, which introduce visitors to the region’s prominent Aboriginal artists, as well as many cultural and historical themes. To uncover Indigenous culture as you take in the natural beauty, sign up for a day-long tour run by Miriuwung guides. As you wander past age-old landscapes, learn about cultures dating back 50,000 years.
Getting to Kununurra
Kununurra is located between Broome and Darwin. It is a 10-hour drive from Broome and a 9-hour drive from Darwin. Once a week, a bus service connects these cities. Kununurra has its own regional airport, with direct flights from Broome, Darwin and Perth.