There’s something quite alluring about swimming in a lake of 25,000 freshwater crocodiles whilst sipping sparkling wine and watching a beautiful Kimberley sunset. Intrigued? Let me show you my day with Greg and Matt of Lake Argyle Cruises just out of Kununurra.
Our day begins with a short 45 minute drive from Kununurra to the Lake Argyle Cruises office at Lake Argyle. It’s a beautiful drive in its own right and as you get closer to Lake Argyle you notice a real change in the landscape. Stunning red sandstone ranges and pandanus palms lay either side of the road, and the last stretch before the resort and Lake Argyle Cruises office is quite shaded from the enormous rock formations.
A friendly local character and fellow skipper and guide, Matt who has been living and working on the Lake for years, ferries us down to meet Greg Smith, owner operator of Lake Argyle Cruises who welcomes us aboard the Silver Cobbler II. Greg is a real Kimberley character having lived in the Top End for much of his life and he’s a great guy to chat with as you cruise the enormous Lake. Greg has been living at Lake Argyle with his wife and 2 gorgeous young daughters since 1999 and it would be easy to be envious of their lifestyle growing up in such a beautiful part of the world.
As we cruise past sheer rock faces of islands and the mainland Greg tells us a little about the history of Lake Argyle and the dam wall that was built in 1971 to harbour water for the Ord River Irrigation Scheme before slowing down and pulling up to a rock face that drops right down to the water’s edge. Two little short-eared rock wallabies hop down greeting the familiar sound of the boat hoping for a quick snack. Lucky for us one has a young joey in her pouch and I’m still cursing myself for not bringing along my zoom lens. It would have made a great photo! Greg said that these little marsupials will generally have at least one offspring a year if living conditions are good and there is an abundant food supply.
Moving on, we travel to other parts of the Lake watching the changing scenery, spotting more wallabies and stopping for a refreshing swim in the deep waters. We pull up to an island in a large open area of the Lake and waving a bit of bread over the side we notice schools of Archer fish spitting water up at our hands. This is a technique they use to catch small insects flying above the waters surface and it’s very comical watching fellow passengers dodging water shooting up at their faces. Before we know it, a much larger marine creature a Freshwater Crocodile, has joined the archer fish and catfish and is lazily preying upon the unsuspecting schools. Fortunately for the fish, it was not trying very hard and did not get a feed on this occasion. It’s important to note here that the Freshwater Crocodile is NOT harmful to man or large animals. They prey predominately on small birds and fish which is reassuring because everybody is keen to go for another swim before the end of the day!
As we meander through other sections of the enormous Lake making our way back towards the dam wall we stop again to listen to Greg tell us the story of the Durack’s, the original cattle pioneers of the Kimberley. And as you sit out on this vast Lake that is often referred to as an inland sea, you can truly appreciate the vision that these pioneers must have had, and the enormity of not only the Lake itself but the story of the people that once walked on the now permanently underwater land.
Before we know it Greg has opened an esky of ice cold beer, sparkling wine and soft drinks and is passing around a platter of cheese and biscuits. We all jump in the water and bob around on floating noodles sipping our refreshments and watching the setting sun. “This isn’t the best sunset tonight” says Greg, but as I listen to the fellow travellers laughing and talking amongst themselves, I realise that there’s probably very few sunsets that have been enjoyed more.
Lake Argyle Cruises operate all year round and sunset cruises are not their only offerings. They also run morning tours, full day Best of Lake Argyle tours, dinghy hire, birdwatching tours, and have recently purchased two stand up paddle boards which can be hired.
Visit their website www.lakeargylecruises.com or call 08 9168 7687
About Freshwater’s 52 Weeks of Adventure Challenge
Freshwater East Kimberley Apartments is based in the picturesque town of Kununurra in The Kimberley region of Western Australia and is managed by Kimberley local, Ebony Muirson and her fresh enthusiastic team.
Over 12 months Ebony and her team will be venturing out into their pristine backyard to experience and chronicle 52 different Kimberley adventure experiences. That’s a new adventure every single week for an entire year!
We’re inviting you to come along for the ride by following the blog and joining us on Facebook and Instagram. We will also be announcing an exceptional competition during 2015 so sign up today for your chance to WIN.
On top of this we’re also running a #FresherAdventure photo contest which you can enter or vote on here.
We look forward to seeing you on our journey!
About the Author
Ebony is a Kimberley local and avid adventurer, who moved to Kununurra with her family as wide-eyed 8 year old on a hot and humid April day in 1992. Ebony’s adventures as a child growing up in one of the world’s last remaining frontiers inspired her to pursue a career in tourism where she would be able to share her love of the region she calls home with people from across the globe. Ebony has spent years working on the remote Kimberley Coast before returning to Kununurra to manage Freshwater Apartments. In 2012 Ebony was selected as a North West Ambassador through Australia’s North West’s Characters of the Kimberley campaign.
Ebony loves nothing more than helping create a once in a lifetime holiday for visitors to the Kimberley and looks forward to sharing her own Kimberley Adventures throughout the following 12 months.
Please JOIN THE ADVENTURE by following our blog, as Ebony and her team chronicle 52 weeks of unbelievable Kimberley adventure experiences.