Two directions are heading to the east junction to get on the Gibb-River-Road, one is the way from Wyndham, most northern city of Western Australia and end of the Great Northern Highway and the other comes from Kununurra. We decide to visit Wyndam, which is situated at the mouth of King, Pentecost, Durack, Forest and Ord River in the Cambridge Gulf. The population of Wyndham is approx. 800. After a coffee break at the most northern bakery of Western Australia we go further to Kununurra.
Kununurra is a very young city, established at 1961 with a population of 400, today the population is at 7‘000 all over the year, during the high season (dry season – winter time) it grows up to 14‘000 for about 6 months. Kununurra is located approximately 3300 kilometres north east of Perth and just over 1000 kilometres from Broome. The city was estabilshed in correlation to the building of the Ord River Damm, which finally leads the river to the „Lake Argyle“. The barrier lake is made to get the whole irrigation at Kununurra, where a lot of fruits, vegetables and sandalwood grows. The Lake Argyle is amazing great and beautyful. This barrier lake is used to generate the electric power for Kununurra, Wyndham and also the Aryle Diamond Mine. At the same time, the barrier lake is the reservoir for Kununurra and its capacity is as big as it can bridging operation for 5 years without rain. Usually during the wet season the lake is been filling up to its highest level.
From Lake Argyle to Knununurra the river has a length of 45 km and forms another lake, the lake Kununurra. These are fresh water lakes and they do have a lot of different fish as also a lot of fresh water crocodiles (freshies) – at lake Argyle there are approx. 35‘000 freshies.
The Aryle diamonds are the famous Argyle-Pink-Diamonds and the qualtiy is absolut frist class in its clarity grade. This mine is also owned of Rio Tinto (Minerals) and within 10 days the mine extract diamantes in a value of 60‘000‘000 AU$. The exploitation of the diamonds startet in the early 1972 as surface mining. Today the exploitation is a deep mining and the system with its tunnels is such difficult – big heat around 50° and fragile stone – that Rio Tinto has decided to stopp the mining at the end of the year 2020 and to close up the mine. The only place they will start up again with a surface mining is the airstrip, which today is being used to bring in and out the workers and also the diamonds. They suppose a big source of pink diamonds unter the airstrip.
As usual we do have some nice pictures of all of that 🙂