Day 37 – 10 Aug 2012 – At Lake Argyle

A really quiet night. We left around 9.00am and our first stop was a large bridge structure, called Bradshaw Bridge. It had a walking path along it and led into an Army Training area. It was massive and stranded the wide Victoria River. Next stop was a drive up to a viewing platform overlooking Timber Creek. There was a wide view of the township and the surrounding ranges, but it was not really very attractive – there was a lot of burn off in the area which does make the grassland/trees/shrubs look rather shabby. At this spot there was a large memorial for the war servicemen who patrolled this large area during WWII. It was very well set out.

Next stop was ‘Gregory’s Tree’ – a large boab tree which the explorer Augustus Gregory engraved in 1846 at the time when he disembarked to collect wood for the repair of his ship. It was a 3.5km trip in on a corrugated red, dusty road but it was worth it to see the tree. The tree was well presented for the many tourists who had driven in to see it. Once again the N.T. tourism organisations cater very well for travellers.

Gregory’s Tree

We then drove on, heading to the W.A. border. The countryside today was quite different to yesterday’s. We actually saw wide open plains today – covered in very long, brown, spindly grasses. We do not know if this is the sort of grass the cattle eat, but any cattle we did see seemed to be in good condition. All the cattle up here are Brahman. They are mostly grey in colour and blend in so well it often looks like a pile of rocks in the distance.

We stopped at a lovely spot just for a break when Bruce and Linda joined us. They decided to stop for lunch but we thought it was a little early and drove off to the W.A. border. This  parking spot was a designated free ‘overnight’ stay and there were caravans already parking, getting ready for the night.

We finally reached the border around 1.20pm N.T. time, but of course then had to turn back our clocks/watches for W.A. time, so it was 11.50am – well before lunch after all!!! At the border is a compulsory quarantine inspection site. The campervan in front of us had fruit and vegies which they had to discard – can’t understand how some people don’t read all the signs and pamphlets warning that this take place. The lady who inspected our car and van did a good job – they open some cupboards and check inside the fridge and freezer. We were then allowed to pass into W.A.

Only a few kms further we turned off on the road to Lake Argyle, but before we went to the CaravanPark there we drove into the re-located Argyle Homestead of the Durack Family. When Lake Argyle was proposed it was to fully flood where the original homestead etc. stood so steps were taken to re-locate as much as possible for posterity. The home was pulled down, stone by stone (which were then numbered) and then re-built on higher ground. Unfortunately, owing to floods etc. the dam filled before most of the equipment etc. could be salvaged. However, what is at this site is very interesting.

We then drove to the Lake Argyle Caravan Park. $35 for the night. It is very picturesque and situated right next to the dam itself.

Dam Wall at Lake Argyle

After a late lunch we then drove to the 2 viewing sites to see this amazing structure. It is possible to drive over the dam wall which was very interesting. This lake is HUGE – it has a hyrdro power which supplies power to the grid for the resort, plus Kununarra and Wyndham. There was a swimming pool there which has one of those edges which looks like it goes over a cliff. We didn’t go for a swim though. There was a very strong wind blowing and everyone said the water was freezing.

Pool at Lake Argyle Park

There are some lovely birds around here – a bower bird came near. It has a mauve daub on the nape of its neck. I was unable to get a photo of it though. There are bird watching tours each day – would be good but we are only staying the one night.

I spotted a caravan here with a notice – ‘Mobile Hairdresser’ and told Linda as she was talking about trying to get her hair cut in Kununurra. Both she and Bruce took the opportunity to have theirs cut. She only charged $15 per cut. Not bat. She and her husband are travelling for some time and this is one way to supplement their income. There is also a bar and restaurant and souvenir shop here at Lake Argyle.

Weather still warm – around 33C.

Love to all, Janese and Ian

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