9 FREE things to do in Kununurra
1. Join the locals for a swim at ‘Swim Beach’
You’ll notice that the Ord River is a favourite place for locals to hang out, boating, fishing and even water skiing (yep, you read that correctly, waterskiing. In fact, Kununurra Waterski Club’s logo is a freshwater croc on skis!) The Lake Kununurra ‘crocodile risk mitigation area’ extends along the Ord River from the Lake Argyle dam wall to the Diversion Dam. The best spot to jump in for a swim is at Swim Beach (see map below), where the locals swim. Of course, always check with locals (or read signs) before jumping in for a swim anywhere in the Kimberley! If you’re not keen to share your swim with a few thousands freshwater crocs, read on for some other gorgeous, local freshwater swimming holes.
2. Spot for catfish and crocs @ The Pumphouse
The Pumphouse Restaurant is cantilevered over the Ord River, with glorious 180 degree views of the river and surrounding farmland. Come at sunset and watch for catfish and the occasion freshwater croc - they love to hang around and wait for the occasional food scrap to be throw over to them. This ls one of the best locations for any restaurant / cafe in the Kimberley. Bring your camera!
3. Walk Mirima National Park
This gorgeous national park which is also known locally as ‘the mini Bungles’ is just on the edge of Kununurra’s township on Hidden Valley Road. Enjoy walking on the raised boardwalks and platforms. Climb right up to the lookout, with glorious views over the National Park and surrounding landscape. Take lots of water and avoid the heat of the day - first thing in the morning or late afternoon are best. To avoid paying the entry fee on the way in, park out the front of the park and walk in.
Mirima National Park is on pg # 96 in our book. Grab your copy here. Enter code BLOG for free shipping Australia-wide!
4. Check out local indigenous art at Waringarri Arts
Waringarri Arts is the first wholly indigenous owned art centre established in the Kimberley region and one of the oldest continuously operating art centres in Australia supporting economic independence for artists and their community. Stroll around their gallery to check out some of the amazing art and crafts, locally handmade by indigenous peoples in the heart of Miriwoong country. Another great indigenous gallery is Artlandish, at 10 Papuana Street in the middle of town.
5. Cool off in Molly Springs
This gorgeous, natural spring runs year-round and is the perfect little swimming hole to cool off in the heat of the day. About 30km from Kununurra, driving towards Wyndham, keep an eye out for a sign that says Weiner Creek and then a little track that leads off to the right hand side of the highway into Ngamawolem Nature Reserve. Take all rubbish with you and be sure to wear toxin-free suncream to keep the water pristine and clean.
6. Grab breakfast at the Markets.
Kununurra’s Markets are held each Saturday morning from 8am- 12 noon in Whitegum Park (Cnr Coolibah Drive and Leichhardt Street, Kununurra) between April and September. Take a stroll through the markets and grab some fresh produce from the farmers, meet some locals and pick up a souvenir or two (pieces of zebra rock and paintings of boabs are always favourites). Note - On the weekend of the Kununurra Agricultural Show there is no market.
7. Go bird watching.
There’s amazing bird watching in the east Kimberley, with species including colourful finches, jabiru (Australia’s only stork), night heron and my personal favourite … the rainbow bee-eater. Some great spots to look out for them are along the banks of the Upper Ord River, at Parry Creek on the road to Wyndham or at Lake Argyle. Check out local birdwatcher Adam Hunter’s instagram for some fantastic photos of local birds.
8. Check out local art at Artopia.
Another amazing art gallery that you can’t miss is Artopia, at 144 Konkerberry Drive close to the centre of town. They have an amazing array of local artwork, with many scenes inspired by the stunning landscape of the east Kimberley.
9. Swim at The Grotto.
Ok, so this one’s a bit out of town, on the drive between Kununurra and Wyndham. A steep staircase of about 140 steps leads you down into a canyon and to a swimming hole, which is best straight after a decent dump of rain (when the waterfall is running). With or without rain, the ampitheatre gorge is spectacular at any time of year. Take lots of drinking water and avoid walking in the heat of the day. Descend the steps slowly. There’s no handrail, so this spot is not recommended for young children or the elderly.