A drop in the Lake… Argyle

Of all the places we were really looking forward to about Western Australia, Lake Argyle was right at the top of the list.  And it didn’t disappoint.

We stayed at the caravan park, situated at the edge of Western Australia’s largest, and Australia’s second largest man made lake.  Back in the 60’s, the idea was mooted to dam the Ord River to create a man made water reserve. Many family homes, including the legendary Durack family’s home, ultimately were sacrificed for the bigger picture of water security when construction started in the early 70’s.  We did a tour of the Durack family homestead which was removed from it’s original location (at the bottom of the dam) and rebuilt at a safe water level.  Now a museum capturing the history of the Durack Family who were one of the pioneering cattle graziers, droving cattle from Queensland to the Northern Territory in the last 1800s we soaked up the gorgeous gardens and local history.

We spent considerable time relaxing at Lake Argyle and checking out the famous infinity pool set behind a backdrop of red cliffs and the blue lake.

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Apparently, the part of the lake that you can view from the pool is only 1% of the entire volume of the lake! It’s huge.  In the evenings, we listened to resident musician Steve Case who does a set of original songs before heading over to the bar to continue with cover songs.

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Steve’s original music was of course, all about the Kimberley and his songs still pop into my mind from time to time!

The next day we took a drive across the dam wall and into a little nature reserve at the bottom. The girls explored the park, collecting frangiannis and seedpods as Corey tried his luck fishing but unfortunately, he didn’t get anything… again. Another bloke had been trying a while too but had only been catching a few Long Toms which were quite an ugly, toothy looking fish!

We decided to splurge on a sunset cruise whilst we were there, partly because we had heard awesome things about it, but also because we really wanted to experience the lake itself.  The 2 hour cruise gave us some fascinating history about the lake and some interesting fact about it’s sheer size.  Did you know that Lake Argyle is 19 times bigger than the Sydney Harbour? It’s seriously huge.  The dam wall itself is one of the smallest walls in the world relative to the volume of water it holds, and if the dam were to burst or be opened, it would take four years to drain the lake!  Miss A wasn’t so interested and spent 40mins of the tour fast asleep on the chairs.

We were taken out a couple of kms from the shore where we saw freshwater crocodile and birdlife before we stopped at a spot where we could have a swim. Drinks and nibbles were provided and beer cans were thrown out to us as we swam. Even I went in, which is a rarity as I never go in, but I couldn’t do the tour and not go for a swim!

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Corey even climbed on the roof of the boat and jumped off, attempting to catch a beer can that was thrown to him.  I didn’t have my camera, and he missed in the end anyway, but it was a fun way to end the day!

The sunset was amazing and the colours vibrant as we made our way back to the dock.

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The next day, we bummed around and soon, our four days were over.  Lake Argyle didn’t disappoint and we loved our time there!

Did you know that Lake Argyle was Australia’s largest man-made lake? Would you jump off the roof of a boat in an attempt to catch a beer can?

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