One of the highlights from my three week tour of the Kimberley was hanging out at Lake Argyle, but before we could relax in the mountain-top infinity pool, we had the arduous task of a 7am champagne speed boat ride to the start of the Dam 2 Dam Dinghy Dash (oh woah is me!).
The Dam 2 Dam is an annual race from the Lake Argyle dam wall, along 55km of the upper Ord River, to the finish line at the Kununurra Division Dam. I was expecting rubber dinghies with oars, but the Australian version is a small tin boat with an outboard motor. Two men (or women) per boat, prizes for “best dressed crew” (I saw clowns, pink tutus and what looked like Chewbacca with a bowler hat) and delicately named vessels (such as Titan Uranus) it’s a cracking event run by the community.
I reckon our early morning speed boat jaunt would’ve gotten quite raucous later on because we were travelling with pretty much all the wives and girlfriends of the competitors and the champagne corks were flying. Unfortunately (probably fortunately), ours was a one-way ticket. We disembarked at the start line and whilst the rest of the party travelled back down the river, we were picked up by Gary from Lake Argyle Resort where we were staying that night.
I like Gary. He’s a very funny chap, his license plate reads “DOIN IT” and he tells a good story. Particularly one about the boss Charlie getting stuck in his wagon in a little bush fire not too long ago (censored for family reading).
“Blooming heck, the blooming silly so and so got himself blooming stuck in the blooming fire. I blooming sped down there with the two blooming French backpackers* and blooming had to blooming tow his blooming brand new blooming truck out of the blooming flames”.
*I’m not sure where the French backpackers fitted into the story.
We stayed at Lake Argyle for two nights and it really was a beautiful spot (Captain Grahams’ sunset cruise was spectacular). But for me, what makes a place really special is the people, and that’s why I enjoyed hanging out at Lake Argyle so much….well…that and their amazing mountain top infinity pool.
Tips and Tricks
Getting to Lake Argyle
Qantas and Virgin Australia operate flights to Kununurra direct and also via Broome. The easiest way to access Lake Argyle is to drive the scenic 70kms sealed road from Kununurra to Lake Argyle. Other options include a scenic cruise up the Ord River from Kununurra or by float plane or helicopter.
Where I stayed
My expert local guide
- Captain Graham on the Lake Argyle Tours Sunset Cruise, operated by Lake Argyle Resort.
Events to keep an eye out for
- Argyle Diamonds Ord Valley Muster held annually in May
- Dam 2 Dam Dinghy Dash held annually in September
- Lake Argyle Swim held annually in May
- Kununurra markets held every Saturday morning
My Insider tips