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The best day trips from Kununurra

With a choice of easy half day and day trips, spend a scenic day out from your Kununurra base in the Kimberley Region, WA.  Swim in year round springs, spot some of the 160 species of birds in the region, take a hike in a national park or witness the meeting of five rivers before they flow into the ocean.

By Tracey Diddams

The Kimberley is renowned as being a sanctuary to a plethora of bird species, boasting boab trees with trunks so fat they look like they’ll burst and glorious swimming holes that quite often you’ll have to yourself. From 4WD adventures, hiking through ancient landscapes, swimming, scenic and wildlife viewing there is plenty to experience right on the doorstep of Kununurra.  

Discover The Kimberley

Swim in freshwater springs

Before you leave Kununurra, grab your free Kimberley Glove Box Guide from the Kununurra Visitor Centre which includes maps and tips on day trips out of Kununurra. Pack your bathers and a picnic lunch and head west onto the Victoria Highway from Kununurra towards Wyndham. There are several take-away venues in town including bakeries and cafes like the Kimberley Café, the Cornerside Café and the Kimbercrust bakery providing fresh sandwiches, rolls, wraps and salads. Travel for 14 kilometres (8.6 miles) along the Highway and take the right hand turn onto Parry’s Creek Road signed Ngamoowalem Conservation Park. Home to the Miriwoong and Gajerrong people, the park features four swimming and picnic areas – Valentine, Middle and Molly Springs and Black Rock Falls. You could easily spend the day hopping from waterhole to waterhole, swimming and lazing on the banks, otherwise continue your journey and explore more of what the region has to offer.  

Birds galore at Marlgu Billabong

Continue along Parry’s Creek Road and you will arrive at the Marlgu Billabong and bird-hide. A must for avid birdwatchers, this billabong is a RAMSAR listed wetland, internationally recognised and protected as a place hosting migratory bird species. The bird-hide is mounted over the billabong giving you an opportunity to be amongst rainbow bee-eaters, whistle ducks, darters, egrets and magpie geese. Over 160 species of birds have been observed at this site alone. A short drive up to Telegraph Hill, the site of an old telegraph station from 1914, will reward with stunning panoramic views over the lily-filled billabong and surrounding Ord River Valley. If you want to take your time spotting those more elusive species or you just want to enjoy the tranquillity of Marlgu, just up the road is Parry’s Creek Farm which offers meals, accommodation and camping options.  

Watch the meeting of five rivers

Located a comfortable 100 kilometres (62 miles) on the Great Northern Highway west of Kununurra, is the township of Wyndham. Recognised as being the most northern town in Western Australia, Wyndham has a unique history of both cattle and mining still visible today. Drive to the top of the Five Rivers Lookout, which at 335 metres (1099 feet) above sea level provides panoramic views and the meeting of the Durack, King, Pentecost, Forrest and Ord Rivers before flowing into the ocean. Viewing the Bastion Range, the Wyndham Port and Three Mile Valley walking trail are also well worth your visit. Be sure to stop for a photo in front of the Big Croc sculpture on your way out of town.  

View, hike and swim in the Kimberley "Grotto"

Enroute to Wyndham located along the Great Northern Highway, The Grotto is a must-see. The Grotto is a tessellated canyon with breathtaking views from the top into the waterhole at the base below. If you are after more adventure, take the steep climb down in the dry season for a swim; if you are visiting in the wet season, the canyon erupts as water thunders into the valley below. Although these sites are all generally accessible throughout the year, visit the WA Parks and Wildlife website for up-to-date information or the Kununurra Visitor Centre, open daily.

Unlock the secrets of Keep River National Park

One of the Northern Territory’s most remote parks, Keep River National Park, is located almost 750 kilometres (466 miles) from Darwin. On the doorstep of the Kimberleys, the park shares a border with Western Australia and is only a 35 minute drive (53 kilometres or 33 miles) from Kununurra. 

Keep River combines the best of what the Top End and the Kimberleys has to offer. Rich with ancient geology and Aboriginal culture, the park is also a haven for a variety of plant and animal species.

From your Kununurra base, Keep River can be enjoyed as a full day experience. It is also an easy trip from the visually spectacular Lake Argyle Resort, 40 kilometres (24.8 miles WA side). The Zebra Rock Mine is only 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) from Keep River (NT side), where you can enjoy a mining tour of the unique Zebra Rock and stay overnight in the campground. Safari tents are also available. 

Otherwise you can take your time exploring the park’s four short day walks and camp overnight. With a choice of two campgrounds, soak up the serenity under millions of stars by your campfire.

Mirima – the heart of Kununurra

Don’t want to travel too far? Mirima National Park is located right in the heart of Kununurra. With ancient sandstone domes more than 350 million years old, it is not surprising to hear Mirima referred to as the “mini Bungles” by locals, with similar rock features found at Purnululu.   

There is a small network of walking trails in the park, start with the very easy “Looking at Plants” loop walk which is a wheelchair friendly trail highlighting the importance of traditional bush tucker in the region. Continue on from the loop for a short climb providing views over Kununurra and Ord River Valley. 

A national park rich in Indigenous culture, consider joining traditional owners on a cultural experience of Mirima. Waringarri Arts Tourprovide an opportunity to learn directly from Miriwoong people as they demonstrate finding bush tucker, share traditional stories and participate in cultural activities such as art and music. Mirima is only a few minute drive from your accommodation, with Kununurra providing plenty of options from the tropical grounds of the Kununurra Country Club, sunset views from the Lakeside Resort and a range of motel and caravan parks.