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Mirima The Heart of Kununurra

Immerse yourself in the historical, cultural and natural experience of Mirima National Park, in the heart of Kununurra.

By Tracey Diddams

In the heart of the rural town of Kununurra is a place where you can step back in time, feel the silence and hear the ancient ancestors – Mirima National Park. Locals refer to Mirima as the mini “Bungles”, owing to the 350 million year old sandstone domes which are reminiscent of their big brother to the south, Purnululu. Mirima is a perfect half day visit within walking distance from the Kununurra town centre. Start early and then spend the afternoon perusing the world renowned pink Kimberley diamonds, cruising Lake Argyle or taking in sunset atop Kununurra’s highest point, Kelly’s Knob.

Don't miss

  • The easy and enjoyable 400 metre (quarter mile) Looking at Plants loop walk
  • Picnic with a view, nestled between ancient sandstone outliers
  • Join a Waringarri Aboriginal Arts Tour exploring Mirima.

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Looking at Plants loop walk

As you step into Mirima, it’s hard to believe you are still in vibrant Kununurra. Dwarfed by the towering red sandstone escarpment, Mirima feels like an oasis rich in flora and fauna – it is clear to see why this place has been a favoured home for the past 20,000 years to the local Miriwoong people. The abundance of this landscape is only accentuated further as you walk along the aptly named Looking at Plants loop trail, where along the walk you learn about various Miriwoong plant uses. From boab nuts used as flour, the bark and leaves of the emu apple used as fish poison (it stuns the fish making them easier to catch), to the bloodwood sap used as medicinal body wash, this oasis is rich in everything needed to survive. The 400 metre (quarter mile) stroll is easy and informative, making it great for visitors of all ages and fitness levels.  

A picnic with views on an ancient landscape

Experiencing Mirima is easy – the Looking at Plants loop walk is completely wheelchair accessible but for those wanting a little extra, head up the Demboong Banan or Derdbe-gerring Banban Trail. The short climbs will reward with incredible views of the ancient landscape, stretching across the Ord River Valley. Consider taking a picnic lunch with you, Mirima provides plenty of picnic spaces with shade and is a wonderful respite in the middle of the day. The Wild Mango Café or the Cornerside Café in Kununurra provide a range of delicious dine in or takeaway treats including coffee, smoothies, local produce and gelato.

During the wet season (December – March) Mirima changes again with an abundant floral display and flowing cascades after rainfall fills the waterholes below. At this time of year you can truly witness how the power of the elements has shaped this ancient landscape.

Join a Waringarri Aboriginal Arts Tour

While you can enjoy a self-guided visit of Mirima National Park, consider joining a tour group to gain a deeper connection to the spirituality and history of this ancient place. Indigenous tour companies, such as Waringarri Aboriginal Arts, take guests through the park while showcasing the culture and history of the original owners of the land. On the two hour tour you’ll hear traditional songs, featuring clapsticks and the didgeridoo, as you learn about things like bush tucker, art and cultural stories.

The tour can pick you up and drop you off at your Kununurra accommodation. The town has something catering towards all needs from the tranquil surroundings of the Kununurra Country Club, to the executive Kimberley Grande, or the Freshwater Apartments. There are also a range of caravan and cabin parks for those preferring to self-cater.

How to get there

Mirima National Park is located only 2 kilometres (1.2 miles) from the Kununurra town centre. You can either drive and park at the national park car park, join a local Indigenous tour or, if you are feeling active, why not walk from your Kununurra accommodation?

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