Top 5 Family Outdoor Activities in Kununurra, Western Australia


February 27, 2018 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Australia,World Schooling



Are you thinking of traveling Australia? With so much countryside to cover, you could spend months (if not years) exploring, but today, our Guest Blogger Emma Walmsley, from Small Footprints Big Adventures, shares their adventures in the Kununurra region of Western Australia!



Top 5 Family Outdoor Activities in Kununurra, Western Australia

 

Kununurra is a small but growing town at the top of Western Australia. We were fortunate to be able to stay with friends who knew the region well in June/July 2016. As it was the dry season the weather was a gorgeous 30 degrees Celsius each day. We left our hometown in Victoria at 10-15 degrees, and truly bathed in the splendor of the Kununurra winter! We all loved noticing the differences in plants and animals that the tropical climate brings, such as the bulging boab trees, the flowing water and lush greenery, being constantly aware of crocodiles, and finding frogs in the water pipes!

 

 

Kununurra has a lovely waterfront and park which is great for picnics and hanging about. There are some nice attractions to check out too, from industries such as diamonds, zebra stones and sandalwood. But the real drawcards to the area are its natural wonders. Kununurra is part of the Kimberley Region and has stunning red rocks and flowing waterfalls, high peaks and fast rivers. The town can be a little expensive to stay and eat, but is a great base to explore the region from. We were lucky to experience both north and south of Kununurra, and these were our top adventures:

 


Zebedee Springs

This was undoubtedly our favourite place! We went twice, and were sorry to leave it both times. Zebedee Springs is a naturally heated series of rock pools that seems to be tailor made for people to nestle into and relax. The water is as warm as a bath, and the pools are lovely sizes to have privacy for small groups, or even individual use if it’s not too busy. The setting is stunning; with red rock faces that glow golden in the sunlight, and abundant greenery all around the clear warm water, it felt as if we had made it to an oasis in paradise. Our son Dante commented that he wanted to live there forever, and it sure would be a nice place to stay!

Zebedee is about 100km north of Kununurra, and is only open to the public from 8am – 12pm daily. It is free to attend and there are toilets in the carpark area. The afternoons and evenings are reserved for exclusive use of the guests of upmarket accommodation in El Questro.

 


Camping at El Questro

El Questro Wilderness Park is a huge former cattle station, that encompasses Zebedee and other natural springs, waterfalls, gorges, ranges and several accommodation options. We camped for two nights and it was great fun! The kids met other kids and designed their own games together, and we paddled and splashed in the rock pools and shallows surrounding the camp site. We also got bogged in the sand collecting firewood, which was a great experience in working together and getting help! And from the camp we drove out to the spectacular sights of Saddleback Ridge and Branco’s look out, both of which were difficult 4 wheel-drive only excursions.

You can camp at El Questro with your own supplies or book a permanent tent, and you can pitch within the main campground or find a private riverfront site. Costs start at $20 per adult per night, with discounts for longer stays and families. Kids under 12 are free. The whole of El Questro is only accessible in the dry season, and at certain times throughout the season they have musical concerts and other special events. More information about the whole park is available here: https://www.elquestro.com.au/

 


Molly Springs

This is a lovely little waterfall and swimming hole that is definitely not heated! It is free to attend and is usually quiet. It is a little hard to find the turn off from the main road, so I’d recommend getting a local’s help with finding it. Molly Springs is only about 30km from Kununurra. We spent a hot morning there and took a picnic lunch along, and there was a table and chairs along the short walk from the car park to eat at. Around the water are some great places to relax, and there are some higher rocks to climb on and explore for bigger kids.

The water gets quite deep in the centre of Molly Springs. Our daughter Allegra stayed on the edge, and was stunned to see little fish come up to her toes! They nibble the excess skin off if you can stay still enough. We said they were giving her a kiss and she still talks about them fondly.

 


Kelly’s Knob

I took this challenging upwards trek with our friend Kerri. It is the highest point in the area and is just out of the Kununurra township. The peak of Kelly’s Knob provides amazing views of Kununurra and the whole surrounding region, and is well worth the climb.

I would have struggled to carry Allegra all the way up, and it would take a long time for very small legs to reach the top. The track is quite safe for bigger kids to climb though. Our young friend Lenni loves it there and has been climbing it regularly since she was four.

 


Lake Argyle

This is an absolutely enormous man-made lake: 980 square kilometres in fact! It is 70km south of Kununurra. We took a sunset cruise on the last night of our visit, and it was informative and beautifully scenic. We took a quick dip in the very deep water after being assured that crocodiles don’t swim in those depths! And we did get to see a crocodile (in a different area), as well rock wallabies and huge golden orb spider webs, plus significant areas for when the lake was filled in the 1970’s.

The tour departed from the Lake’s caravan park, which has an awesome infinity pool that you can pay a small fee to relax in while admiring the stunning views of the lake. The tour itself included afternoon tea and beer or bubbles upon sunset. Our guide was very knowledgeable but I found his presentation to be more rote than passionate. But I would still recommend it if you’re interested in exploring water eco-systems, huge lakes or boating experiences. It was a little pricey at $290 for a family of four, but there are other tours and self-guided activities you can take as well. Check it all out here: http://www.lakeargyle.com/cruises-tours-activities/


There is so much more to explore throughout the top end of Western Australia and the Northern Territory, and you really need several weeks or more to do it justice. We loved our time in Kununurra and will definitely be back to discover more in the Kimberleys one day. And while we’re in the vicinity, we will HAVE to head back to Zebedee Springs at least one more time!

 


 


Guest Post Bio

With her partner Anthony and their kids Dante and Allegra, Emma headed off on their long-planned first worldschooling adventure in September 2017! They are unschoolers and keen explorers, and they aim to travel as sustainably as possible throughout South-East Asia and Central America to begin with. They hope to meet other worldschoolers along their travels, and hope to inspire others to minimise their negative impact while travelling, while maximising their family adventures and enjoying life together to the fullest!

 

 


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