Lake Argyle is located 70km from Kununurra, via the Victoria Hwy (35km east towards the Northern Territory border) and then the access road which is another 35km in.
This massive man-made lake is the largest body of fresh water in Australia and is classified as an inland sea. It was created in 1971 by damning the Ord River Dam and creating one of Australia’s largest irrigation schemes. Lake Argyle’s capacity can reach an astounding 2000 square km when full.
The lake is a spectacular sight and home to an abundance of wildlife, including an estimated 25,000 freshwater crocodiles, 30 percent of Australia’s bird species and 26 native fish species. Rock wallabies and Wallaroos also inhabit the area. It really is a wildlife playground and can be thoroughly enjoyed by taking one of the many bushwalking tracks around the lake.
The views from the dam wall and lookouts are spectacular. The stunning expanse of wetlands are scattered with many small islands which are very picturesque. Below the dam wall is a shady grassed area and a great spot to relax or have a picnic.
Fishing is a popular activity on the lake and there are plenty of areas to drop a line in from the shore or you can launch a boat from the designated area. Silver Cobbler, Sooty Grunter, Bottlenose Catfish and Long Tom are common species caught. Barramundi show themselves after the wet season (March-June) in the Spillway which is the overflow area about 8km from the village store.
With so much water to play with no wonder water sports are popular
on the lake. Boating, sailing, canoeing and skiing are all permitted and there are no designated areas, except caution must be taken around the boat launching area.
Swimming is permitted and does occur in the lake despite there being some 25,000 freshwater crocodiles in it. Obviously you wont see them all at once as the lake is a huge area. Freshwater crocodiles feed on fish and insects and aren’t a threat to humans unless approached and treated untowardly. So if you happen to come across one leave it alone and he’ll leave you alone. You’ll generally find them floating in the water or sunning themselves on the banks. We swam down by the boat ramp and didn’t come across any at all, they tend to keep to themselves.
Scenic tours are available daily. You can take a relaxing morning, afternoon or sunset cruise and simply enjoy the surroundings or join a fishing tour where you are guaranteed to hook onto something. The ultimate scenic tour is of course taking it all in from the air and appreciating the size of the lake, even land on it in a float plane!
Lake Argyle Village provides camping and cabin style accommodation, swimming pool, restaurant, bar and shop. Dogs are permitted to stay at the camp ground.
Lake Argyle’s magnificent scenery and plentiful water activities deserve inclusion in your itinerary when visiting the Kimberley.
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Destinations in Western Australia
Cape Le Grand
Cape Range National Park
Eighty Mile Beach
Fitzgerald River National Park
Gibb River Road
Kalbarri National Park
Kennedy Range National Park
Porongurup National Park
Port Denison Dongara
Torndirrup National Park
Wellington National Park
William Bay National Park
Return from Lake Argyle to Western Australia