Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Today’s post comes to you from Yardie Homestead Caravan Park, 28 kms from Exmouth, on the Ningaloo Coast (more about that later when we have all caught up!)  We don’t have mobile phone or internet coverage here, but thanks to the John’s ingenuity in manufacturing an aerial, I am able to satisfy your desires for more adventures. 
When we last conversed, we were at Emma Gorge.  From there we headed a little further east, back to Kununurra and then south to Lake Argyle.  This is a HUGE expanse of water, enough to be known as an inland sea.  For the statistically minded out there, it is about 17 times the amount of water as in Sydney Harbour.  It is currently about 82% full, and at that coverage, if 1 metre of water was taken off the surface area that would be enough water to supply all of Perth for 5 years.  Get the picture – it’s HUGE!  And very beautiful!  I did say at one stage when we were on a cruise around some of the lake (which is 70kms from shore to shore in some places) that it was some of the most beautiful scenery I had ever seen – and that includes New Zealand.

This view is from the top of the dam wall.  The Lake was formed in the 1960’s when the Ord River was dammed.  The land was owned by the Durack family and was known as Argyle Station.  The site of the original homestead, and all of the outbuildings, is now under a great deal of water.  The homestead was dismantled and later re-assembled at the top of the lake and is now a museum. 

The caravan park at the Lake is a very pleasant place to spend a few days, there is a bar and restaurant, and the most amazing pool you could ever wish to see.

As I mentioned before, while we were there we went on a boat cruise on the Lake.  As it is so big, this was a great way to see a lot of the lake.  This turned out to be one of the things you should all put on your bucket list.  It was definitely the highlight of the trip so far – yes, even better than Katherine Gorge.  It was called the Sunset Cruise and went for 3.5 hours.  We began by cruising around some of the scenic spots and the bays.  There are lots of islands (hundreds, but I can’t remember how many exactly) and bays.  All this is framed with the stunning red oxide cliffs coming right down to the water.

While cruising we saw crocodiles, sea eagles and euros (of the animal kind).  The ranger told us that at the last crocodile count in 2010 there were 34,000 crocodiles in the Lake.  Remember this fact, it will become very significant later.
As we cruised around, the sun began to set over the cliffs.  It was a little cloudy so we didn’t get the full effect, but it was certainly beautiful.

The boat stopped at particularly picturesque spot and we were offered the opportunity to swim off the back of the boat.  Remember the crocodile count?
The water is very deep in this part of the Lake, and apparently crocodiles don’t frequent water this deep.  It was too good an opportunity to miss.  To set the picture for you, the scenery was magnificent, the sunset was gorgeous, there was classical music playing out over the water, and there was wine promised after the swim.  It had to be done!

What a magnificent experience.  As I said, put it on your bucket list!