We followed the Ord River north-west until it flowed out into the Cambridge Gulf, near the town of Wyndham, 100km of Kununurra. It’s not the only river that flows out here – it’s also the mouth of four other rivers. We had a good look from the (aptly named) Five Rivers Lookout, high above Wyndham.
The landscape here was enormous. The rivers, the gulf, the ranges, and the salt/sand/mud flats seemed to go on forever.
Wyndham used to be a busy port, but the demise of the live cattle industry and mining ended that. On the day we visited, it was receiving its last nickel-ore-carrying ship.
The Ord continued to narrow.
And 55km from our starting point, we reached the Top Dam – and the reason why the river was still flowing in the middle of the dry season.
The dam pumps out enough water to keep the river level constant throughout the year. Without it, the Ord would still be a series of waterholes. This in turn provides a consistent water supply to water the crops downstream. It also generates electricity for the region.
Lake Argyle itself is enormous – 20 times the size of Sydney Harbour – so water and power is no longer a problem in this area.
There were plenty of local fig trees by the Ord. They don’t have to work so hard to get their water.
And also plenty of bird and bat life.
These bats seemed pretty happy in their home, unlike their counterparts in the Royal Botanical Gardens, Sydney.
The further upstream we went, the more rockier the landscape became – all beautiful red sandstone.
It inspired my picture of the day.