Keep River Park to Kununurra (Big4 Campground)

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Until the Ord River was dammed first in 1963 and again in 1972, there wasn’t much in Kununurra. With the flooding of 1,000 square kilometres, Lake Argyle is the largest created lake in the southern hemisphere. It provides water through extensive irrigation for the cultivation of fruits, nuts and vegetables. It was here that our daughter Erin picked cucumbers (?) as a backpacker on her Australian post-university trip.

The Durack Homestead was moved from the valley which was flooded by the dam and is now a museum on higher ground. Along with the graves of family members is one for an aboriginal man who worked for the family most of his life and was highly regarded by them.

Until 1969 aboriginals who worked on stations were usually given shelter, food and other supplies as payment. Whole families were attached to a cattle station and would camp nearby. When the government mandated equal pay for all workers, the station owners could no longer afford the aboriginal workers and so this became known as the second displacement. Families left the stations and returned to impoverished communities. The intention was good, the unintended consequences were not.

Highlight of the day – our campsite is right beside the road and in the evening darkness I see a person on a bicycle leisurely pedalling towards town, singing. They will never know how much pleasure their singing gave me. I wonder what we each do that will touch someone else in some small way that we will never know about…

One thought on “Keep River Park to Kununurra (Big4 Campground)

  1. Your comment: I wonder what we each do that will touch someone else in some small way that we will never know about…I guess that is the mystery of giving something to someone without our left hand knowing what our right hand is doing and doing it without expecting something in return.


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