Wyndham

Sunday morning one week ago I went to the local supermarket in Kununurra to get fresh supplies for the next two weeks. Unfortunately, the supermarket was closed as there were some issues with the electricity in the block. But as this was my last chance at all to stock up my supplies, I decided to wait until the problem was resolved. In the afternoon I could start my drive and stopped at the Ord River diversion dam, just outside of the town. A sign said it was designed for a discharge of about 57,000 m³/s, which is about 500 times more than the discharge rate of the much larger lake Argyl of just 126 m³/s. Assuming a speed of 10 m/s, one would need a throughflow area of about 570 meters width and 10 metres high (it is not the water level meant here, but the control area, with the prescribed velocity). And this not only for the dam itself, but also for the river downstream. One could empty the lake Argyl in less than two days with that volume flow. I can’t see that this would work out, and hence I doubt this specification.

After some drive I reached the Grotto, which has no longer flowing water in the dry season. Some people told me, that there would be crocodiles down in the remaining billabong. I couldn’t see any, when I was there, and doubted that they could out of the water, across the very rocky outflow. But just a few days ago, I met another travel couple, and they confirmed that there were three freshwater crocodiles, one small one and two larger ones. Then I went on to Wyndham, a small twon, but probably the third largest in the Kimberley region. Originally founded to get all the men ashore during the gold rush in the end of the 19th century, while in the 20th century the meatworks at the harbour was the largest facility in town. But this already closed down more than 30 years ago. The harbour is still in use, not only for landing oil on, but also for some general goods and iron ore. From the top of the hill you’ve a nice view to the five rivers, which are all flowing into the western arm, and the harbour of Wyndham. This was also the original site of the town, but due to the high tide of about 9m, the twon was moved 5km further to inland, leaving the police station and just a few houses there. Unfortunately there was a lot of smoke in the air, and hence the visibility wasn’t that good during the sunset, but the location is still the major attraction of Wyndham.

The Ord River diversion dam, used originally for irrigation, but nowadays the small lake is mainly used for recreation
After the Great Northern Highway junction to the south, the first mountains of the Kimberly region appear
The waterhole of the Grotto is just a dirty remaining
View to the north in the direction to Wyndham
View from the new jetty to the harbour pier
A small train was used in the meatworks to load the ships, with one locomotive from Germany, an Ethanol fuelled steam engine…the first of it’s kind
Two German aviators had an emergency landing north of Wyndham, and just got rescued by accident by some Aboriginal people after almost 6 weeks…without any supplies.
Next to the museum there’s a nicely smelling flower…quite surprising for this dry and dusty area
The western arm seeen from the five River lookout during sunset (basically you only see three of them: King, Pentecost and Durack, while the mouth of Ord and Forest River are to the other side)

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