Kununurra, Western Australia

Kununurra, Western Australia

Infobox Australian Place | type = town
name = Kununurra
state = wa

caption = Location of Kununurra in Western Australia (red)
lga = Shire of Wyndham-East Kimberley
postcode = 6743
pop = 3,748 (2006)
pop_footnotes = [Census 2006 AUS|id=UCL514200|name=Kununurra (Urban Centre/Locality)|quick=on|accessdate=2008-10-02]
est = 1960s
stategov = Kimberley
fedgov = Kalgoorlie
dist1 = 3214
location1= Perth
dist2 = 834
location2= Darwin
maxtemp = 35.1
mintemp = 21.6
rainfall = 790.7
elevation= 47

Kununurra is a town in far northern Western Australia located at the eastern side of the Kimberley Region approximately convert|37|km|mi|0 from the Northern Territory. With 3,748 inhabitants, many of whom are Indigenous Australians, it is the largest town in Western Australia north of Broome. It is convert|3040|km|mi|0 from Perth by road.

Kununurra comes from the English pronunciation of "Gunanurang" in the Miriwoong language meaning "Big River". [cite web |title = Gunanurang: (Kununurra) big river. |url = http://portal.environment.wa.gov.au/pls/portal/docs/PAGE/DOE_ADMIN/TECH_REPORTS_REPOSITORY/TAB1019688/ABORIGINAL_VALUES.PDF |publisher = East Perth, W.A.: Waters and Rivers Commission |work= Departmentof Environment and Conservation |accessdate = 2008-04-08] The town is located close to the confluence of the Ord and the Dunham River. Lake Argyle, Australia's largest artificial lake, over convert|100|km2 in size, is 72 km from the town. The town is relatively new and was gazetted in the late 1950s, at the time that the Ord River Irrigation scheme was initiated.

The scheme involved damming the Ord River and building a diversion dam 50 km downstream so that the waters can be directed to irrigate about convert|750|km2 of land. By 1966 there were 31 farms on the Ord River plains. By 1972 the second stage of the scheme was completed with the opening of the Lake Argyle Dam.

Kununurra has a Celebrity Tree Park with many trees planted by famous people including Rolf Harris, and more recently Baz Luhrmann, after the majority of filming for his upcoming film Australia was filmed just outside of Kununurra. The town has many local attractions, including waterfalls, gorges and ranges. It was voted the second best town to live in Australia for outdoor adventure by "Outdoor Australia" magazine in the March/April 2007 edition.Fact|date=April 2008

The landscape surrounding Kununurra includes features such as Valentine Spring, Black Rock Creek and Middle Springs along with many other waterfalls and swimming holes. Popular fishing spots include Ivanhoe Crossing, The Diversion Dam, Buttons Crossing, and various locations along the Dunham and Ord Rivers.

Kununurra District High School comprises a primary school and high school teaching up to year 10, and up to year 12 via distance education. It also has a number of additional smaller schools including St Joseph's primary school and the Barramundi School. It has a local hospital, dentist and leisure centre including a 25-metre pool.

Key farm activities including the growing of melons, mangoes and until recently, sugar cane. There is also a thriving tourism industry with most tourist operators capitalising on the scenery of the Ord River, Lake Argyle, Diversion Dam and other local locations, including the relatively nearby Bungle Bungles.

Popular Culture

Nicole Kidman feels that area water helped her get pregnant while filming in this town stating, "Seven babies were conceived out of this film and only one was a boy. There is something up there in the Kununurra water because we all went swimming in the waterfalls, so we can call it the fertility waters now." [cite web |title = Kidman hails 'fertile waterfalls' |url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/7633455.stm |publisher = BBC NEWS |accessdate = 2008-09-24]

See also

*Bungle Bungle Range
*Argyle diamond mine
*El Questro


External links

* [http://www.west-oz.com/Regions/Kimberley/Kununurra/kununurra.asp Kununurra]
* [http://walkabout.com.au/locations/WAKununurra.shtml walkabout in Kununurra]
* [http://www.abc.net.au/kimberley/ ABC Local Radio - Kimberley]
* [http://www.thelastfrontier.com.au Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley]

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