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Kimberley Areas

The Ord River

Paddling down the Ord

Some of our Carr Boyd bushwalks get to the beginning of the walk by boat along the Ord. On other trips, we view the Ord at a more relaxed pace with a leisurely canoe paddle from Lake Argyle to Kununurra. The paddle takes you through some of the prettiest country in the Carr Boyds. The Ord is fast enough so you can relax and let it do much of the work, slow enough so that even a complete novice should have no problem. Look down and see schools of fish swim by in the clear water below. Look up and enjoy the birds that let you approach more closely than they would if you were on foot.

Climbing up for a view Hidden waterfall, Ord tributary

Most of those who do the paddle down the Ord, do so in three days. This doesn't give them the time they need to drop the paddle and walk to a hidden waterfall or hilltop view or simply relax and enjoy your natural surroundings. Our trips take four or five days so we can explore and enjoy the many lovely creeks which feed into the main river.

Comb crested jacana

The permanent waters of Lake Kununurra have formed wetland areas which are fast becoming internationally recognised for the wonderful range of bird life they support. Most canoeists paddle by without realising they are there. We take our time, allowing the birds to get accustomed to our presence and are rewarded with close up views like the comb crested jacana at left.

Paddling near the start Just past the midpoint

As wonderful an experience as this is, the development of the Ord has not come without a cost. Salinity and erosion are becoming an issue, due to the rising of the water table in the area. The taming of the river has meant that the normal wet season floods no longer clear the mouth of the river which is beginning to silt up. If a proposed major expansion of the area under irrigation goes ahead these problems will inevitably increase. The Environment Centre of the NT has a web page explaining the issues in detail. Anyone interested in the environment should have a read.

We do the Ord River canoe trip as part of our Green Kimberley Light, Kimberley Highlights No. 1 and Kimberley Highlights No. 2 trips.

Willis's Walkabouts, 12 Carrington Street, Millner NT 0810, Australia walkabout@bushwalkingholidays.com.au

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