We had finally arrived in a substantial town and were desperately in need of restocking from the supermarket and the bottle shop, (we have been on strict rations for the past few days) but it was a public holiday. The first place we have been in a month where it matters. Agghhh. The positive side was the caravan park was having a pancake and bacon breakfast as a fundraiser for the local St John’s Ambulance, the only ambulance in this area. Joy and happiness as the boys have been hassling for me to make pancakes for a while. We were all very happy with this alternative.
After breakfast, we drove out to Ivanhoe Crossing. You used to be able to drive across this causeway, which was the most direct route between Kununurra and Wyndham. Earlier in history, this it would have been the stock route from the stations of the Ord River to the port at Wyndham, and was the site of the old Ivanhoe Station homestead owned by the Duracks. The homestead unfortunately was destroyed by fire. You are not allowed to cross anymore which I would not have wanted to anyway because of the speed of the flow. I also think the people fishing off it were nuts due to the risk of being washed off and the presence of saltwater crocs.
After not crossing this, we went to the Sandalwood Factory, which had lots of information on the growing and use of Sandalwood. This area is the ideal place to grow sandalwood because of the rich earth, warm climate and great water supply thanks to Lake Argyle. We had lunch here, best coffee in WA according to Tom and the rest of the food and drinks were top notch as well.
Next stop the Hoochery Distillery; this is the oldest continuously operating legal distillery in Australia. We had a few tastings of the rum and man that stuff is rocket fuel. Tom says far from rocket fuel it was very smooth and we have spoken to a few rum drinkers since and they have all said the rum is here is excellent. The boys wanted to try some, and whinged when we said no. They were given a sniff, that was enough to put them off, and there was no more asking for a sip.
We drove through town on the way back to the caravan park for a swim (it is hot) and were excited to find that the supermarket was open, and then hit pay dirt when the liquor land attached was also open. They have alcohol restrictions here, bottle shops are only open Mon to Fri 12-8pm and there are strict quantity restrictions as well. It is the same with all the towns in the area – Wyndham, Halls Creek and Fitzroy Crossing, and apparently has made a huge improvement to the communities.
Where we are staying is on the Lake Kununurra just above the Diversion Dam and we watched a lovely sunset over the river at 4:55pm. The Diversion Dam on the Ord River was built in 1963 to supply water to the Ord River Irrigation Area.