In the morning, we drove across the Diversion Dam to Zebra Gallery, a small gallery/ shop that is famed for jewellery and stuff made out of striped rock. Nice rocks but not overly interesting. It did however have the world’s best mango smoothies and excellent scones so it was not a waste.
In the afternoon, we went on a tour to on the Ord River through Carlton Gorge. We were driven down to Lake Argyle on the way we stopped at Argyle Downs homestead built in 1894 by Patsy Durack. This is not its original site but it would have been flooded by the creation of Lake Argyle in 1972 so was relocated to its current site. I think that the kitchen, a tractor and a few other things, which they planned to move, are still at the bottom of the lake. It was calculated that it would take a couple of wet seasons for the lake to fill but they a very big wet in the first year and they didn’t have enough time to get it out. Patsy Durack was one of the original settlers in the Kimberley. His story, and that of his sons, are amazing and have been well documented by Patsy’s granddaughter Mary Durack in her books Kings in Grass Castles and Sons in the Saddle. I have been reading to the boys the abbreviated version of the former, To Ride a Fine Horse, and they have loved it.
Next stop the Ord River Dam, construction was completed in 1971, and dam officially opened the following year.
The Ord was dammed at the upstream end of Carlton Gorge, a relatively small dam wall for such a massive lake. (335m long and at the time 98 m high, for anyone who cares) In 1996, the wall was raised by 6 metres, which doubled the dam’s capacity. Storage capacity is 10,763,000 mega litres (that is a heap of Syd Harbs) making it Australia’s biggest reservoir, and big enough to be considered an inland sea.
Finishing off with another lovely sunset and then we were dropped off back at our caravan park. Stepping off the boat we were greeted with a beer and glass of wine and seafood nibbles put on by the owners of the park. The kids on route to the toilets ran into the Fox kids so we caught up with them again. We will continue to make a habit of this.