As regular Kimberley visitors, we always look forward to a different experience. And for this trip, we wanted to see it from the skies for a birds’ eye view.
Having hiked through the Bungles, cruised on Lake Argyle, and toured the Argyle Diamond Mine in the past, we thought it was about time to see it from the air. When it comes to tour operators, you’re spoilt for choice as there are a number to choose from. But we wanted that “plus one” adventure, and that’s why we went with a seaplane experience with Kimberley Air Tours which offers more than just a flight.
After being picked up from our accommodation at Kimberleyland Waterfront Holiday Park, we boarded an air conditioned bus with our pilot and some other very excited travellers. A video was playing with snippets of what we were about to embark on, just in case you weren’t already revved up. Not that we needed that!
We’ve all been in a plane that takes off from the tarmac, but it’s not every day you arrive at a river runway! This was going to be taking adventure to another level.
After a quick safety briefing and the life jacket installation, we were all strapped in with headphones on and smiles all around. Our pilot Liam, radioed the tower, conducted his checklist, and we left the river bank to motor our way to the middle of the river. With a few more revs on the motor and we were sliding along the river, and before we knew it, took like a bird to the skies as we left the river behind.
We loved Liam narrating everything through our headsets – loads of fun facts and the history of the area, accommodating every passenger while doing fly bys to ensure no one missed the view below.
As we headed towards Lake Argyle, it’s not until you fly over it where you truly get an appreciation of its monumental size. Next, we made our way over the Bungle Bungles, where these stunning ancient bee hive rock formations rise up from the landscape. Here, we followed a couple of gorges where the sun lit up the gorge walls and put on a magical display.
Turning towards Argyle Diamond Mine, Liam shared an interesting story of how it all began and its progress to date. The scale of the operation is a lot bigger than when we’d visited some time ago during a ground tour.
When Liam suggested we should have some morning tea, and “how about that island down there?”, what a thrill it was to land on the surface of Lake Argyle and motor our way towards the island. Very cool! With morning tea consisting of some local freshly baked cakes, coffee and tea, it wasn’t hard to soak up our surrounds. In fact, it was quite difficult to leave. It’s not every day you can say, “I took a plane to a remote island on Australia’s biggest man-made island for morning tea”!
Once back in the plane and taking off the runway lake, Liam followed the Ord River back to the town of Kununurra, with the flight path positioning us over the Diversion Dam and making a smooth sliding landing back onto Lake Kununurra.
Before we knew it, we were back in the bus and heading back to the park. It was full morning tour that we would jump on again in a heartbeat. Seeing the region from the skies is one thing, but a seaplane with all the extras just took the whole experience to another level.
Thanks to Kimberley Air Tours for the sensational trip; it was one very memorable tour!
Catch you next time!
Grant & Linda
My Aussie Travel Guide