Thirty-five kilometres east of Kununurra on the Victoria Highway, a sealed road of the same distance leads to vast, scenic Lake Argyle. When the Argyle Dam was completed in 1972, the Ord River managed to fill the lake in just one wet season. Along with the neighbouring Victoria and the Fitzroy, these rivers account for a third of Australia’s fresh water run-off and plans are often mooted to pipe it south where it’s needed. Creating the lake was an engineer’s dream: only a small defile needed damming to back up a shallow lake covering up to two thousand square kilometres. Since that time the fish population has grown to support commercial fishing, as well as numerous birds and crocodiles, both saltwater and freshwater.

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