Ruth & I were back in Kununurra by 9 am and the diamond tour wasn’t until the next day. We had time to go to Mirima National Park, which was only about a mile east of town. The United States has 58 National Parks. Australia has more than 500. There are almost 60 in Western Australia alone including Mirima, which was created in 1982 to both conserve the area and honor local Aboriginals, the Miriuwung.
The most unusual mountains in The Kimberley are called The Bungle Bungles. They’re in Purnululu National Park 123 miles south of Kununurra. Ruth & I thoroughly explored the Bungle Bungles when we visited The Kimberley the first time. Probably the main reason why tourists go to Kununurra is to fly over the Bungle Bungles. There are a number of packages available through companies like Slingair that can also include Lake Argyle, the Argyle Diamond Mine, etc, and use transportation combos including Cessna Caravans, Robinson R44 helicopters with the doors removed, etc. These excursions vary in price and duration.
The formations in Mirima National Park, also called Hidden Valley, give it a nickname, the mini Bungle Bungles. Lonely Planet mentions Mirima deep gorges and great views and recommends half a day to explore it. We lasted less than 2 hours because, even though it was still morning, it was unbelievably hot.
There were 4 trails to follow. Derbde-Gerring Banan, or Lookout Walk, took us up to the top of the Park for a spectacular view of the cultivated Ord Valley–chia, Borlotti Beans, Indian Sandalwood. The trail was designated moderate to difficult, but it was definitely difficult that day due to the heat. A 2nd hike was a fairly level, lower altitude loop called “Looking at Plants”. It was fairly interesting to see what the Miriuwung consider food, medicine, etc. The gap trail walk provided an overview of Kununurra through a big gap in the natural sandstone formations. The 4th crossed woodland. Some of the facilities in the Park had not been kept up and looked a bit derelict. There were places where people had partied and littered, etc. I’d give Mirima 3 compasses. The Bungle Bungles are unquestionably a 5.
The other tourist magnets in Kununura are a sandalwood factory, the Hoochery Distillery, and the Zebra Rock Gallery. It’s pronounced zeb ra, rhyming with Debra, not zee bra, like the animal. The locals favorite restaurant is The Pump House, where you can have a drink, watch crocs, and then dine among industrial-size irrigation pumps. Kununurra, Western Australia, is definitely nothing like Kokomo, Indiana.