We were keen to take a scenic flight over the Kimberleys, but how do you choose when there are so many tours, each offering different packages and sights?
In the end, we chose Aviair’s six-hour combined fly/drive ‘Bungle Bungle Adventurer + Diamond Mine’ – and we were so glad we did! What a fantastic experience!
So, with Jen in the co-pilot’s seat (above) and John as official photographer (below), we were ready for take off!
Our flight took off from Kununurra, tracking south over the Ord River towards Lake Argyle and the Ord River Dam.
Leaving Lake Argyle, en route to the stunning Bungle Bungle Range, we flew over the Bow River and two major cattle stations (Lissadel, and Texas Downs).
And so to the Bungle Bungle Range in the Purnululu National Park, with it’s incredible ‘beehive domes’ and ancient gorges. The Bungle Bungles are thought to have been formed over 360 million years ago.
After about 20 minutes of very close views of the Bungle Bungles’ key features, we headed back north, flying over and then landing at Rio Tinto’s Argyle Diamond Mine – home of the famous pink diamond. What set this scenic tour apart from the others was the opportunity to land and visit the diamond mine, including a delicious lunch in the staff village and a guided tour around the mine site and processing plant.
We were pleased to be able to see the mine, especially since Rio Tinto has announced they’ll close operations in 2020, as the mine’s profitability is waning.
The late afternoon flight back to Kununurra provided even more stunning views over Lake Argyle, the Ord River Irrigation Area, Lake Kununurra and the Diversion Dam.
We were surprised – and, ultimately, delighted – to learn that our pilot, Paul, was also our personal guide for the entire day. His informative commentary on aspects of the region’s history, geology, diamond and agricultural industries and much more, continued through the flights and the mine tour. Yes, in addition to being a pilot, he was trained and cleared to take us through the mine, including driving the tour bus throughout the tour’s land content. Talk about chief cook and bottle washer – Paul was a one-man band! And he really made our day.
Now that you’ve read the blog and seen the pics, take a look at this short video collage of the flight’s highlights.
We can thoroughly recommend Aviair and it’s Bungle Bungle Adventurer and Diamond Mine scenic tour.