Ord River, Kununurra

About the Trail

The Ord is the biggest of Australia's northern rivers. In the wet season it carries a massive amount of water from the Kimberley out to the Indian Ocean, cutting through the rugged Carr Boyd Ranges on its way.

Spectacular gorges, plentiful wildlife and sandy beaches are just some of the attractions.

On the map distances are approximate.

  • Over the first 5 kilometres the river varies in width. It is lined with palms and paperbarks and in a lot of places it would be difficult to land.
  • 5km to 10km: The water flow slows and there are paperbarks mid river. Staying in the middle or to your right will be easier.
  • 10km to 15km: Keep an eye out for freshwater crocodiles resting on sunny banks or rocks. They won't worry you if you don't worry them.
  • 15km to 20km: Easy section through the steep sided Carlton Gorge. Keep an eye out for bats in the trees. You will probably smell them before you see them.
  • 20km to 25km: A creek enters on the left, you can explore a short distance upstream by canoe. Camp near here and explore on foot.
  • 25km to 30km: Camping is possible in several places along this section.
  • 30km to 35km: Where spillway creek enters (from the right) there may be some waves, but there are no underwater obstacles. Keep to the middle and then head left. The water will try to push you up against the sheer rock walls as you round the bend. This is a great area to stop and explore.
  • 35km to 40km: After the junction with spillway creek the river is open and the valley less steep.
  • 40km to 50km: Several sections of everglade type flooded reeds worthy of exploration. Near 45km mark you will begin to notice buildings, and the finish is best at the caravan park where there is a boat ramp. Turn right off the main river into a flooded wetland, obvious from powerlines and marker poles.
  • It is a further 5km to the diversion dam and an alternative finish. Note that Saltwater Crocs have been seen below the diversion dam. During the wet season water may be flowing over here.

At Kununurra you can hire canoes and all the equipment you need for a one, two or three day self-guided trip on the river. 

 Find out what you need to know

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