Discovering Lake Argyle

Year
2011
Duration
60 minutes
Location
Australia

When explorer Alexander Forrest discovered the rich black soil plains surrounding the mighty Ord River during his 1879 exploration of the north west of Western Australia, he set in motion a series of events that began with the pioneering Durack family driving 7000 head of cattle all the way from Queensland and has culminated today in the amazing Ord River Scheme.

During peak flood in the wet season, enough water flows out of the Ord River in a single hour to supply Perth for 10 years. Today this water is harnessed by the spectacular Lake Argyle, Australia’s largest body of fresh water at currently over 27 times the size of Sydney Harbour.

The lake is the centre piece in the Ord River Scheme, which is one of the most ambitious infrastructure projects in Australia’s history.

The film features:

> The Pioneering Durack Family
No story of the history of the East Kimberley can be told without including the Durack Family who over several generations have played a pivotal role in the development of the region.

> The Diversion Dam & Ord Dam Construction
Both dam constructions were captured on 16mm film at the time and offer us an insight into Australian life in the late 1950's to early 1970's.

> The Ord River Scheme Development
With the dams built and the dream of unlimited water now realised, the next challenge was to find crops that would thrive in a tropical environment.

> The spectacular Ord River & Lake Argyle
In Discovering Lake Argyle we show you the lake and the river from the air in plane and helicopter and from the water by high speed tour boat, 12 foot tinny and even canoe.

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