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All reviews kelly's bar club room centre of town central location prawns excellent stay cane toads place to stay reception staff comfortable rooms barramundi laundry facilities stayed one night would definitely stay here again air conditioned ord river top end
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Reviewed 27 September 2017

The late winter’s night before, we had glided through the superb Katherine Gorges, dallied momentarily again at the Indigenous rock art on the way to the second gorge. And with the sun descending we boarded our final craft and dined magnificently. Our Katherine motel accommodation on the Scenic Tour was out of town and with hindsight that may have delayed my heartache by twenty-four hours.
Most commented on the horde of bats assembled at the Katherine Gorge launch site. Hard to miss; the smell of urine was strong but clearly, they believed that we had taken their spot?
An early start the next morning … west to Kununurra and our wonderful Tour Director and the equally super Coach Driver had us breakfasted and on the road for a long haul. Through intense practice, I was asleep within 90 minutes. I had trained hard to achieve this status.
Roadhouses on the way; roadhouses! Many are goldmines but after a few weeks I was over packaged white bread sandwiches decanted from a freezer and as tasteless as partly masticated cardboard. We dutifully filed in for ‘coffee in & coffee out’ as a European guide had told us a few years before. Glancing over the roadhouses’ paraphernalia for sale always amused this non-shopper … I did buy a cap once.
Our main stop of the day was at Lake Argyll—the dam for the Ord River Scheme—for lunch and a roam. Pleasant too … spectacular and hot. Then our driver took us down below the spillway and a craft was waiting for our trip and arrival in Kununurra akin to a barge on the Thames and the royal Water Music. A young fellow provided an excellent commentary on board our flat-bottomed craft and he had his smart phone attached to an upright relaying his commentary to his grandma. Love that? Fact or fiction who cares? His words showed that another day of discovery was before us. He had a map of the area and he used that to demonstrate that the Ord River—readily and much maligned on many fronts—and the dam were his life and livelihood. He was brimful of his life and conveyed enthusiasm with ease.
It was dusk when we arrived at the excellent Kununurra Country Club accommodation mid-town. A beer, a buffet and a sleep after a long day. A walk around the next morning among the sprinklers damping the vegetation for this winter’s day in the top thirties Centigrade. A pleasant stroll in a country town, shops, police station, court house, gardens all well tended. An appealing vista for a challenge in the offing.
The itinerary was a coach drive around Kununurra’s agricultural pursuits and a ‘free’ 90 or so minutes for lunch in town and then depart for a ‘quick’ visit to the lookout at Wyndham and on to El Questro’s Emma Gorge for a few nights.
The delightful Kununurra community guide who joined us on board the coach told another story of Kununurra and while many of her actual words have gone, embedded deeply is “… that’s the new court house; visitors often stop and photograph it because of the architecture. Pity it’s already too small.” Meanings will unfold if you follow the trails.
And to our ‘free time’. It was a search for a lunch spot. We left the bus at the shopping centre and all poured in. Stragglers—us—were met as some came out with the warning “Don’t go in there, the toilets are wrecked and the (nationally prominent) supermarket [was poorly maintained, putting it nicely].”
As we roamed looking for alternative toilets, I was taken by the fairly regular peculiar square deposits that seemed to be part of the footpaths. They were the remains of wheelie bins probably destroyed in ceremonial burnings by dissolute youth. In the background, Aboriginal people were huddled in small groups following shade around this attractive town.
The town is fewer, essentially, than 50 years old. Purpose built; an ‘artificial’ town built around irrigation. Are the wheelie bin conflagrations akin to the bats at Katherine; habitat changed, so what do you do?
Dollars are not the answer to this problem. The Argyll mine nearby brings the notion of equity into a sharp focus. The mine will close, the town needs to rediscover itself and things are possible. But please town, please tour companies, please supermarket chain owners and others, find ways above and beyond traditional schooling and education to empower the youth, Indigenous and non-Indigenous. Bigger court houses, gaols are not the answer. I have heard of Indigenous youth elsewhere replacing traditional ‘coming of age’ ceremonies with a term in ‘juvie’ (Juvenile Justice centre) as the new mark of manhood. That is sad.
Empower tribal elders to pass on the mysteries of the Aboriginal cultural to their young: languages, art and the arts, spirituality and the meaning of life that includes the wonders of the natural vegetation and the curative properties. And to the supermarkets, you have the opportunity to re-instil pride and empower young people so that leadership can emerge. They must own their learning. Schools rarely do that.
My image is a young Indigene standing alongside my hero guide on Lake Argyll also providing commentary with his or her grandmother listening with pride to a commentary describing how their forebears lived and prospered before the Ord was dammed.
The cultures can live beside each other but at the moment it seems to be a slow burn of discontent.
Leadership will exist in some form but a radical reappraisal seems to be required and fundamental change will only emerge when traditional owners ‘own’ the paths to change; that it is not imposed by the powerful helpful with easily misunderstood resources.
With apologies … this is from a powerless very short-time blow in. But it is what I saw. It is my commentary.

  • Stayed: August 2017, travelled as a couple
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Thank Ian S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 September 2017

Clean, pleasant rooms. Restaurant was o.k. Disappointed the one afternoon we decided to have a swim, there was a kids party in the pool, I wished they would have warned us so we could have made other plans.

Stayed: August 2017
Thank P8512DVsandrap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fiona K, Manager at Kununurra Country Club Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 29 September 2017

Thank you for your review. We hope that the fact that the birthday party was quite a small group and lasted only a couple of hours meant that you could still enjoy some peace and quiet in the pool. It's definitely coming into that time of year when the pool is the place to be to escape the heat - both for our in-house guests and our local members!

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Reviewed 24 September 2017

Staff were helpful and friendly, room was comfotable and clean, restaurant and its food were excellent, ambience of the whole resort is very comfortable. Yes it is a bit older than other venues in town that are newer and flasher but this place ticks all the boxes adequatley, and its proximity to everything else in Kunu is excellent. (I promised i wouldn't mention the cane toads.....OK)

Room Tip: Just ask for your room to be away from tour coach users, if you are wanting to relax!
  • Stayed: September 2017, travelled on business
    • Sleep Quality
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Thank TonyPhalkon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fiona K, Manager at Kununurra Country Club Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 29 September 2017

Thank you for leaving us a review - we are so glad you had a great all-round stay with us! We are definitely an older venue compared to the rest of town - this was one of the very first properties in town and was the Public Works Department, Mess and Worker's Accommodation. Since changing ownership in 2014, the new owners and management have been lovingly refurbishing the property, and there are still projects and plans in the works for further improvements. (Thank you for not mentioning the cane toads.... Haha)

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Reviewed 19 September 2017

Modern and spotlessly clean. Very comfortable beds. Quiet air conditioner. Lots of hot water for showering. Well located in the centre of town. Great to be able to sleep and eat so comfortably in the one location. We stayed two nights and ate both nights at Kelly's. Lovely meals. Our compliments to Hayley who was our waitress. Charming staff member, very helpful and what a wonderful smile! I might also add that I had occasion to email the staff several times before our arrival, and was always responded to promptly and helped with my enquiries. Many thanks for a wonderful stay.

  • Stayed: August 2017, travelled with family
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Thank ChristinaV58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fiona K, Manager at Kununurra Country Club Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 29 September 2017

Thank you for leaving us such a comprehensive review, Christina! It's great to hear that you found our property, location, restaurant and service to be of a high standard. We are dedicated to constant improvement and providing a high level of service all-round - and I'm sure our team, and in particular Hayley, will be delighted to receive your compliments. We hope your holiday was thoroughly enjoyable, and that you visit again soon!

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Reviewed 14 September 2017

We stayed at the Country Club as part of our Outback Spirit tour. The rooms are well appointed, clean and comfortable and the resort is nice. The food was good and the drinks were reasonably priced. As a tour group it would be good to arrive when it is daylight as the resort is a bit of a maze. Friendly service and a nice atmosphere.

  • Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
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Thank AussieTripper100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fiona K, Manager at Kununurra Country Club Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 15 September 2017

Thank you for taking the time on your tour to leave us a review. We are very happy that you enjoyed your stay with us, and we can definitely appreciate that it is easier to navigate around our property while it's daylight. To help with this, we have made sure that paths are lit and signage is directional, so we hope it wasn't too much of an issue - it's one of the trade offs of getting to see the magnificent Ord River and Elephant Rock in all its splendour at sunset on that fabulous Triple J cruise!

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