When it comes to record breaking dive sites in Australia most people think of the scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef but did you know that Lake Argyle in Western Australia has a few records to its name too? Located near the East Kimberley town of Kununurra, Lake Argyle is one of the biggest man-made lakes in the southern hemisphere and home to more than 70 islands.
Lake Argyle was created by virtue of the Ord River Dam and it’s actually technically classified as an inland sea. When the lake reaches its full supply level, it holds an incredible 10.7 billion cubic litres of water. To put that into perspective, it’s more then 18 times the size of Sydney Harbour!
This staggering fresh water lake is also home to some of our favourite dive sites; there is no shortage of things to see here, and we are still exploring and finding new sites!
PADI Courses in Lake Argyle
Lake Argyle is a wonderful location for fun divers and for those who want to learn to dive, try diving for the first time, or develop their existing skills with a PADI continuing education course. This is an overview of PADI courses that we are currently able to teach at Lake Argyle:
- Open Water Course – learn to dive in 3 days.
- Advanced Open Water Course – enhance your dive skills by completing 5 specialty dives over 2 days.
- Rescue Diver Course – challenge yourself over 2 days. This course takes you through 10 rescue skill sessions and 2 rescue scenarios including O2 delivery.
- Specialty Course Options include – Deep Diver, Underwater Navigation, Search and Recovery, Boat Diver, Night Diver, Peak Performance Buoyancy, Freshwater Diver.
A Note On Buoyancy
We highly recommend that anyone who plans to go scuba diving in Lake Argyle, and is not 100% confident in their buoyancy skills, starts by taking the PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy Specialty. The bottom composition of the lake is made up of very fine silt which is easily disturbed and take a longer time to settle than sand particles. During the buoyancy specialty you’ll get to grips with the fine art of achieving neutral buoyancy; you’ll learn how to fine tune your buoyancy using your breathing and you’ll learn to fin more efficiently without disturbing the silty bottom.
Mastering buoyancy isn’t only a benefit for scuba diving in Lake Argyle. By honing your buoyancy skills you’ll find that you are more comfortable in the water wherever you dive. You’ll be more confident that you won’t accidently damage corals or lose control of your ascents or descents, and as your buoyancy improves, so will your air consumption – meaning longer dives!
Featured Lake Argyle Dive Sites
We are still exploring Lake Argyle and discovering new dive sites every year – there is a massive area to cover! Here are three of our favourite dive sites to date…
The Argyle Downs Homestead
Of course, we have to list this site first! The Argyle lake takes its name from this homestead which is now one of Australia’s best historical dive sites. The main homestead was planned to be taken down completely but as the lake filled faster than anticipated the remnants are still visible along with outbuildings.
Exploring here over the years has led to many discoveries of items from saddlery through to tractors and vehicles. We are sure there is even more just waiting to be found which is perhaps why this is one of the lakes most popular dive sites.
As the name suggests, this is not a site for the faint hearted – it’s home to Johnson River Freshwater crocodiles (Crocodylus johnstoni or Crocodylus johnsoni).
Unlike their much larger Australian relative, the saltwater crocodile, freshwater crocodiles are not known as man-eaters and they are actually very timid in nature. Like any water dwelling animal, they should not be provoked though as they may act in self-defence if they perceive there is a threat.
Crocodile cove is also home to freshwater terrapins (AKA long neck tortoise) and an abundance of fish!
Pannikin Bay Airstrip
While the Ord River Dam was under construction an airstrip was required to service the mammoth project. The airstrip, runway and some of the airport buildings still lay beneath the surface at what is now known as Pannikin Bay. It’s not always possible to dive here and we still have a lot to explore – which we are looking forward to!
For more information about Lake Argyle’s dive sites, take a look at our Lake Argyle Scuba Diving Page here.
Are you ready to dive in and explore Lake Argyle with us? To find out when our next trips to Lake Argyle are taking place, or to book a course or fun dives, fill in our online contact form here
We look forward to scuba diving with you soon!