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Kununurra birds on song
The view from Lakeside, Kununurra. Picture: Niall McIlroy/The West Australian

Birdlife has flocked to Lake Kununurra since it was formed in 1963, attracted by the grasslands and rushes that skirt its edges. Below the water are many species of fish, tortoises and freshwater crocodiles.

Perched on the banks of Lilly Lagoon, Kununurra Lakeside Resort looks over this thriving wetland and both caravan park and motel rooms have views over a stretch of water that links the lake with the Diversion Dam.

Nature lover Ray Bright has been manager since November at the resort owned by the McKenzie family for a quarter of a century. It's a friendly place with lush gardens and good eateries such as the Durack Room Steakhouse and Sails Garden & Bistro.

Unpowered sites are at the water's edge and are popular in the dry season. The clean and comfortable air-conditioned motel rooms have all the essentials - but the real delights are outside.

As I stride down the grass bank beneath the young boabs to the lakeshore, the scarce light is staining the lake pink and peach but the birds are hidden in darkness and their chatters and calls drift across the water. They have an audience as many visitors sit on verandas and enjoy the nightly performance.

Gnats dive between fleshy lilly pads causing ripples that go nowhere, dragonflies skim the surface, always a second late. The lagoon is full of archer fish and catfish. Freshwater crocodiles, harmless unless threatened, laze in the shallows at night.

Powered caravan sites at Kununurra Lakeside Resort are $34 for two people or $30 unpowered. Motel rooms are $205 per night while cabin rooms without daily cleaning service are $165 per night. See lakeside.com.au or call 9169 1092.