Charlie Sharpe has seen a lot change at Lake Argyle in the past 40 years and he's about to cause a few ripples of his own.
BROOME ON A BUDGET
LUXURY RESORT OPENS
THE FINAL FRONTIER
The owner of Lake Argyle Resort was just three years old when his father took a public works job at the newly constructed lake and as a youth he saw the builders' mess and camp areas develop into one of the Kimberley's most popular caravan parks. Charlie returned from boarding school each tourist season to work at the resort until he went travelling in 1994.
As the years passed, the resort fell into disrepair, until the State Government offered it for long-term lease. Charlie returned to take up that lease, quickly improved the property and installed a spectacular infinity pool that seems to melt into the red rocks on the far side of the lake.
Now 42, Charlie has massive plans for expansion, a dream that within five years will see the resort cater not only to those loyal caravanners and campers but also luxury travellers, wedding parties and function guests.
"I've got to do this right now," livewire Charlie says.
He has built a new villa, which is the first of four and has wide decks perched above the azure lake, and spectacular views even from the spacious living room and kitchen. It is comfortable and self-contained and has four bedrooms but can be rented as two villas. But it's only the beginning, according to Charlie. In addition to standard rooms with barbecues, safari cabins and 140 caravan sites, there are plans for many more camping areas and secluded bush caravanning spots.
But it is along the cliff overlooking the lake that Charlie is planning the renaissance he hopes to complete by the end of 2014.
That infinity pool will soon have a lagoon and "beach". And Charlie wants to build a new resort building to replace the old workers' mess. It will include a restaurant, lounge and function centre catering for about 540 guests. Outdoor decking will protrude over the lake. There could be seven new villas and a homestead-style Argyle Suite where two king-size bedrooms will be encased in glass for unobstructed views.
lakeargyle.com and 9168 7777