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Main Pump Station, Kununurra (1963)

The PumpHouse Restaurant and Bar must rank among the most unusual and picturesque restaurants in Western Australia.

Perched high on Lake Kununurra, the restaurant is housed in a piece of Western Australia’s history – a disused main irrigation pump station that was an integral part of the Ord River Irrigation Scheme.

The Ord River Irrigation Scheme was a bold venture to develop and settle the North West of the State in the post World War II era. The scheme led to the establishment of the town of Kununurra.

The largest capacity water pumping station in WA, it became redundant in 1972 when the water level in Lake Kununurra was maintained at a sufficient height to provide year-round gravity fed water to the M1 channel. The Water Corporation decommissioned the pump station in 2004.

As early as 1998, restaurateurs Thomas and Dominique Breig saw the potential to turn the disused facility into a tourist attraction.

After leasing the property from the Water Corporation, the owners’ dream was finally realised in 2008 when the PumpHouse Restaurant opened for business.

The restaurant cleverly incorporates many of the station’s original features including the massive pumps, gantry and switchboards, creating a unique dining experience with an industrial edge.

Dining tables are placed amongst the pumps inside the building with alfresco dining on the original west platform. A pre-fabricated lean-to was built to incorporate the bar and commercial kitchen without impacting on the original fabric of the building. Air-conditioning, ceiling fans and bathrooms were other fittings and fixtures included in the fit-out.

Today, diners can marvel at the sun setting over the Ord River in a venue that played a major role in the State’s development.

Read more about the Main Pump Station by downloading the Register Entry and Assessment Documentation.

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