Long before the PumpHouse Kununurra was established, the structure was originally a pump station built to be an integral part of the Ord River Irrigation Scheme.
The Ord River Irrigation Scheme began in 1959 after a grant from the Commonwealth Government was finally approved, enabling the Western Australian Government to begin undertaking this massive and intricate project.
In conjunction with the irrigation project, the town of Kununurra was established to service the agricultural area, with housing, offices, water supply, a power plant, and an airstrip.
In 1971, the Argyle Dam (Lake Argyle) was completed upstream of Lake Kununurra and contains sufficient reserves to maintain the water level in Lake Kununurra at a constant level in order to gravity feed the M1 channel all year round.
As a result, the power supply to the Pump Station was disconnected but continued to be maintained as an emergency back-up until 2004, when it was fully decommissioned by the Water Corporation. In 2007, the Pump Station was included on the register of the Heritage Council of Western Australia.
In 2007, Kununurra locals Thomas & Dominique Brieg secured the lease and began the enormous job of transforming the Pump Station into a restaurant. They recognised the potential that the structure of the Pump Station represented and in September 2008, the PumpHouse Restaurant opened for business.
The conversion of the Pump Station into the PumpHouse Restaurant resulted in a unique dining experience overlooking the waters of Lake Kununurra. Guests could enjoy modern and delicious meals whilst seated among the iconic structure and equipment of the original Pump Station – engaging the past and present of Kununurra.
From 2008 to 2021, the PumpHouse Restaurant was a popular dining destination for locals and travellers alike. Sadly, in late 2021 the restaurant closed its doors, and it looked like it was going to be the end of an illustrious era.
However, in late 2022, the HMC Group acquired the lease of the PumpHouse, adding to their portfolio of tourism businesses within the East Kimberley and it is with great delight that the doors to the PumpHouse now open again.