From Manning Gorge we decided to push for El Questro Station to spend the final two nights of our travels along the Gibb River Road. That turned out to be a very long day on the road! This section of road was the worst stretch we travelled on the Gibb. We blew a tyre on the camper and pretty much averaged between 20 to 60km’s per hour for the whole day. A few photos of this stretch of the road to begin;
Peter Prado on the Gibb River Road
Very dusty and lots of quite large sharp rocks and heaps of corrugations!
Peter Prado & Karen Camper
Sooooo much dust
Only about five minutes after we had done this little photo shoot we were pulled over again to change a very shredded camper tyre!! We were running all of our tyres at about 28PSI prior to this stretch of road as the track had been recently graded, but after changing this tyre we dropped everything down to about 25PSI. We felt very grateful to have a second spare tyre still on board after blowing this one and knowing that we still had about 200 kilometres of the Gibb River Road to travel. We never once regretted carrying two spare tyres at all times – just eased the worry a little!
Lucky we carry two spares!
It was stinking hot work changing this tyre so we were soooo grateful when half an hour after we were back on the road we saw the sign for Ellenbrae Station. We had heard great things about the scones at Ellenbrae so we decided to stop in for a quick scone/lunch break.The homestead for Ellenbrae Station was only 5km’s in off the Gibb River Road and it was a lovely cool oasis!! There were lots of turn off’s to camp sites on the road in which we would have loved to check out but alas – only time for scones on this trip and the scones were sooooooooooo good! The kids enjoyed exploring the bits and pieces around the gardens at the Ellenbrae Homestead and Matt and I got a chance to cool off after the hot and dusty morning changing the tyre and concentrating on the rough road.
Such a lovely green, shady and cool spot for scones and a cold drink!
Ellenbrae Station Scones – yum!
The shower facilities at the homestead – neat!
A little tree snake that the kids spotted in the garden at Ellenbrae
From Ellenbrae Station we headed to Home Valley Station. The scenary as we got closer to Home Valley Station was just spectacular! By this stage of the drive though we were just hanging out for the rough road to be over! It was really rattling the car and camper around and we were getting very worried about what damage might be happening to the camper, not to mention wondering how much dust was now onboard!
The scenary approaching Home Valley Station
Hooray – we can see water! A welcome sight after a hot and dusty day driving!
View from the lookout before heading down to Home Valley Station
We had a quick stop for a drink and to have a sticky beak at Home Valley Station campground. We very nearly stopped and stayed the night here as it looked so nice! There was a great bar/restaurant area, a swimming pool, a playground at the campground and lovely green grass to set up camp on! So tempting after a week on the dry, dusty Gibb! But we really wanted to be able to only have one pack up/set up left on the Gibb so we had a quick drink at the bar and then headed off again for the last 80km’s or so to El Questro Station.
The entrance to Home Valley Station
Home Valley Station
Cool giant chess set on the grounds at Home Valley Station
The bar/restaurant area at Home Valley Station was really, really nice – would loved to have had a meal here!
Just down the road from Home Valley Station and we came to probably the most ‘iconic photo shoot’ on the whole Gibb River Road, the Pentecost River crossing. We were sooooo excited to finally reach it although we did have to drive across to check the sign on the other side to make sure it actually was the Pentecost River! Unfortunately there was not a lot of water at the time we crossed so we are a little disappointed with our photos but it still feels nice to say we have done it!! We did a few trips over and back on the river crossing trying to get a perfect shot for the wall, but just couldn’t quite capture it – one to get next time!
Crossing the Pentecost River on the Gibb River Road
Peter Prado & Karen Camper crossing the Pentecost River
Matt pretty happy that we got to do this crossing on our trip. It had been something he really wanted to see when we started planning this trip two long years ago!
As you can see from the light in these photos – the sun was starting to set which made for really pretty driving in to El Questro Station. The Cockburn Ranges looked spectacular at this time of day!
The Cockburn Ranges
Photographer out the car window
This shot of the Cockburn Ranges was just before the turn off to El Questro Station
A post about El Questro Station coming up next. This stop was Matt’s favourite part of the whole trip so don’t miss reading out on what we got up to here!