Posts Tagged With: El Questro Station

El Questro Station

DSC_0733Right, back to the trip!  Our last post saw us travelling along the Gibb River Road, where after a long day on the road we eventually arrived at El Questro Station.  I had been leaving this post for Matt to write as El Questro Station was his favourite stop on our whole trip, but the Farmer Boy just doesn’t have time at the moment and he is usually asleep in the chair in the lounge by 8pm, so if you want some more ‘blokey’ details about El Questro just yell them out in the comments and Matt will get back to you!

We arrived into El Questro (after a nervous creek crossing in the dark!  Very difficult to see how deep it is at night!) after the sun had set so we once again had to chose a site and set up in the dark!  Luckily the park wasn’t very busy so there were plenty of nice shady spots in the campground.  After a quick set up we treated ourselves to dinner at ‘The Swinging Arm Bar’.  The food was yum and the entertainment was great! The kids loved the whip cracking and jokes, and Matt and I thought the guy on the guitar was really good. Toby once again fell asleep at the table and everywhere we went around the station after that other campers would say ‘oh you’re the family who had the little fella asleep at the table’!

We were up early the next day to do the free walking tour of the immediate station grounds.  It was nice to orientate ourselves and gain a little bit of the history of the station, but our tour guide wasn’t much of a talker so it was a little bit of a waste of time we thought.

The creek crossing in to El Questro - not very deep when we went through

The creek crossing in to El Questro – not very deep when we went through

Lovely swimming spot at the campground

Lovely swimming spot at the campground

Trail riders heading out

Trail riders heading out – lovely shady campground behind them

We loved the amenities at El Questro - great little toilet/shower huts that you could have all to yourself!

We loved the amenities at El Questro – great little toilet/shower huts that you could have all to yourself!

As we only had two nights at El Questro, that meant a jam packed day of sightseeing for us, but boy was it awesome!

We started the day with a swim at Zebedee Springs.  They were the most amazing hot springs ever!  The springs are an easy, short walk from the car park and are set in amongst the rainforest and beautifully warm – we all could have stayed there all day!!  Unfortunately the springs are only open to campers/visitors in the morning and then closed off for the rest of the day as the station is trying to restrict the human impact on the springs and also allows it’s very high fee paying ‘Homestead’ guests exclusive use in the afternoons.  Our tip is to get there as early as you can, before all the tour buses arrive!  We loved that the springs are still in a very natural state, no concrete paths or walls – it really was beautiful in there – a real oasis!!

Fealy Family at Zebedee Springs

Fealy Family at Zebedee Springs

We all had so much fun paddling around!

We all had so much fun paddling around!

Can you see how clear the water is!

Can you see how clear the water is!

Relaxed much!  So beautiful and warm and heaps of little spots to find your own private waterfall!

Relaxed much! So beautiful and warm and heaps of little spots to find your own private waterfall!

Fun!

Fun!

Our three little ewoks walking back to the car from Zebedee Springs

Our three little ewoks walking back to the car from Zebedee Springs

From the springs, we decided to have a go at walking some of the El Questro Gorge trail.  We easily walked in to the halfway pool of the gorge (1.3km’s) in a bit under an hour with the kids, but once we reached this point some other walkers advised that it would be really tough going for the kids to go much further as there was lots of climbing and rock hopping involved.  So, we enjoyed a refreshing swim in the small swimming hole and then walked out again.  It was a really lovely walk, nice and shady so we were out of the sun for the hottest part of the day, but we definitely want to go back again and trek all the way in to the top pool of the Gorge as the photos of it looked quite beautiful – next time!

The walk in to El Questro Gorge

The walk in to El Questro Gorge

Really pretty walk - Tobes loved it!

Really pretty walk – Tobes loved it!

Lex having a swim in the water hole at the half way point - beautiful clear water but pretty cold!

Lex having a swim in the water hole at the half way point – beautiful clear water but pretty cold!

El Questro Gorge walk

El Questro Gorge walk

The road in to El Questro Gorge is 4wd only and Matt loved having a bit of fun in the mud and creek crossings in Peter Prado!!

Huge mud puddle before the creek crossing into the El Questro Gorge Trail

Huge mud puddle before the creek crossing into the El Questro Gorge Trail

Matt having fun!

Matt having fun!

Creek crossing

Creek crossing

Rocky and muddy!

Rocky and muddy!

Probably the deepest creek crossing Peter Prado got to do on our trip

Probably the deepest creek crossing Peter Prado got to do on our trip

We did a little bit of driving around the station and checked out Moonshine Creek and a little picnic area that I have forgotten the name of now!

Moonshine Gorge

Moonshine Gorge – there was a family painting and swimming here but we didn’t think it looked that inviting!

Gotta have another Boab Tree photo in there before we leave Western Australia!

Gotta have another Boab Tree photo in there before we leave Western Australia!

We decided for our lunch stop (albeit a very late one!) that we would tackle the 4wd track up to Saddleback Ridge.  I was a bit nervous about this as the station information pamphlet for this drive said ‘recommended for experienced 4 x 4 drivers only. This very steep, narrow and challenging 4WD track really highlights that getting there is an adventure in itself’ – eeeek!  But off we went and we were fine!  I wouldn’t have liked to have met another car on the track – it was VERY steep and VERY narrow but the view at the top for lunch was amazing!

Creek crossing at the start of the Saddleback Ridge track

Creek crossing at the start of the Saddleback Ridge track

Well done Peter Prado getting us to the top!

Well done Peter Prado getting us to the top!

Great views at the top and the spunky husband ain't bad either!!

Great views at the top and the spunky husband ain’t bad either!!

We finished off the day with a spectacular sunset picnic at Branco’s lookout.  It was a bit of a drive to get to Branco’s lookout, not difficult 4wding though, and we were disappointed that there wasn’t much water in the Pentecost River crossing (it would be spectacular with water in it) but it was a great spot to watch the sun go down over El Questro and such a good way to end what was really an awesome day of adventuring and exploring!

Crossing the Pentecost River on El Questro Station to get to Branco's Lookout

Crossing the Pentecost River on El Questro Station to get to Branco’s Lookout

Dad & Son - Blanco's Lookout

Dad & Son – Branco’s Lookout

Sunset at Blanco's lookout - amazing views of the Pentecost River and Cockburn Ranges

Sunset at Branco’s lookout – amazing views of the Pentecost River and Cockburn Ranges

Fealy Family - El Questro Station

Fealy Family – El Questro Station

We missed out on doing heaps of other great things at El Questro Station, such as the Chamberlain Gorge cruise, Champagne Springs hike, Explosion Gorge 4wd track, Pigeon Hole 4wd track, Amalia Gorge trail and heaps of other bits and pieces.  We hadn’t done any research on El Questro Station before we arrived there and had no idea how much there really is to do and see!  I think you would need at least a week there – if not more so you can enjoy some relaxing time in a pretty spectacular spot!  And we would definitely, definitely chose one of the private campsites along the Pentecost River at the station.  There are no amenities on these sites but they looked beautiful and it is only a short drive back to the station if you really wanted a hot shower!!  If you are a 4wd enthusiast and camper then be sure to add El Questro Station to your list of places you must visit!!

PS. You can get to El Questro Station from Kununurra in about an hour and a half, and the road is all sealed to the Station turn off.  From the turn off it is 16km’s of gravel and there is a water crossing to consider, but the road wasn’t too bad at all!

PPS. I forgot to mention that along with your camping fees at El Questro, you must also purchase an El Questro Wilderness Park Permit.  The prices when we went through were (yes expensive, but worth it!):

  • Adult – $20 per person (valid for seven days)
  • Adult – $12 per person (Day Pass)
Categories: Camping, WA Camping | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

So much to tell you!

I am madly trying to get this post out while we have reception here in Kununurra – we have sooooooo much we want to share with you all and after two weeks without any phone or internet reception – we have heaps to say!!!  We have just finished a very quick week on the Gibb River Road and are in Kununurra to refuel and restock on food before we spend our final week on the road heading back to Far North Qld.  I am sitting in the park ‘watching’ the kids in the playground and Matt is on the phone trying to get a few things organised for our arrival in Mareeba in ten days time.  From here – we are just going to drive each day until we decide to stop – lots of long days on the road coming up.  We are all feeling a bit sad that we did our last gorge hike at Emma Gorge this morning.  The last few weeks on the road have been amazing – so, so, so good!  Fingers crossed we get a bit of internet reception over the next few nights so I can pump a few posts out!

But, in the meantime, I thought I would give you a quick update on what we have been doing since I last did a proper blog entry about our time in Katherine Gorge.

From Katherine we headed over the border into new territory for all of us – Western Australia – very exciting!  We spent the first two days in Kununurra (yep – we have come full circle as that is where we are today!) getting Peter Prado serviced and new tyres.

Boab Tree in Kunnunurra

Boab Tree in Kunnunurra

Then we headed out to Lake Argyle which was spectacular!

Sunset boat cruise on Lake Argyle

Sunset boat cruise on Lake Argyle

From Lake Argyle we pushed over to Broome (you saw our little video of our time there – so good!).

My photographer boy in Broome!

My photographer boy in Broome!

We then spent a week camping at Middle Lagoon and exploring Cape Leveque which was just so beautiful and relaxing!

Quality time at Middle Lagoon

Quality time at Middle Lagoon

Epic sandcastle Matt & the kids built at Middle Lagoon

Epic sandcastle Matt & the kids built at Middle Lagoon

One Arm Point - beautiful!

One Arm Point – beautiful!

Cape Leveque

Cape Leveque

We dragged ourselves away from Middle Lagoon and after talking to lots of other families while we were staying there – we decided to do a quick one week trip along the Gibb River Road to commence our journey back to the East Coast.  The Gibb River Road was not quite the ‘highway’ everybody said it was – saying it was in very good condition – it was still pretty rough but we have had a great time!

Freshwater Crododiles at Windjiana Gorge

Freshwater Crododiles at Windjiana Gorge

Tunnell Creek was definitely a highlight of the trip - amazing!

Tunnell Creek was definitely a highlight of the trip – amazing!

Bell Gorge

Bell Gorge

Manning Gorge

Manning Gorge

Branco's Lookout - El Questro Station

Branco’s Lookout – El Questro Station

And now it is time to hit the road home.  More detailed blog posts on all the fun we have had very soon – fingers crossed for reception tonight!

 

 

 

Categories: Camping, WA Camping | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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