Upon completion of the cruise through the Buccaneer Archipelago, it was time to pack up the 4×4 and start exploring inland. First stop was El Questro Station. After a long day driving we arrived at El Questro via a couple of creek crossings, kindly greeted by the residential donkey, checked in and set up the home (tent) for the next few nights.
First full day at El Questro and it was up early to eat and then tackle some of the gorges of the station.
El Questro gorge
First up was El Questro Gorge. The first obstacle was the river crossing to get to the carpark, my first attempt I reversed out as I was fearful of how deep it was, but after watching a couple of others go through I drove through without issue.
Failing to look at the map too closely we took off up the river bed, until we reached a pool and stopped for a dip, thinking it was halfway but were told otherwise and scrambled over more rocks up the creek bed until we reached halfway pool. Watching a couple of girls attempt to climb the rocks to continue on we decided to chill in the water and head back.
The one paid tour we completed at El Questro was the Chamberlain Gorge Cruise, it was a pleasant cruise along the Pentacost River with the history of the gorge, station and resort. At the turnaround point we had drinks and fed the archer fish, before cruising back. No signs of crocodiles or rock wallabies.
Our second day exploring and we took a slightly different approach, pack some muesli bars, head off earlier and cook breakfast after our morning hike.
Setting off by 7am it was more scrambling over rocks up the creek bed, and around rocky cliffs until we reached the halfway point where waterfalls fell into two consecutive pools. After a quick bite to eat, drink and numerous photos it was time to head back. We didn’t see a single soul while doing this hike and we realized that we picked a nice “quiet” time to visit El Questro before the crowds of peak season.
After the hike it was time to soothe the bones and muscles in Zebedee Springs. A series of pools fed by a geothermal spring. Hint the higher you climb the warmer the water. Once the skin turned wrinkly it was time for breakfast.
The springs close at 12 pm to allow for the tours to have full (private) access, but with minimal people we had a pool to ourselves for the most part. Although, these pools are often full in peak season.
Pigeon Hole Billabong
In the early afternoon, it was time to attempt some 4×4 driving with newly found friends and do a spot of barramundi fishing in Pigeon Hole Billabong. One of the helicopter pilots spotted a largish saltwater crocodile in the water hole the day prior so we were all alert while fishing away the afternoon.
Pigeon Hole Lookout
Upon sunset we headed back up the track to the look out to just catch a glimpse of the setting sun over the billabong and waterways. A drink or two with new friends and photos of one of the scenic parts of El Questro.
It was time to pack up our first camp, and although it took a bit of time, we were starting to get our things organized. Saying good bye to El Questro it was time to head east to Kununurra.
Last stop before leaving El Questro completely was Emma Gorge. The car park was already full when we arrived but we set off on the 2 km hike, again through creek beds and over rocks, to the waterfall and pool that marks the end of Emma Gorge.