We drove out to El Questro this morning, from Kununurra - the beginning of the Gibb River Road! You have to drive through the Cockburn Range, which is really amazing to see. We stopped at Emma Gorge on the way out to get the permit we needed. It turns out we could have waited till we got to Station Township, where we were staying, but we ended up walking the Gorge anyway.
We started at 10.55am and it was already REALLY hot (so far, it had been 30°C at 9am and 33°C at 9.30am). We got to wear our new shirts though and they proved to be a worthwhile purchase. We stopped about halfway and wet them in the stream – then they were awesome!! The walk took about 50min and some of it was in the shade, but a lot was in the sun.
The plunge pool at the end was beautiful – sheer 65m cliffs on three sides, with lovely cool water trickling over the edges, dropping into a crisp, clear plunge pool. In the water was very cool, which was just what we needed. It was extremely refreshing. We stayed for a couple of swims and some snacks. The unfortunate part is that we also had to walk back to the carpark!! Obviously we did get hot again on the way back, but we wet the shirts again and it was much more bearable.
We had lunch back at the resort and then drove to El Questro Station Township. It ended up being quite expensive because you have to pay $17 per person for entry into the park and then $16 per person, per night for the actual camping! We headed down to the swimming hole at the Township for a swim. We were both feeling pretty tired from the walk.
We got up early the next day to beat the heat and drove to El Questro Gorge. We started walking at 7.55am and it only took about 30 minutes to walk in. It was a lovely temperature at that time of the morning. The pool at the end was not as cold as Emma Gorge, and nowhere near as pretty, but it was nice all the same. The walk actually goes much further (we only went halfway and it's the easy half), but we decided not to do the whole walk because we had lots we wanted to do in the day.
After walking back to the car, we drove out to Zebedee Springs. The water wasn’t overly refreshing because it was 28-32°C! It was only a short walk though (15 min) and it was nice to relax in the water. The Springs are only open till noon because tour groups use them in the afternoons. We headed back to the car at about 11.30am and had lunch back at the van. We went for a swim at the waterhole in the afternoon.
We had a Chamberlain Gorge tour at 3pm so drove out to the jetty round 2.45pm.
The gorge itself was not very spectacular, especially after Katherine and Emma Gorges. The tour guide (Chilli) was very funny though so he kind of made it worthwhile. At the end of the gorge, they gave us little mullet pellets to feed to the fish. It turned out that they were Seven-Spotted Archerfish and these are the same as the ones we saw back in Adels Grove (the ones that spit). The tour people told us not to feed the fish unless they spit the water at our hand. That way, the fish still get used to trying to catch their own food, and don’t forget how to do the spitting.
When we got back to the van, we were extremely tired – it had been a long day!