The Start of the Gibb River Road

Trip Start Sep 18, 2010
Trip End Jan 20, 2011

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El Questro

Flag of Australia  , Western Australia,
Friday, October 8, 2010

After a couple days at Kununurra and waiting for a fridge mechanic who never showed, we were primed and ready to tackle the Gibb River Rd.  We got away late thanks to the non appearing tradesman and so by the time we got on the Gibb it was getting late, we were aiming for El Questro Station but darkness and the threat of cattle and roo's on the road we decided to forgo the caravan for the night and stop at the permanent tents at Emma Gorge as we were planning to go back the next day to see anyway.

This proved to be a good decision as we had a nice evening at the resort and met a family who had a caravan just like ours..... up until it rolled and exploded like a bomb as the front tyre exploded. To their credit, and our amazement, they had continued on their trip, this time in tents!!

We were up early to tackle our first gorge and it was worth the long journey....  Emma gorge was spectacular, it was a 5km walk but well worth it.  The kids soon found a rock to climb and jump off into the gorge which they were hanging to do. We spent a few hours lazing round the gorge, our pictures do not convey the beauty of the place.

From here we moved on to El Questro Wilderness Park and planned to spend a few nights exploring the area before going down the Gibb River Rd to end up in Derby in about 10-14 days time.

El Questro is a working cattle station with about 7000 head of cattle on about a million acres of land.  The cattle have free run of the place.  Sinead and Darcy found out the bull was not friendly as it chased them!!  It is also a caravan park, resort and a five star homestead that has plenty of gorges and 4wd drive tracks to keep everyone happy.  We decided to do the El Questro Gorge, Chamberlain Cruise, Zebedee Springs and the Moonshine Gorge 4wd track. You could spend two weeks here and still not cover eveything. With the oncomming wet season we limitted ourselves to 3 days and hoped we might make a side trip up to Mitchell Falls.

Zebedee Springs was our first point of call, these are a series of thermal pools that youcan sit in, at first it was like having a hot bath on a 40c day, but after a while you found it quite relaxing and we all lazed around for much longer than we thought we would.  On the way back to the Caravan Park we decided to have a crack at Moonshine Creek.  This is a 4wd track that has a couple of river crossings. Donna was not that keen but we tackled the first crossing which was quite deep.  That was enough for her she decided that we could take her back to the Caravan while we did the rest, this meant crossing the river again which we did. Half way back she decides she has to get used to it so we turn around again and cross the river for the third time this time she had her eyes closed and a book against her face for both crossings!!.  By the end of our time at El Questro I don't think she was even worried what we were crossing so all credit to her for turning back and having another go on that first day.

At the end of Moonshine Creek drive we were rewarded with a swim in a beautiful river which we had to ourselves and the water was clear enough to see the bottom and any freshwater crocs!! 

We then made our way down to the Chamberlain River for a sunset cruise. This was made even better by our guide ' Chilli' who kept us amused and informed for the length of the trip. Saw a Barra that must have been 1 metre long and the amazing spitting fish who could launch a spit with deadly accuracy. They do this to catch insects that fly on the water.  We slept well that night, even though it was a hot and still night.

We were up at the crack of dawn for the El Questro Gorge the next morning as it was to be our hardest walk so far.  The first bit of the track was relatively easy and from there it got progressively harder as we made our way up the riverbed to the top of the Gorge, it was a scramble over rocks and boulders with a couple of climbs where we had to work together to bump each other over boulders to get to the next stage.  It took a couple of hours to get to the top and we were rewarded with a fast flowing waterfall into the gorge.  We all agreed it was better than Emma Gorge (Except for Jack, who is possessed about jumping off tall rocks into the gorges!! If it doesn't have a spot to jump off, it was very good in his opinion!) and a well earned swim was had.  The trip home was equally challenging and the Darc man took a couple of falls and declared he was going to die if he had to walk any further!  A few lollies and a bit of coaxing got him back to the car.

The next morning we were up early to begin our trip down the Gibb, just as we packed up the Van the heavens opened up and in less than an hour there was huge puddles and water across the road. After checking with the people in the know we began an 860km (now the new trip record) trip; known to the Keatings as Closed Tuesday  .....!!!!!!

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storman norman on

leeam did you find your glasses

keating-outback on

No luck got a new set sent up today and bought the old man holder to keep them around by neck. Embarassing but effective so far but then again i have only had them for 24hrs

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