The Start of the Gibb River Road
Trip Start Sep 18, 2010
41Trip End Jan 20, 2011
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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...
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
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
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 .....!!!!!!