El Questro in the Kimberley is the most famous station along the Gibb River Road, one of those destinations in Western Australia that people often toss around whether they should venture in or not. It’s definitely on our bucket list, however when we spoke with Millie from Milsy Pezwardo, she was unsure! We couldn’t wait to hear what she thought…Take it away Millie…
This little trip nearly didn’t happen! I must admit I was a bit sceptical of El Questro, we heard it was busy, overpriced & very ‘touristy’- and after seeing so many gorges & water falls all dried up around Kununurra I was a bit worried everything would be dry & underwhelming.
After a quick chat with the dude at the El Questro info Centre who informed us most attractions were spring fed we decided to give it a crack!
We went with the 4-night booking which (including the pass) equated to $47.50 p/n unpowered, Kids free! Expensive, well yes, worth it? Keep reading to find out!
~ DAY 1
We arrived at about lunch time & got a spot near the river – set up, positioned the solar panel & got taken on a tour from the Reid family (@reidsontheroad)! After travelling on our own for 13months, it really is special to see people you know when you pull into a camp! Hot tip – the water here is lovely, no weird taste – very Mt Franklin SO fill up your tank before you park – no one likes doing to Jerry can run post set up!
We tackled the ‘deep’ river Crossing to Moonshine Gorge & had a great swim! Such a pretty water hole with dragon fly’s everywhere and that picture perfect red rock back drop! We took note of the freshwater croc signs but didn’t see any! Next stop Jackaroo Gorge – very lovely but not quite as ‘pretty’ as moonshine. There is a massive Boab tree here and we all spent a bit of time checking it out & wondering if Max & Julia were still together – LOL! Burritos for dinner – Zac lit the fire & we were in bed by 19:55! Us Perry’s were still struggling with the NT – WA time difference!
~ DAY 2
We were up at the crack of dawn so mandarins for breakfast on the way to Zebedee springs! We arrived at 7:05 & had the place ALMOST to ourselves – such a special place – so lovely & warm and the bottom pools are deep enough for the kids to do some underwater swimming! By 08:30 it was quite busy and we were getting nice & close with all the people swarming into the pools THEN 2 tours buses came in & we got out of there. What an awesome spot! There were few leaches around but none attached thank goodness – I had packed the table salt though just in case!
Back to camp we lunched, x2 more of our new BFF families from Kununurra arrived and we swam around in the river at camp! The boys earned their scouts ‘fire’ badge – gathering wood & even sawing it into nice foot long pieces!
Our little convoy assembled & we headed off to Branco look out to check out the sunset -WOW! A fun little 4wd drive across an 800m rocky river bed & up a super steep bumpy hill! Such a fantastic experience, so many kids having a ball, adults chatting, and no one fell off the cliff – I did my signature move & missed the sunset, too busy talking! Put this on the ‘must do’ list here at El Questro – even though the sun is just out of sight setting watch the colours change across the valley is so special!
~ DAY 3
Two words! AMALIA GORGE! A bit of a rocky walk in – we conquered it in thongs with no major issues, sensible people would probable wear decent shoes though – there was that one little ‘hairy’ spot over a rock ledge but I got through it with a bit of mentoring and a few stern words to the kids to give me some space! HA!
The middle pool was fantastic – so fantastic we took the advice of the people we passed & didn’t bother going any further! Seriously though pack a lunch – we easily spent a few hours here & again almost had it to ourselves with only a few couples walking back through from the top! The water is so refreshing, lots of fish swimming around and plenty of ledges for the kids to jump off!
Quick stop at moonshine gorge on the way back to camp – for a swim & to have a go at the deep water crossing again!
~ DAY 4
Well! I feel like ‘we’ did nothing! ‘We’ being me! Everyone else did washing, bike riding, fishing, school work, dishes etc and some of the other travelling kids even helped Rosie with her journal & reader!
I sat on the camp chair & watched the kids to various activities & chaperoned them to the toilet 50 times! Sometimes you just need a home day, right? & it’s a cool spot just to just sloth around at! My day was so ‘slothy’ I didn’t even take any pictures!
WAS IT WORTH IT? DID WE LOVE IT? Here are my thoughts….
🌵The Donkey! How funny was this guy – just falling asleep in the middle of the road! I wanted to hug him but decided to abide by the ‘donkeys may bite’ sign!
🌵Did anyone else have the Weezer song ‘el scorcho’ in there head the whole time they were there? You know ‘I asked her to go to a Green day concert’ ……
🌵My only negative WAS……There was no plug in the camp kitchen sinks – lucky I am resourceful and used the old ‘saucepan over the plate’ trick! Yes I could have done the dishes in the caravan but all grey water needs to be disposed of at allocated points so doing dishes in the camp kitchen meant I didn’t have to cart my dirty water up the hill!
🌵Was it over-commercialised? Is that even a word? Yes there was a bar & gift shop that was a bit pricey BUT you didn’t have to go there if you didn’t want to! So no I don’t think it was!
🌵The main roads were fine! They suggest high clearance 4wds with snorkels to tackle Crossing & some tracks – you definitely need a 4wd, I wouldn’t take a Barina out there BUT mates we were with had a Hilux & a Pajero with no lift or snorkels & were able to do everything!
🌵Yes we loved it! It was only 60% full while we were there so there was plenty of room, we had most of the attractions to ourselves AND the biggest plus was we still had our little convoy happening, so it was AWESOME! I really think the compant made this trip for us – we hardly saw the kids & we had some funny nights around the fire with the other parents!
I give El Questro a big thumbs up!
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