Thursday 17 June 2004
El Questro - what does that mean? Apparently it doesn't
mean a thing, it just sounded a bit mexican or spanish to the original
owners of the property and they used that name when they made the
claim over it. So much for the romantic notions tourist may
have about the place.
Our opinions were knocked about a bit by the extremely corrugated
roadway from the Gibb River Road in as far as the El Questro village. The
corrugations were building up on the corrugations that were already
in the road and there was not the ability to gain any speed to
ride over them, fortunately it was only 16 kilometres in to the
a longer visit it would have been necessary to lower the pressure
ride. As it was we were lucky not to shake everything off
the vehicle... good thing it was a patrol!
Entry fee to El Questro was $12.50 per adult and considering they
had a grader parked at the El Questro Village, I think they could
have used a few of those entry fees to pay someone to drive that
grader for a day or two.
Our first call was to Emma Gorge, however this would have required
a one hour walk over reasonable tough terrain to get to the main
part of the gorge and the pool, so we did not tackle that walk
and moved on to Amalia Gorge which also required a one hour walk
to reach it's main attraction. This walk may have been easier
but the attraction here is said to be best in the Wet Season, so
we didn't attempt this walk either.
Next came Zebedee Springs which is only about 500 metres from
the car park and is a beautiful water hole with warm thermal springs
flowing in on one side and cool springs on the other. There
is a large area of Livistona and Pandanus Palms and tropical
forest plants around the pool and it is located up against a sheer
red and orange coloured rock
face. There were quite a number of people swimming, or at
least lazing in the numerous rock pools formed by the springs when
we were there and 'one of us' had to take her shoes off to have
a wade in the warm spring water. It appears this area is
closed to park visitors at 12.00pm and the paying guests at the
El Questro Resort are given to use of the pool for the afternoon. This
was the highlight of our visit of El Questro.
From Zedebee Springs we continued the few kilometres to the village,
crossing the Pentecost River one more, but today it was in a much
smaller part of that river. The village consisted of a visitors
centre, restaurant, Cabins, a garage (must be for repairs to vehicle
that shake to bits on the corrugations) and also a caravan park. The
area was quite green and well maintained with the obviously plentiful
supply of water. Prices were not cheap on the souvenir items
that we looked at so we came away empty handed.
We then returned along 'that track' out to the Gibb River Road
and stopped for our lunch under the view of the steep break aways
of the Cockburn Ranges. We had intended to drive a 4WD track
that was showing on the map we had, however re growth must be quick
here because we could not find the entrance or the exit of that
track where the map said it should have been.
On our return to Kununurra we refueled the patrol at the Shell
service Station then called in to the Coles Store for a few more
supplies (Roast chicken tonight!)
It was then back to the caravan park at about 3.05pm for the afternoon
and to get ready for our drive to Fitzroy Crossing tomorrow.