The A to Z of Gorges & Swimming Holes

We decided to give ourselves a slow morning after our walk yesterday. So it was a sleep in , breakfast and a little reading on the grass outside our cabin. The early morning horse riders were returning as I sat enjoying my book.

Yesterday Emma Gorge. Today Zebedee Springs. Located an easy 10 mins drive from The Station at EL Questro we headed off at around 10. The early birds go at 7. We’d heard that as it closes at 12 we should go a little later as people start to leave.

Closed in the afternoon.

Good decision. Apparently there were two tour group buses there this morning.

Zebedee is made up of a series of thermal pools. After parking it’s a short 1.5km walk into the springs passing through very tropical Livistona forests.

The rocky pools are a little oasis at the end of the walking trail. A series of pools they are surrounded by palms and vines.

We slipped gently into the pools and made our way to a spot where we’d enjoy a soak in the warm water. It was very shaded and tranquil.

I lay back into the water running over some rocks from a higher pool. It was bubbly. Putting my ears under I could hear the water bubbling and running.

So therapeutic.

Beautiful Zebedee

After 45 minutes of soaking we emerged feeling rested and a little covered in the fibres of the plant life edging the pool. A cold shower would be good but a bottle of cool water poured over my head prepared me for our lunch at the Emma Gorge resort about another 20 minutes away.

Emma Gorge is part of El Questro and although the accommodation is glamping it’s lovely. Everything is just a bit more upmarket than the campgrounds and The Station cabins where we are staying.

Where we are is much more family oriented.

Lunch was delicious and we headed back to The Station for our afternoon naps before another swim in the waterhole just near our cabin.

We just have to do Amelia Gorge and we’ll have covered the A to Z of Gorges.

!

Glorious Emma Gorge Walk

I have to admit to feeling just a little apprehensive about the Emma Gorge walk. We’ve heard all kinds of reports about it.

My sister did it a few years ago and said it was challenging. Other people we’ve met on our travels made comments ranging from ‘its very difficult’ to ‘take your time and you can do it. ‘

I was only worried about my arm that I broke back in Dec and is still recovering and wouldn’t handle a fall and Steve’s new knee 6 months ago.

But we did it! Nice and slow with lots of scrambling up and over rocks, rock hopping over creeks, and a steady climb.

We left the Emma Gorge resort around 8.30 with plenty of water , a muesli bar and a bag of lollies. We walked through grasslands, started to gently climb and then got to the scrambling stage.

We passed the turquoise waterhole.

The reward was a swim at the falls. It was magnificent. Beautiful clear water, a waterfall that massaged your back if you positioned yourself underneath it correctly and the perfect temperature for cooling.

The walk back wasn’t as bad as we thought. All downhill and hard in the knees but we were quicker than going up.

Perhaps this sign was just for us!

We went straight to the cafe for a delicious iced coffee!

Hair wet with sweat! And a delicious drink

We got back to The Station at El Questro which is about a 25 min drive away and had another swim in the waterhole just near our cabin.

Water not as clear but a beautiful setting.

The afternoon was spent relaxing and reading before our pre dinner gin, a bbq dinner, music and a game of cards before an early night.

Perfect!

Our cabin behind the paintings.

El Questro Here We Come

Steve and I started the day with a swim. This really is a magic spot. Our little villa was wonderful so feeling rested we walked up the green grassy hill to the pool

On a hill nearby a group of 20 were gently chanting and doing yoga.

Feeling cool and just a little sad to be leaving this beautiful place we headed off towards Argyle Homestead.

This homestead has been rebuilt. It’s the home of the famous Durack family. It’s 5 minutes from Lake Argyle and was relocated because the original site is now underwater. It is now Lake Argyle.

It’s made of stone and is really quite big for a home built on an isolated property so many years ago.

The history of the Durack family is told and what a history it is. Patrick or ‘Patsy’ drove cattle from Queensland taking two and a half years before settling in land in the Ird River area.

We decided we had time to go to Wyndham the very big port right at top of Australia. It became the port all cattle exports left from. We expected a bigger town but it was small with not too much happening.

We started with a view of the town from Five river lockout. S sweeping view of the area showing the effect of an 8 metre tide rise and fall.

W got a few more supplies at the only supermarket in town and a few beers at the bottle shop.

We’d been told the bakery was a must so stopped and had a laugh at the roof decorations.

The woman who owns the bakery is a little pocket rocket who loves a chat as she rushes around clearing plates from those of us who sit inside to enjoy our pies! she’s also a joker teller as he two signs outside the shop declare ‘two wifi engineers got married. The reception was fantastic.

Jill and I shared a crocodile pie and a lemon pepper barramundi pie. Quite delicious and filling.

Two more stops , the first at the huge bronze statues the next at the Afghan cemetery.

These statues are huge and wonderful – the hair is curly wire.

Arriving at El Questro was full of anticipation. It’s 16 from Gibb Rd and crosses several creeks. It’s bumpy, it’s dusty and excitement outside.

It looks like tent city circling around reception, a bar, a few cabins, a cantina food truck and a big grassy relaxing area leading down to some creek ponds. Our swimming pool.

Our station room is next to the restaurant which made me think ‘oh no it will be noisy’. There’s no worry about that. Because

1. Everyone I’m camping areas go to bed early 2. The restaurant is closed. They can’t get enough staff. If anyone reading this can cook I’ve found a job for you.

Enjoyed a grilled Barra a game of 500 and a good sleep.