Quorn SA. Train Paradise

Leaving Wilpena wanting more is a sign we have enjoyed our visit. I’d like to do some more of the walks.

We stopped at a few more lookouts with the view changing each time and always magnificent.

The drive back out to Hawker was quite different to the drive in few days ago. The morning light is so different on the hills surrounding us to the light in the afternoon.

A coffee stop at Hawker was a surprise. There is a big café opposite the information centre. It’s has the best coffee, quandong pies , meals and more. Well worth a visit. The cafe staff, Sev and Kads, itinerant workers from Wollongong were helpful and chatty about this great cafe.

Quorn is only an hour away along the straightest road – looking out at flat land. Years ago this proved too hard to grow anything on so there were a number of abandoned brick houses left by disappointed farmers.

Arriving in time for a heritage building walk it was interesting and sad. So many lovely old buildings many empty but almost in need of repair.

Lunch at the Quandong Cafe was terrific.

Quorn has a lot to offer and it would be good to see a bigger industry bring people to town to live and work. At the moment it is the Pichi Richi steam train that brings visitors to town. We’re going on it tomorrow.

I’m surprised the town looks so quiet. Not many people around today. There’s a marathon here tomorrow. It starts in Port Augusta. There will be lots of people around then. Accommodation was booked out, so we’re staying at a cabin about 10 mins from town. We tried to book at one of the hotels for dinner but had to go to the other hotel, The Austral. Bonus there is karaoke on.

Our little cabin at Pichi Richi Park is basic but comfortable and there’s a heater! We sat looking at the view reading the papers before heading back into town for silo light show.

What is a Silo Art show? Most country towns have large grain silos. They are like a big blank canvas. It’s been a trend in Australia for the silos to be painted. These Silos are heritage listed so can’t be painted So they project images onto the silos at sunset each night.

We arrived as the sun was setting. Tuned our radio to the station suggested for the audio and sat in our car and watched. It’s like being at the drive in movies.

We got our quandong ( a local treat) gin and tonic set up and sat back and enjoyed the show.

In fact they should show movies here. Perfect screen. The light show consisted of various different segments outlining the features and activities of a Quorn. a section on the food, the attractions, The indigenous history.

The streets were quiet except for those heading to the two hotels for dinner. It wasn’t quiet in the Austral Hotel. We sat near a big group of Marathon runners. The good part is they weren’t drinking much and finished early. But they were friendly and fun!

The bar staff ready for karaoke

The runners head off for bed and then the karaoke started. It’s always funny to watch this entertainment. Ordinary people get up and have a go . Good on them. But really. The choice of songs could be better for some!!!

Marg and I were not going to do it but it wasn’t long before we felt we could do better than most! But we’d resisted and ended up singing all the way back to our cabin.

What’s your favourite karaoke song?

Exploring Wilpena Pound and the Flinders Ranges

The day was glorious- after a cool night we woke to blue skies and a warm sun.

The visitors centre is at the main building as you drive into the Wilpena Resort. It also houses an IGA which would be so helpful for the many campers.

The area is very sheltered with lots of beautiful trees providing shade during the hot summer months.

The Aboriginal guides at the centre have lots of helpful advice on the many walks and the drives we could take to discover the sights of the area.

With a plan in mind we set off. The resident emus were there to say goodbye as we headed back out to the explorers way.

Map of the area of Wilpena

Our first turn off was to Bunyeroo Gorge. The road was dirt but not too bumpy. Before long the grandeur of the mountain ranges started to appear.

The gorge here is so different to the gorges on the Gibb River. Spectacular, yes, Rocky, yes, but accessible by 4 wheel drive. We drive into Bunyeroo and are immediately surrounded by the ranges. Bunyeroo Gorge is one of the main gorges which runs through the Heysen Range towards Lake Torrens.

As we drive through the gorge the trees are magnificent. The gums are huge. The pine trees line up along the creek and the road.

As we drive through the Gorge the size of the limestone cliffs either side look awesome.

The creeks we cross have large stones and it’s easy to see how high the water level got to the last time the creek flowed.

Continuing on we came to Brachina Gorge which was just as inspiring as the Bunyeroo Gorge. It’s wonderful to see it close up. Not to be scrambling over rocks and boulders!

We passed as few cars and came upon a group of young cyclists from St. Peter’s School in Adelaide. They were doing over 300 km over their 10 days in the area. They were young , enthusiastic and will sleep well at night!

After we left the Gorge area we spotted a vine growing along the road. It’s a Paddy melon which is a poisonous fruit for humans and most animals.

We stopped for a picnic at the curiously named Dingly Dell. It sounds so Irish. There are little picnic tables set up through the Gorge and in the turnoffs to lookouts. So thoughtful!

Nearby we spotted a camper with their washing strung out capturing the lovely sun and breeze. Perfect.

We drove, we pottered, we left the car for little walks and we returned to Wilpena Pound for a walking tour of the historic homestead.

All the tours at Wilpena are conducted by local Adnyamathanha people. Local guide John McKenzie says Adnyamathanya’s made up of two indigenous words: Adnya, meaning rock, and mathanya, meaning people.

Guide John. A great storyteller.

Wilpena Pound itself is an immense horseshoe-shaped feature known locally as Ikara. It was once used by pastoralists as a natural stock pen. Today, it’s the jewel in the crown of this rugged landscape.

Six years ago, the traditional owners of this land acquired Wilpena Pound Resort. 

It allows locals, who’re fiercely proud of their heritage, to share their knowledge of culture and country directly with tourists.

John is good at sharing his heritage with us. Helping us understand what it was like for the local mob when the white pastoralists arrived at the Pound.

They worked for the pastoralists on what had been their land. We toured the remains of the building that made up the farm.

The stone work is so distinctively South Australian.

John told us the story of the creation of Wilpena Pound. it differed somewhat from the geological description offer by scientists but is a Dreamtime story passed down by the local mob.

Long before the coming of white settlers to Wilpena, there was an old Kingfisher Man called Yurlu who lived in the west near Kuyani territory. He journeyed south from his home at Kakarlpunha (Termination Hill) to attend an important Malkada (corroboree) at Ikara (Wilpena Pound). Passing through Brachina Gorge on his way to the ceremony, Yurlu saw two giant serpents (Akurra) travelling in the same direction. The snakes scared him and he hid behind low hills until they passed.

Yurlu stopped to light a big signal fire to inform his people that he was coming. The charcoal of that fire remains today in the form of the massive coal deposits that have been mined for decades at Leigh Creek.

Passing through Brachina Gorge on his way to the ceremony, Yurlu saw two giant serpents travelling in the same direction. The snakes scared him and he hid behind low hills until they passed. The two Akurra (male and female) were so bloated by the feast that they coiled up, and died. They now form the ring of hill surrounding the Pound.

It’s a great story and it’s important these stories are passed down.

After the tour we walked back to the resort or Chalet as it was originally called stopping to admire the trees.

The main resort building with large restaurant.

Another sunset beckoned so we climbed the hill behind the camp ground and were rewarded with a sun streaked sky.

Returning through the camp sites I was rather pleased I wasn’t the camper in the blue one man tent.

The Nullarbor- a Long and very Straight Track

A late night in Kalgoorlie led to an early start in Rawlinna.

Clickity clack Clickity clack. Our train clicked away during the night. It’s funny how during the day it seems so calm and the night time turns the train into a Rockin’ rollin’ adventure.

The sunrise over Rawlinna was gorgeous. Soft light makes the deserted town beautiful.

We were off the train by 6.30am. It was cold!

The only sign of life on the deserted platform was a horse. He stood patiently letting us pat him as our entertainer set up then played country & western.

We drank hot tea and ate bacon egg rolls as we sang along and wondered why we had got out of a cosy bed! But how could you miss this little piece of the Australian outback. Very special.

The more energetic of us stretched our legs walking along the deserted dirt road of this huge sheep station. I was hoping someone could fill us in on details about this sheep station on the edge of the Nullarbor. I have since found out it is more than 2.5 mil acres in size with 65,000 sheep!

Today it was us and a horse at the railway station.

Back on board we dived back under the doona as the sun came through the window.

Lunchtime came and gave us a chance to chat to our fellow travellers and make some connections. Cath thought she knew me but her husband said she thinks she knows everyone.

Sitting on the jailhouse rock.

A second stop at Cook. This place has a population of 4. There are a few houses there which get used by railway works from time to time. Someone has a good sense of humour. There were signs around the empty town including one our side as male and female jail. In between was the musical ‘jailhouse rock’.

Miranda said I reminded her of her mum who, like me, loves a red lipstick! Miranda is a nurse from Manchester who despite 20 years of living in Perth still has a strong accent. She’s talkative and funny – the kind of nurse who would keep you entertained but take no nonsense!

More cards in the afternoon before cocktail hour! Today I had a margarita and was surprised that Jill, who only ever has one half strength coffee a day, had an expresso martini. It had two full shots of coffee and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. Jill was later seen dancing on tables!!!!

It was our last night together on holidays and we were celebrating our great trip. If you’ve missed out please go back and read the earlier blogs on the Gibb River Road.

We have travelled over 4,300 kilometres. Over dusty roads, had several boat trips, swum in at least 8 gorges and in the ocean 7 times, waded in a tunnel creek, had two light plane trips, one epic train trip, enjoyed wine, beer and cocktails. Eaten too many chips! Had lots of laughs and card games and really enjoyed our travel buddies Chris & Jill.

Dinner was delicious. Lamb shanks! No chips. Beautiful Moss Wood wine and lots of chat.

A great cickity clack sleep and an early arrival in Adelaide. Our lively lovely crew including Layla, Georgia. Nick ….. farewelled us. It’s been great.

We have a few days with Steve’s sister before heading off to Wilpena Pound – a little sight seeing and a ride on the Pichi Richi rail journey in Quorn.

Keep following readers…… Wilpena is known as the jewel in the Flinders Rangers

Clickity Clack: The Indian Pacific Train.

Pick up from our hotel in Fremantle is part of the Platinium service for the Indian Pacific. We are being spoiled on this trip! So naturally we’ve been looking forward to this train journey for quite some time.

We arrive at East Perth Station and are checked in with Layla a lovely young girl wearing an Akubra hat. We are in carriage I, cabin 4.

First sight of the train.

It’s 9 a.m. when we board the train and the Bollinger has been popped. People start to smile. The service team introduce themselves and the guests start to chat. It may be expensive but the treatment is first class.

Our cabin is small but perfectly laid out. Our comfy seats face the way the train will be going and every little convenience has been included.

The seats fold out to become the bed.

It’s not long before it lunch time. the food is lovely.

The menu cover.
A sample menu. I had the camel curry! It was delicious.

Of course lunch was a accompanied by another Bollinger or two. This was followed by a nap!

We met some fellow travellers. Miranda and Gavin from Perth are on board celebrating a birthday. They are lowering the average age and look like fun – enjoy a drink and a chat!

Val & Jim from Melbourne are lovely and we swapped lots of stories. There are other keen train enthusiasts who are on their 2nd, 3rd and even 4th journey – the Ghan north to south and the Indian Pacific east to west !

Some are travelling Premium because they no longer like climbing up to a bunk style bed. I can identify with that feeling.

Card playing had become our afternoon or evening activity and it has continued. Today we multi-tasked! There was a trivia competition hosted by the resident guitar-playing entertainer. We played cards, played trivia and drank Bollinger.

Tonight after dinner we arrived into Kalgoorlie around 9 p.m. We left the warmth of the train for a tour of cool Kalgoorlie with Katherine.

She drove through the dark streets pointing out sights we couldn’t see. She told us stories and used the word ‘actually ‘ more times than necessary. She’d had a long day and sounded exhausted. We were all thinking our Katherine needed to be home in bed.

First stop was a yard housing a small museum and theatre where two locals put on a play about the discovery of gold by Paddy and Tom. Unfortunately it needed a better script & better actors.

Next stop was the giant pit. We went to a viewing platform but with few lights on it was hard to see anything. The photos told the story of a pit that is 5 km long, 2 km wide and 1 km deep.

The whole tour was ‘actually’ underwhelming. It would have been more effective to have an audio on the bus. We should have listened to fellow travellers Miranda and Gavin who were staying on the train in their cabin with a glass of wine and a Netflix movie.

Couldn’t wait to get back to the train, have a warm shower and tumble into bed.

Fremantle: a village by the sea

Our stay in Fremantle was supposed to be warm. Was supposed to be spent with a ferry trip to Rottnest Island. A little swim.

The Esplanade Hotel

Weather has a way of changing things around. The ferry service is cancelled so we changed our plans.

Friday night we went to Nedlands for dinner with some old friends of Chris and Jill. We had a great night and some lovely soup. Not a chip in sight.

Saturday morning called for a sleep in. Our hotel – The Esplanade – is large and old and right near the old town on one side , the park and marina on the other.

We made our way, in the unaccustomed cool breeze, to the Moore and Moore Art space and cafe. There was a good watercolour exhibition on where we spent a few minutes before ordering breakfast.

It was the first cooked breakfast we’ve had so we all enjoyed tucking into eggs.

The streets are old and lined with lovely shops and cafes. Lots of bookshops and quirky shops like a map shop – where we lost Steve but all ended up enjoying. A gentleman’s shop with shoes and other accoutrements. A few galleries and our planned stop – the Palace Cinema.

Funny to go to the cinema on holidays but we thought it could be raining all day! We saw Maigret – about the French detective. It was slow and mysterious.

Coming out an hour or so later the skies were blue and the wind was blowing. We went browsing a little more and managed to do a little retail therapy. The streets had a Saturday buzz about them.

We saw the markets. It’s always good to walk through markets. These aren’t as big or colourful as the Adelaide Markets but it’s a good way to pass the time under cover while the rain poured outside.

Chris and Jill’s friends arrived at the hotel for afternoon tea. Sitting in the foyer is a good place to see people – both local and tourists. There was a Year 11 formal on so the young students were posing for photos, the boys looking dapper and the girls looking much older than their age – in beautiful long dresses.

Feeling a little peckish we headed up Essex St. to Nuncio. It’s a lovely Italian restaurant serving very good Italian food. The best Carnarvon scallops, prosciutto and pasta dishes.

I’d been told about Darling Darling – a whiskey bar nearby, so we braved the now very strong gusty winds and made our way past shops and restaurants.

Sadly there was a line to get in! We don’t do lines so back to our hotel for a nightcap. We have to reorganise our bags for tomorrows Indian Pacific journey.

Pity about the late night party in the room adjacent to ours where the group of people gathered on their verandah at around midnight and proceeded to party hard.

Not good for sleeping……. so I made a call to reception! It took awhile but they eventually settled down.

A Pearl of a Day.

Pick up at 8.20 and we were on our way to Broom Airlines. Our substitute trip to Horizontal Falls was on.

There were two groups of 4. One being our group the other another 4 from Brisbane.

Our flying mosquito

Our two pilots introduced themselves – Michael and Bayley, a couple of young mavericks who looked like they’d just hurried from bed to be there!

No safety talk. Just a ‘listen carefully if I tell you something’ and out we walked to the plane. Or a mosquito as I referred to it. Tiniest plane I’ve ever been on. And quite old looking. Oh well we trust our Top Gun pilot.

Chris up front with our pilot

And with a quick tuneup we were off and away. It was a beautiful day. Clear blue skies, not a cloud and no wind – perfect.

We all had our headphones on with a little mic to talk to Michael and each other.

The colours below were wonderful

We flew over a crocodile park, a meat works, lots of trees, aboriginal communities.

We continued north over Derby and into Horizontal Falls. Stunning blue waters, the tidal rush between the 10 metre wide rock faces were making a surf like effect. This was where the jet boat hit the rock face.

The twin entrances at Horizontal Falls.

We saw the pontoon and houseboat we were meant to stay on.

Pristine water with pontoon & houseboat

We circled around and around taking in the beauty of this place. So many little islands. This cluster of many islands is known as the Buccaneer Archipelago.

We double backed towards Cygnet Bay. This beautiful area is home to the pearl farm that produces some of the most valuable pearls in the south seas.

We landed at a little red dirt airstrip and were collected in a small bus and taken to the pearl farm for a tour and lunch.

Cygnet Bay Pearl farm began when Dean Brown headed north of Broome in 1948 and started pearling. His son Lyndon Brown was the first non Japanese to culture a pearl.

Now it takes the provenance of each pearl very seriously. They can tell you the location found, size, lustre, blemishes of each pearl. They run a very impressive business.

Our guide Stephen has worked for the company for quite a few years and is passionate about this industry.

He took us through the steps that are needed to have a good pearl. It takes several years of caring for the oysters to help them grow a good pearl.

He opened 3 oysters before he found a pearl.

We then had a lesson in identifying the features of a pearl. Lustre, shape, colour, size, surface. Each one plays a part in the value of a pearl.

We moved into the gallery shop where I took my time to find something that ‘spoke’ ’ to me. Find something? I did. For my 0 birthday later this year. ……… all shall be revealed later.

The shape of the pearl determines its value

We had a lovely lunch in the little restaurant upstairs overlooking the beautiful bay.

View from the restaurant

While Jill and I contemplated a swim – as nice as it looked we decided not to get all wet for our trip back. We decided on a Prosecco instead to celebrate my purchase.

We headed back to the red runaway and in the blink of an eye Michael had us up in the sky.

We followed the coast back and marvelled at the colours and the effect the huge tides have on the coast line and the sand and mangroves.

We flew over two islands with iron ore mining being carried out.

As we headed further south we saw a few campers with their 4 wheel drives. How remote they are. How lucky they are to have these areas to themselves.

The colours of the tidal waters is amazing

We flew over our resort and a few minutes later we landed.

A perfect trip.

Back at Cable Beach we headed to the pool for a swim and a cocktail before our second flying treat for the day. A trip to the local outdoor theatre Sun Cinema an outdoor theatre. Tonight the movie was ……Top Gun: Maverick. What a great movie to finish off our flying adventure.

We sat in canvas deck chairs eating pizza sipping a beer under the clear skies. Twice planes flew overhead – so appropriate to the movie!

Waiting for the movie.

We all loved it. Even Tom Cruise.

Cable Beach Club Resort

I’m getting behind in my blogging do this will be a picture diary of our day.

Up early for a swim
Umbrellas are set up on the water’s edge
Nippers is on. Big crowd
Shoes at the bottom of the stairs.
Courthouse Markets. Slowest coffee in the world!
Buying a book for our grandsons
The Museum tells the Broome stories
Sailmaking shed at the museum
Lunch at the Green Mango
Japanese Cemetery. So many lost their lives diving for pearls.
Our room at the Cable Beach Resort
Walking to the adults only pool
Loving this pool
Even better with a cocktail in hand
Sunset at Cable Beach
Happy at Zander’s restaurant on the beach

Last day on the Gibb.

I have made packing up after each stop easy . The secret is not too many clothes and keep everything handy on the top of the bag in the same position!

Our last day on the Gibb River Rd and we want to fit as much in as possible.

Talking to other travellers we decided we must detour and visit Windjana Gorge to see the crocodiles and to Dimalurru to visit Tunnel Creek.

Breakfast included making a simple sandwich for lunch as there is nothing between here and Derby. Not a shop or petrol station. Nothing.

As we are packing the car I got chatting to a lady filling her water containers. We compare trips and I told her we are disappointed to be missing our house boat stay at Horizontal Falls because of the jet boat accident.

She shocked me by telling me they were there and her husband was on the boat.

She went on to describe the horrific scene as the boat with many injured people limited back to the pontoon. Many women with fractures in their lower limbs. It sounded awful. No wonder they are not ready to reopen. The staff are all traumatised and needing time off.

We are thankful it wasn’t us on board & the woman I spoke with was always very grateful she didn’t want a jet boat experience that morning.

So off we went – an hour drive back to the Gibb Rd turned toward Derby and the half an hour later turned left to Windjana.

The park is beautiful. The limestone walls so impressive.

The approach to the Gorge is through a small tunnel of limestone walls. it’s like entering a magical world.

Out the other side and a peaceful walk along the river bank keeping an eye on the opposite bank. The crocodiles are lazing and sunning themselves. Lots of them.

About 7 crocs sunning

We walked along for about 15 mins. Such beautiful scenes.

Next stop Tunnel Creek. This place I remember being talked about because of a boy called Jandamarra. He was with his mob when they were captured. He escaped into the tunnel where the creek flows under the limestone hills. It was written as a children’s book years ago.

To get to the tunnels you need to climb and clamber over rocks. They are the most amazing colours: pinks, grey, blue even a greenish look.

Then a wade through water into the tunnels. Quite creepy. We looked out for the red eyes of the resident croc.

Lunch was a simple sandwich outside under the trees. We are so lucky with the weather warm but not too hot.

From here it was a short but fairly boring straight drive into Derby. We were told that it’s not the most exciting place to be and to be sure to lock up well. Didn’t sound too good!

Sunset at Derby pier

We arrived in time to see the town in the afternoon light. Everything looks good bathed in a glowing sky. Then to our hotel the Derby Lodge. Not a lot of good things to say about this hotel. Except pretty ordinary.

We crossed the road to the Spinifex Hotel for dinner and made an early night of it. It was a big day of driving.

In the morning we walked to the local CWA markets, an oasis and spent a very happy hour. Such nice people and the Boab nut coffee was great as were the donuts and the home made slices.

There was music provided by the Rusty Nails, and sitting under the shade of a tree chatting to other travellers was as usual very interesting.

We walked back to get the car and of course we two retired children librarians popped into the library .

A welcoming library in Derby
Mark Norval’s art work.

We’d been told to visit Norval Gallery and we are so glad we did. What an interesting story behind Mark Norval the owner. He and wife Mary went to Derby as young teachers and never left. He now has this wonderful art space where local aboriginal people are welcome to come and paint. He travelled to many of the communities along the Gibb River area and taught painting and encouraged painting and it’s really taken off. There are some wonderful people doing great work. Edna Dale and her daughter Petrina Bedord. I bought one I couldn’t resist.

With Edna Dale and my new painting.

We spent a long time chatting to Mark about his life & work in Derby. He is so kind. So understanding of the problems facing the indigenous youth.

He has mentored Edna Dale mother of 7 and her daughter Petrina an up and coming contemporary indigenous artist. Her grandfathers Jack Dale and Paddy Bedford were famous in their field of art. Watch out for her. She paints in a style to reflect stories of Windjana passed down to her.

Petrina was painting in the art shed while we were there. Lovely to watch.

We also bought some decorated boab seed pods – such beautiful work.

We left the gallery and continued on our way to the prison Boab tree. A very sad story about indigenous peoples imprisoned in the tree.

Onto Broome. We have an extra night here as our planned night in a houseboat at Horizontal Falls was cancelled.

Sunsets are spoken about here more than anywhere else – except maybe Santorini! So we set out to find it. After checking into the Oaks at Cable Beach we drove along the coast to the port.

Broome is also famous for its dinosaur footprints. We went dinosaur hunting. It took us to Roebuck Bay.

Notice the rock behind. It has a face!
The light was soft and gorgeous

We decided to head to the fishing club for a sundowner. It not well known to tourists. It’s where the locals head. I’d read about it and it turned out to be perfect. Casual and a beautiful setting. One glass of Prosecco led to another led to fish and chips.

And so a perfect start to Broome has begun.

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.