At last we have come to the end of the journey. We are finishing in one of my favourite places, the Kimberley.
Zebedee Springs is part of El Questro Station. For as little as $2,989 per room per night you can stay at the Cliff Side Retreats.
The freestanding Cliff Side Retreats are situated at the edge of a sheer escarpment overlooking the wild and natural beauty of the Kimberley. Uninterrupted views of the Chamberlain Gorge can be enjoyed from your luxurious feather topped bed. Secluded by high stone garden walls your privacy is assured as you enjoy the free-standing outdoor bath.
Or, for $20 a night you can stay here.
We left the Lotus in Kununurra at the Hidden Valley Caravan Park and drove the Prado into El Questro. The bitumen lasted until the entrance gate and then the road became rough and corrugated. There were some creek crossings to negotiate.
After setting up our tent we grabbed our swimmers and wandered down to a lovely pool formed by a weir on the river. On our way we came across two little girls who were jumping in and out of the water. I asked if there were any crocodiles. “Only freshies”, the older one told me seriously. “But they won’t bite you unless you jump on them.”
The evening was spent by the campfire listening to a folk singer before we retired early, ready for a big day ahead.
Zebedee Springs was our first destination. We had heard it could become crowded so were up at 5.30am and on the road so early the gates were still shut when we arrived. Places are never quite as expected and so the walk to the springs was much longer than I thought it would be. The pools were also smaller than I imagined but the water was warm and we each sat in a pool enjoying the heat.
More and more people arrived and the pools filled up. The sign in the car park said, “If the car park is full, so are the springs. Come back another time.”
After dragging ourselves away we drove to El Questro Gorge where we ate breakfast in the car park. It was a two hour return walk to the halfway point where there was a refreshing pool to swim in. The scenery on the walk was spectacular.
Back across three river crossing and we were home again in our camp. Another swim in the river kept us cool until evening. We booked a cruise on the Chamberlain Gorge for the next afternoon and retired early, exhausted after an active day.
The road to Moonshine Gorge was only opened the day before so we let the tyres down to 30 and followed the El Questro Gorge Road until the turnoff. The next 4.5 kilometres seemed like 20. Sand, rocks, water crossings and steep bits kept John busy. When we arrived there were five other cars parked but no-one was keen to go for a swim. The lagoon and cliffs were spectacular but the resident freshie had left his tail tracks on the beach.
Around 2 oclock we drove to the jetty. The road was rough and steep in parts. However others we spoke to didn’t think it was too bad. Everyone seems to be an experienced four wheel driver and all had a strong opinion about something. We saw the upmarket accommodation perched high on a cliff overlooking the Gorge. That’s as close as we got because the cruise boat didn’t go underneath it.
The Gorge was quite interesting. We searched the rugged cliffs for wildlife to no avail but the fish feed provided lots of entertainment as the archer fish squirted us when we held pellets above the water. We also saw catfish and a couple of very large barramundi. Glasses of bubbly were produced along with orange juice and fresh fruit.
On our last morning we packed up and were away by 8 oclock. We thought we would drive along the Gibb River Road until we reached the famous and much photographed crossing of the Pentecost River. For five kilometres the road was so rough and the stones so sharp we were worried about our tyres, having only one spare. We came across a Prado with a flat tyre, towing a Lotus Off Grid Van. That was enough for us and we turned around.
On the way back to Kununurra we called into another part of El Questro, Emma Gorge. In a very civilized manner, the cafe at the entrance offered coffee and scones. We then set off on the two hour return walk to Emma Gorge. At the turnaround point we had a blissfully cool swim under a waterfall before heading back to the car park.
Arriving at the caravan park sometime later we met up with our Lotus which we now called “The Palace”. Manoeuvring her into a powered site we enjoyed the luxury of our own bathroom, washing machine and comfy bed.
So ends the A to Z of our caravan trips around Australia. I had to leave out so many places and it was really hard to find a story to go with some letters but I got there. I hope if you haven’t been to Australia you have been inspired to visit at least some of the places I have written about. Even if you are Australian there may be somewhere you haven’t yet been featured in this A to Z. Happy travelling everyone and I hope to see you next year.