El Questro is the most famous of the Gibb River Road stations and is a destination in it’s own right. Some people even think that El Questro is the Kimberley!
Depending on which direction you’re travelling in, El Questro will be the first or last station on your Gibb River Road trip.
El Questro is internationally famous for it’s luxurious accommodation options and glamour outback tourism. But it also offers camping and access to some of the most breathtaking scenery in the Kimberley.
The section of the Gibb River Road between El Questro and Kununurra is sealed the entire way. Once on the station itself, the roads are gravel but well maintained and signposted. The station “township” with the main camping area has plenty of good information and maps provided at the campsite shop.
There’s a good reason why El Questro is the most famous of the Kimberley stations – it is blessed with some of the most spectacular gorges and landscapes.
It is also the most developed station along the Gibb River Road, which is either a good or bad thing depending on your personal tastes.
Emma Gorge lies on the northern side of the Gibb River Road, separate from El Questro’s camping area and other attractions. It’s a moderate hour walk along a well marked trail from the carpark and is definitely one of the most stunning gorges in the Kimberley.
The gorge ends in a horseshoe, with sheer walls rising up 100m and a thin waterfall spills into the large pool below. The water is crystal clear and it is an incredibly picturesque place – it wouldn’t look out of place in a movie! Although it’s very popular, it’s common to have it pretty much all to yourself.
Swimming in the deep pool is one of the highlights of any trip to the Kimberley. In the far right corner, there’s also a little warm bath, where thermally heated water trickles out of a crevice.
The main part of El Questro, and the camping areas, lies south of the Gibb River Road. El Questro Gorge is another stunning highlight. The first part of the walk is quite gentle and takes you along the edge of a creek. At the mid-point of the walk you’ll reach a beautiful rock pool with a small waterfall trickling into it. It’s a great place for a swim and many people choose to stop here.
You can continue past this point by scrambling over the big boulders and it is well worth the effort. The second section of the El Questro walk is moderately strenuous, but it’s not too difficult. If you can scramble over the main big boulders at the swimming hole, you’ll easily be able to walk the whole way.
The reward at the end of this very scenic walk is an incredibly beautiful waterfall which flows into a bright blue pool. Again, this is a scene straight out of a Hollywood movie and it has to be seen to be believed.
Zebedee Springs is another “must-do”. It’s a very popular spot, and for good reason. A short walk from the carpark leads to a natural oasis at the base of the sheer red cliffs. Thermal heated water tirckles from a spring and spills through a series of pools lined with Livistonia palm trees and lush tropical vegetation. It’s a fantastic place for a relaxing soak.
There are two fantastic sunset lookouts at El Questro too. Branco’s Lookout and Pidgeon Hole Lookout both offer spectacular views of the Chamberlain River snaking around the sandstone escarpments and ranges. From Branco’s Lookout you can also sneak a glimpse at the luxurious Station and Homestead accommodation. Both lookouts are great at any time of the day, but the late afternoon is best, with the setting sun casting red and pink light across the sky.
Other attractions at El Questro include Amalia and Moonshine Gorge, Champagne Springs and Saddleback Ridge. Boat tours along the Chamberlain Gorge are also popular, as are horse riding tours.
If you’ve got some extra cash, helicopter tours are available to Miri Miri Falls and the rock formations of the Lost City. Heli-fishing tours for barramundi are also available!
Camping at El Questro
There are two camping areas at El Questro, with prices starting at $20 a night. Various discounts also apply for families and for long-term stays of 4 nights or more.
The “townsite” is the most central and popular location. There’s plenty of shade and grass, but it can feel a bit like a caravan park. Hot showers and laundry facilities are available, as well as a shop, bar and dinner. There are no powered sites, but generators can be run between 8am and 5pm.
There are also campsites at secluded spots along the river. These are a great private option in a natural bush setting.
All visitors to El Questro must also purchase a Wilderness Park Permit. Adult passes are $20 per person and are valid for 7 days. Children under 12 are complimentary.
Accommodation at El Questro
There is a range of luxurious and upmarket accommodation at El Questro.
Family bungalows and tented cabins are available at the Station and Emma Gorge Resort.
At the top-end of the luxury scale, The Homestead features exclusive suites overlooking the Chamberlain River and catering to a maximum of 18 guests at any one time.
Prices start at around $280 a night at Emma Gorge Resort, and run into several thousand dollars for the complete luxury experience at The Homestead.
Communication and Fuel
Petrol and diesel are available at El Questro.
There is no mobile phone reception, but there are public payphones. Internet access is also available for $10 an hour.
Dogs are allowed at El Questro.