Gibb River Road - Home Valley - El Questro - Emma Gorge
East Kimberley, Western Australia
Thursday 29th May and we are heading off onto the Gibb River road, our destination is Home Valley Station. The first 30 kims is now bitumenised and an easy ride, the next 33kms is gravel road but graded really well and we comfortable sit on 80-90kms, lucky us.
Home Valley Station or HV8 ( this is their branding and the 8 is actually 2 s's for Station), when we arrive our room is not ready actually not available and we are pleasantly thrilled to be upgraded to one of the Grass Castle suites, only 8 cabins sitting along the river. WOW this is fab. The Durack family played an integral role in the area and the rooms are named after the Grandfather who refered to themselves as Kings in the Grass Castles in pastoral days. The room is beautiful and the view from the verandah is well frequented over the next 3 days and nights.
The bird life is prolific around here and we enjoyed the variety of sounds and songs by the very busy characters as well as the very friendly Green Frogs and little brown ones, the resident owls and of course the beautiful horses and cattle on the property. The UGLY CANE TOAD however are also here!!
After a relaxing day that Friday night we head for the Sunset Tour a private road on the property - a selection of alcholic beverages and a great platter of nibbles greets us as our guide drives us to the location over looking the Cockburn Ranges, not the best sunset but a beautiful night. only down side was a lone male who came along also he never stopped talking the whole time - his wife was well I know why now!!!
On Saturday we venture to El Questro Wilderness Park, when we drive into the park we are greeted with the unhappy comments of a caravanner on the park sign, Oh dear he complains about thecost and the road and we completely sympathise with him once we head in it is a dreadful road and really suprising for El Questro as they are not cheap.
Our first stop is Zebedee Springs we arrive at 11.10am and seeing that is closes at 12noon so that the natural spring can rejuvenate itself we hurry in, the short walk in is jungle like and the spectacular garden when you get to the spring is incredible. We enjoy a beautiful float in the clear waters and admire the palm trees that look like they are floating in the water like small islands.
We cross the Pentecost again before arriving at El Questro camp grounds way to busy and commercial for us and glad we didnt use this as a home base. We buy the required day pass ( oops should have had it before Z springs but seriously who is going to drive in 6kms from the springs to get a pass on that S..t road and then drive back). We decide to do the lookouts Saddleback Ridge and Pigeon Hole - both very steep and winding roads but the view is panoramic and give a great perspective of the area. We dont do any of the gorge walks as they are all quite long and I want to save my back for Emma Gorge, the next day.
The Indigenous Land Corporation works in conjuction with HV8 and many of the local are employed and learning trades.
Our final night at HV8 and we head for our final dinner, a slight damper on the night as my steak is a crispy burger and I send it back our apology is another bottle of wine and desert on the house - another win!!
We head for Emma Gorge and are so pleased that we put it on the agenda the resort is beautiful and a definate to stay at another time. The 1.2km walk in is picturesque with the waterway running along side us all the way to the gorge, the rock formations and colours are incredible and show their age, they say all the gorges up here are a result of reefs from hundreds of years ago and you can see that with some rocks. As we approach the gorge the sound of the waterfall is cooling and the water is clear and deep and a bit chilly when you first get in but beautiful. I tried to swim under the waterfall but it is suffocating and I literally cant not breathe, the power of the water is strong and actually hurts, so we both float on our back in this intoxicating abyss watching the drops fall around us - total Zen. Sadly the Cane Toads are here also such a pity however after today Cane Toads 0 - Alida 7, Mal 1 and Mickey Thompson 1.
As we head back to Kununurra we prepared for our pack up and pick up my computer that has been out of action being fixed in Kununurra our final WA destination will be the Great Lake Argyle.
from the great outdoors and loving life
Alida and Mal