Wednesday, May 20, 2009

- Home Valley to Kununurra -

The next day we had to cross the widest river of the Gibb, The Pentecost, complete with it's crocs. Thankfully the water level was only about 30cm, though still flowing fast and we crossed without a problem... or seeing any hungry lizards!

(The mighty Pentecost River... )

Our next stop was El Questro Station, now wilderness park,on a million acre property. We booked in for a night and set off to explore. Moonshine Gorge walk, 4km return, was beautiful with creek crossings, palm trees and red rugged cliff faces. At the end was Sprung Hole, a perfect spot for a swim, although a little cold!!

(Sprung Hole, at Moonshine Gorge... was so peaceful)

Next we walked into El Questro Gorge, a 6.8km return walk. This was more challenging than we expected with the gorge fairly narrow with large boulders and a lot of rock hopping. Part way along is a little water hole with big boulders Bren had to put me up!! Ferns lined the walls of the gorge and finally at the end we reached a deep plunge pool with a little waterfall called "Mac Micking Pool" It was amazing and well worth the effort! We then headed back to camp for a bite to eat & headed off on 4wd track to Branko's Lookout for sunset. Crossing creeks etc to get there!! It was awesome looking out over the gorge cutting through the escarpment...

(Branko's Lookout, El Questro.)

The next morning we rested our exhausted bodies in Zebadee Springs, a series of thermal pools fed by an underground spring. It was total heaven, with the water temp around 34 degrees... which made it rather cold when we jumped out! We pushed on to Amalia Gorge for a walk in to a slightly more open gorge to a large plunge pool at the end. However the waterfall had almost dried up, otherwise it would've been even more inviting to jump in!

(Bren & I, in Amalia Gorge...)

Next was Emma Gorge, a 1.6km walk into narrow escarpment cutting into the Cockburn Ranges. A little challenging in sections, though well worth it when you reach the end. A large pool of water, complete with waterfall... however the cliffs are so narrow the water would only receive 1 1/2hrs of sunlight making the water a VERY freezing 12 - 15 degrees!! I swam to the little waterfall.. though couldn't stay in for long!

Emma Gorge marks the end of the Gibb River Road, which we completed in 2 weeks. Driving just under 2000km of gravel , corrugated roads, creek crossings and exploring all the wonderful places along the way. It was everything and more than we expected. We definitely recommend it to anyone, with El Questro, McGowan's Beach and Manning Falls among our favourites!

We're now in Kununurra, staying a few nights to clean out the dust & explore....

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