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in Travel, Travel Australia

Z is for Zebedee Springs

  • April 30, 2016
  • By 50 Shades
  • 16 Comments
El Questro Gorge

El Questro Gorge

Only a short drive out along the Gibb River Road 58 Kms from Wyndham in the Kimberley region of Far North West Australia, is the El Questro Wilderness Park. I think you would agree that the name El Questro conjurs up images of a western town from an old Western movie, with the rugged Cockburn Mountain Ranges forming the backdrop. All that is missing are the Cowboys and Indians and the Cacti!

El Questro - Cockburn Ranges

El Questro – Cockburn Ranges

It is almost 1,000,000 acres in size with a diverse landscape of broad tidal flats and rugged sandstone ranges, to rainforest pockets, hot springs, gorges and waterfalls. Animal and birdlife congregate at waterholes and the four river systems are home to all kinds of fish, including the mighty barramundi.

Pentecost River, El Questro

Pentecost River, El Questro

First stop into El Questro Wilderness Park is Emma Gorge where there is a resort offering eco-tent style accommodation, a bar, restaurant and gift shop. The scenic trail into the gorge takes you along a rocky creek bed with changing vegetation to crystal clear pools and waterfalls. The gorge is characterised by massive scree slopes and cliff face escarpments reaching up to 120m on both sides of the trail.  At the end of the trail you can enjoy a refreshing swim in the icy plunge pool of Emma Gorge Pool and Falls.

Emma Gorge, El Questro

Emma Gorge, El Questro

A further 11 Kms along a sealed road is the turnoff to El Questro. Although a dirt road it is in fairly good condition, however there are several creek and river crossings that you have to negotiate, so it is strictly 4WD only. The drive through into the park is very scenic and there are various turnoffs into places of interest, the first being the incredible Zebedee Springs.

You will discover Zebedee Springs after a short walk through lush Livistona and Pandanus Palms to the thermal springs and pools. Here you can wallow in the tepid spring waters of a series of small rock pools that cascade through the palm forest.

Zebedee Springs

Zebedee Springs

There are also many other natural attractions throughout the Wilderness Park, including:

  • El Questro Gorge – trek along a spring-fed creek through palms and fern-clad escarpments which brings you to a small swimming hole.
  • Champagne Springs – a challenging walk that takes you along the Pentecost River to a series of clear pools and a spring-fed waterfall.
  • Moonshine Gorge – a circuit trail walk with great views and leads into tall cliff faces and Livistona Palms on both sides with several waterholes to rest and swim in.
  • Chamberlain Gorge – a leisurely boat cruise through spectacular river gorges.
  • Explosion Gorge, Pigeon Hole and Saddleback Ridge – are all 4WD tracks that take you over rugged and challenging terrain to spectacular lookouts, waterholes and secret fishing spots.

    El Questro Wilderness Park

    El Questro Wilderness Park

There is a range of accommodation at El Questro Homestead to suit all tastes from luxury to secluded riverside campsites. Tours are available from the homestead such as helicopter flights, horseback rides, barramundi fishing, bush culture and history tours and 4WD adventures. You can then eat and drink at the station’s ‘Steakhouse’ restaurant  and the Swinging Arm Bar, including a traditional Aussie BBQ feast every Saturday night.

El Questro Homestead

El Questro Homestead

So now you know that Australia has its very own Wild West, complete with rugged mountain landscapes, dry and dusty terrain, blue skies, night skies aglow with a thousand stars and stock horses. Plus yes there are a few cowboys in Australia’s version of the ten-gallon hat – the Akubra! El Questro satisfied all of my Wild West fantasies!

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By 50 Shades, April 30, 2016 Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
  • 16

50 Shades

Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.

16 Comments
  • Michelle Weaver (@pinkypoinker)
    April 30, 2016

    I had no idea there were ANY hot springs in Australia. An enlightening finale to the challenge!

    • Kathy
      April 30, 2016

      There are a few that I know of: Hepburn Springs in Victoria, Bitter Springs and Mataranka Springs in Mataranka NT and of course these ones at El Questro in WA. I thought it would be good to end with one of my favourite places in the whole of Australia – The Kimberleys in WA! Glad this challenge is over though! :)

  • budgettraveltalk
    April 30, 2016

    Pinned to my Australia Board. Looks like there is something for every budget.

    • Kathy
      April 30, 2016

      When we return to The Kimberleys and trek the Gibb River Road we will definitely be spending more time in this Wilderness Park. It was extraordinary! :)

  • All Around Oz
    April 30, 2016

    I was wondering where you would finish this series up. Zebedee Springs sounds divine!

    • Kathy
      April 30, 2016

      I wanted to finish with a bang and that I did! The Kimberleys in WA are one of the most fascinating places I have been in Australia. We hope to return there some day. :)

  • Life Images by Jill
    May 1, 2016

    El Questro and Zebedee Springs – gorgeous. Hoping to get back there this year. And do other parts of the Kimberley we ran out of time for last time.

    • Kathy
      May 1, 2016

      El Questro and The Kimberleys were a highlight of our trip to WA. We also want to return again, maybe next year to trek the Gibb River Road. There is so much beauty and rugged landscapes in this region. :)

  • Scarlett Braden
    May 1, 2016

    Congratulations on completing the challenge!
    @ScarlettBraden from
    Frankly Scarlett

    • Kathy
      May 1, 2016

      Thank you so much Scarlett. I enjoyed the challenge, but I’m also glad it is over! I hope I brought some of the best bits of Australia to my audience. :)

  • Judee
    May 1, 2016

    Congratulations on completing the A-Z challenge!
    Great photos and lots of information. I’m across the globe, but its still lovely to see.
    http://www.colormywords.wordpress.com

    • Kathy
      May 1, 2016

      Thanks Judee! It is lovely to see another part of the world, through photos and prose. I’m glad you enjoyed my tour of Australia! :)

  • calensariel
    May 1, 2016

    What a beautiful picture! Sorry I didn’t make it over here sooner! Great post.
    Calen~
    Impromptu Promptlings

    • Kathy
      May 1, 2016

      Thank you. I hope I have been showcasing my beautiful country Australia to the world. I am very proud of it and think it should be on everyone’s bucket list. :)

  • Johanna
    May 10, 2016

    Loved Zebedee Springs and your post has bought back lots of memories and made me want to go back. Isn’t it amazing that the Kimberley is so diverse and that in all those long wide stretches of seeming nothingness there is such diversity. Hot springs and palm trees – incredible.

    • Kathy
      May 10, 2016

      El Questro and Zebedee Springs were one of the highlights of our trip across The Kimberley. We want to return as well and trek across the Gibb River Road from Derby to Wyndham. Maybe next year! There were hot springs in Northern Territory too at Katherine and Mataranka. Like you say – incredible!

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