El Questro is our first stop on a trip along the Gibb River Road and it certainly sets the standard for our Kimberley adventure.
The views along this first section of the Gibb are beautiful. We are still on bitumen out to the El Questro turnoff, then it’s 16kms of unsealed road to El Questro Station where we have booked a Garden View Room for two nights.
At the Station we find a hive of activity. Amenities include:
- Open-sided Reception area with lots of colourful bill-boards highlighting activities and tours available
- Station Store/Café – selling groceries, souvenirs, take-away snacks
- Swinging Arm Bar & Grill – it has a Happy Hour and entertainment each evening
- Campsites line the river under shady trees
- Campsite amenities are just behind reception and are excellent (shower block, shower cubicles, laundry area)
- Garden View Rooms in little stone cottages
- River View Rooms – line one end of the river
- The Steakhouse Restaurant overlooking the river
- Lawn area going down to the waterhole in the river
- A couple of fuel pumps
Garden View Room
We check in at Reception and it’s a short walk across to our Garden View Room. Garden View rooms consist of a bedroom, huge bathroom and little terrace with outdoor table.
The bedroom has one double bed, one single bed and bunk beds. There is a bar-sized fridge, a little table, tea and coffee making facilities, a chest with extra linen and towels, and a couple of bedside tables. The air conditioner is a welcome relief from the heat.
The bathroom is almost as big as the bedroom and has a shower, basin, toilet and cupboard containing iron/ironing board, insect spray and extra toiletries.
We have a very comfortable stay and are able to park our vehicles close by.
On check in, the friendly reception staff advise that they have booked a table for us in the Steakhouse Restaurant on the first evening. The restaurant has a good menu and wine list and we enjoy our meals. Most of the tables are in an undercover deck area overlooking the river.
Swinging Arm Café & Bar
The alternative more casual place to have a meal is the Swinging Arm Café & Bar where the menu features burgers and salad. On each night of our visit there is a Happy Hour and entertainment.
Accommodation options at El Questro include:
- El Questro Homestead – there are 9 luxury suites only
- Emma Gorge – tented cabins with ensuite bathroom, sleep 4
- El Questro Station – River View Rooms, Garden View Rooms, Station Tents or powered and non-powered camping sites
Activities at El Questro
- A number of organised tours are available which can be booked at Reception and include sunset tours, horseriding, Chamberlain Gorge Cruise, birdwatching
- If you have your own vehicle there are a number of 4WD tracks to take including Branco’s Crossing, Branco’s Lookout, Explosion Gorge, Saddleback Ridge.
- Trails, gorges and swimming holes include hot springs at Zebedee Springs, Emma Gorge, El Questro Gorge, Amalia Gorge, Moonshine Gorge and Champagne Springs.
With so many activities available we don’t have enough time to see it all but choose to take the walk to Emma Gorge, 4WD track to Branco’s Lookout and Explosion Gorge, take a dip in the pools at Zebedee Springs, have a burger at the Swinging Arm Cafe and dinner at the Steakhouse – all wonderful experiences and highly recommended.
El Questro is a highlight of the Gibb River Road trip.