Aussie RT Day 6: El Questro

Australia, WA Roadtrip — By on October 29, 2010 1:13 AM


Stacy and I did not make a side trip to Mexico, we are indeed still in Australia. When we asked a local why the town was named El Questro, he said that booze was to blame and told us a tall tale about the owner of the land getting drunk with his mates and deciding to name the property El Questro that night. Perhaps they were drinking tequila? We have no idea, but found El Questro to be a very pleasant surprise.

I didn’t know anything about El Questro prior to our arrival at the Wilderness Park. I purposely deprive myself of information about a place I have yet to visit as I always want to cultivate my own authentic experience and see a new land with virgin eyes.

Upon arrival to the park I learned that El Questro is privately owned meaning that our National Parks pass was not accepted and we had to pay $17 for a park permit. Located in the Kimberly region 110 kilmeters West of Kununurra, the park can only be accessed via Gibb River Road.

El Questro is a million acres in size, most of which has never been explored and certainly never settled. The station was first estabilished in 1903 as a cattle station by an Englishman and was purchased by Will Burrell in 1991 and developed into what is now a wilderness park tourist destination. The park still runs 8,000 head of cattle on the property.

The women park rangers seemed quite intrigued by me and Stacy. The lady working behind the reception desk said she was surprised to see two girls traveling alone through the Kimberley, calling me Thelma and Stacy Louise. Later when Stacy and I were grilling sausages and preparing our lunch on a picnic table another ranger came by for a chat. She seemed very curious about us and said we was so impressed by our organization. She asked us heaps of questions …”What do you store in that container? What else do you cook? Where do you sleep? Where did you get the cool Jeep?”

After lunch we took off for an afternoon hike. The path to El Questro Gorge was very unexpected. In the midst of a very dry, arid, cattle ranch was a surprising lush rainforest and waterfalls. We loved the shady path and walked through the cool creek beds. At the halfway point was a refreshing watering hole with a small waterfall. We didn’t have enough time to make it to the end of the gorge as we wanted to be sure to make the suggested drive to the top of Saddleback Lookout in time for sunset.

When the ranger suggested we go to the lookout she asked us how comfortable we were driving on a 4WD track. We told her we had just came from the Bungles and she said “Aww good on you, you girls will be fine then.” As we entered the track a sign warned us …

CAUTION – TRACK IS STEEP AND NARROW EXPERIENCED 4X4 DRIVERS ONLY

Did we heed this warning? Of course not!

Is Stacy an experienced 4X4 driver? Watch the video below and you be the judge!

To see more photos of El Questro CLICK HERE.

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