Brisbane, QLD

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Kimberley and Top End (Part 8) El Questro

We left Bellburn Wilderness Camp and bumped our way back to the main road. By now the 21 passengers had all got to know one another and it was sad to hear that...... of our passengers had become ill overnight probably with heat stroke so the tour guides digressed from our itinerary to take the patient to hospital in Kununurra. Ben also needed a part for the bus. So we had time to explore the town. It is a relatively new town built to house the workers on the Ord River Scheme back in the 50's. (see in a later post)
With the patient in safe hands but without the bus parts, which hadn't arrived, we set off for El Questro. It is a million acre wilderness park, which runs cattle but it's main interest is tourism. The name sounds Spanish but it isn't. It was made up by the first station owners and doesn't mean anything.
Just before we arrived we saw this interesting character on the road. Ben stopped the bus for us to chat to him. He had his camels pulling a converted van as his mode of transport and accommodation as he wandered around the outback.

Patriotic too!

Interesting number plate.

Soon Klaus had enough of entertaining tourists and he tried to get his beloved camels, Willy and Snowy to move on.

Soon we arrived at Emma Gorge Resort just one of the many types of accommodation scattered through this huge wilderness park.

We had a delicious meal at the lovely open air restaurant with entertaining staff and then fell into bed with the alarm set as we had to be up early for a Champagne Breakfast Cruise.

We woke to noisy chatter of the birds and this view from our Queen size bed. There were 2 single beds as well and an en suite and fan. It was very comfortable.

The bus took us to Chamberlain Gorge where we boarded this boat for the breakfast cruise. Kathy the tour guide had us laughing with her hilarious safety instructions. For example:

" There is an orange life jacket to put on like so, but crocodiles love orange objects so when swimming to the edge make sure you are in front of the last person."

"The emergency exits are here and here and here and here and here as she points to the open sides of the boat."

"If you are in the front seat, learn how to use the fire extinguisher even though the boat is made entirely of aluminium"

Early morning reflections on Chamberlain Gorge.

Munching on an egg and bacon muffin and swigging Champers we glided down the river to witness magnificent scenes and wildlife.

Th white buoys mark the channel for the boat but they have to be continuously replaced as the crocodiles enjoy attacking them.

Rocks prevent us from going further but before we returned the guides gave us pellets to hold at arm's length over the side of the boat and wait to see what happens. When something happens drop the pellet.

Suddenly our hands were being shot at with spurts of water.

They were Archer fish, which shoot insects by spitting water at them and then they fall into the water to be eaten. They don't mind shooting at hands to get pellets, they especially like hands with shiny rings.

It took many, many photos before I actually caught one shooting. They are deadly accurate.

The fun over it was time to go back for our next exciting adventure.

The morning sun and reflections were magical.
To feel youself glide down the gorge and see the fish shooting water watch Bill's video HERE or on my side bar.

View Bungle Bungles to El Questro in a larger map


  1. These are all amazing shots Diane. Here I am looking at chimney pots and a grey sky. Hmmm.

    Love son-in-law


  2. Hi Diane, I'd love that boat ride. Your last couple of pictures are incredible--capturing those reflections like you did. The sleeping quarters look pretty comfy...

    Hope he got the bus fixed... Hope the sick person is okay now.

  3. These posts are fantastic Diane and I am thoroughly enjoying the photographs. Thanks so much for sharing them. The adventure continues.... :) Happy traveling!

  4. Oh my ... what an adventure! I'm glad I had time this afternoon to check out your last few posts. The photos are wonderful (especially love the reflections) and many of the canyons remind me of visits to Zion and Bryce Canyons here in the southwestern USA. Methinks you and my sister must be kindred spirits bitten by the travel bug! I'm delighted that you both share your adventures so generously ;--)
    Hugs and blessings,

  5. I enjoy taking the tour with you. What an adventure. And I love that license plate.

  6. Wow - I can't imagine the adventure of this trip..well..actually I can - you've provided an awesome description and great photos! I love the ten/camp and the "camel-powered" van! What a hoot! And, I had never heard of those fish before - how interesting :-)
    Not a fan of the crocs..or the heat :-(

    Keep taking us in your pocket on your adventures! We all love it :-)

  7. Great work Diane. I have to attack your blog via "BB's" . What a character that camel fellow? Reminds me of the "drovers" of the sheep and cattle way back in the 1950's - a life under the stars - 24/7 for 52 weeks of the year!
    The accommodation for these "treks" is amazing. You seem to have not been without the simple luxuries of life? Great photography and great "yarns" of what we are able to view, courtesy of you and "BB".

  8. Hi Diane, I had to scroll right back to follow your trip and adventure. Your photos are very beautiful, the captions are very interesting. I enjoyed it thoroughly. I was very much taken with the story of Darcy and how the Flying Doctor came about.

  9. Some more beautiful shots! The tents look like fun! especially beautiful reflective shots on the river too! I was just looking at the map, I didn't realize just how inland you have been. What an adventure!

  10. Super nice trip. Keep posting. Very good photos. Love the camels pulling the converted van.


  11. I went up that way almost 20 years ago, isnt it lovely that not too much has changed....unlike my recent trip to the Gold Coast (after more than 20 years)

    Our bus travelled the Gibb River Road and I can tell you it was lovely to get off it and dive into that chlorinated pool at Kununurra (even though the waterholes and the like were stunning).

  12. What a fun journey. Willy and Snowy -- what odd names for camels. Thanks for sharing with us.

  13. Your adventure is just getting better and better. The character with the camels must have been great entertainment.

    The tents look really nice and comfortable. My favorite part of this section is the cruise, that is incredible scenery.

    Your photos are beautiful.