Kununurra to El Questro

Wednesday, Aug 11, 2010 at 13:05


Kununurra to El Questro

We spent a few days having a look around Kununurra. Toni did a farm tour through the Ord River Irrigation area while Alex took the car in for an oil change. We drove out and made it across the Ivanhoe Crossing, apparently something everyone attempts while in Kununurra! The front page of today’s local paper has a picture of a BMW X5 stuck in the middle of the crossing which had to be pulled out. Everyone thought they had stopped to look at the 3m croc in front of them, but their car had taken in too much water and died. They hadn’t noticed the croc (probably just as well given that they were wading around next to it!)

We found a few nice spots to stop and have a fish and a picnic. Zoe and Alex had a fish but no luck! There are a few nice camp spots dotted along the river but you still have to be aware of the crocs!

We left Kununurra on Thursday morning and headed straight over the border into the NT. Had a quick stop at the Timber Creek roadhouse and then onto the Gregory National Park. We took the Bullita Access Rd into the Park and was planning to stay overnight at the Bullita Homestead campground as it was getting rather late. When we arrived the place was packed! Cars were lined up along the road also trying to find a spot to camp! We checked the 4WD map and noticed another campsite only 7km further along which was only accessible with high clearance and off-road vehicles. This is a good way to lose a lot of tourists! Somehow, we missed the turn-off for the campsite and continued along this track at a steady pace of approx. 2km/hr! By 7pm we were just looking for a suitable spot along the side of the track that was clear enough and not too rocky to pitch the tent! We literally just stopped on the track pulled out 1 tent, lit a campfire and cooked some food and went to sleep. The next morning we jumped straight in the car and kept going along the track (Bullita Stock Route). Not a person in sight, we were in the middle of nowhere! The track was very hard going. Extremely rocky, steep descents into dried up creek beds. Some parts we had to get out of the car and build the rocks up so we could clear them! We spotted the ranger in his vehicle following behind us so we pulled over and had a chat with him. Turns out we had driven approx. 25km in the last 4 hrs and we were roughly a third of the way along this track! No wonder there were no people out here! He told us about a good campsite further along called Drovers Rest where it was also possible to have a fish. We finally got there just before lunch time and set up camp. It was a beautiful little spot! Nice and shady with a lovely area hidden under the trees to go and sit by the creek and fish. It was here that Alex caught his first Barra! (unfortunately very under-sized and had to go back!) We ended up camping here for 2 nights as it was so peaceful and the girls were having a ball running around at night with glow sticks, flashing headlights and loud party music! Their own little disco in the bush!

Left Drovers Rest on Sunday and it took us nearly another 3 hours to complete the Bullita Stock Route and get back onto the main access road. Another quick stop at Timber Creek, then back to the WA border. This time we had to stop at the quarantine checkpoint. The car and trailer were searched, mainly to make sure we had no fresh fruit or veg, then we were off again. It took about 1hr from the border to arrive at Lake Argyle. We checked into the camping ground and managed to grab the last spots for dinner. Sunday night was roast night and you had to pre-book. We all had roast beef and even got jelly, fruit and ice cream for dessert! The girls had spotted the pool so we had promised them a swim in the morning.

Spent most of the morning by the pool. This would have to be the most amazing pool I have come across in a campground! It is an infinity pool perched high on the edge of the cliff overlooking Lake Argyle. Unfortunately it was absolutely freezing! The girls braved it, going in and out several times but once was quite enough for us! In the afternoon we went on a boat cruise and sunset tour around the Lake. It is enormous! Apparently at full capacity it is the equivalent of 26 Sydney Harbours!

The next morning we were packed and back on the road again by 7.30am. We went back into Kununurra to do some more shopping for supplies and stopped in at the Dept. Indigenous Affairs to obtain our permit for Kalumburu which you have to do before entering the area. 40km out of Kununurra is the turn off onto the Gibb River Rd and the entrance to El Questro. We arrived at El Questro around 1pm and booked a private campsite just out of the main township area along the 4WD track. There is also a main general campground just next to the shop but we preferred our own private spot. We are positioned right on the bank of the Pentecost River and apparently where we are located is a safe swimming spot. The campsite is lovely, nestled amongst lots of shady trees and only a 5 minute drive back into the main area where we can use the Eco-showers and toilets. There is also a restaurant here which is quite nice and we had dinner here last night and breakfast this morning. We are heading off-road again shortly to go exploring for the day after a quick trip to Wyndham so we can update our blog (no phone or internet at El Questro!) and to try and sort out our shower (we broke it the other night!) . Hopefully we can find a nice waterhole by one of the gorges for a swim. The girls are keen to go horse-riding so might be doing that tomorrow morning. The voting team are here this Friday (13th Aug) so we will have to vote too! We are going to stay here for 4 nights, leaving on Saturday when we will go to Kalumburu and then on to Mitchell Plateau and the falls. From here on in, there will definitely be no phone or internet access so you will just have to rely on the HFoz tracking updates to follow our progress until we hit Broome in about 10-14 days time, provided all goes well down the Gibb River Rd! We have spotted our first abandoned camper trailer only 20km in along the side of the road!...
(PS: Brigitte - the girls are sending you a postcard from El Questro!)
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