Sprawling 283,000 hectares of wilderness, East Kimberley’s legendary El Questro encompasses charred orange sandstone gorges, palm-fringed thermal springs and some of the oldest rocks (and rock art) on the planet.
Fish for barramundi in locations accessible only by air, hike one of the many walking trails and marvel at the oh-so-picturesque Zebedee Springs. Whether you explore by helicopter, 4WD, horse or boat, this ancient landscape is so unique it will forever be etched on your psyche and soul.
The El Questro story
First established as a cattle station in 1903, Englishman Will Burrell and his Australian wife Celia, nee Shelmerdine, bought the pastoral lease in 1991 with a dream of showcasing El Questro to the world. They certainly achieved that goal. In 2021, the pastoral lease was bought by the G’day Group, which has spent millions on giving El Questro’s properties a refreshed look.
Accommodation at El Questro
El Questro offers many accommodation options for travellers to choose from, each with a unique ambience. You’ll find most adventurers stay at The Station where you can slumber in a family-friendly bungalow, a pre-erected tent with air con, plug in your caravan and either dine at the steakhouse and outdoor bar or cook at the camp kitchen.
Located nine kilometres down the track, The Homestead is a polished retreat set atop Chamberlain Gorge where guests soak up the rugged landscape with gourmet picnics packed by the chef.
Stay in the luxe riverside lodges at El Questro Homestead. (Image: Tourism Australia)
The Black Cockatoo General Campground at El Questro’s main hub, The Station, boasts unpowered and powered sites, hot showers, camp kitchens with BBQs and laundry facilities. For those who like a bit more comfort, opt for a Station tent, which comes fully equipped with a cosy bed, power, towels, outdoor dining setting and air conditioning.
Stay at The Station for affordable camping or the fully-equipped Station tents. (Image: Tourism Western Australia)
If you want to get off the beaten track, there are 30 private riverside sites along the Pentecost River about 10 minutes’ drive from The Station’s central facilities, which are available for use by all campers. Sizes of sites, shade and access to eco toilets vary, and these sites are not suitable for caravans.
Sleep under the stars at the heart of El Questro Station. (Image: Tourism Western Australia)
Price: $$ – $$$
Next up on the comfort ladder after the pre-erected tents are the air-conditioned bungalows, each sleeping up to four people and featuring sleek ensuites and a back deck looking out onto the river.
The Gardenview Rooms, built from Kimberley river stone, sleep four or six and have large bathrooms and air con.
Curl up inside The Stations’ Gardenview Rooms.
Some 25 kilometres away from The Station is Emma Gorge Resort, hard up against a spectacular sandstone escarpment called Cockburn Ranges.
Relax in the cosy quarters at Emma Gorge. (Image: Dan Avila)
The resort has 60 safari-style tented cabins with ensuites, a gorgeous swimming pool and a very good restaurant. All tented cabins are powered and have fans (no air con), linen, towels and outdoor dining areas in the shade of shiny Boab trees.
Boab trees with scenic sunset views in the backdrop. (Image: Tourism Western Australia)
Teetering on the edge of a cliff in the Kimberley’s rugged east, with mighty views over the Chamberlain Gorge, The Homestead has 10 suites with double king bedrooms. The tariff covers guided tours, minibar, gourmet meals and drinks, including wine, beer and cocktails. Additional charges apply for helicopter flights, private touring and transfers from Kununurra.
A soak in the private tub delivers stunning views of the surrounding wilderness. (Image: Tourism Australia)
Breakfast is served on the verandah overlooking Chamberlain Gorge. Lunch and dinner is offered at a communal table under a shady awning. Guests can dine at a private location as an optional extra.
El-Questro’s luxury Homestead overlooks the Chamberlain River. (Image: G’day Group)
El Questro Wilderness Park experiences
Exploring El Questro Wilderness Park in WA’s East Kimberley combines classic outback adventure with a splash of luxury.
Lose yourself in the marvellous rugged landscapes within El Questro Wilderness Park. (Image: Tourism Western Australia)
A favourite among Kimberley hikers, Emma Gorge trail weaves its way through rocky terrain, which can make for slow going. The carrot at the end of this 1.6-kilometre hike is the glorious swimming hole beneath a waterfall – one of 10 waterfalls at El Questro.
Dip into a swimming hole surrounded by towering rock walls at Emma Gorge. (Image: Tourism Western Australia)
Take a Chamberlain Gorge river tour in a large boat to spot shy Charlie, the 4.5-metre resident saltwater crocodile, and equally shy rock wallabies among the towering escarpments. Less elusive are the archer fish that spit water to bring down insects as far as 3m away.
Cruise along the calm waters of Chamberlain Gorge. (Image: Tourism Australia)
Head out on a fishing adventure with an El Questro guide either by Helicopter or in a 4WD. With a little local knowledge you can try your hand at catching a barra. All fishing gear, lunch and drinks are provided.
Go heli fishing and catch a giant barramundi. (Image: Tourism Australia)
An easy jaunt from the carpark, Zebedee Thermal Springs is a beautiful spot where you can bathe in warm water pools surrounded by lush vegetation. Exclusive use of Zebedee Springs is offered to Homestead guests every afternoon.
Bathe in the natural geothermal waters of Zebedee Springs. (Image: Tourism Western Australia)
Set off on a bone-rattling 17-kilometre drive from The Station to Explosion Gorge, part of the Chamberlain Gorge system. The track follows the beginning of the Elgee Cliffs escarpment and along the way there are several access tracks, which take you to waterholes, remote fishing areas and Branko’s Lookout.
Soaring sandstone walls surrounding the Explosion Gorge. (Image: Tourism Australia)
A stunning location to take in sunset, Branco’s Lookout was named after Branko Raicevic, a Wyndham local who served as a councillor and shire president for the town.
The Pentecost River passes through El Questro Wilderness Park and makes an ideal place for camping. It is famed as one of the best spots in the area to go barramundi fishing.
The Pentecost River flows through the Gibb River Road. (Image: Tourism Western Australia)
Can there be a more perfect way to finish a Kimberley day than with cheese and bubbles at this private 360-degree lookout? Buddy’s Point was named in honour of El Questro legend Buddy Tyson, a former rodeo champion, cattle drover and tour guide who was renowned for his ability to spin a good yarn.
Miri Miri Falls
Jump in a helicopter and zoom off to a remote corner of El Questro where you will find Miri Miri – a spring-fed waterfall cascading over a 50-metre drop.
How to get to El Questro
The 110-kilometre drive from Kununurra is on mostly sealed roads. Kununurra Airport is served by Qantas, Air North and Virgin from all major Australian cities via Darwin, Broome and Perth. El Questro operates twice daily scheduled road transfers from Kununurra and it is also possible to charter a light plane or helicopter and hire 4WD vehicles.
It is possible to charter a helicopter to El Questro. (Image: Tourism Australia)
Do you need a 4WD to visit?
You will need a 4WD to get into El Questro Station.
The outback terrain of El Questro definitely requires a 4WD. (Image: Tourism Western Australia)
Can you take a caravan to El Questro?
El Questro does recommend off-road caravans and campers, but many other caravans do make the trip into The Station. There is a 16-kilometre unsealed section with two water crossings that are about 300-500mm in depth.
Best time of year to visit
The winter months of June to August. The property is closed during the wet season, November to April.
Go off-grid at El Questro Wilderness Park. (Image: Tourism Western Australia)