El Questro Station and Surround
Fourth Day continues …
From “The Bungle Bungles” to Bellburn Airstrip Airport
Just past 9:00 AM in the morning of our Day 4 adventure, we left “The Bungle Bungles”. Then we drove towards Bungle Bungle Airport (Purnululu Airport or Bellburn Airstrip Airport) as few from the group had to take Bungle Bungle Scenic Flights via Helispirit. Then, the rest from the group waited at the ground and had a morning coffee/tea break while waiting. I did not join the scenic flight as it has additional cost and not included in the adventure tour that I paid. It is an optional activity being offered while in Purnululu National Park.
When the scenic flight adventure has been finished, we were back in the truck to continue our journey leaving Purnululu National Park. Leaving the park takes a while, same time when coming into it because of obvious reasons that slows down everyone – the unsealed roads or dirt tracks. And from what I learned, the management of the park wanted to keep it that way as part of protection program of the park. Before we finally left Purnululu, we had quick-lunch again at the same place where we had our lunch the previous day, not far from the gate.
To Warmun (Turkey Creek)
After hours in the road, we had a quick stop at Warmun (Turkey Creek) to rest a bit, to have snacks and to refuel our truck. I cannot forget the said station because it was the place where everyone craved for cold food like ice cream as the sun’s heat scorching in our body as we continue adventuring the region.
To Gibb River Road
As we move along, we drove hours again in Great Northern Highway going north towards Durack Range, passing Victoria Highway that goes to Kununurra where we came from few days earlier. We turned right towards Wyndham continuously taking the same highway.
From Great Northern Highway, we turned left towards Gibb River Road Wyndham, we stopped a bit before we started the longest and harshest road that we will take, the famous unsealed road in Western Australia named Gibb River Road.
Before we even started driving Gibb River Road, we had some troubles in our truck, but we are not aware of its gravity how we were troubled. But our adventure guide Scotty, were able to managed the truck to maneuver even we took Gibb River Road, we successfully arrived at El Questro Station.
At El Questro Station
Everyone had a good relief that we reached the station because we do not want to be in the middle of nowhere with our truck malfunctioning. Because the dry season was almost over, it means that fewer visitors were visible in the station. El Questro Station has complete facilities, we were able to take showers again which we were not able to do in Purnululu National Park, washing clothes are feasible because there are coin-operated washing machines available in the station. There was a restaurant that at least we have something to visit in the evening. We felt good that our truck gave up when we were in El Questro Station, for me it is the best place to be in that situation. Our group pitched the tent again which just near the Pentecost River. That night that we arrived in the station, we had a great dinner as if we never experienced problems along the way to the station.
The next day, it was definitely that our truck needs some repairs. Our guide Scotty did some arrangements of tour bus for the group so we have activities during our fifth day adventure. I checked that day’s itineraries of the group and to my surprise, we haven’t missed anything as part of the adventure up to our fifth day even we were spending a relaxing time in El Questro Station. Looking at the places that we had been for the past days, we are still ahead of the schedule which was really great. When everybody were ready, we left the station and went to a nearby and wonderful thermal springs.
We walked few minutes from the parking area, then we had an easy walk except for the slippery rocks near the pool. I liked the surroundings because the thermal springs are naturally covered by Levistona Tall Trees that makes the places so natural. It was not like hot springs that I had been with which mostly were developed and too commercialized as business. Because the thermal springs located in remote wilderness, it is able to maintain its natural surroundings which makes the place so beautiful and amazing. By the time we arrived in the location, there are other groups already taken the best spots at the top, therefore we have to take the lower part which our group still enjoyed because of the hot water that flows in the rocks. Everyone got relaxed though at first most were having fun together.
Because the Zebedee Springs always closed at 12 noon, we just spent an hour in the thermal springs.
We returned to El Questro Station where we had lunch again altogether. I quite like the stay of the group in the station because for me it was time to get rest and re-energized again and be away a bit from adventure. After lunch, the rest just slept and some went to Pentecost River and play with the water. I joined the group at later time after taking a nap inside the tent.
Champagne Springs Trail and Thousand Year Old Boab Tree
Champagne Springs Trail was not really an official itinerary adventure of the group. But while we were in El Questro Station, some from the group just don’t wanted to sit and do nothing while everyone were waiting for the next overland truck that we will be using to continue the group adventure in Kimberley Region. Some from the group decided to find the Thousand Year Old Boab Tree. Therefore, one of us inquired about the trail and was able to get some trail information. We reviewed the trail and because of the timing, we knew that we have to just target the middle of the trail where the old Boab Tree stands.
Boab Trees at the station
We started the walked between 3 to 4 PM. Initially, we thought that the walk was an easy one but we were wrong. As we follow the trail to reach the Old Boab Tree, the trail become difficult, there were sandy part, huge rocks to climb on, the trail information tells the truth, it was a difficult one. Some part of the trail is near the river where it was mentioned that possible sightings of crocodiles. Some of us saw snakes.
Road entry to El Questro where Pentecost River is flowing as well.
Some snapshots along Champagne Springs Trail
We reached the Boab Tree and there, we were amazed how huge the tree is. For me, its body can be a place or refuge for someone stay on. We rested and took pictures of the thousand-year old tree.
Thousand-year old Boab Tree along Champagne Springs Trail
After spending sometime with the old boab tree, we decided to go back. And we used the same trail. But before we even reach the camping station, even we knew we were almost back but we had a wrong turn as it’s already dark. We took a trail away from the station and we ended with the location where lots of vehicle were dumped. And along the way, we were a bit nervous as we felt we lost our way. But, we turned around as we followed the lights coming from the station, it’s just we took the farm just beside the station. When we reached the camp, we were all relief, because we knew were back and sound safe. Then we joined the group in preparing the dinner
I reviewed the trail and the Champagne Springs that we did not reach, then I realized how amazing that spring is. After seeing some photos of it, I felt saddened because we were already within the trail, but because it was late, I knew it was impossible to reach it. As per advise, going to the springs must start the walk not later than 11 AM and at that time were already enjoying Zebedee Springs. We started the walk past 3PM in the afternoon, so, it was really impossible to be there and the said spring is not official itinerary of the group as part of adventure activities while in El Questro.