Written By Kevin Kapusi Starow
Located some 80 kilometres west of Kununurra is the El Questro station in which you will find many wonderful experiences. Though none more appealing to me than that of Emma Gorge. Set amidst the majestic, rugged cliffs of Cockburn range, which themselves are a palate of electrifying colour, enhanced by a sky of blending hues.
Travelling down the Gibb river Wyndham road, from Kununurra we are met with some majestic vistas, reminiscent of the most impressive geographical documentaries.
Having a day free, well more to the point a morning, we need to be back at the airport by 3 pm, so we had breakfast early and headed out soon after, not knowing what to expect. The drive is a simple one, the roads being very good, and as I have alluded to already, the views are spectacular.
Once at the station everyone is required to visit the information desk and obtain a park pass, the day we visited it was perfect weather 32 c, with a healthy sun shining down. After applying sufficient sun protection, and purchasing a hat, which I am still rather chuffed with, we set off on the trail.
The station is still a working station with some 6,000 head of cattle, originally established in 1903, it was then known as “Spurling’s Pocket”, though not until the 1950s was the name changed to El Questro by its, then new owners. Changing hands again in 1991, the new owners saw the potential and developed a Wilderness Park in 1992.
Due to the rocky nature of the landscape many owners have found difficulty in creating a success of the land as a cattle station, hence the high volume of owners, and the years left vacant.
Our assistant at the counter informed us that the walk would be about an hour each way, though it would be worth it. The walk starts gently enough upon a gravel track though soon becomes more challenging for the less nimble. The track weaves through a maze of rocks, highlighted by blue markers to keep you on track, as water flows over its time-worn tracks, pooling into mini reservoirs here and there, along the way.
Towering above are the two cliff edges, tracing the way for the valley below, ever so slightly narrowing the deeper into the gorge you explore.
The path weaves through this calming landscape, leading you to what awaits, as the pools of water noticeably become larger, and the incline reaches a crescendo as you pass the largest of these pools. Only a little further, you look up to see the edges of the two cliffs have now dramatically decreased in distance, and you realise they are about to meet.
A few meters more walk you see the point at which the cliff edges meet, and below, an oasis of magnificent proportions, a pool of crystal clear water, some naturally filtered through the fissures in the rock. The rest has cascaded over the edge of the cliffs, creating an intricate curtain of purity. Plants and mosses sufficiently carpet the walls, and surrounds, rocks intermittently rise around the perimeter of the pool, like turtles rising for air.
Diving into this purity, I could not help feeling calm, peaceful, relaxed, the water temperature was briskly cold, which I am usually averse to, though the magic and regenerative effects of the pool kept me wanting more. We took our time to explore the pool and soak in the atmosphere, as all too soon we knew it would be time to depart, for the long journey home.
The walk there for us was only about 40 minutes, if you are travelling up that way or are looking for somewhere to go, I can highly recommend this jewel of the Kimberly. Upon our return to the information counter, I sought out the assistant that tender to us prior to our departure, and said to her, “You were right, It is well worth it!”
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