A first-timer's guide to El Questro

By Julia D’Orazio

El Questro Wilderness Park is a biologically blessed wonderland containing some of the world’s most ancient landscapes. This East Kimberley utopia – filled with gorges, waterfalls, thermal springs, forests, and craggy peaks – is considered one of Earth’s last great wilderness frontiers. These stunning billion-year-old formations, 110km west of Kununurra, are cocooned within the red sandstone Cockburn Range, which soars 600m over the savannah.

Sounds impressive, perhaps overwhelming, to think this 700,000-acre working cattle station is peppered with beautiful sceneries of epic proportions. The legendary Gibb River Road passes through the park, making it one of the country’s scenic road trip destinations. But how to make the most of this adventure playground? Whether on a tight budget or ready to splurge, strap on the hiking boots, hit the road on a 4WD adventure safari, or go horseback, there are many ways to experience this remarkable yet remote destination.

Let us guide you on how to make the most of your time at El Questro.

How to access El Questro

El Questro is divided into two sections and can be accessed from two entrances located along the eastern sealed section of the Gibb River Road. The first entrance, 58km west of Kununurra, via a 2km gravel highway, leads to Emma Gorge, home to its namesake gorge and A-frame cabin accommodation. Please note: A small river crossing may not be accessible for 2WD vehicles, so it is advised to park and walk the remaining 300m to the resort. 

The second section, El Questro Station, is 28km west of Emma Gorge. A 16km gravel road to the main hub can only be accessed with 4WDs and high-clearance vehicles. There are two river crossings along the way, with water levels fluctuating depending on what time of year you visit. Before your visit, call ahead to find out the level of the river crossing to determine if your vehicle can go the distance!

This entrance is the gateway to The Station, offering campgrounds, powered tents, family bungalows, lodging alongside foot outlets, a bar and a tour booking office. Further on is the exclusive El Questro homestead overlooking the almighty Chamberlain Gorge. The luxurious accommodation is all-inclusive and for adults only. 

What food outlets are there at El Questro?

The Station is the social heart of El Questro. Its main hub – a countryside stone and timber building – features a reception, tour desk, convenience store, gallery and happy hour hotspot, Swinging Arm Bar. The area has plenty of outdoor seating festooned by shade cloths and fairy lights, making it a gorgeous place to unwind at all hours.

You’ll always be entertained; watch scenic flights take off on the nearby helicopter pad, musicians take to the stage, or nestle by the campfire under a starry sky. Grab a bite at Cantina, offering affordable pub eats or head to The Steakhouse Restaurant, offering an a la carte menu.

Over at Emma Gorge, dine at Emma’s Restaurant, which serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and has a licensed bar. 

Top things to do in El Questro


El Questro is home to six self-guided walking trails, ranging in distance and difficulty. Each hike provides different rewards – whether swimming in a natural pool in a gorge, relaxing your muscles in a thermal spring, or clambering boulders to get a magnificent panorama – the workout is always worth it.

Most hikes are a short drive from The Station. The famous Emma Gorge trail is located at – you guessed it – Emma Gorge. This hike is a moderate level of difficulty with some rugged creek crossings. However, there are plenty of other walks to choose from, including some less challenging ones. Leave early in the morning to avoid the crowds and the heat. 

Check out the six hiking trails here. Make sure to pack sufficient water before you hike!

Swim at stunning Emma Gorge

Emma Gorge is a secluded oasis. Its ‘holy grail’ – a natural pool surrounded by a trickling waterfall and lush ferns climbing its soaring cliffs – attracts many to venture to one of the region’s greatest natural assets. But before you get to the good part, it takes a grade-four climb and roughly an hour to reach the Insta-famous setting. And what better way to reward your hard legwork than to submerge yourself in nature’s pool, with Emma Falls providing a smoothing soundtrack?

Top tip: Bliss out in the thermal springs on the pool’s right-hand side. 

Chamberlain River Cruise

The Chamberlain River Cruise is an affordable way to experience the splendours of the region’s ancient gorges. The 1.5-hour cruise journeys a small section of the 150 km-long river and includes a glass of wine and snacks.

Horse riding

Discover the paths less trodden by experiencing El Questro via horseback.

The park offers one-hour to full-day rides suited to all skill levels. It’s a fun way to go ‘off-road’, journeying rock-strewn terrains, hill climbs and conquering a river-crossing. So saddle up!

Helicopter tours

Wanting to have the ultimate bird’s eye view of El Questro? HeliSpirit offers scenic helicopter flights from The Station, flying over some of El Questro’s other natural assets only seen from the air. 

Purchase a keepsake

Find a truly unique memento of your time at El Questro. Artist in residence Coralee McCarthy sells Kimberley-inspired art wares opposite The Steakhouse Restaurant.

See more things to do in El Questro here.

Camping options available at El Questro

Moments from El Questro’s social heart at The Station, lies the general campground, with private riverside campsites scattered along the track leading away from the central hub. 

The shaded campground caters for large numbers, with its amenities proof of that. It features many flushing toilet/hot shower blocks, sheltered kitchens, and laundry facilities throughout the campgrounds. Individual bathing boxes (shower and toilet) are next to The Station’s main building. 

Prices from:

Unpowered per night: $52 for two adults: $11 per child per night (3-16 years): Children 0-2 years free

Powered per night: $77 for two adults: $11 per child per night

Private camping per night: $69 for two adults: $9 per child per night: (Not suitable for vans)

All visitors are required to purchase a stay permit for park access. Funding from these permits goes towards track and park maintenance.

Stay permit – 7 days: $23 per adult: $11.50 per child

Day permit: $12 per adult: $5 per child

Please note: Prices are based on high season (1 June – 30 September 2023) and are subject to change without notice.

Car hire options

Plenty of car hire options are available to plan your epic road trip adventure to the Kimberley. See what vehicle will suit your needs here

Reserve your place in outback paradise by booking your stay at El Questro  

Discover more Tours & Activities at El Questro

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We’re a super friendly bunch in the Kimberley and always happy to help with sharing a local insight of where to go and what to see. Please get in touch if you have questions we can help answer.

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