To continue driving towards Darwin from Broome, we had to decide whether to drive along the Gibb River Road or the regular highway. The Gibb River Road is a famous off-road route, 600 km long, for the ultimate adventurer. After seeking advice from many locals, we decided not to do it. Our car would have a tough time, and we didn’t feel like breaking it. A first planned stop was Purnululu, a well-known national park. We split the long drive of more than eight hours into two. We found a cool and free camping spot in a forest at the Mueller Ranges. We weren’t alone, but it was pleasant and quiet.
The next morning we continued towards Purnululu. Inez had read that the road in Purnululu was in poor condition and would not be suitable for our car (again). We didn’t want to risk it and were somewhat disappointed. Australians are quick to scare you here and like to exaggerate. Somewhere we regret it and should have just tried it, but it’s always a gamble. Better to be safe than to break your car or get stuck somewhere. At the end of the Gibb River Road is El Questro. We heard many good things about it and finally felt like driving somewhere. We called ahead to check if the road was in good condition and if all the rivers were dry. It was a 15-kilometer ride on the road with stones and corrugations. We have done this many times before and therefore not a problem for us. Until we suddenly came across the water. There were still some rivers underwater. It wasn’t much, but it was the first time for us to drive through water. Someone was driving in front of us, and we followed. It was a bit exciting, but it went by itself. After driving 500 meters further, we came across another one. We saw a car driving through it, and this little river was clearly deeper. We asked a passing local if our car could make it or not. Like every Australian, we got a standard answer; “You’ll be fine; just do it!” Without much hesitation, we drove through. Campsite reached. We enjoyed a nice afternoon at the campsite and booked a 4WD tour through part of the domain.
The morning before our tour started, we rested and updated our blog. Our safari jeep left at 1:30 PM. We got a lot of information about the domain’s history, plants, and wildlife. At first, the road we drove on seemed like something our car could definitely handle. The further we went, that suddenly became a bit different. The road became very bumpy and consisted of nothing but stones and deep pits in some places. Good choice to do this with a tour and not with our own car. We drove over a wide river where we saw the first small crocodile. We took a boat trip through Explosion Gorge. Very beautiful to sail between the high red rocks. Then we drove to a lookout, presented with a breathtaking view. Here we enjoyed a drink and a cheese platter. It was a perfect moment. Down in the river also lay a big crocodile, but unfortunately, it was not clearly visible from that distance. When the sun went down, the entire landscape changed color. Beautiful! We moved for one night to a private camping spot by the river. Here we made a campfire and enjoyed a cozy evening. The starry sky was absolutely top-notch!
The next morning we wanted to do the Champagne Falls hike, but we lingered at the campsite longer than planned. It was a bit too late (due to the heat) to start this long hike, so we drove to El Questro Gorge. Our car was not suitable for crossing the deep river. This can only be done if you have a safari snorkel. Other people went through it on foot, but crocodiles could be there, so we decided not to. Two girls with a 4WD and safari snorkel passed by just as we had decided to go through on foot. We rode with them and then walked to the start of the hike. The hike was fantastic. In total, we took four hours. Several times we had to swim and climb. At one point, we had to pass the backpacks first and then swim to the other side, pushing ourselves up with all our strength to continue. In the end, there was a beautiful swimming spot with a waterfall. We met friendly people who we saw later at the campsite, where we had drinks and ate pizza at the restaurant. They even gave us their number and let us know that if we were ever in Perth, we could stop by and stay overnight. Australian friendliness is something you don’t or very rarely encounter in Europe.
The next day we visited Zebedee Springs. A hot spring with a constant temperature of 28 degrees. We walked towards Emma Gorge. This hike was a bit shorter but still challenging enough. We took two refreshing dips in the beautiful pools we came across. Especially the last one was really cool. We drove further towards Lake Argyle. We had heard many good things about this place and thought a stopover here was worth it. The road there was beautiful, and the campsite itself was pleasant. The infinity pool had a fantastic view of the mountains and the lake.
x Ely & Inez