May 7, Mon - We fly directly into the El Questro
Station landing strip and are picked up by Chili and taken to the Homestead
Lodge. The station is a working cattle ranch of over a million
acres. In addition to the Homestead Lodge, the station supports camping
grounds, bungalows and platform tents.
Overlooking the Chamberlain River, the Homestead has 6 rooms. It provides daily gourmet meals for its guests whether they chose to dine on the open veranda with the other guests or seek a romantic table for two on the edge of the river.
Our first afternoon, we took an introductory nature tour on the Chamberlain River. Most of the activities in the station include a guide to transport you as well as accompany you along the way. Wild cockatiels shrieked as we past them on the river. We see wallabies enjoying the shade of the fading sun.
There reportedly is an annoying crocodile in the river. The rangers set up a croc-cage, although there is some speculation that it too small for its intended resident.
At cocktail hour, Lori, our hostess, introduces us to the other guests. We enjoy a delicious dinner comfortably seated on the outdoor veranda.
May 8, Tues - Keith, our guide, picks us up
early for our hike up the narrow spring fed creek among palm trees and ferns.
Late afternoon when the park is closed to the public, Buddie takes us up to Zebedee Springs. We are sheltered by tall palms in a tropical environment as we walk up to the thermal pools situated in the rocks. We lounge in this manmade oasis for an hour before returning relaxed.
May 9, Wed - Captain Dave drove us over to
the Emma Gorge Resort. Here we pick up the trail up to Emma Gorge. This is
the first time we encounter a number of people on the trail and swimming at the
base of the falls. We relax in the cold water and leisurely return to the
May 11, Fri - We extend our flight to Kununurra with a side trip over the Bungle Bungles (Purnululu in aboriginal language) and the Argyle Diamond mine.
Along the way, we pass over Lake Argyle as well as the Carr Boyd and Osmand Ranges.
The beehive-shaped domes appear as orange and gray tiger stripes in the middle of the plateau.
Argyle Diamond Mine is the world's largest supplier of diamonds and accounts for approximately a quarter of the world's natural diamond production. The airport with its long runway is used to transport employees and supplies.
We arrive mid-day in Kununurra where we visit the Lovell Gallery. Here we find the Mulder painting that we eventually purchase when we return home. We fly on to Darwin where we rent a car and drive into town. Its is a back-packers haven, resembling spring break in Daytona Beach. We have a great Thai/Indian dinner at Hanuman Restaurant.
May 12, Sat - We fly home.
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