A Day in Kununurra: Off the Beaten Path
While Kununurra has a plethora of activities to offer near its town center, it is also a jumping off point to explore the vast outback. The staff at Kimberly Croc Backpackers, who put up us for two wonderful nights, helped sort out a 4WD rental so we could venture off the beaten path for our own adventure. With the advice from a number of locals, we decided that Emma Gorge would be the destination for our 4WD day trip. Emma Gorge is located about 110 kilometers (68 miles) west from the Kununurra town center and is accessed by the Gibb River Road. While this may not seem like a daunting adventure, for those who have never driven a 4WD in the outback, or ever driven in Australia for that matter it was cause of some trepidation.
As we turned off the main highway onto Gibb River Road any cause for alarm was quickly gone as the road itself was quite manageable with a number of paved sections. However, a 4WD was the way to go as the further you venture towards Emma Gorge and El Questro, the rougher the road becomes and driving at a slower speed is a must. We drove along taking in the scenery, drove some more, continued driving till we passed a sign for the El Questro Station Homestead, we have driven to far! After backtracking 15km we arrived at the turn off for Emma Gorge and the Emma Gorge Resort, which was just two kilometers down the road.
Finally at our destination we readily paid the 10 dollar entrance fee and began the 45 minute hike to access the gorge. The terrain varied from a path through the bush to climbing over rocks and crossing streams but the reward is worth it. We finally arrived at the gorge, which is a large open area surrounded on three sides by steep moss covered cliffs. A waterfall at the back end feeds the large pool that beckoned for a quick refreshing swim to cool off from the long walk.
Once we had cooled down and finished our picnic lunch it was time to say goodbye to the secluded spot and head back down. We wished we had more time to spend at Emma Gorge and El Questro but our evening bus to Broome did place time restrictions on our adventure. So, if you have a free day in Kununurra and are up for an adventure off the beaten path, Emma Gorge is the way to go!
Our two day stay in Kununurra was sponsored by Kimberley Croc Backpackers. This was one of the nicer backpackers that we have stayed in so far, with large and spacious rooms. The mattresses were actually thicker than mine back home, and the rooms come complete with large storage lockers. And of course, in weather like Kununurra’s, the rooms also have air conditioning, and there is a large pool for guests to use.
Our trip to Emma Gorge was made possible by the advice given to us by the staff at Kimberly Croc Backpackers, who helped us find the phone numbers for car rentals, and who gave us driving advice and directions as well.
Our accommodation in Kununurra was provided complimentary by Kimberly Croc Backpackers, but all opinions remain our own.