This was the last 'station' we visited along the Gibb River Road (8 weeks in the Kimberly, including Cape Leveque), and I have mixed feelings...
Like some other reviewers, given the premium branding and charges (entry fee to the park + camping fees - the most we paid anywhere in the Kimberly), we expected a lot. In some respects I was impressed and in others I was underwhelmed...
The main campsite at the 'township' was definitely high density camping (mid July). It was VERY busy and the campers were packed-in - people constantly coming and going...
Only one main ablutions block area (in 2 parts) and it was constantly busy, often meaning a wait for a toilet or shower. The newer (en-suite-style) ablutions were good and in constant demand with the tour bust groups as well as campers. The older ablutions block was clean, but again in constant demand for the same reasons. I would have thought that another ablutions block should be on the radar for the camping area to improve the situation - given the camping fees charged.
Campsites were (mostly) flat and the sites nearer the river seemed to be most popular - possibly because of the allowed fires in fireplaces (BYO firewood).
A couple of rowdy groups partied on well beyond 11pm on a couple of the nights we were there and there seemed to be no 'ranger' presence to sort it out. (perhaps we should have opted for the more private camping area out along the river)
The corner store (and bar/cafe area) is well organised - friendly staff, and offers a great selection of food/drinks/coffee etc, and the evening entertainment in that are seemed to be well patronised. Junior Rangers at 5:15 was incredibly well patronised by the kids (not that we had any with us)
Fuel and Gas are available, and there are plenty of 'organised' tours if that's your thing. We did a couple of the self-drive 4WD tours and they were great.
Clearly for some visitors (there were caravans in there) - this is their Gibb River Road/Kimberly experience, and I'm sure they went away with great experiences. For us - after 8 weeks in the Kimberly in some very out of the way places in our 4WD and Off Road Camper - it was just a little too commercialised!
We also did the river cruise, which was ok - not outstanding in terms of scenery etc. The rangers were very 'chirpy' and knowledgeable, and the fruit/champagne was a nice touch.
The 'highlight' for me was the Steakhouse Restaurant. We had lunch there one day - excellent, and dinner the following evening (group of 5). Restaurant Manager was very accomplished and excellent interpersonal skills (apparently her hubby is one of the chefs as well!) -- Well done that lady!
Food - the eye fillet steak - perfection on a plate! Other meals were also of the same very high standard, and it was big city restaurant standard all round... The other big positive at this restaurant is its BYO - so we were able to enjoy a french bubbly we had been savouring and an excellent Bordeaux I had stashed in the 4WD with this spectacular food. Wathing the chefs at work - they clearly knew their stuff, and looked totally organised and in control...
We visited Zebedee Hot Springs - great spot - also very busy and only open to the campsite guests until midday - worth the visit. Also visited Emma Gorge Resort - another nice spot with friendly staff etc
Overall, we generally enjoyed our stay. I found ELQ a little hyped in terms of commercialisation and scale. We preferred the less commercial experiences at a couple of other stations with less high density camping areas.
None of my comments would deter me from recommending people visit El Questro - just our personal preferences would suggest its unlikely we would return to the Station/Campsite Area.
May return to stay at the homestead on a special occasion however!
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