The hike to Emma Gorge is not the easiest going trail, but the magnificent swimming hole and droplet waterfall at the end is certainly worth the effort.


We acknowledge that this adventure is located on the traditional Country of the Mirriwoong people who have occupied and cared for the lands, waters, and their inhabitants for thousands of years. We pay our respects to them as the Traditional Custodians and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.

About Emma Gorge

Emma Gorge is a beautiful gorge, waterfall, and waterhole located within El Questro Wilderness Park along the Gibb River Road in WA’s Kimberley region.

How to Get to Emma Gorge

Emma Gorge is an hour’s drive from Kununurra, WA. Follow the Victoria Highway west out of Kununurra around 54km until you reach the turn-off to Gibb River Road. Follow Gibb River Road for around 24km to reach the entrance to El Questro Emma Gorge Resort. 

From here, the road to the resort and the Emma Gorge trailhead is unsealed, with two water crossings near the end. A 4WD is needed for these water crossings, however there’s space along the road before the water crossings for 2WDs to park and walk the short distance to the trailhead. 


Emma Gorge Route

The hike through Emma Gorge to the final waterfall and waterhole is a 3.2km return, out and back trail that begins at El Questro Emma Gorge Resort and takes around 2.5 hours to complete, including time for a dip!

The route isn’t particularly difficult to navigate – it simply follows a creek deeper into the gorge with trail markers to guide you. Grab a paper map from the resort reception before heading out to find out key points of interest along the way. 

The trail begins relatively flat, and although there’s never any great elevation, there’s quite a bit of rock scrambling and rock hopping along the way. The trail becomes increasingly difficult the further along you walk, with larger and larger boulders to maneuver around and short but steep and slippery sections of trail. 

Read more: Remember to leave no trace!


Places to Stay in Emma Gorge

Emma Gorge is so stunning, they built an entire resort around it!

Glamping-style tent and cabin accommodation is available at Emma Gorge Resort for upwards of $210 a night for two people. There’s also a restaurant and bar onsite. 

If you prefer to rough it a little more than that and are keen to save your pennies, there’s a campground available at El Questro Station, the main part of El Questro Resort. However the road to El Questro Station also features deep water crossings that require a 4WD and a snorkel.

Emma Gorge Activities

The main activity at Emma Gorge is the 3.2km return hike. There’s also the opportunity to swim in two places, Turquoise Pool and the Emma Gorge waterhole at the end of the walk. 

Read more: Staying Safe Around Swimming Holes

Skill Level

Intermediate – Advanced 

Although the hike is relatively short, the trail can be narrow, with some steep and slippery section, and a fair amount of rock scrambling.

Distance / Duration / Elevation Gain

3.2km return / 2.5 hours (including swim time) / minimal

Essential Gear

  • Hiking shoes
  • Water
  • Camera
  • Swimmers
  • Towel 
  • Snacks 

Experience of Visiting Emma Gorge

Emma Gorge is a spectacular day hike that’s a must-do for anyone visiting the Kimberely region, particularly around Kununurra. 

The trail is flanked by towering red and orange gorge cliff faces up to 120 metres high, and when the sun hits them just right, oooooh they sing! The cliff faces slowly inch together to direct you towards the magical droplet waterfalls and swimming hole at the end. 

As you walk, you’ll rock hop across the creek a few times, scramble up boulders, and maneuver around the native flora that floods the gorge floor. The sunny yellow blossoms of the () tree are a standout! 



Reaching near the end of trail in, you’ll find Turquoise Pool, a bright blue coloured pool surrounded by boulders. This is an alternative swimming spot to the larger pool further ahead, however there’s a resident Freshwater crocodile that lives in Turquoise Pool, so go in at your own risk! If you leave it alone, it’ll do the same for you in return. 

Read more: How To Stay Safe in Croc Country



Not too much further along and you come to the grand finale – a droplet waterfall and sprawling swimming hole surrounded by cavernous and fern-covered walls. 

Marvel at the 65 metre chasm before inching your way into the icy cold waters of the pool. 

Hot tip! To the front right of the pool there’s a small thermal spring which is great for warming up in once you’re done with the cold water.


Tips For Visiting Emma Gorge

Emma Gorge is within the grounds of El Questro Wilderness Park and a day fee needs to be paid at reception before heading off on the trail. Day permits are $12 per adult and $5 per child. Kids below four years old are free.

If you’re hiking Emma Gorge in the middle of the day, it’s likely you’ll be walking exposed to the sun. Make sure to come prepared to hike in hot weather

Emma Gorge isn’t open all year round. El Questro Wilderness Park is closed during the Top End wet season from November to March, which means the gorge isn’t accessible during those months either.


Emma Gorge FAQs


Where is Emma Gorge located?

Emma Gorge is located at El Questro Emma Gorge Resort in WA’s Kimberley Region


Can you swim at Emma Gorge?

Yes! You can swim at Emma Gorge at both the main swimming hole at the end of the trail and Turquoise Pool.


Are there crocodiles at Emma Gorge?

Yes, there is one resident Freshwater crocodile living in Turquoise Pool.


How do you get to the top of Emma Gorge?

There’s no way to reach the top of the waterfall at Emma Gorge, the walk is to the base of the swimming hole.


Do you need a 4WD to get to Emma Gorge?

Nope! Although a 4WD is needed to get through to the two water crossings towards the end of the road, 2WDs can park just before the water crossings and walk the rest of the way in.