If there is one place you visit at El Questro, Zebedee Springs has to be it. It is a naturally formed hot spring that flows out into what you’d almost mistake as a normal creek. However, the water is always in between 28 – 30 degrees, and is so clear that its almost impossible to see you are sitting in water.
Where is Zebedee Springs
Zebedee springs is a short drive off the main road into El Questro. It’s just before the turn off the El Questro Gorge, Jackaroos waterhole and Moonshine Gorge.
When is Zebedee Springs open?
This is only open from 7AM to 12PM. The gates are locked outside of these hours. I believe that they do allow some tours in after 12PM, as well as the more illustrious guests, but for most people, 12PM is when you get kicked out.
How long and difficult is the walk?
The walk into Zebedee springs is very short, and quite quick. Most of it is flat, with only the bits inside the actual springs that can be a bit soggy, uneven and even uphill.
From the carpark, you can easily reach the springs in 10 minutes. Where you go to in the springs is up to you; the further up you go the harder the walk, but for most people it isn’t a struggle at all. You can relax in the water right at the bottom though.
What should you take?
Take your camera, bathers and a sense of adventure. You don’t need water, or a towel if you don’t want to. Thongs are more than adequate for the walk in; you can leave the hiking boots in the car!
When’s the best time to go?
Early. Not 8AM early, I mean as early as you can go. We got there at about 6:45AM, and one of the El Questro rangers opened it a few minutes later. 10 minutes after that, we had the whole place to ourselves, bar another couple that arrived almost straight after we did.
We sat in the top pool for about an hour and a half, and only saw a few other people we knew arrive.
Not long after that, we checked out a couple of pools further down, handed our top pool over to a few mates and left. By then, there were streams of people coming in. There would have been easily 30 there, and in my mind, for a place that is so small, that is way too many.
The time that you go will make or break your visit; a lot of the tours arrive at 8 – 9AM, and after that, you may as well drive right past the entrance sign. El Questro had 800 campers at their station in 2018 when we went through, and if a small portion of these decide to visit one location, you can be in for a bit of a shock.
Where’s the best place to sit?
We found the nicest pool was the one right at the top. You could fit 4 or 5 in comfortably, and I am sure they fit many more than that when it is busy. The water is the warmest here, its crystal clear and a perfect depth to sit on a nice sandy bottom and watch the world go by.
There are a couple of pools going down that are smaller and rockier, but still nice, with one that has a waterfall you can lean up against.
The further you go down the bottom the colder the water, but there are some big pools to relax in.
We loved this place. I’d never sat in a hot spring before, and it was amazing. You’d be mad to swim in the gorges at 7AM in the morning; its too cold. Here though, it is amazing.
I was a bit surprised at the size; it really is not very big at all, and I was blown away by the number of people who came in as we were leaving; I’ve got no idea where they all sit! Get there early, and you’ll have an amazing time.