Emma Gorge has to be one of my favourite spots on this entire trip. The hike was beautiful and the waterhole was breathtakingly gorgeous. This time of year you have to get there early as they close the gates by 10am. It’s just too hot to hike in there after that. The walk takes about an hour, though I think that for once it took us less as we were motivated to get there quickly so we could get back out before midday. There were numbers along the trail that were meant to point out various things along the way. They also kept the kids going, looking for the next number. There were also blue markings along the trail which were very helpful as sometimes it was hard to see which way the trail went. TurboBug(2) wanted to walk but the trail was a bit tricky and we needed to move quickly. So we gave him a stick (or two) to hold and somehow started having him touch each of the numbers with the stick. He was very happy to have this job to do. Like I said, the trail was a bit tricky! We were clambering over rocks and hopping across streams. Finally we saw the first pool. This is a small swimming hole that you can stop at if you don’t want to do the last and hardest section of the trail. We didn’t swim here but marvelled at how clear and inviting the water looked. Finally number 11, the last number on the trail. Time for a swim! The waterhole is unbelievably gorgeous. You are surrounded by cliffs with mossy plants growing all over them and water trickling over the sides. Behind these rocks was a warm spring. The difference in the temperature had to be felt to be believed. There was a nice little spot to sit in before venturing back into the cold of the waterhole. The water wasn’t freezing, more like a cold swimming pool. You only had to brace yourself slightly before jumping in. I’m a wimp when it comes to cold water but even I managed a swim. There were several places around where you could find a rock to stand on, including under this ledge. It was incredible under there, with warm drops of water raining on us from the rocks above. But the thought of all that rock above had me moving out of there before too long! Unfortunately we couldn’t stay forever so after a good swim we headed off again. Not all of the water was good for swimming in. Yuck! Somebody fell asleep toward the end of the walk. It was so hot that his shirt was soaked when we pulled him out of that carrier. We were all very hot and thankful for a rest after our walk. On our way out Dad hopped out to close the gate behind us and happened to find an American dime on the ground. How strange is that? Because of the drive involved we had a couple more stops to make that day, more to come.