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Gibb River Road

This remote, relatively untouched part of the world has fascinated and intrigued tourists for years and continues to spark wonder in travellers today. The Gibb River Road is located in the Kimberley region of WA. It’s a 4WD dirt track stretching around 700km from just out of Derby through to Kununurra. The track was originally constructed from 1948 to transport cattle to the surrounding stations. Nowadays it’s full of tourists enjoying its spectacular scenery, waterholes, gorges, waterfalls, station stays, and remote campsites.

The track is only open during the Kimberley “Dry Season” which is around May to October. The dates can change depending on how it is looking at the start of the season. If they receive any late rains or a cyclone towards the end of the wet season this can bring the rivers up and make it too dangerous to access. The weather can be very unpredictable so please always check with us or the Kununurra Visitor Centre first for up-to-date road conditions before heading out. The road gets graded at the beginning of the season and it is suggested to check the roads conditions with www.mainroads.wa.gov.au, before setting out on your journey.

View our Top 10 things to see and do along the "Gibb"

Here are our tips to help you plan your "Gibb Trip", and have the best experience you can on the track.

Essential items to have onboard and to know before heading off:

  • The track is only accessible by 4WD with high clearance.
  • If you are planning on caravanning or camping, you should use a specifically designed off-road caravan or trailer, it can be a very unforgiving journey at times.
  • Carry sufficient drinking water
  • Carry a detailed map of the region
  • Carry at least two spare wheels and if possible, a tyre repair kit
  • Have onboard a selection of spare parts such as fan belts, fuel filters, radiator hoses etc.
  • Carry some cash as EFTPOS facilities can be limited, cash or a phone card will be necessary to utilise some of the payphones along the way
  • Be Crocodile aware at waterways
  • Before heading into remote areas advise friends and family of your whereabouts, departure date and intended return
  • Drive to the road conditions for your safety as well as your fellow travellers.
  • Ensure you allow sufficient time to drive and enjoy the many attractions along the way.
  • Pets are not allowed in National Parks and you will need to seek permission for them to enter private property such as stations and local communities.
  • Be prepared to take your rubbish with you.
  • Correct permits for Aboriginal Reserves you plan to travel through.

Fuel stops along the Gibb River Road

Fuel can be hard to come by along the Gibb River Road so please don’t rely on getting fuel at the next stop as they could be out. It’s vital that you carry extra fuel on board with you. Here are the locations you can get fuel and a small amount of supplies:

  • 227km from Derby - Imintji Store (Diesel only; mechanical and tyre repair; grocery items)
  • 80km from Imintji Store – Mt Barnett Roadhouse (Diesel and petrol; grocery items)
  • 320km from Mt Barnett Roadhouse – El Questro (Diesel and petrol; minor mechanical and tyre repair; grocery items)
  • 81km from El Questro – Kununurra

There is also diesel at Mount Hart Wilderness Lodge, which is approximately 50kms off the main Gibb River Road

Note: while Home Valley Station does not sell fuel, it does have a workshop for mechanical and tyre repairs. Fuel along the Kalumburu Road/Mitchell Plateau is available at Drysdale River Station (Diesel and petrol; tyre repairs; grocery items).

  home valley station Image by: Tourism WA: Home Valley Station, East Kimberley

 

Accommodation

The Gibb River Road offers a true Aussie outback experience, and this is also reflected in the range of accommodation on offer. Many do choose to make this adventure a real outback experience and camp in their own tents or camper trailers along the way but for those that would like a little bit more luxury you will find other options, from safari tents many with their own ensuite, to a stunning homestead and catered accommodation. Here is a list below of what you will find along the way. Please contact us on 1800 818 808 to find out more details or to make a booking.

Birdwood Downs Station (20km from Derby)

They offer a bush style campground and Savannah huts. You can also store your caravan here if you don’t wish to take it on track.

Mt Hart Wilderness Lodge (239km from Derby)

Offers an authentic Homestead experience. They have camping available plus homestead and safari tents available. They also have a bar and restaurant on site.

Bell Gorge Wilderness Lodge and Imintji Campground (227km from Derby)

Bell Gorge is an APT managed lodge. It offers a touch of luxury in the outback, including 3 course dinners and hearty breakfasts. They also offer well-appointed safari tents.

Imintji Campground is a newly refurbished wilderness campground with modern amenities.

Silent Grove Camp Ground  - Bell Gorge

This is a Department of Parks and Wildlife campground. It offers toilets and showers for campers. No onsite accommodation is provided.

Mornington Wilderness Lodge (330km from Derby)  

This is a dedicated Wilderness sanctuary run by Australia’s Wildlife conservancy. Situated on the edge of the Fitzroy River there is an abundance of activities to do. They offer camping and have safari tents. They also have a bar and restaurant onsite.

Charnley River Station (299 km from Derby)

An Australian Wilderness Conservancy property, it has some great swimming holes and gorges on the property. It is located 42 km off the Gibb River Road. They offer campsites but no other accommodation.

Mt Elizabeth Station (373km from Derby)

An operational cattle station right in the heart of the Kimberley. It is roughly halfway along the Gibb River Road. Here you will find some great gorges and places to explore on the half a million hectare property. They offer camping along with rooms and meals.

Drysdale River Station (360km from Kununurra or 470km to Derby)

This station is located 60km off the Gibb River Road and makes for a perfect stop for those heading up the Kalumburu Road to Mitchell Falls. The station offers accommodation along with camping options, plus aonsite bar and restaurant. They can also do tyre repairs if you need them.

Ellenbrae Station (229km from Kununurra)

A working cattle station that offers camping along with cabin options. They also have a shop where you can buy a cold drink and the best scones on the Gibb!

Home Valley Station (121km from Kununurra)

Home Valley Station now managed by the Balanggarra Traditional Custodians offers you an authentic Australian experience. Offering a range of accommodation plus campsites. With on-site tours and activities provided you will also find a bar and restaurant.

El Questro (110km from Kununurra)

This well-known luxury spot is at the end (or start depending on which way you go) of your journey. It offers a range of accommodation options along with camping. They do offer station activities along with a range of attractions you can explore your self such as Emma gorge and Zebedee hot spring.

  EL QuestroImage by: Tourism WA: El Questro Wilderness Park

 

Gorges and attractions along the Gibb River Road

The Gibb is known for incredible waterfalls and secluded waterholes, some of the more famous gorges are below.

Bell Gorge

Lennard Gorge

Manning Gorge

Adcock Gorge

Galvans Gorge

Emma Gorge

Mitchell Falls

Cockburn Ranges

Zebedee Hot springs


Bell GorgeImage by: Tourism WA: Emma Gorge Hike Trail, El Questro Wilderness Park

 

National Parks along the Gibb River Road

Wunaamin Miliwundi Ranges Conservation Park

Dimalurru (Tunnel Creek) National Park

Mitchell Falls & the Mitchell River National Park

Bandilngan (Windjana Gorge) National Park

Mitchell National park

 Image by: Tourism WA: Mitchell Falls & the Mitchell River National Park

 

Tours along the Gibb River Road

Don’t want to drive yourself? Sit back and let someone else do the driving. We have a great range of tours that will show you the very best the Gibb River Road has to offer. Check below to read each companies tour in more detail.


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