We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Fun along the Gibb River Rd, Kimberleys” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Gibb River Road

Gibb River Road
Between Derby and Kununurra, Kimberley, Western Australia, Australia
Improve this listing
Ranked #1 of 8 things to do in Kimberley
Activities: Driving
Attraction details
Victoria
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Fun along the Gibb River Rd, Kimberleys”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2011

Great place for a 2 night stopover along the Gibb River Rd is Mornington Wilderness Park - Camping and Safari Tents available. We stayed in the Safari Tents with the creek running right beside them. Prepare to be woken by the birds at daybreak, but this gets you ready for a day of fun. We visited Sir John Gorge where we swam and did lots of rock climbing along the banks of the Fitzroy river. Next morning we hired canoes at Diamond Gorge and paddled along the beautiful river with stunning scenery. We stopped along the way to explore a nearby waterfall and have a swim and a picnic lunch which was supplied. At night we sat around the campfire and mixed with other travelers. Cold drinks are available at the bar after a day in the sun. Dinner & breakfast were supplied and of great quality. The staff were very helpful and friendly with sound knowledge of the area and attractions.

Visited August 2011
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

43 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    29
    12
    2
    0
    0
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Sydney, Australia
Top Contributor
172 reviews 172 reviews
26 attraction reviews
Reviews in 60 cities Reviews in 60 cities
285 helpful votes 285 helpful votes
“Gibb River Road - The best of Australian Outback Adventure”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2009

Travelled in May 2008 with my partner. The road goes from Broome to Kununurra.

Gorges
The first gorge turnoff you will come to along the Gibb River Road will take you to the Devonian Reef Gorge of Windjana Gorge some 145kms from Derby. 350 million years ago much of the southern Kimberley lay beneath the ocean. In this ocean a reef of ancient corals, stromatoporoids and calcareous algae grew. Fossils of shells and the creatures that lived in Devonian times can be seen preserved in the 100 metre high limestone walls. Fresh water crocodiles are plentiful as is their diet of archer fish, cherabin and bream. The cool forest is favoured by a variety of bird and butterfly species and colonies of flying foxes (fruit bats).

Another 30 odd kms down the road you will find Tunnel Creek where you are able to penetrate right into the core of the ancient reef. A small creek has carved a tunnel through the limestone and the resultant cave is 750 metres in length. It features limestone cave formations of pillars, shawls, a roof drop letting in the light half way through the cave and stalagtites.

Both Windjana Gorge and Tunnel Creek are National Parks managed by the Western Australian Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM). Rangers are present at Windjana Gorge from April to mid October. Tunnel Creek is a day use site only and camping is not permitted. A toilet is available. Windjana Gorge has a camp site area with toilets, cold showers and water available when Rangers are in residence. A camping fee is charged.

Local tours operate to these Parks on regular basis both during the Dry and Wet. Details can be obtained from the Derby Visitor Centre.

LENNARD GORGE (190kms from Derby and 8kms off the Gibb River Road). This features a spectacular waterfall late in the wet season while the narrow, deep canyons are features all the year round. It can be a hazardous gorge and extreme care must be taken when exploring. No camping.

Bell Gorge (214kms from Derby and 29kms off the Gibb River Road). With a managed camp site available May-October this Gorge is one of the most attractive in the West Kimberley. Boab trees line Bell Creek which cascades through a series of falls through deep gorges.

Dimond Gorge and Sir John Gorge are next on the list. Turning off at Mt House Station, you travel 92km through to Mornington Wilderness Camp. You can canoe, bushwalk or just swim and have fun in the upper reaches of the Fitzroy River.

Back on the Gibb River Road your next stopping point is the picturesque Galvans Gorge. A tranquil waterlily covered pool charms the visitor but a short walk further on brings you to a large plunge pool at the base of the waterfall. A delightful spot for a refreshing swim.

306kms from Derby is Manning Gorge and Manning Falls. The Aboriginal Community at Mt Barnett welcomes visitors and maintains the camping area there. Allow all the morning to walk to the falls from the camp site. There is time to explore, view Aboriginal rock art and swim in the pools. The falls are at their best early in the season (May-July). There is a fully equipped store and road house at Mt. Barnett. Camp fees are paid at the store.



Great memories. Check out my pics.

Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
176 helpful votes 176 helpful votes
“Trips of a Lifetime”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2006

My husband and I travelled along the Outback in September 2006, from Darwin to Broome via the GIbb River Road.

Since this is the first entry, and there is not a lot of information on the internet, we hope to give you enough information to help guide your own journey.

We will give you a brief description of our 2 week journey, and the specifics are located under each separate city, hotel or attraction.

Day 1: ULURU

We decided to stop in Uluru on our way to Darwin...and are so happy we finally saw this australian icon. It deserves the hype...and would highly recommend people including this in their trip to Australia.

We booked our trip on Webjet...and it was $900 from Melbourne to Uluru...Uluru to Darwin and Broome back to Melbourne...a great price for 3 separate flights.

We overnighted at the Lost Camel Resort

Day 2: DARWIN

We flew to Darwin, picked up our 4WD camper from australian4wdhire, and got our camping gear and food prepared for the trip at Coles and Big W. We also visited galleries, and hung out at Mindil Beach market at night.

We had a Toyota Landcruiser with a tent which folded off the top of the truck, which was perfect and easy to handle. We were told we would have a fridge...and we ended up with an esky. It was supposedly able to handle ice for a week...but it 2 days to 3 days max. As with all camping, the less refridgerated goods, the better. Otherwise, we had ours protected by plastic containers.

We also bought 2 huge clear bins to carry our food and supplies. This was the best $10 we spent.

We overnighted at Lee Point Resort.

Day 3: LITCHFIELD NATIONAL PARK
2 hour drive from Darwin

Our choice was either Litchfield and Katherine Gorge or Kakadu and we chose the first option. We were so happy with our decision, as we felt these were 2 of the neatest experiences in the Outback.

The one thing we learned in Litchfield...it was a bigger park than we anticipated, and it took us awhile to drive to the different campsites and attractions.

We ended up camping at the 4WD campsite near Florence Falls...and loved our experience.

Day 4: NITMILUK (KATHERINE GORGE) NP
3 hour drive from Litchfield NP

We canoed and stayed overnite in the Gorge NP itself. One of the best gorges in the Outback, and a great experience.

Day 5: GREGORY NP
5 hours from Nitmiluk

As you'll read under this section, this would have be the one day we wished we had changed. We camped in a 4WD camp along the loop..and would recommend driving onto Keep River NP.

Day 6: KEEP RIVER NP
2 hours from Gregory NP

This is a well kept secret in the Outback. It's a smaller park...with a great hike...and excellent camping.

We camped in Jarnem.

Day 7: KUNUNURRA
1 hour from Keep River

We did the Bungle Bungles flight in the morning, and shopped in art galleries to early afternoon. We then drove onto the Gibb RIver Road where we stayed at Emma Gorge Resort.

We enjoyed camping in the Outback...but this was a perfect break to catch up laundry...take nice, hot showers, and get cleaned up and reorganised for the next part of our camping adventure.

Day 8: EL QUESTRO
2 hours from Kununurra

This was our favorite day in the Outback.

Emma Gorge was dry...so we did the El Questro Gorge walk...which was one of the most amazing walks we've ever done. There were a ton of butterflies everywhere...a bubbling stream, and swimming holes along the way.

Then...we did the Zebedee Springs, lunch at the Steakhouse in the El Questro station...and the Chamberlain Gorge Cruise.

and we overnited at Emma Gorge for our second night.

Day 9: GALVINS GORGE

We decided to push it hard this day...so we could have a longer time at the Mornington Wilderness Camp. I"m so glad we chose this route, because it was another great part of our trip along the Outback. Unfortunately, we didn't have enough time to see the Manning Gorge, which is $25/person...plus a 3 hour or more walk. Included in the price of the admission, you can camp...but we can't give our opionion...because we headed to Galvins...and onward to Mornington.

We overnighted in Mornington for 2 nights.

This was the most secluded, and neatest camping experiences we had in the outback. We thought we were the only ones in the outback. Although, we didn't have to walk far for the modern toilets or showers ...nor a neat outback pub down the road.


Day 10: MORNINGTON WILDERNESS CAMP

Another favorite day in the Outback...we went canoeing in the Dimond Gorge, and watched the sunset in the Sir John Gorge. There was a ton of wildlife, birds and scenery to be explored in this park...pretty amazing.


Day 11: BELL GORGE
2 1/2 hours from Mornington Wilderness Camp

This was our favorite gorge in the outback. It was huge...and the scenery was unbelievable. We did the trek to the second set of falls...which can be followed if you keep your eyes open for the "piled rock" marked pathway.

The rocks are slippery...and would recommend wearing full hiking boots vs the hiking sandals I wore.

We scored a secluded camping spot along Bell Creek.

Day 12: BROOME
5 hours from Bell Gorge

This was our most surprising part of the trip. We thought we only had a couple hours drive to Broome. Because of the construction, and roads...it took us 5.

We did stop in Derby and check out the large Boab Prison Tree. Personally...we liked the termite mound alongside, even better.

We overnighted for 3 nights at the Cable Beach Resort which was a great way to end the trip. The beach was gorgeous...and it was a relaxing way to conclude our great journey...

This entire Outback trip...was one of the best experiences we've ever had in our travels. Even though it was 2 weeks...it seemed like 2 months because you were secluded, and away from phones, computers and TVs. Life slowed down tremendously...and we soaked in every last bit of beauty.

We have adored Australia for years...but after this trip...we fell in love. This is one of the most blessed countries in the world.

A few notes about the GRR:
#1...Preplan your trip before you go. If you decide to stay in any of the stations or on aboriginal land, you need to get a permit before you go. Otherwise, you can pay for a satellite phone and phone as you go. In the peak tourist times, there is a chance it can fill up before you get there.

Also in preplanning, it's helpful to know the sunset times and sunrise times. With camping, your days will depend on the sun. Also, many different places close at sunset.

#2. You can get your NT and WA passes online before your trip. You don't need one for NT unless you camp outside the designated areas. And you only need one for WA if you stay in National Parks.

#3. We weren't sure of the driving distances before we left. We were surprised...as we generally averaged 80K an hour. I believe it's different during the seasons...but we found it fairly easy to drive.

#4. There are a few bikers and walkers along the Gibb. It's best to slow down as soon as you see them...b/c the amount of dust which flies into their faces when you drive by is insane.

#5. Hema maps are excellent for planning out your trip. They have all the campsites, updated road stations and phone numbers for reservations. .

#6. We are not allowed to put websites on TripAdvisor...but you cannot believe how much information you can find out from the australiantravelsecrets. She is a German writer, and I'm not surprised that 80% of the travellers we saw were German..and the others...were Ozzie retirees.

#7. Mozzie patches work. A friend of mine had visited the outback a month before we did...and she gave me a ton of info. One thing she mentioned was the mozzies (mosquitos). We bought the patches (similar to nicotine patches)...that last for 36 hours...and they worked great. Ours even got wet..and still worked well.

#8. If you have a lot of $$...and more time...Bullo River Station, El Questro Homestead and Kimberly Coastal Camp are 3 excellent choices.

Was this review helpful? Yes 32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Gibb River Road also viewed

Kimberley, Western Australia
Kimberley, Western Australia
 
Windjana Gorge National Park, Western Australia
Purnululu National Park, Western Australia
 

Been to Gibb River Road? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Gibb River Road, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.