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Gibb River Road - Derby to Kununurra

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Gibb River Road - Derby to Kununurra

There is alot of info about the conditions of the road which I am aware of. There is a lack of info on Trip Advisor around the itineries and length of time/days to drive the GRD.

I am aware the route is 700kms - I need to plan where I am going to stop each night before arriving in El Questro where I will spend 3 nights.

So - without driving ridiculous miles each day - how many days should it take to drive comfortably? And where should I stop each night? Prefer Homested if possible - willing to camp on the top of the toyota as well.

Once I know this I can work out what we'll see on the way.

Uden, The...
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1. Re: Gibb River Road - Derby to Kununurra

Hi

Have you tried this website?

openroad.com.au/travel_4wd_thegibbriverroad.…

We haven't done this drive because we didnot have a 4wd. My outback map shows only one fuelpump at the Barnett Roadhouse between Derby and Kununurra.

Hth some.

Tet

Adelaide, Australia
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2. Re: Gibb River Road - Derby to Kununurra

I would recommend taking at least 3 days. The road is rough and you will want to stop often to visit the various gorges. All of the station homesteads that advertise accommodation (eg Mt House, Home Valley, Durack River, mt Elizabeth) as well as mt Barnett will sell you fuel.

Homestead stays - Mt House, Mt Elizabeth and Durack River - but really I think you should consider camping at Windjana Gorge, Manning Gorge and Bell Creek (Silent Grove) as well.

By the way TA is not the best place to find information about travel in outback Australia. Almost everyone here is from urban centres and mainly east coast and seems to me they havent done a lot of outback travel. . Try looking at some other sites eg http://www.kimberleyaustralia.com/

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3. Re: Gibb River Road - Derby to Kununurra

Hi Flyby,

We did this trip in June 2007, I used the website that Nozzie mentioned as my guide, I printed out all the information about the gorges etc and decided on which ones we wanted to see before we went. We took 6 days to drive which seemed ok to us i.e not too rushed but would have liked a couple more days, so that we could just chill for a day with no driving.

I did not book any accommodation ahead, we had a 4WD troopcarier to sleep in, so we just arrived at campsites and paid for the night, no problems getting a site. With the 4wd we were advised to get a powered site every second day to recharge the battery. The road was not that bad, the worst stretch was after the Mt Barnett Roadhouse, very rutted but ok if you drive slowly. I kept a diary of where we stayed and costs of sites etc..feel free to ask any questions.

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4. Re: Gibb River Road - Derby to Kununurra

I found the information below on the Derby Tourism website. It's been very useful along with everyones comments above.

www.derbytourism.com.au/pages.asp?code=55

A high clearance 4 Wheel Drive vehicle is recommended for all travel on the Gibb River and Kalumburu Roads.

Although the Gibb River Road is less than 700km in length (and the Kalumburu Road less than 300km), the number of places to see and road conditions make it well worth spending seven days and more in the area (additional days if heading up to Kalumburu & Mitchell Plateau). These are suggested itineraries only. Travellers are recommended to review distances, driving times, fuel availability and time spent walking each gorge to ensure an enjoyable holiday. The most flexible itineraries are camping throughout, however a number of places offer comfortable Dinner, Bed & Breakfast packages.

1. BRIEF AND BEAUTIFUL (3 days, 2 nights)

Day 1 Derby to Windjana Gorge & Tunnel Creek. Overnight at Windjana Gorge Camp Site. (Option to visit Lilimillura Police Station Ruins)

Day 2 Windjana Gorge to Manning Gorge. Overnight at Manning Gorge. (Option to visit Galvans Gorge on the way)

Day 3 Manning Gorge to Wyndham/Kununurra (Option to visit Emma Gorge if time allows)

This is a long day so start early.

Alternatively the 3rd night could be spent at the accommodation at El Questro Wilderness Park or Emma Gorge or the campgrounds at El Questro Wilderness Park. With a leisurely drive to Kununurra/Wyndham on Day 4.

2. MODERATE & MARVELLOUS (5 days, 4 nights)

Day 1 Derby to Windjana Gorge & Tunnel Creek. Overnight at Windjana Gorge Camp Site. (Option to visit Lillimooloora Police Station Ruins)

Day 2 Windjana Gorge to Bell Gorge. Overnight camp at Silent Grove or Bell Creek Camp Sites if available.

Day 3 Bell Gorge to Manning Gorge. (Option to visit Galvans Gorge on the way) Overnight Camp at Manning Gorge Camp Site

Day 4 Manning Gorge to El Questro Station. Over Night Camp at El Questro (Option of Bungalows and Homestead Accommodation)

Day 5 El Questro Station to Wyndham/Kununurra. (Option to visit Emma Gorge on the way)

3. EXTENDED & EXQUISITE (8 days, 7 nights)

Day 1 Derby to Windjana Gorge & Tunnel Creek. Overnight at Windjana Gorge Camp Site. (Option to visit Lillimooloora Police Station Ruins)

Day 2 Windjana Gorge to Bell Gorge. Overnight camp at Silent Grove or Bell Creek Camp Sites if available.

Day 3 Bell Gorge To Mornington Wilderness Camp. (Option of tented accommodation)

Day 4 Dimond and Sir John Gorges. Overnight at Mornington Wilderness Camp. (Option of tented accommodation)

Day 5 Mornington Wilderness Camp to Manning Gorge. Overnight Camp (Option to visit Galvans Gorge on the way).

Day 6 Manning Gorge to Home Valley Station. Overnight Camp. (Option of Homestead Accommodation at Home Valley Station)

Day 7 Home Valley Station to El Questro Wilderness Park. Over night Camp. (Option of Bungalows and Homestead Accommodation)

Day 8 El Questro Wilderness Lodge to Wyndham/Kununurra. (Option to visit Emma Gorge on the way)

4. FULL AND FABULOUS [INCLUDING MITCHELL PLATEAU] (10 days, 9 nights)

Day 1 Derby to Windjana Gorge & Tunnel Creek. Overnight at Windjana Gorge Camp Site. (Option to visit Lillimooloora Police Station Ruins)

Day 2 Windjana Gorge to Bell Gorge. Overnight camp.

Day 3 Bell Gorge to Manning Gorge. Overnight camp. (Option visit Galvans Gorge on the way)

Day 4 Manning Gorge to Drysdale River Station. Overnight Camp. (Option of Homestead Accommodation or Travellers Rest Units)

Day 5 Drysdale River Station to Mitchell Plateau. Over night Camp.

Day 6 Mitchell Plateau/Mitchell Falls. Over night camp.

Day 7 Mitchell Plateau to Home Valley Station. Over night camp. (Option of Homestead Accommodation)

Day 8 Home Valley to El Questro Wilderness Park. Overnight camp. (Option of Bungalows or Homestead Accommodation)

Day 9 El Questro Wilderness Park. Overnight camp. (Option of Bungalows or Homestead Accommodation)

Day 10 El Questro Wilderness Park to Wyndham/Kununurra. (Option to visit Emma Gorge on the way)

5. FULL AND FABULOUS [INCLUDING MORNINGTON WILDERNESS CAMP & MT HART WILDERNESS LODGE] (12 days, 11 nights)

Day 1 Derby to Windjana Gorge & Tunnel Creek. Overnight at Windjana Gorge Camp Site. (Option to visit Lillimooloora Police Station Ruins)

Day 2 Windjana Gorge to Mt Hart Wilderness Lodge. Overnight Accommodation – Dinner, Bed &Breakfast. (Limited Camping)

Day 3 Mt Hart Wilderness Lodge. Overnight Accommodation – Dinner, Bed &Breakfast. (limited camping)

Day 4 Mt Hart Wilderness Lodge to Bell Gorge. Overnight Camp.

Day 5 Bell Gorge to Mornington Wilderness Camp. Overnight Camp. (Option Tent Accommodation.)

Day 6 Dimond and Sir John Gorges. Overnight Mornington Wilderness Camp (Option Tent Accommodation)

Day 7 Mornington Wilderness Camp to Charnley River Station (Option Homestead Accommodation)

Day 8 Charnley River Station (Option Homestead Accommodation)

Day 9 Charnley River Station to Manning Gorge. Overnight camp (Option visit Galvans Gorge on the way)

Day 10 Manning Camp Site to El Questro Wilderness Park. Overnight camp. (Option of Bungalows or Homestead Accommodation.)

Day 11 El Questro Wilderness Park. Overnight camp. (Option of Bungalows or Homestead Accommodation.)

Day 12 El Questro Wilderness Park to Wyndham/Kununurra. (Visit Emma Gorge on the way)

6. ALL & AWESOME [The one with the lot!!]. (20 days, 19 nights)

Day 1 Derby to Windjana Gorge and Tunnel Creek. Over night Camp at Windjana gorge Camp Site (Option to visit Lillimooloora Police Station ruins)

Day 2 Windjana Gorge to Mt Hart Wilderness Lodge. Overnight Accommodation – Dinner, Bed & Breakfast. (Limited Camping)

Day 3 Mt Hart Wilderness Lodge. Overnight Accommodation – Dinner, Bed & Breakfast. (Limited Camping)

Day 4 Mt Hart Wilderness Lodge to Lennard Gorge to Bell Gorge. Over Night Camp.

Day 5 Bell Gorge. Overnight Camp.

Day 6 Bell Gorge to Mornington Wilderness Camp. Overnight at Mornington Wilderness Camp. (Option Tent Accommodation.)

Day 7 Dimond Gorge. Overnight at Mornington Wilderness Camp. (Option Tent Accommodation.)

Day 8 Sir John Gorge. Overnight at Mornington Wilderness Camp. (Option Tent Accommodation.)

Day 9 Mornington Wilderness Camp to Charnley River Station. Overnight Homestay or Chalets.

Day 10 Charnley River Station to Galvans Gorge to Manning Gorge. Overnight camp.

Day 11 Manning Gorge. Overnight Camp.

Day 12 Manning Gorge to Mt Elizabeth Station. Overnight Camp. (Option of homestead Accommodation.)

Day 13 Mt Elizabeth Station to Drysdale River Station. Overnight Camp. (Option of Homestead Accommodation or Traveller’s Rest Units)

Day 14 Drysdale River Station to Mitchell Plateau. Overnight Camp.

Day 15 Mitchell Plateau. Overnight camp.

Day 16 Mitchell Plateau to Drysdale River Station. Overnight Camp. (Option of Homestead Accommodation or Traveller’s Rest Units)

Day 17 Drysdale River Station to Home Valley Station. Overnight Camp. (Option of Homestead Accommodation.)

Day 18 Home Valley Station to El Questro Wilderness Park. Overnight Camp. (Option of Bungalows or Homestead Accommodation.)

Day 19 El Questro Wilderness Park. Overnight Camp. (Option of Bungalows or Homestead Accommodation.) This night could also be spent at Emma Gorge in their tented cabins.

Day 20 El Questro Wilderness Park to Emma Gorge to Wyndham/Kununurra.

Further Timing Tips

These are the minimum times that should be allocated at each stop once you have actually arrived.

Always check road & weather conditions before departing to any location along the Gibb River or Kalumburu Road.

While it is not necessary to book for camping, bookings are usually essential for any accommodated stays to ensure availability and meal preparation time.

Gibb River Road

Windjana Gorge(Camping Ground) Allow at least 1 hour.

Tunnel Creek

(Day Use Only - Pit Toilet) Allow at least an hour and a half to walk through the tunnel. A strong torch is needed.

Mt Hart Wilderness Lodge

(Accommodated only - no camping) Allow at least an overnight stop.

Lennard River Gorge

(No Facilities) At least an hour at this gorge. Quite a steep climb down.

Bell Gorge

(Camping Ground at Silent Grove and along the Bell Creek) Allow at least half a day to walk to and explore this gorge. A full day would be preferable.

Mornington Wilderness Camp

(Camping Ground & Tented Accommodation) 1 full day. There are two river gorges and a large section of River frontage on this property and as it is 100km from the Gibb River Road a minimum of two days is recommended.

Charnley River Station

(Homestay, Chalets and Camping) Allow at least an overnight stop.

Galvans Gorge

(Day Use Only - No facilities) Allow at least 1 hour.

Manning Gorge

(Camping Ground) Allow at least 1 hour. (At least 5 hours of daylight if you are doing the walk to Manning Falls)

Barnett River Gorge

(No Facilities) Allow at least 1 hour.

Mt Elizabeth Station

(Camping & Homestead Accommodation) Allow at least an overnight stop.

Home Valley Homestead

(Camping & Homestead Accommodation) Allow at least an overnight stop.

El Questro Wilderness Park

(Camping, Bungalows and Luxury Homestead Accommodation) Allow at least an overnight stop.

Emma Gorge

(Luxury Tented Cabins) Allow at least 3 hours.

Kalumburu Road

Drysdale River Station

(Camping and Accommodation) Allow at least an overnight stop.

Mitchell Plateau

(Camping with limited toilet facilities) Allow at least one full day for the return walk to the Falls. Base Camps in the area are operated by East Kimberley Tours & Kimberley Wilderness Adventures.

Kalumburu Community

(Camping) At least an overnight stop.

Glasgow
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5. Re: Gibb River Road - Derby to Kununurra

Nefertari - thanks for the information. Looking at the info. I have so far I think camping will be good (we normally camp) and maybe one night homested. Do you mind sending me the itin you followed on your 6 day trip.

Thanks

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6. Re: Gibb River Road - Derby to Kununurra

Flyby, will go through my diary and jot down what we visited each day and where we stayed (campgrounds). I have to work this weekend but promise to do by Monday, okay?

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7. Re: Gibb River Road - Derby to Kununurra

Brilliant - thanks. Look forward to reading it.

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8. Re: Gibb River Road - Derby to Kununurra

Day 1 - Pick up 4WD in Broome. Drove Broome - Derby. In Derby we just visited the Boab prison Tree and picked up supplies. Derby to Windjana , overnight Windjana campground we had an unpowered site here for $10pp.

Day 2 - Visited Windjana Gorge/Tunnel Creek & Lennard Gorge. Overnight Silent Grove campground $10pp for an unpowered site

Day 3 - Visited Bell Gorge/Adcock Gorge/Galvans Gorge. Overnight Mt Barnett Roadhouse $15pp powered site

Day 4 - Visited Manning Gorge. Mt Barnett Roadhouse overnight.

Day 5 - Drove to Home Valley Station, this was the biggest day with regards to driving - overnight $10pp unpowered site.

Day 6 - Emma Gorge

We had originally planned on seven days up the Gibb but our outbound flight was cancelled by Virgin. We still plan on going back and doing the places we missed. After we left Emma Gorge, we went to Kununurra for the night, then on to the Bungle Bungles, Fitzroy Crossing (Geikie Gorge) and back to Broome via the highway.

Let me know if you want any more information, whatever you see Im sure you will love:)

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9. Re: Gibb River Road - Derby to Kununurra

There's a great article in the Australian Traveller Magazine "10 greatest Outback journeys" - this month for those interested.It includes the above questions.

www.australiantraveller.com/index.cfm…

SC and Oz
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10. Re: Gibb River Road - Derby to Kununurra

What excellent information! I am planning a trip to Broome and the Gibb River road at the end of October, with 4WD camping outfit, and the information here has been the most helpful that I have found anywhere.

Thanks for all of the great info.

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