Gibb River Road

Submitted: Saturday, Jun 09, 2012 at 23:25
ThreadID: 128069 Views:3762 Replies:5 FollowUps:0
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We are currently at Kununurra leaving in a few day's to travel the Gibb River Road and then the Tanamia track to Alice Springs If any one could give me any information on road conditions what to see and what to look out for etc etc on either or both of these roads it would be most welcome, many thank's
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Reply By: Gone Bush - Sunday, Jun 10, 2012 at 02:57

Sunday, Jun 10, 2012 at 02:57
BOG members Wherrol are a few days ahead of you on the Gibb.

We went down part of the Tanami last year. I assume you know Rabbit Flat is closed now. The Tanami is rough. Expect damage.

AnswerID: 584263

Reply By: Freewheelers - Monday, Jun 11, 2012 at 00:06

Monday, Jun 11, 2012 at 00:06
We did GRR in 2007, and in 2009 did the Tanami, plus GRR as far as El Questro, which we missed the first time.

Road conditions on both varied from good to shocking, depending on when the grader last went through. Pick the brains of all the travellers around you to get the latest on road conditions, but remember, it's very subjective, and your idea of pretty good may be someone else's nightmare and vice versa.
We also contacted the shire engineers at Alice and Halls Creek before we left Alice for the Tanami.

As for attractions and things to do along the way, GRR runs rings around the Tanami, which had long stretches of featureless, scrubby terrain. Best camp on the Tanami is at a beautiful waterhole on Sturt Creek, 170km south of Halls Creek. A side trip to Wolfe Creek Crater NP is also worth the bad road.

The Tourist Office in Kununurra, and also the adjacent El Questro office are good sources of information for all the well documented attractions along the GRR. It's all a matter of how much time you have. Bells Gorge and a side trip to Windjana Gorge and Tunnel Creek were highlights for us.

Safe travels and have fun

Cheers Deb
Stephen & Deborah

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AnswerID: 584264

Reply By: Grumblebum & Dragon - Wednesday, Jun 13, 2012 at 19:59

Wednesday, Jun 13, 2012 at 19:59
Check with the East Derby, Kimberley Shire who will advise you re the grading programme. Generally the road at this time of year is still OK ie the graders have done a run through and the tourist numbers have not peaked yet. Worst time is late July and Aug/Sep. The roads are then well cut-up by the tourist hordes with hard tyres and little knowledge of bush driving.

There are three cam,p site at the King Edward River - one on the east and two on the western side. I have heard they have improved the KE River Crossing. It was 900mm and flowing fast when we went through in 2008. The trip up to the Mitchell Falls is really worth while - just take your time on the track in. I suggest you helicopter up (from the camp site) to the falls and walk back. It is a fanatastic walk - about 4 kms. This is better as you do not have the pressure of having to be on time at the top for the chopper pick-up.

Kalumbaru is very intering plus great fishing at McGowans Island on the coast a little further up. Lock your van if staying at Kalumbaru - the small indegous persons are a little light fingered!

I think Mt Barnett Gorge is one of the nicest gorges on the trip with a great rim walk to the far end - lovely swimming spots. Bell Gorge is also very pretty - walk on past the falls to see lovely spots along the river.

Take any faint wheel tracks you see - some lead to lovely spots missed by 99% of the crowds. Get good maps 1/250000 with contours. Look for areas close to the road where the contours are jammed together - indicating steep and potentially good gorge country.

The roads will be OK - just drop your tyre pressure and speed. The GRR is no longer the caravan killer is was 20 years ago.


John and Jean
Ex Kununurra residents.
AnswerID: 584265

Reply By: Sparky60 - Saturday, Jun 23, 2012 at 00:53

Saturday, Jun 23, 2012 at 00:53
we did the GRR 3 weeks ago and it was pretty good. We lowered our Tyres to 30 and drove between 40 to 60 km. I really liked the Manning gorge.
AnswerID: 584266

Reply By: Pixellator - Saturday, Jun 23, 2012 at 02:26

Saturday, Jun 23, 2012 at 02:26
G'day Robert & Yvonne
Sounds like you're not going to savour the delights of Broome!
Do give us a call if you change your plans.
Bob n Lyn
AnswerID: 584267

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