Gibb River Road

Submitted: Thursday, Jan 30, 2014 at 17:32
ThreadID: 106014 Views:2465 Replies:9 FollowUps:6
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Hi
Contemplating this trip & was wondering if this should be attempted in a petrol engined Nissan Xtrail & when is the best time before the rains at the latter end of the year. Have done off road work in the past but never attempted something like this. Any advice & reading suggestions welcomed. Trailer, tent, generator, & camping gear for bush camping. The trailer is heavy duty but not off road specs. Cans for approx. 60L water & petrol.
2 spare tyres.
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Reply By: get outmore - Thursday, Jan 30, 2014 at 17:36

Thursday, Jan 30, 2014 at 17:36
You will probably struggle if you want to go north to Mitchell falls due to the king edward river otherwise prob ok
Late april may is the best times with freshly graded roads and water still flowing
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Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Thursday, Jan 30, 2014 at 20:35

Thursday, Jan 30, 2014 at 20:35
Late April/Early May might be a bit soon, subject to when the wet season ends. The Pentacost River crossing might be a bit of a challenge that early.

We are heading to the Kimberley mid May but allowing a week to make our way from Adelaide to Kununurra, with 4 days there and another couple at El Questro, we are hopeful the Gibb River Road will be open and navigable by the time we get there.
Planning to call in to Drysdale River Station and camp for a few days with a drive up to the Mitchell River NP and falls if possible.
Also have planned to camp at Middle Lagoon on Cape Le Veque for another few days and just chill out, try some fishing and site seeing as well as overnight stays at all the other feature locations we can squeeze into our schedule along the GRR.
Over all, 38 days there and back.

Our plan B will be to go "clockwise" along the bitumen to Broom first, then return along the Gibb if the wet season is late finishing.

We have been looking forward to this trip for the past four years and We are READY, willing and able with two vehicles towing camper trailers.

Bring it On!
Bill


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Reply By: Tony H15 - Thursday, Jan 30, 2014 at 17:51

Thursday, Jan 30, 2014 at 17:51
It's just a gravel road but the corrugations rattle the kidneys a bit and some spots are a little soft. Biggest problem will come from the trailer and it's contents getting shaken around. Check all the nuts and bolts before you go and once or twice when underway. Best time is just after the grader has been across. I towed a Towtel on road camper trailer across, only problem was the jockey wheel bracket undid itself and we lost it. There are a few creek/river crossings but nothing too difficult.
AnswerID: 525408

Reply By: Member - Boobook - Thursday, Jan 30, 2014 at 17:54

Thursday, Jan 30, 2014 at 17:54
You will be fine if you don't go to Kalumburu and check the roads to the Mitchell falls. carefully and be prepared to drop it. Drysdale station has good information on their website as does this.
Kimberley web site

get the free guidebook.

IMHO a must do is catch a flight to the horizontal waterfalls from Broome or Derby, definitely make sure you time it with a full moon so you get the big tides.


AnswerID: 525409

Reply By: Kenell - Thursday, Jan 30, 2014 at 18:18

Thursday, Jan 30, 2014 at 18:18
I have done it a few times, once with a camper trailer. I dropped tyre pressures down to mid 20s psi and kept speed down around 60/70. No problems other than typical vibration loosenings. Battery in camper worked loose and anything with a tec screw or thread worked loose. Good idea to use secondary securing devices such as tape or zip ties on anything that can fall off. Rivers were up a bit on one trip but snorkel was enough to get thru without tarping up. Agree with previous posts re Kalumburu and Mitchell Falls. I did both without issues but conditions can be variable. Take your time check your rig at every stop and exercise common sense and you will love it.
Ken
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Reply By: Member - Tony B(WA) - Thursday, Jan 30, 2014 at 21:16

Thursday, Jan 30, 2014 at 21:16
Thanks for the replies which certainly give us things to consider during our planning. Hopefully we have enough time to arrange for this year.
AnswerID: 525427

Follow Up By: Member - nick b - Friday, Jan 31, 2014 at 09:24

Friday, Jan 31, 2014 at 09:24
My tip is try doing it before or out of school holidays ...
The biggest problem on most of these road is other people race to the next spot ..
Cheers Nick b
VKS 737 ( 0915 )
Wish the missus was as dirty as the tailgate

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Reply By: splits - Friday, Jan 31, 2014 at 09:34

Friday, Jan 31, 2014 at 09:34
Tony
This is always worth reading before you take trailers into those areas.
http://www.caravanandmotorhomebooks.com/articles/why_wheels_fall_off.html
AnswerID: 525462

Reply By: Member - Min (NSW) - Friday, Jan 31, 2014 at 11:04

Friday, Jan 31, 2014 at 11:04
Hi Tony,

We did the GRR in a petrol Xtrail towing an AussieSwag Classic (base model, not offroad) in May - August 2003. We had no problems despite noticing that there were no other vehicles like ours.

We camped at King Edward River and left the trailer there while we went up to Mitchell Falls with a tent. Wonderful memories.

The Xtrail is long gone as the first model had some fuel tank problems which did not become evident until after that trip and which I'm sure would have been addressed by now.

Since then we have travelled many of the 'tracks', some of them several times, with no problems except flat tyres on vehicle or trailer, which is to be expected despite always having very good tyres when starting out.

Dirt roads can change from week to week but I don't thiink the GRR was particularly good when we did it.

Continue to do you homework and have a wonderful time wherever you go.

Min

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Reply By: outback epicurean - Friday, Jan 31, 2014 at 13:49

Friday, Jan 31, 2014 at 13:49
Hi''Before you go, get hold of the E book written by Birgit Bradtke. Its always updated and provides an excellent guide to the region.

cheers
AnswerID: 525488

Follow Up By: Navigator 1 (NSW) - Saturday, Feb 01, 2014 at 09:01

Saturday, Feb 01, 2014 at 09:01
Hi outback,
I googled this author and got the title 'Destination Kimberly' however I cannot find this ebook on Amazon. Can you help? Rob
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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Saturday, Feb 01, 2014 at 12:13

Saturday, Feb 01, 2014 at 12:13
You can find it here

Cheers
J and V
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Follow Up By: Navigator 1 (NSW) - Monday, Feb 03, 2014 at 11:35

Monday, Feb 03, 2014 at 11:35
Thank you J & V, I see the ebook mentioned but I'm technically challenged and cannot see a link to download the book. I will leave it for another day/month/year. Thanks Rob
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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Monday, Feb 03, 2014 at 12:47

Monday, Feb 03, 2014 at 12:47
Here's the direct link - buying details at the bottom of this very long page!

Cheers

John
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Reply By: Member - Tony B(WA) - Sunday, Feb 02, 2014 at 09:02

Sunday, Feb 02, 2014 at 09:02
Thank you all once more.
Travelling out of school holidays is no problem. We now tend to do this wherever we go to take advantage of the usually lower hotel prices, airfares & smaller crowds. Great advantage of older kids who can now look after our dog, chooks & garden watering whilst way.
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