The Gibb River Highway

Submitted: Tuesday, Jun 24, 2014 at 20:28
ThreadID: 108478 Views:3610 Replies:7 FollowUps:5
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I just got back from a trip along the GRR and was blown away by the amount of 4wd's up there this year. I usually go in May/June as there are usually fewer people but not this year. Not only was there a lot of 4wd's but with that you get first timers and those who think they own the road. A lot of drivers ( i dare say most) would not slow down or move over when approaching which really started to piss me off big time with there arrogance. I watched one big rock flicked up by some idiot come straight towards me only and luckily to hit the upright on the bullbar, just missing the headlight. Everyone was in a big hurry to get to the next destination along the road.
Also this year not only on the Gibb but everywhere i noticed the huge amount of 4wd's towing caravans or camper trailers. With offroad caravans being the most popular.
This year i wanted to drive the Munja track on Mt Elizabeth station but when i got there the young lady said that the track was only open to a few km's past Bachsten Camp. Looks like ill have to go back in 2016 this time in August/september..
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Reply By: get outmore - Tuesday, Jun 24, 2014 at 21:33

Tuesday, Jun 24, 2014 at 21:33
I got back from 10days on the grr a fortnight ago and it was definitely quite.
All the stations were saying its yet to pick up
Only 2prangs we came accross were locals and the ambulance attending pranged as well just out of kunununurra with another local.
Bit of a myth the tourists cant handle the conditions
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Reply By: Member - i'machocoholic - Tuesday, Jun 24, 2014 at 21:44

Tuesday, Jun 24, 2014 at 21:44
Hi Michael, we are heading up soon so your post is timely. I have been up each year for the past few years and understand your comments about drivers. We grizzle about it each year! We too are hoping to do the Munja track so hope it may be open all the way through by the time we get there. Out of curiosity, where else did you visit this trip?
AnswerID: 534961

Follow Up By: Michaeljp - Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014 at 10:09

Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014 at 10:09
This was my 8th trip up there since 2000 so i only went to Mornington station and Mt Elizabeth station, both of which were my first time. The main reason for the trip was the boat ride through the horizontal waterfalls which was awesum.
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Follow Up By: Freshstart - Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014 at 10:36

Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014 at 10:36
Was it a fly in to the falls area? We took a cruise up and down the coast and the Hogrizontal falls were only part of the trip. Exe ($$$$) but worth it. We also saw a lot of the Kimberley coast from the ocean.
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Follow Up By: Member - i'machocoholic - Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014 at 10:46

Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014 at 10:46
You must have the Kimberley bug as I do! It's my second home these days. You visited two of my favourite places, Michael. (Actually, I might be kidding myself as I love it all) :-) But there is something special about Mornington for us as we got engaged there at Sir John Gorge. Glad you enjoyed the Horizontal Falls, I was lucky enough to do them for my last milestone birthday and yes, not cheap, but I thought it was amazing.
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Reply By: pop2jocem - Tuesday, Jun 24, 2014 at 22:29

Tuesday, Jun 24, 2014 at 22:29
We started our trip on the GRR at the beginning of May. Pretty quiet and the graders hadn't had a go at some sections. The road to Kalumburu was an absolute shocker and only open to Drysdale station but the track to the Mitchell Falls opened while we were there. It started to get a fair bit busier as we got to the El Expensive O end.
Yeah, it amazed me why some thought GRR stood for Gibb River Raceway especially the big 4WD tour coaches. We had just pulled out of the Kalumburu road and found that part was in very good condition so I actually got into 5th. All of a sudden these 2 headlights loomed up behind me out of my dust cloud and about level with my roof rack. I started to pull over and before I could get to the edge of the road this 4WD truck mounted tour bus barrelled past showering us with stones and dust. Had one or two coming the other way who didn't think they had to slow down either.
I had to avail myself of the services of Neville at Over the Range Tyre repairs when I punched holes in a couple of tyres getting to some of the gorges and waterfalls.
Now there is a bloke that saw an opportunity and went for it. Nice guy all the same.
Talked with the Mrs about whether we would do that trip again. Jury's still out on that one. Getting a bit crowded for our liking, but where else is not at this time of year. Maybe have to look at some out of season touring.


AnswerID: 534963

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014 at 07:39

Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014 at 07:39
Been back a week after our trip up there.

I can't say I noticed any real aggressive drivers although perhaps the odd one approaching was a little fast. Most slowed down accordingly and exchanged the acknowledgement finger wave.

GRR was very good in most sections, except for about 30klms each side of Mt Barnett RH.
The lower (dirt) section of the Cape Leveque road up the Dampier Peninsula however was a shocker.

Came across a young French couple in a Britz Hilux at the Pentacost River Crossing who had two flat tyres. After a bit of thought I inflated the flat "spare" and chucked it into the River, (just the shallow edge). There was a puncture through the middle of the thread which I was able to plug for them and they happlily thanked us and crossed the river NE towards the bitumen before El Questro Station.
Interestingly, they could have had the flat "spare" fixed at Home Valley Station where they stayed the night before but thought they needed the permission of the Hire firm
They said they were also advised to run between 44-48psi???
This is too bloody high for the bitumen, let alone the dirt tracks. No wonder they had two punctures.
A nice couple though and even though it delayed us about 40 mins, it gives one a good feeling that you could help them out of a dire situation.

Also met member Ray M (Qld) at the crossing and caught up with him later in the day at Drysdale RS.

Overall, we traveled just over 10,000 k's and not a single puncture for us.
Geez, my 697 Bridgestone LT's are excellent.


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AnswerID: 534970

Follow Up By: Michaeljp - Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014 at 10:11

Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014 at 10:11
I got to agree with the Bridgestones, im running the same ones on the patrol, always at road pressure ( unless on sand) and no punctures.
FollowupID: 818796

Follow Up By: Old 55 - Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014 at 16:32

Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014 at 16:32
Just sold my 80 series that had 697's on for 90 thousand and found them a top tire. My new Prado has BFG MT's (also have Cooper ATR's as road tires) and I hope they are as robust as the Bridgestones.
FollowupID: 818815

Reply By: Grumblebum and the Dragon - Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014 at 19:08

Wednesday, Jun 25, 2014 at 19:08
We have spent many weeks on the GRR having lived in Kununurra for many years. It gets more that its share of urban cowboy types proving their macho-ness and bush driving skills in the shiny new hi-end 4WD's. We have met more than a few clowns with little idea and less sense. As well as some really nice people who worked hard to do the right thing - be that driving or camping and leaving a site pristine - i.e no toilet paper 'flowers' behind the nearest bush or rings of stones with the attendant piles of ash with a few tins and bottles added for good measure.

Regards John
AnswerID: 534998

Reply By: cookie1 - Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 at 14:30

Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 at 14:30
Yep I have to agree, we were up there about the same time and was dumbfounded by the fact that as we saw another vehicle approaching, we slowed right down and pulled over to the left - they continued in the centre of the road showering us, indeeed one of them was a tour bus that thought I was waving friendily to them.

Just wondered if I turned around and followed them until they stopped then threw rocks at their car to see how they liked it :)

Kalumburu was closed for us too but opened about 4 days after we left King Edward River campground.

We did the "shortcut" from Derby to Cape Leveque and it was much better than the main drag even though we had to drive through a swamp, well we found out afterwards there was an unmarked diversion - too late.

AnswerID: 535041

Reply By: allein m - Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 at 18:14

Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 at 18:14
I do not understand the logic of going on holiday and people rushing from town to town it cost a lot of money to get out and about why not go a lot slower and you will see a lot more and get better value for those hard earned $$

There is a little grave stone 60 ks out of Broken Hill on the Tibooburra

I wonder how many have speed past it and never noticed it

AnswerID: 535047

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