The Gibb River Road in a New Xtrail towing an off road camper

Hi I'm new to this
I'm about to head up to Kununurra middle of June to middle of July to do the Gibb river road trip in a new Nissan Xtrail towing a camper trailer we are two ladies aged 58 that have driven on 4wd roads before
Can any one give me ideas on where to camp? If there are any free camps or the cost of the camps
How many days I need to relax and see as much as possible?
What areas are best to camp at and explore each day from?
Do I need to carry petrol and if so how many jerry cans?
Are there a lot of river crossings and will my Xtrail get through
Any other advice would be welcome
Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: MUZBRY- Life member(Vic) - Sunday, May 03, 2015 at 08:19

Sunday, May 03, 2015 at 08:19
Good morning Margaret
You best read post 117701 , just back a few .
Great place to be Mt Blue Rag 27/12/2012

Lifetime Member
My Profile  Send Message

AnswerID: 553209

Reply By: Michael H9 - Sunday, May 03, 2015 at 08:56

Sunday, May 03, 2015 at 08:56
It would probably pay to put all terrain tyres on the X-trail if you haven't already. Normal road tyres can get eaten by roads such as that. Garages in the outback spend a lot of time repairing or replacing tyres as tyre failures are quite common. You should also spend some time reading up on whether to lower your tyre pressure when on the dirt. There are arguments for and against, personally I lower mine as I feel the car likes it better but everyone should make their own decision. If you do lower them, you will need an air compressor to pump them up when back on the tar. Make no mistake, you can do that road with the factory tyres, but your risks of a mishap are a good deal higher.
AnswerID: 553214

Reply By: Cheeky1 - Sunday, May 03, 2015 at 11:19

Sunday, May 03, 2015 at 11:19
HI Margaret,
You won't have any problem in your Xtrail pulling a camper.
There are plenty of designated camp sites along the GRR.
They aren't free but the fees are reasonable.
Try to get some GRR info before you go as there are many things to see.
Take your time if you've got it and try to see it all.
The road is typical of any outback road, it can be heavily corrugated in sections.
My experience was that it was not too bad - except the kalumburu road which had the worst corrugations I've ever seen. We turned back as a result. I'll put Mitchell Falls on the list for a later date. I was happy with what we saw without going there...
You shouldn't need fuel as there are fuel stations along the way.
But it wouldn't hurt to take 5 or 10 litres as a backup.
Your Xtrail should handle the water crossings without any concern.
The Pentecost is quite rocky so you could have a few bumps underneath especially if the rear end of your car is sagging due to towball weight. So try to pick your line going across - watch others make the crossing first, to see if they hit any big rocks and then pick your line around them.
Otherwise you will be fine.
I would just take some drinking water with you, other than that there is an abundance of water available along the way.
Drive to the conditions, slow down and avoid rocks protruding from the road. If you strike one of them on the sidewall of your tyre you could tear a hole in it.
Don't be phased by other drivers. There are plenty of idiots that drive way too fast on dirt roads. If you see oncoming vehicles that are driving too fast, pull over and wait for them to pass. That way you won't be driving blindly through their dust or get sprayed with rocks. You'll find that they have no consideration for you what-so-ever.
The ones that are coming up behind you will try to pass you regardless of the conditions and again have no regard for you at all.
If you see them behind you through the dust slowly pull over and let them pass. Otherwise they will put you at risk by passing through the dust and also spray you with rocks.
Other than that, it is one of the best experiences I've ever done and I'm sure you and your friend will have a great time.
AnswerID: 553223

Follow Up By: kym111 - Tuesday, May 12, 2015 at 21:59

Tuesday, May 12, 2015 at 21:59
Hi Margaret, somewhere about half way along, you'll find big holes of bulldust. The best indicator for these is the trees and shrubs covered in red dust. If you notice these, slow down! We saw an Apollo van nearly roll due to hitting a massive bulldust hole! We were coming the other way and had slowed down due to his erratic driving, then realised as we reached the spot that it was a massive bulldust hole! Poor bloke! Also, download Wikicamps ($7.49) if you have a smart phone or tablet. It will give you plenty of camps along the way.El Questro is expensive, but the gorges are beautiful if you are fit and able. There are a couple of rubbish collection points along the way, there's a campground at Mt Barnett Roadhouse (and a waterhole, plus an awesome gorge to hike to and swim at), another fuel stop a bit further down towards Derby. We also saw Tunnel Creek (day stop only), Bell Gorge, Windjana Gorge. These are all national parks, fees apply but have toilets and hot showers in the camp grounds. For us, in October 2014, the road was beautifully smooth, no traffic and very pretty.Mitchell Plateau had just closed so missed that one. We had our tyres around 20psi and had no dramas with flat tyres. The bitumen starts about 50km out of Derby. Before that there are a few patches, but don't pump your tyres up too soon, like we did!

Good luck, and enjoy!
FollowupID: 839554

Reply By: Motherhen - Sunday, May 03, 2015 at 20:33

Sunday, May 03, 2015 at 20:33
Hi Margaret, as I said on the thread yesterday, My Blogs for 2008 show what we saw and where we camped. We went to Kalumburu and Mitchell Falls, towing our off road caravan (but didn't take to caravan up to Mitchell Falls). It was the best of the best of all our trips.


Red desert dreaming

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

AnswerID: 553254

Follow Up By: Motherhen - Sunday, May 03, 2015 at 20:38

Sunday, May 03, 2015 at 20:38
Petrol - what is the distance capacity of your Xtrail when towing?


Red desert dreaming

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

FollowupID: 839039

Follow Up By: Margaret E - Monday, May 04, 2015 at 04:29

Monday, May 04, 2015 at 04:29
I have only just bought the camper so not sure how much less I get on a tank towing
I'm going to carry two 3/4 full jerry cans of fuel just to be sure.
Thank you to all for your hints it's been great
FollowupID: 839061

Reply By: Richard C3L - Thursday, May 07, 2015 at 07:52

Thursday, May 07, 2015 at 07:52
Hi Margaret
I'm heading up to Gibb River Station to oversee the redevelopment of the cattle station.

The community at Ngallagunda, on Gibb River, are about to open their new store, so call in and check it out on your way through. It's only 2 k's off the main Rd.

Have a great trip!

AnswerID: 553407

Follow Up By: Margaret E - Friday, May 08, 2015 at 00:16

Friday, May 08, 2015 at 00:16
Thank you will drop in
FollowupID: 839277

Reply By: Richard C3L - Thursday, May 07, 2015 at 07:54

Thursday, May 07, 2015 at 07:54
P.. The Imintji store is closed so make sure you fuel up at Mt Barnett or Ngallagunda.
AnswerID: 553408

Reply By: vk1dx - Thursday, May 07, 2015 at 08:50

Thursday, May 07, 2015 at 08:50
Further to the above posts on side trips. The short drive to Windjana Gorge was easy and should be fine for you. Even if corrugated, from memory, it is just a few Kms.

However when we were up there a few years back the road further on to Tunnel Creek was just as bad as Motherhen described the one to Kalumbaru and Mitchell Falls. Corrugations - bad!! It was probably because we were unlucky to get there after a long break and no maintenance/grading. If it is graded the Xtrail/trailer will be fine.
AnswerID: 553410

Sponsored Links