Gibb River Road - which way better


We are planning to travel the Gibb River Road one way and on the Highway (through Halls Creek) the other way, starting and ending in Broome. Is there any difference if we start to go by highway and return by the GRR, rather than doing this the other way round? We plan also to visit Purnululu NP and Mornington Wilderness Camp on the way.

Many thanks for your views,
Anna and Marek
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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Monday, Jul 20, 2015 at 07:34

Monday, Jul 20, 2015 at 07:34
Hi Anna and Marek,

There is no preference for traveling in either direction.
We chose to travel from Kununurra to Broome via the Gibb, then back to Kununurra via the Great Northern Highway (Bitumen).

Just take your time so you don't miss some of the smaller, less known places along the way, such as Galvins Gorge, a short walk from the carpark on the GRR and the reward of a great refreshing swim in the pool.


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Reply By: MEMBER - Darian, SA - Monday, Jul 20, 2015 at 09:09

Monday, Jul 20, 2015 at 09:09
No issue with direction in my Bill says, give yourself as much time as possible and take as many of those side tracks as you can to the various gazetted attractions. As well as the info you might pick up at the tourist info offices (there are maps and books available here on Eoz too), there are plenty of Gibb associated links on the Drysdale River Station site (here). If you are into appreciation of the 'natural environment', you'll be blown away by the Kimberley.....have a great time.
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Reply By: Member - Alan H (QLD) - Monday, Jul 20, 2015 at 09:10

Monday, Jul 20, 2015 at 09:10
Don't miss Tunnel creek and Windjana Gorge on your circuit.

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Reply By: pop2jocem - Monday, Jul 20, 2015 at 09:16

Monday, Jul 20, 2015 at 09:16
G'day Anna and Marek,

We travelled the GRR at about this time last year. Maybe a little earlier. I doubt there is a better way either east to west or vice versa.

Mornington is a couple of hours drive in off the Gibb but in my opinion well worth the effort. Lots of small creek crossings. Also Ellenbrae Station is worth a visit. A nice pool for a swim off to the left just before you reach the homestead off the access road.

Be careful and watch out for the large 4WD tourist buses and a few others who seem to think there is some reward for doing the trip in the least possible time. Other than that I am sure you will thoroughly enjoy the experience.

If you plan on breaking the trip on the highway in either direction at Fitzroy Crossing I would recommend the Fitzroy River Lodge. The other one is a little more, hmmm let's say a bit less salubrious.

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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Monday, Jul 20, 2015 at 18:09

Monday, Jul 20, 2015 at 18:09
There are many gorges and sites (or even sights) to see along the Gibb River Road, but there is one that is maybe neglected because it is 1.5 to 2 hours (90km) off the GRR. That is the Mornington Wilderness Camp operated by the Australian Wildlife Conservancy and referred to above by Pop. It is a former cattle station being returned to its original wilderness condition by the Conservancy.

In my opinion it is not to be missed and I would return to The Kimberly to visit there singularly. One especially memorable feature was to rent a canoe and spend several peaceful hours on the Fitzroy River. I would budget for at least a couple of days there.

This is a link to their website.

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Reply By: vk1dx - Monday, Jul 20, 2015 at 09:41

Monday, Jul 20, 2015 at 09:41
No difference. We also added a water trip. We did the bitumen, then an ocean trip up to the Prince Regent River and back to Broome. Then we had an excellent drive northwards along the Gibb River Road, exploring just about every road leading off it. Plus an excellent drive on the Karunji Track circumnavigating the whole of the magnificent Cockburn Sound Range behind Emma Gorge.

Too much for us to see and we will be back.

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Reply By: Motherhen - Monday, Jul 20, 2015 at 14:04

Monday, Jul 20, 2015 at 14:04
As the other say, either way, but do make sure you include Purnululu and Geikie Gorge (Fitzroy Crossing) in your loop.

We started at Derby , but went back to the Highway and Geikie Gorge, before back tracking a little way to take the Leopold Downs road to Tunnel Creek and Windjana Gorge, the headed North East on the Gibb River Road. I reasoned we would not miss out on anything special by skipping the Gibb River Road between Derby and Windjana Gorge.

We took just over three weeks, including Mitchell Falls and Kalumburu, seeing just the main sights. We did not go to Mornington due to the distance, and did not go to most of the station stays. You can check where we did go through My Blogs (2008).


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Reply By: Member - Mark C (QLD) - Monday, Jul 20, 2015 at 18:54

Monday, Jul 20, 2015 at 18:54
Either way is fine. We did kunnanurra, windham via dirt then El Questro and then every gorge to mitchell falls and back to Mornington Widerness camp and a fantastic time on the Fitzroy in a canoe. Well worth the two hours each way. Mannings, Bells, Windyana Gorge and tunnell creek just a short trip down the raod and on to Derby then Broome and cape Leveque, WOW.
Returned via Fitroy crossing and Geike gorge and Punnululu, makes we want to go again now. We traveled late August and September and had most of the camps to ourselves. Everyone goes home september 1 and the weather was fine.
Stay as long as you can as we will be back to enjoy more of the wonderful Kimberly region.
Mark And Helen QLD
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Follow Up By: mildew - Tuesday, Jul 21, 2015 at 20:34

Tuesday, Jul 21, 2015 at 20:34
Don't miss Bell Falls either. A magic place and not far off the GRR.
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