Gibb River Road in October

Submitted: Thursday, Sep 03, 2015 at 13:50
ThreadID: 130177 Views:4051 Replies:10 FollowUps:2
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I was wondering how bearable the heat is at this time? I'm going to have to travel from Darwin towards Perth (over 4-6 weeks) leaving around the start of October but would love to do the GRR.

Will it be okay or unbearable? I'm okay with heat but obviously having places full of water to swim and stop off will help a lot.

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Reply By: Member - Stuart and Gunny - Thursday, Sep 03, 2015 at 17:53

Thursday, Sep 03, 2015 at 17:53
Hi Martyn
I was in Kununurra October last year and it was 43c in the shade.It was bearable because it was a dry heat.Im not certain whether any of the stations that you would normally stop at are open at that time of the year because there are no tourists because of the heat.
Plus i would assume the road would be badly chopped up at that time.As far as swimming holes go i do not know but other than the popular gorges if open i did not see anywhere you could swim.
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Reply By: Ozi M - Thursday, Sep 03, 2015 at 18:26

Thursday, Sep 03, 2015 at 18:26
I have also been up there in October, if you are used to Darwin then it is hotter but drier. I walked around looking at stuff and handled it OK but I handle heat a lot better than cold.
It would depend how you going to do it as well, are you camping or do you have a caravan with AC ? If you stay in cabins then it will be quite comfortable :)

Camping would be hot at night and the build up is just starting, creek crossings should be a doddle but waterfalls may not even be flowing.

Mitchells Falls never stops they reckon but it would be a long hot walk to have a look at that in October, leave at daylight would be the best idea IMO

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Reply By: Member - Megan and Kevin D (AC - Thursday, Sep 03, 2015 at 18:35

Thursday, Sep 03, 2015 at 18:35
If I remember correctly, there's quite a hike into most of the gorges and so any benefit of a swim would be lost by the time you got back to your car. Check on this in case my memory is faulty! Megan
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Reply By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Thursday, Sep 03, 2015 at 20:47

Thursday, Sep 03, 2015 at 20:47
1st time up was in 2006 in September - camping - days were hot, but dry. Nights were pretty good for sleeping until the build-up started in early October - once the humidity started I was pleased to head south - wasn't nice for sleeping
AnswerID: 589951

Reply By: Member - Robert1660 - Friday, Sep 04, 2015 at 08:35

Friday, Sep 04, 2015 at 08:35
Hi Martyn,
We travelled the Gibb in mid August 2013. I am not sure of an actual temperature but it was "hot". If you travel out to Mitchell Plateau, and this I would recommend, take the helicopter out to the falls and then walk back to the carpark. There are at least 4 places to swim on the walk back. I believe the road to the plateau has not improved much since I travelled on it, so sensible speed is essential.
Derby was, temperature wise, very oppressive. We stayed in the caravan park at the edge of town and to get some relief from the heat a visit to the wharf was essential. Also of note was the mosquito population.
Depending on the time you travel in October you may need to check that some of the facilities have not already closed for the coming wet season.
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Reply By: Martyn J - Friday, Sep 04, 2015 at 12:56

Friday, Sep 04, 2015 at 12:56
Thanks for all the responses and information.

It's a hard decision for sure. This is literally the only chance i will get to do this and unfortunately i've lost some time on my route (i may be have been doing it in September).

Dry heat is the one thing i'm happy with, so i'm hoping if we go in early October we may not hit too much of the build up?

I read that a lot of places in the areas shut down around late October early November time, as i said i would be doing this route at the very start of October if all goes well so hopefully in terms of business being open i should be okay, although i'll obviously still need to check this out.

I don't mind doing early and late walks and then driving during the day (guess i'll have to take the plunge and get my A/C regassed!) so as to avoid the worst heat. I'm just hoping the swimming holes, creeks, waterfalls and things to see haven't dried up though as obviously this is one of the main reasons to do the trip.

Megan, i'll definitely look into the access of the gorges and water-based locations, thanks!

We were looking at mainly camping but the money is there to book somewhere if after a night or two we find the heat too much (providing places are open).

If anyone has any information on this year then that would be great, as i know how variable things could be. Also if anyone knows of a clear route guide with detours. For example, it's very easy to find routes of the Old Telegrapgh Track with photos showing points of interest, any difficult terrain etc, but it seems like less people document this track in the same way.

Thanks again.
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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Friday, Sep 04, 2015 at 13:39

Friday, Sep 04, 2015 at 13:39
Should do what you want. I've got them for the Snowy and the standard SA desert 'tracks'.
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Friday, Sep 04, 2015 at 13:52

Friday, Sep 04, 2015 at 13:52
Working link to above

The Kimberley Outback Travellers Guide

I sent one final shout after him to stick to the track, to which he replied “All right,” That was the last ever seen of Gibson - E Giles 23 April 1874

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Reply By: AnneC5 - Friday, Sep 04, 2015 at 19:22

Friday, Sep 04, 2015 at 19:22
Can't comment on the temperature, but I can verify that it is quite a long walk to many of the safe swimming spots along the way.
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Reply By: Michaeljp - Saturday, Sep 05, 2015 at 19:46

Saturday, Sep 05, 2015 at 19:46
This year the wet was not very big so not much water going over the falls. Id first ring Drysdale river station, Mt Barnett roadhouse andEl Questro to see if they will be open when you intend on travelling.
AnswerID: 590015

Reply By: Michaeljp - Saturday, Sep 05, 2015 at 19:47

Saturday, Sep 05, 2015 at 19:47
Also if your on Facebook there is a group called The gibb river road, join it and ask your questions there, where people have travelled it recently.
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Reply By: Martyn J - Monday, Sep 07, 2015 at 14:33

Monday, Sep 07, 2015 at 14:33
Thanks for the resources and further info. It's all saved and i will definitely be making these calls and using these as my points of research when i am close to leaving.

Thanks again
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