Gibb River road help.

Hi guys...I'm 19,000km into my 'round aus trip. Driving a 2003 Subaru outback with 2" lift, a/t tyres and bash plate.. vehicle has low range. I also have recovery tracks (absolute lifesavers) and snatch strap etc. I took her through a 'high clearance 4wd only' national park with no real issues. Have done numerous other 4wd tracks around oz (which i would have attemoted in a 2wd once upon a time).

Anyway, this week I plan to drive the Gibb River road and while the road itself is not really a worry, im not sure what else I will be able to do along the way (gorges etc). If anybody could help and maybe provide some current advice i'd be very grateful. Thanks.
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Reply By: Member - 8111COLIN - Tuesday, Sep 29, 2015 at 23:55

Tuesday, Sep 29, 2015 at 23:55
Shouldn't be a problem , just take it easy on the tracks going into the gorges , sounds like it's set up right .
I did that trip in 1980 in a Sandman Panel van , i'll bet it was worse then and made it back to Melbourne .
Enjoy your trip
AnswerID: 590874

Follow Up By: wombat100 - Thursday, Oct 01, 2015 at 16:20

Thursday, Oct 01, 2015 at 16:20
Yup- 2WD Datsun 1600 in August 1979.
600km in 6 hours- at night !!!
FollowupID: 859029

Reply By: Australian Landscape Jewellery - Wednesday, Sep 30, 2015 at 06:20

Wednesday, Sep 30, 2015 at 06:20
I have had a Suby and Landcruiser. I agree with Colin. Just take it easy. You should be fine for all the major spots for tourists along the road but I wouldn't go venturing much away from them. If you intend detouring up to the Mitchell Plateau however, that's another question. Not sure about that. It might be OK? Maybe not? I'd be inclined to play safe and give that detour a miss.
I'd watch the weather though. I wouldn't do it if there had been serious rain recently or if serious rain was forecast.
AnswerID: 590879

Reply By: pop2jocem - Wednesday, Sep 30, 2015 at 10:05

Wednesday, Sep 30, 2015 at 10:05
Hi Jamie,

We travelled the GRR last year but in the month of June. There was still a reasonable depth of water in the creeks but nothing too serious. The Pentacost crossing came up to about the front bumper on our Cruiser so around the 600 mm mark. The road itself can be smooth as or horror corrugations depending on the amount of vehicular usage and how long ago the graders have been over it. Lower your tyre pressures and take it easy on the bad sections. The creek crossings at this time of year would most likely be fairly low so easier to pick where the largish rocks are. This especially so about the side tracks to the various gorges.
As others have said, it sounds like you have your vehicle pretty well set up. While I have never owned a Subaru myself I have heard that they are quite a capable 4WD and will go places a lot of people wouldn't give them credit for. Maybe an extra spare tyre and some extra fuel, I have heard that the Imitji roadhouse is no longer open. There is a guy named Neville who trades as Over The ranges tyre service just west of the Mt Barnett roadhouse. As his name suggest he does tyres and also minor mechanical repairs. Not sure exactly what time of year he shuts up shop though. He heads out for the summer months.
Personally I reckon the biggest hazard is the large 4WD tour coaches with a time table to keep to. Give them a wide berth or risk windscreen damage.
All in all a thoroughly enjoyable experience in my opinion.

AnswerID: 590885

Reply By: Zippo - Wednesday, Sep 30, 2015 at 10:59

Wednesday, Sep 30, 2015 at 10:59
Jamie, being a Forester owner I reckon (as others have said) you have covered most bases. My only reservation is water crossings. The air intake under the bonnet is not immune to water ingestion, and the often overlooked cabin air vents (hidden behind the rear bumper trim returns) will allow water into the wells behind the rear wheel arches. It will drain afterwards but can cause lingering mouldy smells and is a rust-starter.

After the Gibb I'm sure we'd all like to hear how it went.
AnswerID: 590890

Reply By: Steve - Wednesday, Sep 30, 2015 at 11:56

Wednesday, Sep 30, 2015 at 11:56
Drove the GRR a couple of weeks back and the Pentecost was very low, just large round boulders to ride over and depth wouldn't reach the axle. Around Home Hill was pretty cut up with the blue/grey stone causing a few punctures around us - we got off without damage but probably luck as much as anything. Temperatures approaching 40 deg then so it'll be pretty warm.
AnswerID: 590893

Reply By: Jamie K2 - Wednesday, Sep 30, 2015 at 12:47

Wednesday, Sep 30, 2015 at 12:47
Wow, lots of great advice. Thanks. I have a tilting towbar mounted fuel carrier which extends my range to 1000km or more, depending on conditions. I only have one spare tyre but also have tyre plugs and sealant...touch wood I guess! I'll let you know how things go!
AnswerID: 590894

Follow Up By: 671 - Wednesday, Sep 30, 2015 at 22:39

Wednesday, Sep 30, 2015 at 22:39
Have you had to fix any punctures yet on your trip? Plenty of holes have been repaired with plugs but they are just one of many different types of methods used to repair punctures. It is common in the bush to get holes that are far too big for them.

It is also not unheard of to run over something that punctures two tyres at the same time.

There is a lot of good information here along with photos of what you might encounter and the equipment available to fix them.
tyre repairs
FollowupID: 859011

Reply By: Member - 8111COLIN - Wednesday, Sep 30, 2015 at 17:52

Wednesday, Sep 30, 2015 at 17:52
Hi again Jamie.
Just to add something to the pot , I would definitely take another spare wheel with you , and avoid over the range tyres unless it's an emergency , I went in there last year , the tyres are double the price of a city and a worn out tyre is the same price as a new one , so buy a tyre to take with you and yes let your tyres down and don't go all that way and not go to Mitchell falls , your car will do it , just take your time , like I said, I did it all in a Holden panel van with no worries .
definitely raise the air intake .
AnswerID: 590904

Follow Up By: Jamie K2 - Wednesday, Sep 30, 2015 at 21:44

Wednesday, Sep 30, 2015 at 21:44
I'll see if I can pick up another hoop in Broome, cheers.
FollowupID: 859010

Reply By: Robyn R4 - Thursday, Oct 01, 2015 at 10:31

Thursday, Oct 01, 2015 at 10:31
Source a spare.
Hubby and I had our last flat tyres about 20 years ago...until we did the Plenty, Tanami, Gibb, Savannah circuit a few months ago...
At one point we had 2 flat tyres on the trailer. When you put your spare on there is something inside you (Murphy?!) that says you will not make it to the next town before doing another tyre.
We marvelled at the puncture repair kit that stayed unopened in its packet. No slow punctures for us...we shredded them. And yet all those other gravelly outback roads that you read of people doing tyres-we did all those roads unscathed. Not the Gibb though!
There are big distances to cover and the roadhouses that say they fix tyres won't be able to fix the shredded ones!
We swore that all those sharp stones on the graded roads had our number plate and were looking for us, and it didn't matter how we drove or what tyre pressure-they still found us!
As hubby said, you could carry 3 spares and still shred them if it's not your lucky day, but why tempt fate?
The majority of the Gibb is accessible to you-ask along the way. We drove it in a beefed up/ not very conventional dual range Kia Sorento with no dramas. We met people at Mt Elizabeth who told us about a track that was damn hard going and we decided that it wasn't our cup of tea. And we got to Drysdale River Station and had to make the decision that Kalumburu wasn't possible because of the corrugations at the time.
But there was so much more that we could do!
Robyn :)
PS: Not booking in to the "bush camping" at Home Valley Station was our only regret-we booked in at the main camping area and then discovered how nice the bush camping area was on the edge of the Pentecost. Check it out before committing to your choice!

AnswerID: 590915

Follow Up By: Jamie K2 - Thursday, Oct 01, 2015 at 15:29

Thursday, Oct 01, 2015 at 15:29
Thanks. I was nearly going to just wing it but i picked up an extra spare in Broome. I also carry plenty of tools, oil, coolant and spare fuel lines, cv boots and other things that I know Subis like to eat :).

Wish me luck!
FollowupID: 859025

Reply By: Michaeljp - Thursday, Oct 01, 2015 at 16:15

Thursday, Oct 01, 2015 at 16:15
try posting on the Facebook group, The Gibb River Road, for the latest info from travellers.
AnswerID: 590924

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