Devonian Reef (Derby)

Submitted: Tuesday, Mar 22, 2016 at 15:58
ThreadID: 131894 Views:1734 Replies:2 FollowUps:8
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Planning to arrive in Derby early August. There are 3 Nat Parks, info says sall accessible by car (4WD) and exploring by our own. Questions:
-Does an Xtrail (2015) will do the trick or not? Rivers crossing? Too bad road?
-Possible to explore by our own or need to book a tour? Tours are annoying for me, expensive and can not do much video.
Thanks in advance for personal experiences of members
Carlo
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Reply By: Member - Cuppa - Tuesday, Mar 22, 2016 at 18:59

Tuesday, Mar 22, 2016 at 18:59
I'm thinking you are referring to Windjana Gorge where there is certainly Devonian Reef, & maybe Tunnel Creek & Bell Gorge? (No Devonian reef at the latter two that I recall).

Anyway if that is what you are referring to, you will have no problem accessing them in your Xtrail, the road is a graded gravel road which will be dusty & corrugated in places & yes you will be able to explore yourselves. No River crossing. The track from the campground to Bell Gorge is rocky in places so will need slow going but quie manageable.

Biggest risk is from other drivers who go too fast, just slow down & keep well left whenever anyone is approaching you & when cornering.
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Follow Up By: Ferraro - Tuesday, Mar 22, 2016 at 21:53

Tuesday, Mar 22, 2016 at 21:53
Yes, you are right about the site.
Thanks for the info, very much appreciated
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Follow Up By: Blown4by - Tuesday, Mar 22, 2016 at 22:59

Tuesday, Mar 22, 2016 at 22:59
The only time you would have trouble with water on that road is if any reasonable quantity of unseasonal rain occurred at that time of the year and if that occurred in all likelihood the Derby Shire would have closed the road. I agree with the advice from Cuppa and just make sure you have good rubber before you go. You could do the whole GRR, Mitchell Falls and the Bungle Bungles in that vehicle as long as you don't drive like some international back packers who think you can see the entire Kimberley region in 4 days. Also keep you tyre pressures right for the conditions and don't overload.
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Reply By: Motherhen - Thursday, Mar 24, 2016 at 00:31

Thursday, Mar 24, 2016 at 00:31
Hi Carlo

From the Great Northern Highway you have Geikie Gorge near Fitzroy Crossing. Easy access and you see it from a Department of Parks and Wildlife boat trip which is not expensive.

We drove from Derby back to the Highway then to Fitzroy Crossing to see Geikie Gorge, turning back a little way to the Leopold Downs Road to Tunnel Creek and Windjana Gorge before continuing north east on the Gibb River Road (see My Blogs 2008). This road was quite rough, but no water crossings in the winter months unless unseasonal rain and would be not problem for your Xtrail.

The Gibb River Road from Derby to the Windjana turnoff is good and partly sealed if you do the circuit the opposite way to what we did.

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Follow Up By: Zippo - Thursday, Mar 24, 2016 at 00:59

Thursday, Mar 24, 2016 at 00:59
We tried that Leopold Downs road into Tunnel Creek last year - early August. Just past LD station turnoff/entrance there was a creek crossing. Rocky uneven bottom and water up to the top of the wheel arch on a station LC that went through in front of us. Would be hesitant to put an XTrail through that.
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Thursday, Mar 24, 2016 at 23:10

Thursday, Mar 24, 2016 at 23:10
That is unusual Zippo. We were there in June 2008, and they'd experienced unseasonal June rain not long before we got to the Kimberley.

Like any outback or unsealed clay roads, if it has rained you need to check first.
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Follow Up By: Zippo - Friday, Mar 25, 2016 at 01:29

Friday, Mar 25, 2016 at 01:29
I'm not sure if there was anybody to check with before we headed up. But when we saw the "creek crossing" we did the other kind of check. As we were contemplating a walk-through, we watched as the station vehicle went through.

[Edit:] I should add that there had been no rain in the area (that we were aware of) in the preceding weeks. Interestingly, Google maps sat view shows the pool where the creek crosses, and StreetView (yes, it apparently passed through there!) also shows it, but not as deep as we saw.
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Friday, Mar 25, 2016 at 18:52

Friday, Mar 25, 2016 at 18:52
There might some big springs upstream from that crossing, Zippo?

During periods of full moon they often increase their flow by a substantial amount, hence the deeper crossing. Have seen small soaks that were barely big enough to fill your pannikin, run for 50-100M during full moon.

Bob

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Follow Up By: Zippo - Friday, Mar 25, 2016 at 20:05

Friday, Mar 25, 2016 at 20:05
Bob, there's certainly a watercourse - the greenery is visible on G-E (about -17.743298, 125.375269 in northern-hemisphere-speak), and the road pool is clear too.

Not sure about the moon bit ....
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Friday, Mar 25, 2016 at 21:00

Friday, Mar 25, 2016 at 21:00
"Not sure about the moon bit...."

Ha ha, that's ridgey-didge, Zippo, about the moon. Not having a lend of you......seen it a lot when I worked in the Kimberley.

Bob

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