Gibb River Rd

Submitted: Tuesday, Sep 24, 2019 at 14:57
ThreadID: 139099 Views:1148 Replies:6 FollowUps:3
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G'day all

Hoping someone out there can assist. We are planing a trip to the Kimberleys for next year and will be coming across from Katherine . We want to see as much as possible preferably without doubling back ie: Bungle Bungles, Lake Argyle, Mueller Ranges, Fitzroy Crossing etc then across the GBRR to Mitchell Falls. My question is, do any of you seasoned travellers out there have any suggestions for a route that wont see us backtracking too far?

Cheers
Lou
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Reply By: Member - Vince M (NSW) - Tuesday, Sep 24, 2019 at 19:19

Tuesday, Sep 24, 2019 at 19:19
I did it this year (April/May) & yes I went down to wolf creek crator then bungles & back to Kununurra before the GRR it was worth the extra Klms get use to back tracking if your going to mitchel falls & check how much water are going over the falls as it was the driest I have ever seen it
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Reply By: Member - Alan H (QLD) - Wednesday, Sep 25, 2019 at 07:35

Wednesday, Sep 25, 2019 at 07:35
From Katherine go via Top Springs - Wave Hill through to Halls Creek ( great drive) then duck out to Wolf Creek Crater then up to Bungles then Kununnurra then across the Gibb and go via Winjana Gorge and Tunnel creek and keep going through to Fitroy Crossing before then going up the highway to Derby.

Cheers
Alan
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Reply By: Member - Steve R (NSW) - Wednesday, Sep 25, 2019 at 09:29

Wednesday, Sep 25, 2019 at 09:29
I see you have included Mitchell Falls on your itinerary. We travelled there this year in June and wished we didn't. The road is an "unmaintained road" and it is notorious for travellers experiencing breakages. The corrugations are the worst we have ever encountered. We took 3 hrs to travel the 70 kms and blew 2 rear shock absorbers (brand new before trip). We were glamping at the APT Wilderness lodge and met a couple who left their vehicle at Drysdale River Station and flew up. If your budget extends to this I would recommend this as a good alternative if you must see Mitchell Falls.
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Follow Up By: Member - nickb "boab" - Wednesday, Sep 25, 2019 at 21:08

Wednesday, Sep 25, 2019 at 21:08
The road is maintained , we traveled last year & there was a lot of road works but there are a lot of people on this rd aswel those tour buses ;((
Would agree 110 %... its rough ! But not as bad as Bungle Bungles
A lot of travelers leave what there towing behind
like at king edward or drysdale etc as you said ..
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Reply By: Rangiephil - Wednesday, Sep 25, 2019 at 09:38

Wednesday, Sep 25, 2019 at 09:38
The Mitchell Falls road can be a car breaker if not treated with respect.

I travelled there and back to the camping area on King George? river a few years ago without incident in my 91RRC. However I took it slowly and stopped for photos.
At one stop a Nissan Patrol came up beside and asked if we were OK. A couple of Ks along there he was with all the wheel studs on a back wheel broken.
I felt my rear shocks at one stage and sizzled a finger. The corrugations were so big that the car would roll into them when stopped.LOL

The road from Drysdale station can be just as bad, and worse from the Mitchell falls turnoff to Kalumburu. There is no "planing speed" possible.
BUT both places are worth the trip if only to hear the talk at the Kalumburu Mission..
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Follow Up By: Member - Neil T6 - Saturday, Sep 28, 2019 at 14:43

Saturday, Sep 28, 2019 at 14:43
"there he was with all the wheel studs on a back wheel broken."
That happened I think 3 times during my time in Kununurra when I was employed as a mechanic there in 2000. From memory they were LandCruisers.
Mitchell Falls road, another good earner for the breakdown/ recovery trucks.
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Reply By: Zippo - Wednesday, Sep 25, 2019 at 11:16

Wednesday, Sep 25, 2019 at 11:16
Depends on a couple of things. Are you looking at doing the GRR just so you can get to Mitchell Falls, or in its own right? If it's only for MF then the above cautions should be noted.

Otherwise - and presuming your start/finish ISN'T Darwin but your Kimberley loop starts/finshes on the Stuart Hwy - I'd suggest the following:

Katherine - Timber Creek - Kununurra - (Wyndham) - GRR.

(Derby) - Windjana Gorge - Tunnel Creek - Fitzroy.

Halls Creek - Bungles - Halls Creek - Top Springs (via Kalkarinji) to Dunmarra.

If you aren't diverting into Derby, fuel (and relief) may be an issue but Bungles is the only backtrack in there.

If your loop starts/ends past Three Way, I'd personally reverse the above flow and do the loop clockwise. Top Springs -Dunmarra is a pretty short "meh!" day on its own.

Depending on time/inclination/preferences, Wyndham could be included.
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Follow Up By: Member - McLaren3030 - Wednesday, Sep 25, 2019 at 12:26

Wednesday, Sep 25, 2019 at 12:26
Back in "04", we did the same as suggested by Zippo but with the following exceptions. From Timber Creek, we headed south through Gregory National Park via Bullita, Humbert Track, Wickham Track, Wave Hill, Buntine Highway then turned north onto Duncan Road up to Kununurra, then the GRR including Mitchell Falls & Kalumburu.

After going into the "Bungles", we back tracked to Halls Creek, then down the Tanami to Wolf Creek, back on the Tanami to Alice Springs.

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Reply By: lou_r - Wednesday, Sep 25, 2019 at 20:48

Wednesday, Sep 25, 2019 at 20:48
Thanks for all the info guys very much appreciated lots to think about
We had better get planning.

Cheers
Lou
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