Road to Mitchell Plateau

Submitted: Sunday, Jun 05, 2005 at 13:49
ThreadID: 23600 Views:1866 Replies:4 FollowUps:3
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Hi everyone,

Has anyone been up the road to the Mitchell Plateau this year? I am trying to work out what state it is in and what level of 4wding really is involved. Is it similar to any of the driving around the Red Cerntre, such as the Boggy Hole track? From all the posts I have read it seems as though the GRR doesn't really require 4wd, except that it is good fro safe driving practices on gravel roads and helps those corrugations be a little less noticable.

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Reply By: erekka - Sunday, Jun 05, 2005 at 13:55

Sunday, Jun 05, 2005 at 13:55
had trouble with the rest of the post.

I am also wondering if there are free camp spots along the GRR or if you have to pay to stay places. Does anyone out there have highlights for places or fav camping spots in this area?
AnswerID: 114429

Reply By: Rocky & Bullwinkle - Monday, Jun 06, 2005 at 17:59

Monday, Jun 06, 2005 at 17:59
Hi Erekka,

We travelled the GRR May 2004 and had no problems at all with our hired Hilux dual cab (we flew to Broome instead of driving). The road varied from really good to pretty rough, and it had just been graded. We couldn't get up to Mitchell Plateau as the roads were still closed due to wet year. The road up as far as Drysdale River was open and similar to the GRR. Main problem we heard was the river crossing at the turnoff from the Kalumburu road - 1.5 metres at the time.
This year has been drier than last so should be OK.

As for camping, we didn't see too many free camp sites - just the one at the intersection of the GRR and Kalumburu road. Right on the side of the road and very dusty. There were haeps on the Gt Nthn Hwy though. We stayed at El Questro campground, Manning Gorge, Beverley Springs, Bell Gorge and each cost around $9 per person. Rates vary depending on the time of the season.

There is a really good leaflet called the Travellers Guide to GRR and Kalumbura Roads that you get at either Derby or Kununurra tourist info centres. Cost $4 last year.

We had a terrific time and will head back up that way one day.

Rocky & Bullwinkle
AnswerID: 114630

Follow Up By: erekka - Tuesday, Jun 07, 2005 at 09:02

Tuesday, Jun 07, 2005 at 09:02
Thanks Rocky and Bullwinkle. that book sounds like a good one to get, I'll have to remember to do that when I am in Kununurra. Did you have a favourite place on the GRR that you would go back to?
FollowupID: 370545

Reply By: Pterosaur - Monday, Jun 06, 2005 at 21:26

Monday, Jun 06, 2005 at 21:26
Hi erekka,

camping sites - if you're self reliant - Dog & Chain creek, Gibb River (just along Kalumburu t/off), Pentecost River (Eastern side), Durack River all have campsites - I also suspect that many of the tracks which head "bush" off the road (generally near streams) lead to campsites.

AnswerID: 114672

Follow Up By: erekka - Tuesday, Jun 07, 2005 at 09:06

Tuesday, Jun 07, 2005 at 09:06
Hi Terry,
Yep, I am self reliant, just me and a mate, the 4d and our swags, it seems mad to pay lots of money to camp somewhere when there are probably beautiful stops just off the track, I have been spoilt and in the last 5 years the only place I've camped with lots of people was at Dalhousie the other night. Mind you there was no one there during the day and it was beautiful. strange question, but do you know what teh croc situation is like up there if we do camp along rivers?
FollowupID: 370546

Reply By: Pterosaur - Tuesday, Jun 07, 2005 at 13:01

Tuesday, Jun 07, 2005 at 13:01
G'day erekka,

Old timer(local) told me to treat ALL water up there as if it had crocs - they can travel just about anywhere in the Wet.

That being said - the campsites I chose (except for Dog & Chain Ck., Gibb River - mainly dry) were situated on sites well away from the river bank, although water was in sight - well below me ! I'm pretty paranoid about the big lizards, as I haven't had that much experience with them. Durack River looked croc infested (north of GRR), but the campsites there were well above the river (on eastern bank). Did feel safe enough to swim in the gorges I visited, and Dog & Chain Ck., while not exactly big enough to swim in, was certainly good enugh for immersion in, fellow campers put their chairs in as a good place to sit, away from flies while consuming obligatory stubbies.

I also agree that the road is not particularly challenging in 4wd terms - the most serious 4wd I encountered was on the (optional) "Karinji track" (name ??) from the Pentecost River to Wyndham - sections in low range, lots of bulldust, spectacular views of the Cockburn Range.

Might see you around - thinking of returning there after visiting Cape York, as I reckon its one of the most beautiful paces in Oz, and I live in Tassie !

AnswerID: 114745

Follow Up By: Pterosaur - Tuesday, Jun 07, 2005 at 13:11

Tuesday, Jun 07, 2005 at 13:11
Books and maps I found useful for the GRR are :

HEMA map "The Kimberleys" - shows many (not all) campsites etc.,

"Free Campsites of North West WA" - not sure of authors, as I don't have it handy, but there are two books, this one and a similar title for SE WA. Cost about $12 each, available from tourism, Nat. parks offices, camping suppliers etc.,

Somebody else on the forum will be able to properly identify these books for you if you need more info.

FollowupID: 370567

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