Sept 2006 Gibb River Road

Submitted: Saturday, Mar 04, 2006 at 16:01
ThreadID: 31414 Views:2481 Replies:11 FollowUps:1
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Hi all. We are planning on driving the GRR this year in early September. We will be hiring a Toyota Landcruiser from 4WD Hire with a tent setup. Feedback from this forum would be appreciated.

Will some of the crowds have thinned out by then or will we have lots of company.
Is there anyway to predict the road conditions at this point?
Lastly, we really have only 3-4 days as it is part of a greater trip from Darwin to Perth. Would the trip still be worthwile?

Many thanks.
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Reply By: Notso - Saturday, Mar 04, 2006 at 16:43

Saturday, Mar 04, 2006 at 16:43
It will be starting to get hot up there by then and the round Aus travellers will be past there and gone.

You'll still get a lot of people travelling the road at that stage providing they don't get any early rain. Check with the police at Kununurra or Derby before you head off onto the GRR

The main highway is still pretty scenic anyhow so if you do have to give the Gibb river road a miss it won't be so bad.

AnswerID: 158574

Reply By: Wayne (NSW) - Saturday, Mar 04, 2006 at 16:53

Saturday, Mar 04, 2006 at 16:53

3-4 days will not give enough to time to see the GRR. You will miss all of the gorges.

The road condition will change from week to week depending weather and traffic. How many vehicles will be up there at that time of year is any ones guess, but it should be lighter than any other of the season.

AnswerID: 158576

Reply By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Saturday, Mar 04, 2006 at 18:04

Saturday, Mar 04, 2006 at 18:04
No first hand experience on the GRR unfortunately, but we will be doing it in June/July. For what it's worth, we have allocated 4 to 5 weeks from Broome to Kununurra, but that includes major side trecks to Mitchell Plateau, Kalumburu, etc.

Heading over via the main road and have allocated 10 to 12 days as there is a fair bit to see and do on that road as well.

Unless you particularly want the experience of the GRR, you might be better on the main road given your time constraints. Will give time for a touch more sightseeing.

Either way, hope you have a good trip.
AnswerID: 158593

Reply By: Darian (SA) - Saturday, Mar 04, 2006 at 18:27

Saturday, Mar 04, 2006 at 18:27
I'm with Norm - we have been planning our trip for this year and 4 days would not be worth the hassle it seems. Lots of tiresome driving with the potential for tyre failure, all to find out that you must keep driving past lots of wonderful places. As mentioned, if you take the sealed highway, you could save time for a quality stop or two between Kun. and Broom. Save the Gibb for when you have the time.
AnswerID: 158599

Reply By: Kiwi Kia - Saturday, Mar 04, 2006 at 18:53

Saturday, Mar 04, 2006 at 18:53
Go down via the Bungles and spend a couple of days there instead if you don't have the time to spend in the Kimberlies.
AnswerID: 158603

Follow Up By: The Explorer - Saturday, Mar 04, 2006 at 19:30

Saturday, Mar 04, 2006 at 19:30
Yes - was contemplating a similar suggestion. Bungles are possibly not worth missing compared to what you will see down the GRR in 3 or 4 days, however if you are still keen on GRR, the 3 or 4 days are fine so GO FOR IT. You will not be disappointed.

You will of course not .”miss all of the gorges” or "not have enough time" as suggested – you will just have to be selective. I did it in 3 or 4 days once and it was great. Went to (in reverse direction to you) Windjana Gorge, Mount Barnett (Manning George) dropped into Bells Gorge on way, then powered onto El Questro (Emma Gorge, Zebedee Springs, Chamberlain Gorge) for a night or two at the camp ground. All in the mighty RAV 4 (not surprising really – its just a gravel road).

Temperatures in September are still reasonable about 20 to 35 °C with probability of rain pretty low but increasing to October (peaks in Jan/Feb as does temp). Road conditions will be ok but depends on when grading was done – can get horribly corrugated in places.

Hema's Kimberley Map is a good reference and will suite your purpose perfectly - when you get serious you can get those real good 50K maps:)

Have Fun

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: Member - Mike H (VIC) - Saturday, Mar 04, 2006 at 18:58

Saturday, Mar 04, 2006 at 18:58
G'day Tpuryear,
nobody can tell you in advance what the road conditions will be like.
I agree with others who told you that 3 -4 days isn't near enough.
You should allow at least 7 days just from Derby to Kununurra and even then you will miss out on all the best places. They are all somewhat remote from the GRR and require additional time.
I take tours from Perth to Darwin, including the GRR, taking 33 - 34 days and even that means compromising.

If 3 - 4 days is all you have then you better go along the Hwy..
With an additional day you would have the time to detour into the Bungle Bungle.

Take it easy and enjoy,
AnswerID: 158604

Reply By: Kumunara (SA) - Sunday, Mar 05, 2006 at 06:59

Sunday, Mar 05, 2006 at 06:59
3 to 4 days is nowhere near long enough.

In september it is the end of the dry and a lot of the rivers will be drying up. It will not be as scenic. Best time is the end of the wet. Plenty of water and because it is still hot nowhere near the traffic in June - July.

They grade the road at the end of the wet and is in good condition at that time.
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AnswerID: 158663

Reply By: Tpuryear - Sunday, Mar 05, 2006 at 08:51

Sunday, Mar 05, 2006 at 08:51
Everyone thank you for your information. We will weigh what all have been said. No matter what we do, or which way we go, we will have a great time. After all, we will be in Australia, in our own vehicle, without a gaggle of tourists (hopefully).

Looking forward to it all!

Thanks again.

AnswerID: 158666

Reply By: bombsquad - Sunday, Mar 05, 2006 at 10:11

Sunday, Mar 05, 2006 at 10:11
Just another suggestion, go the Duncan Road to the Buccannan highway, then to Halls Creek. Good for a 2 - 3 day trip, a few rivers and Marella Gorge - one of the best I've seen. Otherwise I'd suggest going the highway, or maybe using it as a scouting trip along the gibb to help plan a later expeddition.

Cheers Andrew
AnswerID: 158675

Reply By: Browser - Monday, Mar 06, 2006 at 10:27

Monday, Mar 06, 2006 at 10:27
Hi Tpuryear,

I did the Gibb River Road last year (2005) in late September/early October. We took two weeks and got to see plenty of the gorges, stations, and experiences that the region has to offer. 3-4 days is simply not enough time to enjoy the Gibb River Road. I would suggest as have others that you travel into the Bungle Bungle National Park (Purnululu) for a couple of days and then perhaps down to Fitzroy Crossing and a tour of Gieke Gorge.

If you do want to do the Gibb River Road give yourself at least 10 days but the more the better. We founf late September/early October very hot and stiffling but if you did your sightseeing early in the morning or late afternoon and avoided the heat of the middle of the day than it was fine. The crowds were right down which made the trip very pleasant and often we would be with three or four other campers maximum at the national parks or cattle station camp sites.

Good like and I'm sure whatever way you go you will enjoy your Australian adventure.


AnswerID: 158843

Reply By: froomey - Monday, Mar 20, 2006 at 02:15

Monday, Mar 20, 2006 at 02:15
hi traveller

stay on explore oz ,go to trip planning , click on trek notes, click on destination, scroll to find w.a. gibb river,
this will give you a good idea , and tell you everything you will need to know
(road conditions )
done the trip 3 times, 1) 4 days, 2) 6 days, 3)10 days then went up to mitchell falls & kalumburu , then down to tunnel creek and windjana gorge, great trip
keep eye on site , road conditions can change over night
have a good trip

AnswerID: 161606

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