Gibb River Rd - W to E? or E to W?

Submitted: Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 10:26
ThreadID: 46644 Views:2274 Replies:8 FollowUps:9
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We will be travelling the Gibb River Rd at the end of July. We were thinking of travelling from Derby across to Kununurra, but we have read the recommendation is to travel from Kununurra to Derby because the lighting and views are better.

Can anyone please advise whether there is a difference or not? Is the difference worth it?

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Reply By: Andrew from Vivid Adventures - Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 14:32

Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 14:32
Well it depends on whether you want the morning sun in your eyes, or the evening sun in your eyes.

Most of the interesting places are off the road north or south anyways, so I can't see that it matters really.
AnswerID: 246776

Reply By: Dodgin & Weavin - Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 14:38

Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 14:38
Agree with Andrew. We've done it both ways and can't recall thinking that one way or the other was better. We had a great time both ways.


AnswerID: 246782

Reply By: draff - Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 14:40

Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 14:40
I don't think it really matters for much other than the sun, as mentioned above. However, I would just note that if you happen to go East to West make sure when you cross the Pentacost River you look behind you as its the perfect photo opportunity with the Cockburn ranges behind you (its the photo on all the post cards!). We didn't look behind us and missed this ideal photo opp - didn't even realise until we saw postcards at the other end of the road! ahh well, just an excuse to go back up there later this year! Enjoy your holiday.
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Follow Up By: Member - andrew B (Kununurra) - Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 15:35

Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 15:35
It would be interesting to have some stats on how many people drive across, drop a 'photographer' off, then go back and cross again for the photo! (guilty once myself!)

Cheers Andrew
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Follow Up By: draff - Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 16:00

Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 16:00

We will defintely be doing that this time around! Still any excuse to come back to the Kimberley is a good one!

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Follow Up By: Member - joc45 (WA) - Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 18:58

Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 18:58
Not recommended one wades across for the photo!!
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Follow Up By: Andrew from Vivid Adventures - Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 20:33

Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 20:33
LOL Andrew.

Yes, we do that too at the Pentecost, but also at the Durack where the backdrop is a nice steep hill ...

Last time we went through we were pretty muddy, and there was a tourist bus stopped at the top of the hill... funny, they all wanted to take our picture as we came back through too ... as they say, all publicity is good publicity ;-)

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Follow Up By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 23:28

Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 23:28
We had the same experience with a bus full of backpackers. Nobody wanted to be the first to cross so as to miss out on the photos of a vehicle crossing.
Make sure you give back more than you take

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Reply By: Member - Greydemon (WA) - Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 16:35

Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 16:35
We did it from Derby to Kununurra and it was great. One advantage that many people will dispute is that by the time we reached El Questro we had seen so many fantastic gorges that we were happy to sail past and save ourselves a lot of money. This was on the advice of travellers going the other way who said that the El Questro gorges are great but a ripoff and had they known how many other great spots there were further along they wouldn't have bothered to pay.

Controvertial I know, but it was a decision I haven't regretted as it gave us a little longer at Lake Argyll and the Bungle Bungles.
AnswerID: 246809

Follow Up By: Jeff and debbie - Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 19:08

Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 19:08
Thanks for your input. Which gorges would you recommend before getting to
El Questro? Have planned 3 days there, but might just make it an overnighter depending on what else we see....
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Follow Up By: Mainey (WA) - Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 19:33

Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 19:33
Jeff, I went into the El Questro "caravan park" (in small letters) and my gf took just one look at what was referred to as pit toilets and she would not stay there, a disgusting mess, maybe they have improved in the last year but I would not count on it... :-((

Trips off the Gibb to 'Tunnel Creek' and the Bungles are very worthwhile, there are many other falls and pools along the Gibb worth staying at even with no toilet facilities, and no high price either :-))

I remember the road-trains were travelling West to East on the Gibb at 'breakneck speed' so that side of the road was more broken up than the East to West side.

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Follow Up By: Andrew from Vivid Adventures - Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 20:35

Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 20:35
El Questro facilities are very good.

El Questro Gorge is nice.

Emma Gorge is great.

Zebedee Springs is great...

Well, then most of it is great!

Andrew who still pays El Questro too much money.
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Follow Up By: Member - Greydemon (WA) - Friday, Jun 15, 2007 at 00:42

Friday, Jun 15, 2007 at 00:42
We really enjoyed Bells and Manning Gorge, great swimming at both, plenty of rocks to jump off but check the water depth first !
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Reply By: Member - Matt & Julie (VIC) - Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 21:22

Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 21:22
Hi Jeff & Debbie

We travelled West to East last September lots of great places to stop, our 1st
night we camped at Windjana Gorge had flushing toilets and cold showers!!
Camped at Bell Gorge, Manning Gorge, stopped at Calvins Gorge for a swim,
nice and private had the place to ourselves, camped at Home Valley then
on to Kununurra for 4 days. 4 days from Derby but could easily stay out
there for weeks if time allowed, but will be heading back one day. Went
for a drive to El Questro and Wyndham we didn't think El Questro was
worth the money with so many other places along the way.
Enjoy and travel safe.


Matt & Julie

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Reply By: Member - Roger B (VIC) - Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 22:44

Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 22:44
We did it West to East a few years ago, and spent two weeks on the Gibb and environs. Winjana with its Johnston Crocs is a must as is Tunnel Ck. Bell Gorge is great but after struggling down the rocky track to the bottom the main pool looked like Brunswick Baths with the ammount of people there. Welcome to the wilderness ! Enjoyed El Questro. Emma Gorge is a must see. Truly beautiful. As you can see, we did the photo thing at the Pentercost crossing. Whichever way you go, enjoy, and look over your shoulder every now and then. Cheers.

Roger B
AnswerID: 246921

Reply By: Member - vivien C (VIC) - Friday, Jun 15, 2007 at 07:20

Friday, Jun 15, 2007 at 07:20
Jefff & Debbie,

We travelled from Derby to Kununurra last August and have done the Kununurra/Derby way back in 1997. Either way, it's a great trip.

Windjana Gorge is a lovely campground with the backdrop of the cliffs in the evening light making it one of the nicest camps we had. Bell Gorge is worth the walk into and the climb around and down to the bottom pool for a swim. No matter how many people are there, it's still good. Galvan's Gorge is a gem. It's just a small pool with a waterfall on the far side. The cliffs are topped by boabs which look down over the pool. Lovely. The swimming is good and like the others said, sometimes you're lucky enough to have it to yourself.

Manning Gorge has a large camping ground with toilets and cold showers. The bottom pool is nice but do the walk/climb to the top pool and it get's even better. We camped at Charnley River Station which is between Bell and Manning. It has a large campground, hot water showers, toilet facilities and there are several drives you can do to gorges and pools on the station. We spent the entire afternoon at Dillie Gorge and had it all to ourselves.

We haven't been to Old Mornington since 1997 but Dimond Gorge was terrific and you can hire canoes. We were alone for the day there too. From what I've read, it would be worth while going out there again.

We camped at Ellenbrae Station....very cheap and they have hot showers, toilets, bbq facilities. We thought it was very good. Home Valley gets good reports too.

El Questro is one of those places that often get knocked. The thing is that despite all the "too expensive", "not worth it" comments - there are some beautiful places there to see and enjoy. Zebedee Springs, Chamberlain Gorge etc etc. I would go back again. Emma Gorge is lovely. The walk in is rocky and takes a while but when you get there it is just beautiful.

That's just how we found it all. Hope you have a great time discovering it for yourself.

We also went to Drysdale River Station which even if you're not going all the way up to the Mitchell Falls and Kalumburu is worth the detour. Great place to relax for a while. Mitchell Falls is amazing and if you can fit it into your plans, then do it.

Happy Travels,

AnswerID: 246957

Reply By: Member - Barry M (NSW) - Saturday, Jun 16, 2007 at 14:07

Saturday, Jun 16, 2007 at 14:07
Your previous post states you will be using the Tanami Access to Broome so cant
see why you would go other than Derby to Kununurra on the GRR, unless you intend
going south from Broome. Dont forget the Bungles while you are that close.
AnswerID: 247222

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