2WD ON THE GIBB RIVER ROAD ???

Submitted: Tuesday, Jul 08, 2003 at 10:46
ThreadID: 5870 Views:5707 Replies:10 FollowUps:10
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Hi There,
I recently viewed a program of POSTCARDS WA (a WA produced TV program about WA tourist destinations) where the presenter was talking about & showing a team of JAG cars travelling on the GRR. The content of the story took on the flavour that one does not require a 4WD to travel this road & that any normal family 2WD sedan can do it. Just wanted to know the feeling amoungst you all if you were to be travelling on the GRR & came across a stranded 2WD driver who was acting on the info from this program. For info the web site for this program is postcardswa.com.au.
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Reply By: Member - George (WA) - Tuesday, Jul 08, 2003 at 11:21

Tuesday, Jul 08, 2003 at 11:21
I have travelled the Gibb River Road many times.
It would be possible to drive a 2wd car along the GRR, however, it depends on a number of factors, such as.

Time of year, due to flooding
Has the grader been over the track.
Type of tyres on your car.

Generally, the GRR between Derby and the Kalumburu turn off is OK for 2wd keeping the above points in mind and driving with care and not too fast.

From the Kalumburu turn off to the El Questro turn off the GRR becomes considerably rougher and I would not reccommend using a 2wd vehicle along this section.
Ground clearance, wash outs, and rocks will become a real problem to a 2wd.

Hope this helpsJust made it, King Edward River
AnswerID: 24454

Follow Up By: crowe - Tuesday, Jul 08, 2003 at 12:02

Tuesday, Jul 08, 2003 at 12:02
i agree totally, i have been out as far a durack homestead in falcon ute from knx end, do-able but rough in places. It would be possible to go the whole way but even in the dry the penticost river can have tidal influence which will backs up fresshwater flow and can be 50cm deep which could be more than enough to snuff a low lying petrol motor or cause electrical problems.
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Reply By: Andrew - Tuesday, Jul 08, 2003 at 12:06

Tuesday, Jul 08, 2003 at 12:06
Would like to see 2wd crossing Pentacost River.

Sections from Derby to Winjana and Tunnel Creek would
be Ok for 2wd I guess
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Follow Up By: crowe - Tuesday, Jul 08, 2003 at 12:14

Tuesday, Jul 08, 2003 at 12:14
nothin a falcon cant do, just go hard. It was about a foot deep when i crossed
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Follow Up By: Andrew - Tuesday, Jul 08, 2003 at 13:45

Tuesday, Jul 08, 2003 at 13:45
It was up to the bonet when I crossed it.
It was shallow on the west side then it got deeper, deeper.........
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Follow Up By: crowe - Tuesday, Jul 08, 2003 at 13:59

Tuesday, Jul 08, 2003 at 13:59
yes, i wouldnt have been game that deep. There was plently of times when we went out fishing at the penteocst but out of all those times i was only game to cross it once, the rest it was too deep especially in that hole you mention on the east side, if i had had a few less beers i probably wouldnt have done it, fun and challenging none the less.
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Follow Up By: Chris (W.A.) - Wednesday, Jul 09, 2003 at 05:06

Wednesday, Jul 09, 2003 at 05:06
Crowe,
What were the insects like....yes, the fuzzy flittering and biting sons of a bitches but what time were you there and how bad were they?Gibb River in July.
Chris
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Follow Up By: Chris (W.A.) - Wednesday, Jul 09, 2003 at 05:07

Wednesday, Jul 09, 2003 at 05:07
That's the pentecost i'm talking about.Gibb River in July.
Chris
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Follow Up By: crowe - Wednesday, Jul 09, 2003 at 12:31

Wednesday, Jul 09, 2003 at 12:31
Chris,

I used to live in knx, hence always out that way. The wet was miserable this year so little water around, no insects during the day or night at the crossing, there is always a bit of wind around in the dry season which keeps them at bay. From the GRR you can travel downstream on the penticost on both sides into mangrove territory where the fishing is better and migee's are a pain but okay at nightime, you should be fine, be cautious of crocs the further you head downsteam though, bit more prevalent not to mention bigger, they should be pretty sleepy at this time of year.
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Reply By: petprass - Tuesday, Jul 08, 2003 at 13:19

Tuesday, Jul 08, 2003 at 13:19
Were the Jags carrying about 1 tonne of gear that a 4WD on long trips regularly does? It is obviously possible to travel by 2WD vehicle - after all in the early 1900's they used T Model Fords in the dessert.

But for me to get to the GRR from Melbourne and then endure the pounding of corrugations while carrying a heavy load I doubt that a 2wd could do it and come out of it the same.

Peter
AnswerID: 24468

Follow Up By: Cam - Tuesday, Jul 08, 2003 at 13:51

Tuesday, Jul 08, 2003 at 13:51
As far as I am aware the JAGS all had a support crew to carry all there junk. What sort of vehicles the crew were driving is a mystery. Probably a team of Unimogs or something like that. The web site is fairly scant on those details. We may have to watch next Saturdays episode to find out more !!!!
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Reply By: mrdesmo - Tuesday, Jul 08, 2003 at 16:36

Tuesday, Jul 08, 2003 at 16:36
We saw the funniest thing when we were heading from Windjana Gorge/Tunnel Ck to Fitzroy Crossing in mid 2000...we had been travelling through quite a few washouts that weren't too deep, and around a bend comes this bloody flourescent pink cortina full of ferals!!! Me and the missus just shook our heads in disbelief and left them to their travels. The next day while filling up in Fitzroy Crossing, heres this Cortina again, with one feral under the bonnet and one underneath working out how to put the exhaust pipe back on!! What a laugh...so I guess if you are determined or stupid enough, anythings possible...she'll be right mate!!

Cheers
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Reply By: Mixo - Tuesday, Jul 08, 2003 at 16:55

Tuesday, Jul 08, 2003 at 16:55
Take no notice of stunts like the Jag show - see if you can find anyone who OWNS such a Jag (and personally pays full tote odds for the servicing) and see if they would take their cars there. These stunts are being staged all the time. Story I heard says a Porsche 911 has been across the Simpson - was it set up for bushcamping ? Did it go solo ? The question is, what do the people who need reliability and have valuable personal assets at stake do ? They choose a suitable vehicle type and the equipment in support.Gotta have red sand on those boots !
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Follow Up By: Alan H - Tuesday, Jul 08, 2003 at 17:31

Tuesday, Jul 08, 2003 at 17:31
Martin Pierson Jones is the owner of the long wheelbase Jag which was amongst the three, and he in turn owns the Halls Creek Hotel and travels every 10 days between Halls Creek and Broome where he has other property.
And he doesn't spare the horses whilst doing it either.
He says this Jag and his previous one are the most reliable vehicles he's had and is often to be seen in the dirt.
However, I think that without a large bank balance and the mentioned support crew you'd be careful where you went with vehicles that cost that much.
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Follow Up By: RobbieJ - Tuesday, Jul 08, 2003 at 22:29

Tuesday, Jul 08, 2003 at 22:29
Mixo

I recall the time when a bloke crossed the Simpson in a Porsche 911 Carrera 4. It was Michael Stahl who regularly writes for the Fin Review. It had a 100mm bodylift, and a sumpguard fitted.

It was followed by three (I think) support vehicles! But, it didn't suffer one flat or mechincal problem from Adelaide to Birdsville. And thats with 17inch supercar tyres and suspension!

The modifications Porsche made to this vehicle is also effectively what they did to the Paris-Dakar 959's in the late 80's.

R

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Reply By: Member - Allan - Tuesday, Jul 08, 2003 at 23:53

Tuesday, Jul 08, 2003 at 23:53
We should not under estimate what a 2wd is capable of. On a trip into Kalumburu we met an aboriginal couple travelling out in a standard 1 ton Holden ute. It had bald tyres but he carried at least 5 spares. I asked him where he was heading and he said Kununarra. I then asked him how he got on crossing the creeks & rivers? The answer “No f- -king problems bro – don’t need na f- -king 4wd - just welded da f- -king diff up ah – goes anywhere you can f- -king go”. Saw them a week later in Kununurra so they made it OK. I still think I'll stick to my 4x4.Cheers
Allan
AnswerID: 24526

Reply By: Allyn (Pilbara) - Wednesday, Jul 09, 2003 at 09:15

Wednesday, Jul 09, 2003 at 09:15
the actual trek that they followed was from Derby to Windjana Gorge which is a fair proportion of bitumen, then they went via tunnel creek to Fitzroy Crossing which is a lovely little gravel road same as you'll find anywhere in the country. From there it was blacktop all the way to Kununurra.
A very misrepresenting article and quite unethical I thought but that's journalism.so many places, so little time !!!
AnswerID: 24531

Reply By: Member - Willem- Wednesday, Jul 09, 2003 at 10:59

Wednesday, Jul 09, 2003 at 10:59
On our trip in to Kimberley in '86 we found a bloke driving a HK Holden sedan camped at King Edward River. But he did not make it into Mitchell Falls with the car...bummed a lift with someone else. Also met two characters driving VW 1500 Variants. Every time they got to an extreme obstacle they mounted a solid drawbar between the cars and talked each other through the gears via CB radio. They got to Mitchell Falls and back to Kununurra but the cars were pretty well stuffed by then. Met another bloke with a 4x4 and a large caravan. The caravans' roof had imploded and the bloke was very unhappy. Also met a bloke driving a Holden Ute with a carry-camper with wheel bearing problems driving at 10kmh. Another family in a Daihatsu Delta Panelvan 2wd made it to Mitchell Falls and back. He had LSD and oversize rear tyres and a winch up front.
So you could make it there in a 2wd BUT will you get back? and at what cost.Cheers, Willem
Never a dull moment
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Reply By: Member - Jeff- Wednesday, Jul 09, 2003 at 16:58

Wednesday, Jul 09, 2003 at 16:58
Regarding the GRR we did it in 96 with 71 other Variety Bash cars our 64Compact Fairlane handled it well. The road was badly corrugated, met up with some 4wd`s that spent 2 days doing the toughest bit .On this trip we did from Mt Barnett to Jakes Waterhole in an afternoon. However car prep and driver care is what it is all about, of the 72 cars 28 didnt get to Jakes that night and probably 7 had major`s, tilt tray or trailer to Kununnarra.There were a number of smashed diffs, front ends, shockies and mounts. Must say though having spent some time in the past on the old Woodie Woodie Rd i think i would preferr to do it in the 4wd.

Best of luck Jeff.
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Reply By: Member - Dave (Pilbara) - Wednesday, Jul 09, 2003 at 19:04

Wednesday, Jul 09, 2003 at 19:04
Just back from a trip along the Gibb river road then to Darwin through Lichfield and Kakado and south to Alice and through ther great central and back up to the Pilbara. Also traveled along the Ernest Giles high way and into the Bungle Bungles. On the whole trip only engaged the centre diff twice, once on the Creat central in heavy rain on muddy road and when going into the Bungle Bungles which was the roughest road we encountred. Other than those places I think a 2wd would have made it but I would not like to own it afterwards. The Gibb river road was very corrigated in the middle part but the grader was still working on that section. The centre of the great central was also very corrigated as was the Ernest Giles highway. All in all it was a great trip and I would not have done it in a 2wd that I wanted to own. The other thing that would have stopped most 2wd's would be tires. I managed to stake a brand new Cooper on the Leopold Downs road. And many more of the roads we were on would have been as bad for sharp rocks.
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