kimberelys gibb river road

Submitted: Saturday, Jan 10, 2009 at 11:33
ThreadID: 64984 Views:2712 Replies:6 FollowUps:3
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Hello all,
I plan to do the gibb river road,and the Kimberleys in june for 9weeks I have a 2002 patrol and a jayco outback eagle camper ,my trip along the GRR will be slow ie drive to the road conditions,being a novice on doing this type of trip,can someone tell me what type of basic spares and recovery equip i should have.? should I take my set up into the bungles and to kalumbaru ?any information that can be supplied to me would be appreciated.
Regards Rod
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Reply By: Member - Alan H (QLD) - Saturday, Jan 10, 2009 at 12:25

Saturday, Jan 10, 2009 at 12:25
Vans are not allowed in the Bungles

AnswerID: 343559

Follow Up By: Top End Explorer Tours - Saturday, Jan 10, 2009 at 12:42

Saturday, Jan 10, 2009 at 12:42
Try this link Kimberley Australia travell guide even though it says no caravans it does say you can take an off road trailer.

The GRR should have been graded by then, it would have had some use though, I haven't been to Kurumba yet but a mate of mine says I could tow my boat there, and if that is the case, your camper would do it easy.

Cheers Steve.
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Follow Up By: Top End Explorer Tours - Saturday, Jan 10, 2009 at 12:51

Saturday, Jan 10, 2009 at 12:51
Karumba should be Kalumburu.

Cheers Steve.
FollowupID: 611406

Follow Up By: Motherhen - Saturday, Jan 10, 2009 at 15:19

Saturday, Jan 10, 2009 at 15:19
When we were there, people were taking jayco fold up trailers in to Purnululu under the guise of camper trailers. Anything a bit bigger and resembling a pop top were sent back.


Red desert dreaming

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FollowupID: 611420

Reply By: MEMBER - Darian (SA) - Saturday, Jan 10, 2009 at 12:46

Saturday, Jan 10, 2009 at 12:46
But camper trailers are allowed in the Bungles - yours may qualify - you'd better ask the rangers first - they are quite inflexible on this factor. Re the Gibb - I've got a pic or two of the road surfaces up there from our 08 trip - on my site [ ] ......In the dry season, the Gibb is rough and stony at worst - recovery is not an issue. Will leave others to comment on the run north to Kalumburu.
If you soften your tyres and take it quite easy, you can reasonably expect to have an incident free run I suggest. But for that area, we always have long distance communications .....and spares that include at least an extra tyre case for each of the tow vehicle and trailer, shocks, shock rubbers, belts and hoses etc. We carry tyre changing and repair gear, but have not needed it to date.
AnswerID: 343564

Reply By: uneekwahn - Saturday, Jan 10, 2009 at 13:06

Saturday, Jan 10, 2009 at 13:06
we did 2 months in the kimberley in july 07 to september 07 for our honeymoon. the GRR was a piece of cake in our gu patrol.

spares and tools we took:

socket set
spare belts for the 4wd
2 spare tyres (one on the rear and one on the roof rack)
spare air filter
spare radiator hoses
spare o ring thingies that go on radiator hoses
cable ties (VERY important!)

in the end, the only things we ended up using out of the spares was the air filter and some cable ties when one of the rear lights screws came out (this was on cape leveque road).

maybe we'll see you up there as we are going back for 2 weeks for our 2 year anniversary in july of this year :)


AnswerID: 343566

Reply By: Motherhen - Saturday, Jan 10, 2009 at 15:39

Saturday, Jan 10, 2009 at 15:39
Hi Rod

We spent three weeks or so on the Gibb River Road, including going to Mitchell Falls and Kalumburu last June. June was ideal - not to much traffic, roads good, water flowing, campgrounds not crowded. No trouble with any roads - some were slower than others. With so much to see, often 100 kms per day was all we travelled. We had no tyre troubles, and the only breakage was our two way antenna snapped off, which we replaced with a sturdier type when we got to Kununurra. It still worked without the antenna for traffic near us, so it wasn't a problem. And the spotlight mountings on the bull bar snapped (TJM bull bar not as good as ARB).

There were lots of the smaller jayco fold up campers 'off road' version on the GRR.

Come July, the idiot drivers hit the scene in droves, driving mainly hired vehicles at speeds like a freeway, and it gets rough from all the extra traffic. Someone went through early July and found it very rough (but they hadn't experienced many dirt roads before).

On the way into Purnunulu while we were there, someone overturned an Ultimate camper trailer and did quite a lot of damage to it (as reported by campers next to us who were first on the scene). Maybe highway driving speed when they hit a sandy patch?

I have only just started working on my trip reports, which i hope will appear in 'my blog' section soon. I completed the draft version of the first section, Derby to Kalumburu turn off, last night, and could email this direct to you if you like. This includes a detour to include Geikie Gorge, Tunnel Creek and Windjana Gorge. I will start working on Mitchell Plateau and Kalumburu tonight.

The biggest hazard is other drivers. We do have a winch (never needed), and carry a huge amount of tools to be self sufficient in the outback. We alway carry two jacks (be in two bottle jacks or a bottle jack and a trolley jack), and these do get used (even if for others).

The Kimberley is the best of what we have seen in Australia so far; scenic and remote. It is well worth taking the time to enjoy it all.


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AnswerID: 343583

Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Saturday, Jan 10, 2009 at 18:58

Saturday, Jan 10, 2009 at 18:58
Hi Rod,
We have been to Kalumburu every year since 2005.
The roads are not an issue if you travel slowly, but can shake poorly made campers to pieces, literally. Putting a heavy axle and big tyres under a camper does not make it "off road" (not tha you are actually going 'off road'). Usually only an issue north of Theda.
Up that way, they call them "Junckos, open the door and sweep up the staples". Not kind, but the pattern is repeated often.
Boat trailers also seem to suffer very badly, mostly the slip springs and roller supports.
The Carson River could still be 500m deep, but that won't bother you.

All that said, great place to camp and fish. Have a look at some of the slide shows in the link below.

OKA196 Motorhome
AnswerID: 343607

Reply By: x - Saturday, Jan 10, 2009 at 22:23

Saturday, Jan 10, 2009 at 22:23
'kimberelys' There's a spelling test at the start of the GRR. No spell - no go.

Hint: The Kimberley (no 's')
AnswerID: 343630

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