Kimberley trip timing

Submitted: Thursday, Aug 21, 2003 at 19:30
ThreadID: 6736 Views:1581 Replies:5 FollowUps:2
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Hi

We are planning a two month Kimberley trip for 2004, and are planning on starting the Gibb River Road at the very beginning on June. Going by past experience does anyone think this is too early in the season? I know every year is different, but any advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks
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Reply By: Greg(Port Hedland) - Thursday, Aug 21, 2003 at 19:42

Thursday, Aug 21, 2003 at 19:42
No I dont think so, I have been up there many times in May and always go thru.

Graders hadn't been thru on the way up but roads were very good on return about 2 weeks later.
AnswerID: 28637

Reply By: Member - Paul H - Thursday, Aug 21, 2003 at 21:52

Thursday, Aug 21, 2003 at 21:52
we are heading that way june 2004 also might see you on the trackoff to googs track & gawler ranges................Sept hol's.
AnswerID: 28656

Reply By: Member - Alpaca (SA) - Thursday, Aug 21, 2003 at 22:16

Thursday, Aug 21, 2003 at 22:16
Mel, We prefer to as early in the season as possible. The roads probably haven't been graded but there is less traffic and you're more likely to have the place to yourselves.Alpaca
AnswerID: 28662

Reply By: Lyds - Thursday, Aug 21, 2003 at 23:12

Thursday, Aug 21, 2003 at 23:12
You should also check school holiday timings. Especially when the Territorians get 4 weeks around then. It will have an impact on accomm in places like Broome.

Cheers,
Stuart
- To err is human, to moo bovine -
AnswerID: 28677

Reply By: Member - John- Friday, Aug 22, 2003 at 00:39

Friday, Aug 22, 2003 at 00:39
Monitor the Kimberley wet season via the Bureau of Met web site and you will build a picture of how the wet season is closing and when and where. Try Table 3 on this page http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/climate/rainmaps.cgi?page=top

You need to look at nthn wet season cummulative rain (vs the long term average) and the weekly and month by month rainfall. This helps you build a good picture of how the season has run and how it is closing off.

This year the GRR was open about by Easter. Apr-May can be really good because there is a lot more water and greeness around and not many tourists.
July-Aug it is just packed out in the towns, but if you are an independent bush camper you won't have much trouble.

The GRR is in a good a condition as you will find ... these days it is just a very long corrugated road with plenty of bends and creeks to catch out the unwary speeding driver.

As always my advice for this country is...
a) keep your weight down & ensure suspension matches load
b) carry a second spare tyre (or used casing)
d) keep your speed down to match the very unpredicatable conditions

Have fun!

JohnS
Derby, WA

AnswerID: 28690

Follow Up By: mel - Friday, Aug 22, 2003 at 08:19

Friday, Aug 22, 2003 at 08:19
Thanks for the website link John! That should be a great help. We have been up that way before, but haven't travelled all the way along the Gibb River Road, so we are really looking forward to the trip. Planning on doing Mitchell Falls as well, and maybe Bachsten Creek from Mt Elizabeth. Do you need to be a bit more "crocodile aware" earlier in the season, or are there still places you can swim? We are stopping in Broome at the end of June, and will book accommodation, as we know how busy it gets there (a bit of luxury for us girsl!) Other than that we will be camping, hopefully with a Heaslip tray-top camper on the back of the ute. Thanks again for all your advice.
Mel
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FollowupID: 19946

Follow Up By: Member - John- Friday, Aug 22, 2003 at 10:10

Friday, Aug 22, 2003 at 10:10
Mel,
Bushtrax Safaris connected to Mt Elizabeth do some pretty interesting day tours and the Bacjeton camp is theirs. Mt Elizabeth charges $50 per vehicle and donates to RFDS plus Bushtrax charges $50 per vehicle for track maintenance. Take advice from Mt Elizabeth before proceeding to Bacheston camp, some parts of the track are fairly challenging and nearly all of it is rough.

Croc risk remains constant until the sun stops rising in the east. Usually pretty safe to swim or sit around in shallow clear water on sandy banks where you can see well, but only in bright sunlight. Definitely don't hang around the water at night without a decent fire going (good time to fish).

Whilst nearly all inland rivers and billabongs have freshwater crocs, large billabongs anywhere should be treated with the suspicion that a large salty may be living there.

There are some fantastic gorges with very swimmable water well inland along the GRR, so ask the locals.

Derby Vistor Centre http://www.derbytourism.com.au/ should be very helpful.

Have a great trip.
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FollowupID: 19955

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