Gibb River Road.

Submitted: Monday, May 25, 2009 at 20:37
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Hi all. Off to the Gibb river Road on 20th of June.Going to go to the Mitchell Plateu and all the other main attractions including the old Karunjie road even though there is some debate on this forum about it being closed or not.Looking for out of the way camping spots where we might be able to get away from the expected crowds if anyone can help.Will be three couples towing camper trailers that dont mind rough tracks if thats what needed to get to some out of the way spots.

Thanks in advance to any replies.

Good camping
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Reply By: Motherhen - Monday, May 25, 2009 at 22:02

Monday, May 25, 2009 at 22:02
Hi Graeme

We found camping in the DEC run camps sites worthwhile to get an early start to walk to the falls/gorge before it got too hot. They are well run, have toilets, and a couple of them had cold (water quite warm during day) showers. Camping at any of the previously popular places that don't have toilets has been prohibited. You will find some gravel pits, but in contrast to our usual choices, we did not investigate these and stayed at the designated camps grounds. It does get busy come July.

As far a i know, the Old Karunjie Road s still open, but the return loop along the King River is definitely closed.

Enjoy your travels.


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Reply By: WorkhorseWA - Monday, May 25, 2009 at 22:05

Monday, May 25, 2009 at 22:05
Hi Graeme,

Good luck on your adventure. We did the GRR last June and whilst there are plenty of spots to camp, I have been informed camping has been restricted to designated areas with facilities. An informative site is the site. We were probably travelling a bit earlier than the 20th June, and probably a few weeks in front of the crowds. We enjoyed our stay at Drysdale River Station with hot showers, the most remotest bar in Australia and good restaurant (try the KBB Kimberley Beef Burger!). Whilst I understand your need to get away from the crowds there are some great people to be met by staying at the stations. Unfortunately we didn't go up to Mitchell Plateau or Port Warrender as the water was quite deep at the time. We did venture up to Kalumburu and even though the road said closed we met some local Teacher's that had just come down it from Kalumburu, local advice is great! Suggestion regarding Karunjie road is to seek advice when you are up there, as local knowledge is probably your best source of information and advice. Enjoy your trip!
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Reply By: WorkhorseWA - Monday, May 25, 2009 at 22:07

Monday, May 25, 2009 at 22:07
Sorry Graeme, One word of warning if camping in non-designated camping area's - this is BURNING OFF season on the GRR, quite a few people were caught unaware's last year and had to make a run for it!
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Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Tuesday, May 26, 2009 at 08:52

Tuesday, May 26, 2009 at 08:52
Also, Graeme, a "Road Closed" is a legal status, NOT an indication of a road's usability.
The fine (last I heard) for using a "closed" road was $1000 per wheel. Locals and employees can get special permits to travel "closed" roads.

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AnswerID: 366767

Reply By: madcow - Tuesday, May 26, 2009 at 09:27

Tuesday, May 26, 2009 at 09:27
well we have just reached the end of the road and are here at Fitzroy Crossing. It was in pretty good nick and we chased a grader for some of it. Fuel was $1.96 at El questro $2.20 at Drysdale and $ 1.94 at imintji ( a top little store) Both Here and Halls Creek are now "dry communities with limited amounts of light beer available. As for the Karunjie Track We enquired at Wyndham as to its status and was advised it was open. It was worth doing very early in the morning and took about 4 hours to get to the Pentecost crossing and was a little knarly towards the end. As we were towing campers we got bogged in the sand at th ened but got out ok. At el questro they advised as being closed and teh landholder is pushing this. We got a top photo of False Mount cockburn early.

I notice the people from the "camps australia book are camped here also.

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Follow Up By: Member - Vivien C (VIC) - Tuesday, May 26, 2009 at 09:58

Tuesday, May 26, 2009 at 09:58
Great photos!

We're heading up there in mid/late August and were thinking of taking the Karunjie Track from the Gibb RR to Wyndham so it's interesting to get your info. Thanks.

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Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Tuesday, May 26, 2009 at 11:10

Tuesday, May 26, 2009 at 11:10
The Karunjie road is a public road.
Problem is it traverses El Questro property and they want to control access, but can't legally stop people using it.
Federal Hotels had El Questro on the market last I heard, so things, as always, can change.

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Follow Up By: Member - graeme W (WA) - Tuesday, May 26, 2009 at 11:10

Tuesday, May 26, 2009 at 11:10
Hi Madcow.

Any good camping along the Karungie track .We were hoping to try for a few Barra along here although it might be the quite time.Tried copying and pasting but could not get to the photos.

regards graeme.
FollowupID: 634464

Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Tuesday, May 26, 2009 at 11:52

Tuesday, May 26, 2009 at 11:52
Good camps (and barra) just a km downstream from the Pentacoast crossing Graeme. Be aware though, that this is El Questro, and they MAY not like it once you are off the road.

BIG crocs in this area too, lots of them.

Also call in to Diggers Rest. Great people, and they have camping and know the barra spots.

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Follow Up By: Member - Kroozer (WA) - Tuesday, May 26, 2009 at 16:44

Tuesday, May 26, 2009 at 16:44
The problem is El Questro sold off that part of there land to a private pastrolist, who is a total idiot. You are still allowed to do the Karunjie road, just not allowed to deviate from it down other tracks that lead to the river. I wouldnt listen to him, take the risk and camp along the river. Us locals still do. If not prepeared to take the risk, stay at Diggers Rest. They can show you where to try for a few barra, but they have gone a little quiet as its too cold for them. Probably your best bet is along the King river or at Diggers Rest. A tourist landed a 30+lb barra out the king river 2 weeks ago. I can give you heaps of pointers or info about around there mate, just MM me. Thats my neck of the woods.
FollowupID: 634489

Reply By: Leroy - Tuesday, May 26, 2009 at 21:29

Tuesday, May 26, 2009 at 21:29
Bit OT but we returned from out 6 week NE vic to Kimberley trip last Thurs and found all tracks etc in very good shape with most freshly graded. River crossings were a doddle including the Pentacost, King Edward and Durack.
The only track that may cause an issue is the Back road from Beagle Bay to Derby. Towards the Derby end there were multiple water crossings with the first being 200 - 250 meters wide. I rolled the dice and went though (solo) and it was a white knucke affair. I was always watching to see which tree I may need to get the crocs to help me winch too!! I'll get the video up soon! Pleny of left foot breaking. Thank god the Patrol has an excellent LSD. Didn't walk for fear of crocs but could see the grass popping up through the water so estimated depth. Waded in a little and ground felt sandy but solid. But was faced with 3 other crossings that were 100-150 metres or morewide!!
I chatted to the caravan park owner in Derby and he said there had been rain and they are also Tidal and I estimated we were crossing at almost high tide. So just a word of caution.
The road to Kalumbaru was being graded with some big washouts but most were filled in by the time we came back down.
We were so early the Drysdale River Station hadn't had their beer delivery yet so hard to have a drink at the remotest bar in Oz hehe.
But the highlight of the trip was the chopper ride back from Mitchell Pateau. The kids loved it!! But what a view.

AnswerID: 366872

Follow Up By: Member - Lance S (VIC) - Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 15:08

Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 15:08

Glad you and the family had a great trip. We are off to the Kimberley, leaving Melbourne on the 26th June. I was interested if you camped at King Edward River or did you camp at the falls and were you towing. Also how much did it cost you all up for the return trip by chopper from Mitchell Plateau. We are in two minds whether to camp at KE or drive into the falls, as it would be a hell of a day if we left from KE river with 3 kids.


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Follow Up By: Leroy - Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 23:16

Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 23:16
We have 2 kids and they are great travellers. I towed an offroad trailer in with no probs. We camped at Mitchell Plateau for a night as we arrived in the afternoon. Did the hike in to the falls the next morning and booked the chopper to pick us up at 10:30am. It was $100 per person. They were a little quiet and no cost for our 2yo and 4yo. But it is well worth it as the views are spectacular! You won't regret it.
We left and camped at KE on the river that night. Make sure you go for a walk over the rocks etc down stream as there are some amazing formations and there is also a waterfall.

FollowupID: 634779

Follow Up By: Member - graeme W (WA) - Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 22:57

Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 22:57
Hi Leroy.
Thanks for the info and we will have a beer for you at drysdale .Was the camp site on The KE a calm site or station.

Regards Graeme.
FollowupID: 634978

Follow Up By: Leroy - Monday, Jun 01, 2009 at 11:52

Monday, Jun 01, 2009 at 11:52
CALM but the toilets were a little stinky! Not as well maintained like the ones at Mitchell Plateu.

FollowupID: 635476

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