Some questions about the Gibb River Road


we want to drive the Gibb River Road next week (starting in Derby) and have some questions about it:

- How many days should we plan?

- How is the current road condition?

- Are there tracks which are really heavy to manage?

- Wanted to drive to the Bungle Bungles yesterday, but u-turned after a few kms, because it was so corrugated and our 4WD really got noisy and
Is the GRR also as "hard" to drive?

- If the road is corrugated, should you remove air from the tyre (we drive currently with 37 PSI)

- If you have to drive through a river: Should we use L4 or H4? And what's the safest way to do it? Are there many on the GRR?

Greetings from Broome,
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Reply By: Peter McG (Member, Melbourne) - Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 13:51

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 13:51
You will find answers to most of your questions in the Trek notes for the GRR in this site. On any dirt road you should drive to the conditions and yes drop tyre pressure to 25 to 30psi.


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Reply By: Member - Oldbaz. NSW. - Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 13:55

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 13:55
If you considered the start of the Bungle track as too difficult for your current
experience then I doubt you will be too exited by the GRR, but you have to start somewhere if you really want to do this stuff. If your car is in good condition & everything secured you should have no worries. Travel slowly, sure
things will shake around on corrugations, thats normal, you will not be alone
at this time of year. You are there, so have a go, I'm sure you will be fine,
get at it & enjoy a fabulous trip.........oldbaz.
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Reply By: Member -Signman - Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 13:56

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 13:56
A tad over 600km- at night- in a 2wd car-in 1979- in 6 hours !!

AnswerID: 371497

Follow Up By: Stu & "Bob" - Wednesday, Jun 24, 2009 at 07:42

Wednesday, Jun 24, 2009 at 07:42
Not bad going....

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Reply By: Motherhen - Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 14:13

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 14:13
We spent three and a half weeks last year just visiting the main sights (check my blogs), including Mitchell Falls and Kalumburu. Glorious. Favourite camp was on the King Edward River just after the corssing on the Mitchell Plateau Road. We left the van there to visit Mitchell Falls on a day trip which was adequate time. We spent a further few weeks at Kununurra, and did a camping trip to Purnululu from there.


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Follow Up By: tim_c - Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 14:54

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 14:54
Hey Motherhen, my brother and I have been wondering about that - we noticed that no one took camper trailers or caravans past that campground (didn't bother us with the rooftop tent!) and we were trying to work out why... Is there a restriction on taking trailers/caravans into Mitchell Plateau?
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Wednesday, Jul 01, 2009 at 17:23

Wednesday, Jul 01, 2009 at 17:23
No restriction Tim and some people do take their rigs - but not necessary when you have to return the same way. We found the road was more corrugated than the GRR, and the last few kms are narrow, so would be difficult to let anyone you may meet past. We took camping gear, and after spending a full day at the falls, still had enough daylight to get 'home' to the delightful riverside camp. Quite safe to leave all your gear at the KE River camp as everyone did when we were there (four days in all).



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Reply By: tim_c - Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 15:25

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 15:25
Surfer, We did GRR in 10 days which included visiting every gorge (incl. El Questro & Mornington & Mitchell Plateau). We found the road to be just like any gravel road and didn't think it was particularly rough or hard to drive. If there are rough parts, just slow down (on parts of the road to Cape Leveque, we were lucky to get above 30km/h because of the corrugations!) just pick a speed you're comfortable with, and let others pass if they want to go faster.

When on dirt, let the tyres down to around 20-25 PSI (depending on load - I think we had around 20 in the front, 24-25 in the back) and reduce your speed to compensate (ie. when not running highway pressures, don't drive at highway speeds!).

I suggest you check thread 70005 and Road conditions - Gibb River Road for current info on road conditions. I suggest you also read Treak Notes - Gibb River Road if you haven't already.

As for river crossings, there are a few on the Gibb River Rd and your choice of L4 or H4 will depend on the vehicle and the river. Choose a gear which you can maintain a steady speed you are comfortable with (often dictated by the base that you are driving over ie. rocks or sand or mud) that keeps the engine working in its 'pulling' rev range (ie. if just idling through, you may stall if you come across a submerged obstacle). Walk the crossing first (unless there are crocs in the river) to check for depth, holes/rocks etc. or watch someone else drive the crossing first and note where they go and how deep it is on their vehicle. If the river is deep, you may need to fit a blind and/or snorkel. Always check your oils for water contamination after driving through water - even if you have raised diff breathers.
AnswerID: 371509

Reply By: Member - Tom V (WA) - Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 17:35

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 17:35
u can pick up some tips on,
cheers Tom
AnswerID: 371535

Reply By: Member - Robert R1 (SA) - Wednesday, Jun 24, 2009 at 11:53

Wednesday, Jun 24, 2009 at 11:53
I came down the Gibb River Road last week from Kununurra and the road was good. I dropped my pressures down to 20F/26R and didn't get above 80Km/h (mostly 65Km/h). The river crossings were pretty easy. The Pentecost worried me before I left but I did it in L4 2nd and while a bit exciting, was pretty easy. A lot of the other creek crossings had almost no water in them. Drive slow through them because they can be a bit bumpy. The Gibb river was ok as was the Drysdale. The king Edward was about middle tyre height and you need to keep to the left going in because there is a rock on the right that some people got hung up on. The road in to the Mitchell Plateau was horrific for me. Worth the drive but I won't be in a hurry to do it again.

I am just about to drive up to Cape Leveque and I am hoping people are wrong about it being very rough.

AnswerID: 371640

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