Gibb river Road with 5 kids under 9 (are we mad???)

Submitted: Monday, Apr 19, 2010 at 21:08
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Just read the comments about the Jamiesons family of 5 travelling the gibb river rd in a camper van. We were thinking of doing a similar thing in early October. Our eldest is 9 and the youngest will be 12 months old. Does anyone have any suggestions about the timing, the heat, how do you know if you can swim or not, and how a camper van will go.
We tend to be a little adventurous but just want some advice from those who have experienced it, especially with kids.
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Reply By: Motherhen - Monday, Apr 19, 2010 at 21:28

Monday, Apr 19, 2010 at 21:28
Hi Peterpen

It will be getting hotter then, and most waterfalls will be at their lowest. At the end of the season no doubt roads will be at their roughest.

Most of the falls and gorges require some walking which can be over rough stony trails so may be hard going for the littlest (or whoever carries the baby).

First thought is with a big family, you will need lots of room for supplies. Sure some basics are available along the way (at a price and availability not guaranteed).

Brochures and signage make it clear where not to swim. Most of the places we visited were safe.

I don't know if any of the places shut early and this may be a consideration also with that timing. We went in June (without children) and found plenty of water, not so many people carving up the roads which were still being graded; best time of year to go.


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Reply By: Member - Roger B (VIC) - Monday, Apr 19, 2010 at 23:34

Monday, Apr 19, 2010 at 23:34
Plenty of info on the link below. Enjoy the trip.

Roger B...
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Reply By: Muntoo - Tuesday, Apr 20, 2010 at 00:29

Tuesday, Apr 20, 2010 at 00:29
Will be very hot, well and truly into the build up to the wet.

Will be dry, hot and very rough.

Not the recommended time thats for sure.

Its probably a waste of time doing it so late, as i dont think it will be very enjoyable due to the heat and road conditions.
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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Tuesday, Apr 20, 2010 at 08:18

Tuesday, Apr 20, 2010 at 08:18
As said, it will be very hot. More importantly though as Muntoo says it is into the "build up". That's the period of increasing humidity leading up to the wet season. The humidity will be very high. As southerners we have found the combination of heat and build up humidity very very draining. The only source of joy is an air conditioner to suck the water out of the air so you can sweat and cool down. I think it would be very hard on a baby and the kids.

It's a good trip, but I'd postpone till the colder months. Excellent planning info can be found here.


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Follow Up By: Steve and Viv - Wednesday, Apr 21, 2010 at 00:51

Wednesday, Apr 21, 2010 at 00:51
I also have to agree and we also live in Broome. We last did a trip that way last year in August and t was 31 during the day but still OK over night. Any time after that and your going to feel the heat
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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Wednesday, Apr 21, 2010 at 08:16

Wednesday, Apr 21, 2010 at 08:16
Another vote to go earlier if you can. We did our trip in June-July. As far as weather was concerned June was tops.

Not a lot of places to get supplies and when you do they are not cheap. But you won't starve. You will also find clean toilets and showers (some hot/warm) at places like Windjana Gorge, Barnett River and Mitchell Falls. And others.

The Gibb River Road can be corrugated but its not what one would say "off road". Quite an easy drive to tell you the truth. Good shocks and sit around 70-80 on the GRR. Side roads a bit slower. Especially the Mitchell Falls road (30-50). Of course it depends on when they were graded.

Well worth trying to go earlier though. Not the best in October. Especially with the younger ones.


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Reply By: Member - Ups and Downs - Tuesday, Apr 20, 2010 at 08:51

Tuesday, Apr 20, 2010 at 08:51
A couple of years ago we were up ther Oct/Nov and struck 45 - 50 degrees for two weeks. Phew!

Camped near the Pentecost River crossing and photographed 56.3 degrees in the shade. Double Phew!

As others have suggested the kids may not enjoy the experience if you go through the same, and you probably would.

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Reply By: petenpen - Tuesday, Apr 20, 2010 at 18:55

Tuesday, Apr 20, 2010 at 18:55
Thanks for all your great replies.
Ok, we're getting the picture... I suppose it won't be any better in September? Is there usually enough water around to swim at this time of year?
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Follow Up By: Member - sdr00y (Beecroft,NSW) - Tuesday, Apr 20, 2010 at 20:29

Tuesday, Apr 20, 2010 at 20:29
End of May, June, July and August would be a better time to go. Put it off till next year if you can. We are going this year with 3 kids. 11, 8 and 3. You have no time limit with the kids not starting high school for a few years. Better to plan it a bit longer and have a more enjoyable time in the 'proper' tourist season.


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