Kalumburu & Mitchell Falls roads

Submitted: Tuesday, Jun 28, 2011 at 23:57
ThreadID: 87274 Views:3298 Replies:6 FollowUps:7
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Hi All,

As the shire road report will now tell you the Kalumburu road to the Mitchell plateau turn off is now open.
There is still work in progress today on a couple of soft bits (approx 34km & 44 km North of Drysdale ) which are still sinking with the traffic use, should dry out soon.
The Mitchell plateau track is also open to under 3 ton and has been graded all the way in to the Falls car park. The other plateau tracks like to Surveyors Pool are not yet done.
Later this week work will start on the Kalumburu road from the Mitchell plateau turn off North to Kalumburu, this section of road is still closed as no work has yet been done and it is still very wet in places.
No one can yet say how long that section will take to be open as until work progresses, the time frame to fix the damage is unknown.
The Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley have a road report sign at the junction of the highway and the GR road near El Questro. I passed this the other day and found much to my disgust that it was still showing the wrong info 3 weeks after the road had opened to Drysdale. It still said road closed !
I complained and on way home 2 days later found it had been altered but in fact was still wrong as it now said road to get to Drysdale still closed and road North of Drysdale open. This of course is totally stupid, how can road North be opened if you can't get here to use it ! What it should have said by then was both sections open.
This shire sign is consistently wrong as it never seems to be updated as conditions alter, I have seen it wrong many many times over the years. I have complained many times. So if gossip along the way is saying something different to the shire road sign then you should check as there is a strong chance the sign is wrong.
I can not see the point in having the sign at all if it takes weeks after the changes to be altered. The main roads sign right beside it for the Gibb River road seems to be correctly altered in a more timely manner.

cheers, Anne

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Reply By: Member - Min (NSW) - Wednesday, Jun 29, 2011 at 09:46

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2011 at 09:46
Hi Anne,

Thanks so much for the time you take to give us these updates as they are so important for intending travellers, especially when the official signs are completely wrong.

I am so looking forward to seeing the Kimberley again, maybe next year.

AnswerID: 458743

Follow Up By: i'machocoholic - Wednesday, Jun 29, 2011 at 23:35

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2011 at 23:35
We noticed the sign was incorrect when we passed it last weekend....especially when we had stayed with you over 2 weeks ago!

Just a general comment about the Gibb River Road....one thing we have been really frustrated with is that not one body in particular is responsible for overseeing the GRR status and communicating it to all - ie you have the West Kimberley Shire involved, the East Kimberley Shire involved, the Main Roads Department, and DEC. Every time we made enquiries with one of their offices, you'd get a different story as to the road status which made trip planning difficult. The same goes for when gorges open - we had to use the GRR "grapevine" which saw us relying on other tourists to find out when Bells Gorge was open (which even then was hit and miss as people had heard different opening dates). It would be easier if mass communication was issued by DEC to all stations along the GRR, Mt Barnett Roadhouse and Imintji communicating this information.

It doesn't seem a difficult job to coordinate from where we sit and communicate it to all using various electronic methods, but maybe we expect too much.

We feel for you station guys waiting for the tourists to arrive given the "wet" wet, but wonder how you are able to successfully run a business when the information being communicated to tourists is wrong???

Anyway, thanks for a great stay, the Kimberley Beef Burgers were a ripper!

FollowupID: 732369

Follow Up By: Drysdale River Station - Friday, Jul 01, 2011 at 20:51

Friday, Jul 01, 2011 at 20:51
Glad you enjoyed the KBB .
One would also think it should NOT take 3 weeks to get a sign altered but it does and year after year I have the same row with the shire.
Suggest you write to DEC and say they should put out a gorge / park access report but it won't help much as at the end of the day the road into each place is not DEC road, therefore they can only open when each shire open the side road to get to each place. Therefore you will probably get a reply telling you to check the road condition reports and when road is open then park will be open.
I have to say I was very angry thinking of the trade we probably missed over the 3 weeks from folks not coming who trusted the sign to be correct.
As you say the problem is that 4 different bodies are responsible for work on and for opening the North Kimberley Roads.
cheers, Anne
FollowupID: 732537

Reply By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Thursday, Jun 30, 2011 at 08:24

Thursday, Jun 30, 2011 at 08:24
Hi Anne,

Thanks for the report and it sure stirred some feelings about wanting to head back there. Won't be this year but who knows maybe next year looking forward to it already!

Kind regards
AnswerID: 458841

Reply By: Gado - Thursday, Jun 30, 2011 at 12:46

Thursday, Jun 30, 2011 at 12:46
Thank you Anne, we have been chasing that information and hope to visit you in a few weeks.

It's one thing for road signs to be wriong when you get there, but very frustrating getting current road condition information at a distance for our planned Kimberley trip - the official web sites for NT and WA are a good idea, but often seem to be weeks and even months behind....even when the small print says "updated 30th June" etc., i.e. hours ago. (I guess updating means someone just clicks "same again" when the report times out).

The internet is the obvious way for state situation to be pulled together and made available for travellers and all the other places where people stop to ask. A page could be printed off to pin on the tourist centre notice boards. Makes more sense than everyone having to phone every shire as they go. If the shires have the best information it must be more efficient for them to update it to the web site rather than have their staff keep fielding the same questions from individuals.

Cheers, Gado

AnswerID: 458852

Follow Up By: Drysdale River Station - Friday, Jul 01, 2011 at 20:37

Friday, Jul 01, 2011 at 20:37
Hi Gabo,

As discussed above the problem lies in the fact that different roads are controlled by different bodies, who in turn have own web sites. At the end of the day the tourist bureaus are a good place to start as they should have current road reports for all roads.
Also if you search each road name on google you should find the right body for each road.
I agree as you say that the reports are not updated all the time as they should be, it's very annoying for all concerned.
cheers, Anne
FollowupID: 732535

Reply By: Zebra400 - Thursday, Jun 30, 2011 at 17:33

Thursday, Jun 30, 2011 at 17:33
Hi Anne

Sorry we missed you when we passed through Drysdale Station last Tuesday (28th).

I asked for you at the check in counter but were told by the lady that you were away.

We enjoyed our trip up to Mithcell Falls - just magical to see all the four falls in one - they made for some great photos. The walk across the river was an adventure - I managed to dip my camera in when I slipped on a rock - after a little drying out, it restarted - so ,managed to get some pics of the falls.

With regards to the roads, the Kalumburu Road to to King Edward river was fine - corrugated in places with a few interesting creek crossings. The road out to the falls camp ground was rough in places which restricted our journey. It took a couple of hours from the turn off.

We also went up to Surveyors Pool. The track didnt appear to be closed. It was in reasonable condition with the last 4kms (4WD). The walk sign says it is a 1.5km return walk. It is actually a 2.5km return walk. It was quite overgrown in places. However just as we were leaving a slasher arrived, so the walking track is probably now in good condition.

Image Could Not Be Found

AnswerID: 458879

Follow Up By: Member - John B2 (VIC) - Thursday, Jun 30, 2011 at 17:44

Thursday, Jun 30, 2011 at 17:44

I am very jealous, fantastic photo hope! it is the same when we get there in
3 weeks time.
FollowupID: 732450

Follow Up By: Drysdale River Station - Friday, Jul 01, 2011 at 20:39

Friday, Jul 01, 2011 at 20:39
Great photo !!!
Make a good post card, cheers, Anne
FollowupID: 732536

Reply By: broomedreamer - Monday, Jul 25, 2011 at 22:01

Monday, Jul 25, 2011 at 22:01
good news we will be at drysdale around the 21st august and looking forward to making the trip to mitchell fall the next day any info and hints ideas will be greatly apreciated as it will be our first trip there
AnswerID: 460929

Follow Up By: Drysdale River Station - Tuesday, Jul 26, 2011 at 19:16

Tuesday, Jul 26, 2011 at 19:16
Road is rough at present, very corrugated. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks the Kalumburu Road section of the trip will be graded, so by the time you come it should have been recently graded.

Have not heard of any plans to re grade the Plateau track, which is also rough, corrugations and stoney in places, no 4WD required just darn uncomfortable !.

cheers, Anne
FollowupID: 734691

Reply By: broomedreamer - Tuesday, Jul 26, 2011 at 21:26

Tuesday, Jul 26, 2011 at 21:26
thanks for that anne just a question how much time should we allow to drive to mitchell falls car park from drysdale river station
AnswerID: 461023

Follow Up By: Drysdale River Station - Tuesday, Jul 26, 2011 at 22:28

Tuesday, Jul 26, 2011 at 22:28
Hard question, depends on state of road at the time of travel and if you average 20 or 40 km ph on the MP track.
Perhaps 4 to 6 hours plus stop time to see things along the way.

You should read my web site on the travelers tips and links page, it's on there.
The use it to link toGibb River Road: Community Sitehttp://www.gibbriverroad.net/
Kim & Taffy have an amazing MASS of info for all along the road on there.
They have even put up Virtual Tours of some of the walks etc so you know what to expect.
FollowupID: 734710

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