Just got back from the Gibb

Submitted: Wednesday, Jul 06, 2011 at 15:27
ThreadID: 87413 Views:2467 Replies:4 FollowUps:6
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Been 23 years almost to the day since I was on the Gibb River Rd, just got home yesterday. With the massive wet we have had in the Top End, the Kimberly is at its most spectacular, with rich red escarpments mixed with the green left from the wet season.

The Pentecost looks as though a cyclone has hit it with the trees pushed over by the torrents of water. The road in general is not to bad although some tracks haven't been graded yet and are a bit ruggard.

Came across some strange, sort of square, markings on the track into the Mitchell Falls, come over a rise and here is a young bloke walking in with two camels in tow. He has walked from Perth in the last 5 months and has only got seven months to go! I drove in one day, looked at the falls ( spectacular) the next day and drove out the following day and here he is walking back out. I heard he caught the chopper back from the falls though... lazy bugger.

The highlights for me where, Mitchell Falls and all the art sites, Charnley River Station, now that in my opinion, is the best camping spot on the Gibb. It is large and flat ,clean and fire wood is SUPPLIED. When I first drove in I thought "I'll stay two Nights", I ended up staying four. The Managers, Mike and Karen, are the nicest people you could meet. They even invited me to their place for dinner. ME... bungan on with the Managers... What about that?!

There were many highlights and I met so many nice people including some fellow EO members around camp fires. There was one bloke named Don travelling with a group of people from Narrogin WA, that I kept meeting up with. He wasn't hard to find as he would play the bagpipes for about twenty minutes each day at sundown, in the middle of nowhere.

But gees it was cold at night for a Darwin boy out there!

Noel K.

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Reply By: Member - Fred B (NT) - Wednesday, Jul 06, 2011 at 15:41

Wednesday, Jul 06, 2011 at 15:41
Glad to see you made it back in one piece Noel. Sounds like a great trip.
Fred B
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AnswerID: 459299

Follow Up By: Member - Noel K (NT) - Wednesday, Jul 06, 2011 at 16:47

Wednesday, Jul 06, 2011 at 16:47
Thanks Fred. Yes all in one piece, just a bit rattly that's all.

Noel K.
FollowupID: 732874

Reply By: RodnSue - Wednesday, Jul 06, 2011 at 18:48

Wednesday, Jul 06, 2011 at 18:48
Glad you enjoyed the Gibb River road again Noel.

You said the 'road in general wasn't too bad' - Were you towing anything or could a full off road van be towed over the length of the road in it's current condition?
AnswerID: 459319

Follow Up By: Member - Noel K (NT) - Wednesday, Jul 06, 2011 at 20:03

Wednesday, Jul 06, 2011 at 20:03
Hello Sue, I was towing an off road camper trailer with a Landcruiser wagon. The only problem I had was a broken center bolt on one of the CT springs, but that was my fault and I was well off road ( I had a spare spring).

At the time I was on the Gibb You would be able to tow a full off road caravan the entire length and 90% of the tracks off it. Leave it at Drysdale Station and do the Mitchell Plateau. They don't charge to leave it at the station, and is quite safe.

Take spare suspension parts as the Gibb can be quite unforgiving.

Noel K.
FollowupID: 732881

Follow Up By: RodnSue - Wednesday, Jul 06, 2011 at 22:05

Wednesday, Jul 06, 2011 at 22:05
Thanks Noel for your reply. Had to ask as someone this arvo suggested that it was impossible to take an off road on the the Gibb at the moment.

Thanks also for your tip re leaving van @ Drysdale. We have a tent with us specifically for Mitchell Plateau & the Bungles.

FollowupID: 732896

Follow Up By: Zebra400 - Thursday, Jul 07, 2011 at 08:56

Thursday, Jul 07, 2011 at 08:56

We toed a tVan right into Mitchell Falls camp ground last week. No problems at all. You will want to stay 2 or 3 days out there, so leaving the van behind at Drysdale is a bit of a pain. We also went up to Surveyors Pool, so base camping at Mitchell Falls was a good idea. The road is a little rough, but take your time & enjoy!

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Follow Up By: RodnSue - Thursday, Jul 07, 2011 at 12:00

Thursday, Jul 07, 2011 at 12:00
Thanks for your tips Laurie

I haven't studied the maps & tourist info for that area yet re what else is around Mitchell Falls to see.
Not sure about towing a 2.8 T van up there though. I don't like too many risks if I can help it.
Like you say, take your time & enjoy is the golden motto I should think
cheers Sue
FollowupID: 732910

Reply By: Zebra400 - Thursday, Jul 07, 2011 at 08:59

Thursday, Jul 07, 2011 at 08:59

We must have been a day ahead of you. The camel walker was walking up to King Edward River as we drove south.

That bagpipe player must get about. He was bagpiping at Mitchell Falls campground when we were there. Personally I prefer a quieter campfire, but each to his own!

AnswerID: 459342

Reply By: Member - Doug T (NT) - Friday, Jul 08, 2011 at 21:49

Friday, Jul 08, 2011 at 21:49
Good post mate, looked through the photo's you left here for me, absolutely fantastic shots you got, well done.
Now how about a Garmin report on how the Nuvi 1490T performed .

You should get a set of bagpipes mate, I can just see you going red in the face trying to get a squeek out of them.

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Follow Up By: Grand CRD - Tuesday, Jul 12, 2011 at 10:35

Tuesday, Jul 12, 2011 at 10:35
Hi Noel,

Missed you on the Gibb, we left Darwin a week and a half after you. We had a great trip accross towing our 21 ft. off-road Montana caravan. No problems at all with dust, corrugations, river/creek crossings. With care and using common sense you do not need a Kedron or Bushtracker. Due to size you are limited in some respect to where you can go. Kept running into guys that had done 2 and 3 tyres, I don't know what they do, they may be blind or just cowboys as we had no problems with tyres on caravan or the Jeep Grand.
We are now in Broome chilling out with all the other thousands that seem to be here. Busier than Burke St on a Saturday night.
Our highlights were probably Bell Gorge, Galvin's Gorge, Windjana and Tunnel Ck. We didn't get up to mitchell plateau as we had heard that Drysdale was low on Diesel.

Glad to hear that you had a good trip. How did the square sausages go? See you next time when in Darwin.


FollowupID: 733327

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