gibb river road

We are thinking of unhooking our van and travelling the Gibb River rd. We have an X Trail and are wondering weather this vehicle would be able to negotiate the river crossings. Thanks johno
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Reply By: KevinE - Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 21:14

Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 21:14
Hi Jono59, yes, I can't see why not. As long as you do it in the dry of course. We encountered heaps of vehicles doing the NSW variety club bash coming onto us when we were up there last August, all older 2wd's & they breezed through it. Enjoy it mate, I wish i was with you! :)
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Reply By: Member - Josh- Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 21:41

Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 21:41
A couple of years ago we got over taken at 80 kms/h by 4 black fellas in a comadore . So at the right time anything is possible.
Best to call someone on the gibb and find out the current road conditions at the time you plan to travel it.

Josh
AnswerID: 485665

Reply By: EricnBeryl - Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 23:55

Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 23:55
G'Day Johno,

We did this trip last year in our Landcruiser. The only major problem I can foresee for you will be crossing the Pentacost and Durrack Rivers. Up until mid year (say, to the end of June) they will probably be running at around half a metre depth, so you will need be prepared for that eventuality unless you intend to travel much later in the year.

Also, do not be in any doubt that the road is rough: really, really rough. You will need very good tyres on the vehicle and the ability to repair punctures, without assistance if need be. That said, there will be quite a lot of vehicles on the road, so the risk of long term stranding without aid is quite low.

Personally, I'd hesitate to take anything less than a medium to large 4WD on the Gibb but, as previously stated, smaller vehicles have done it before without incident.

Regards,

Eric

AnswerID: 485669

Reply By: Bushranger1 - Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 07:54

Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 07:54
G'Day Johno,
Having worked at one of the stations on the Gibb river rd I would say you just need to get some local info when you get in the vicinity.

The condition of the GRR can be variable depending on the rains & whether the road maintance crews have recently graded it or not.
If you adjust your driving style & tyre pressures to suit the terrain it makes a HUGE difference to the stresses on your vehicle.

So get some local info & don't rush the trip.
Enjoy

Cheers
Stu
AnswerID: 485675

Follow Up By: Bushranger1 - Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 08:00

Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 08:00
I forgot to add.

Be very wary of advice of the conditions from travellers as you will get hugely differing opinions of the conditions. Ask the locals!

Not saying discount all the travellers advice but you will get some people that tend to go on a bit of an ego trip about their struggle to make it through when in fact things turn out not that difficult at all.
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Follow Up By: KevinE - Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 11:04

Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 11:04
Hi Bushranger1, that is very sound advice! I researched lots before I went up & a lot of people on forums made it out to be a rougher road than it was when I got up there. It was corrugated, but not nearly as bad as I expected. I found the areas of shale worse, but not too bad. Just adjust your speed accordingly. Small sections had just been graded when we were up there, but I do mean small sections, not too much (it's a jolly long road to grade in one go lol!). I spoke with the guy who owns my local camping store about it before I went & he professed to have done it, told me, amongst other things, we'd need to take 50l water for the 2 of us, which we did (there was potable water at EVERY campground we stopped at!). I seriously doubt he has been up there! There's bitumen on nearly all, if not all of the steeper hills on the road & the stretch between Derby & the Windjana turn off is nearly all bitumen. Now, I'm not saying don't be prepared, just the opposite! It's still remote & it's still challenging, but it isn't the CSR or the Gunbarrel either! But it is very, very enjoyable! The Drysdale road, well, that's another story lol!
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Follow Up By: johno59 - Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 19:29

Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 19:29
Thanks Guys, I do really wonder sometimes what is rough conditions I have dragged a campervan behind an xc Falcon Sedan, through bulldust, corrigated roads and even through waters ways etc You have to drive according to conditions. johno
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Follow Up By: Teejay - Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 21:16

Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 21:16
So you've just answered your own question Johno
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Reply By: MEMBER - Darian, SA - Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 09:35

Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 09:35
If the water is quite shallow (usually is in the dry), you might well finish the Gibb and wonder what all the hoo-har was about ! Re the above - its true that some sections (mainly the eastern half) are stony, but you just soften the tyres down and take it quite easy. Significant sections of the western half are commonly very smooth. The rivers are usually no more than an opportunity to wash the tyres. There are links on the Drysdale River Station site to local shire authorities re queries on road conditions - see here on EoZ 'road conditions' too.
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Reply By: Member - Min (NSW) - Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 11:09

Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 11:09
Hi Johno,

In May-August 2003 we travelled the GRR in our X-Trail (see blog) and had no problems and we were towing our camper trailer. We also went to King Edward River for a few days lovely camping before leaving the trailer there and taking a tent to Mitchell Plateau. We also went to Mornington Camp, Bell Gorge, Manning Gorge, etc. The river crossings were also fine but of course that varies from year to year.

On the same trip we also went to Purnalulu NP (Bungles) but left the trailer at Kununurra.

Enjoy,
Min
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