Kimberleys during Dec and Jan

Submitted: Friday, Jan 23, 2004 at 10:18
ThreadID: 9966 Views:1335 Replies:8 FollowUps:5
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Hi all,

Planning a trip for the Kimberleys during the wet season via NT and then down to Margaret River way for some surfing before crossing back to VIC via Nullabor.

I need some information about the Gibb River Road and Mitchell Plateau 4wd track. Are these roads drivable during this time of the year or am I taking too much of a risk with one 4wd? Eg: Getting stranded, flooded etc...

Regards,
zac_sprint

Ps: Was considering the Adelaide-Darwin motorail: talk about expensive! I suppose they have to pay for the executive salary of safari suit man somehow.

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Reply By: colin - Friday, Jan 23, 2004 at 10:33

Friday, Jan 23, 2004 at 10:33
I wouldnt do the Gibb River road in the wet, besides ripping up the road you will get stranded by flooded creeks and rivers and you would miss out on seeing most of the scenery as you wont be able to get in, deffinatly a dry season trip. Col
AnswerID: 44075

Follow Up By: zac_sprint - Friday, Jan 23, 2004 at 10:44

Friday, Jan 23, 2004 at 10:44
Thanks Col,

Have been checking the road reports (looks like Northern Hwy is only option for this time of year), most roads have been closed but am having trouble understanding the following

"Bungle Bungles/Purnululu National Park

Spring Creek Delta Track to Bungle Bungles NP Passable by 4WD vehicles. 2WD vehicles will be refused access. Caravans are prohibited from the National Park. Internal roads are currently all dry.

Bungle Bungles NP Closed until 1/4/04 weather permitting ".

Does this mean that BB is now closed to 4wds as well?

zac_sprint

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FollowupID: 306318

Follow Up By: Rob H - Friday, Jan 23, 2004 at 11:17

Friday, Jan 23, 2004 at 11:17
Hi Col

We're about to start our big trip, and are planning to do the GRR in April. From what you say, this might not be possible?

Cheers

Rob
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FollowupID: 306322

Reply By: Member - StevenL - Friday, Jan 23, 2004 at 10:50

Friday, Jan 23, 2004 at 10:50
Totally agree with your thoughts on the motorail thing. To get a sleeper and have your car onboard ADL/DAR/ADL is nearly $5k. The same trip driving will cost about $900 of diesel plus any accom along the way.

I looked at this as a quick way to get the 4by from Adelaide to the interesting bits up north on a shorter holiday but having seen the price I think I'll wait to take the longer holiday and drive up and see all the bits i would have missed while asleep on the train.

StevenL Prado GXL TD Manual
It's on order, Delivery in April '04.
This pic will have to do till then. Can't wait!!!
AnswerID: 44077

Follow Up By: zac_sprint - Friday, Jan 23, 2004 at 11:06

Friday, Jan 23, 2004 at 11:06
Hello StevenL,

Problem with the Stuart Hwy is that there isn't much to see. Have done the trip up and back three times in a 2wd and unless you veer from the bitumen, there is not much around until you get to Mataranka. Actually used motorail once (Alice- Adel), and it cost about 200 all up (was a student back then which made it worth it-plus car broke down when I got back to Melb). Only thing I wasn't happy about was being stuck in a compartment full of chain smokers for the entire journey- hope they have now got rid of that carriage.

The Indian-Pacific is actually cheaper although there is a 200km travel difference, but still I don't think it justifies the high price of the Ghan. Like I said I think safari man is getting his cut, after all he got about 200 grand for those quarantine ads. Nice pay for half a day of work!

Pajero Di-D owner to be,
zac_sprint
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FollowupID: 306320

Reply By: zac_sprint - Friday, Jan 23, 2004 at 10:51

Friday, Jan 23, 2004 at 10:51
Apologies, my misreading,

BB is itslef closed, it's only the track from spring creek turnoff from the northern hwy to the entrance to BB NP that is open to 4wds.

zac_sprint
AnswerID: 44078

Reply By: colin - Friday, Jan 23, 2004 at 10:53

Friday, Jan 23, 2004 at 10:53
I would say its still open for 4x4, when do you intend to leave as conditions can change by the hour up that way. I got caught in the dry when a storm over the horizon flooded a creek we had to return cross and we got no rain at all where we were. I live in nth Qld and we havent had much rain but i wouldnt do to much off road driving .Col
AnswerID: 44080

Follow Up By: zac_sprint - Friday, Jan 23, 2004 at 11:19

Friday, Jan 23, 2004 at 11:19
Thanks Col,
Dec-Jan is the most feasible time for myself and friends to travel up that way due to work-which makes it a real problem given it's wet season.

I agree with you- keeping off roading to an absolute minimum is the way to go. Even the access to Tunnel Ck NP is closed.

I think it looks like I'm going to have to work out how to get up there during the dry- otherwise it'll just be a bitumen drive from Kununurra-Broome- unless the road gets washed away- and that's happened before during the wet.

zac_sprint

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FollowupID: 306324

Reply By: Member - JEFF - Friday, Jan 23, 2004 at 11:03

Friday, Jan 23, 2004 at 11:03
g'day Zac

Can't help with the road conditions except to say Stay Away During the Wet. Re the Ghan, I travelled Adelaide to Alice in july 03 the vehicle cost $356.00 the passanger ticket was $190.00 but discovered that if you become a member of Youth Hostels ( $30) the price of the ticket was reduced to $90. This may help

regards

jeff
AnswerID: 44083

Follow Up By: zac_sprint - Friday, Jan 23, 2004 at 11:22

Friday, Jan 23, 2004 at 11:22
Thanks Jeff, one of my friends is a member so I'll mention that one.

zac_sprint
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FollowupID: 306325

Reply By: Jonesy56 - Friday, Jan 23, 2004 at 15:04

Friday, Jan 23, 2004 at 15:04
Hi Zac - I would say the Gibb is a no-no during the wet and you would have buckleys of getting through to Mitchell falls or Kalumbaru. It doesn't take too much to strand you for weeks out here. Great trip at the end of the wet though rough as watsit 'til a grader goes through. One 4wd would be unwise too.
Regards
Jonesy
AnswerID: 44109

Reply By: Jonesy56 - Friday, Jan 23, 2004 at 15:13

Friday, Jan 23, 2004 at 15:13
Hi Zac - I would say the Gibb is a no-no during the wet and you would have buckleys of getting through to Mitchell falls or Kalumbaru. It doesn't take too much to strand you for weeks out here. Great trip at the end of the wet though rough as watsit 'til a grader goes through. One 4wd would be unwise too.
Regards
Jonesy
AnswerID: 44111

Reply By: Member - John- Saturday, Jan 24, 2004 at 00:46

Saturday, Jan 24, 2004 at 00:46
Sorry folks, but don't bother about the Kimberley during the wet ... it's virtually all closed except the bitumen (and that gets closed for short periods too). All the interesting tourist spots are closed or inaccessible. The locals will get mighty $#@^ off with yoos if you start getting adventurous and cutting up tracks in places you shouldn't be. The west Kimberley happens to be still dry with a very slow opening to the wet season, but that can change big time as soon as a cyclone parks itself in the Indian Ocean for a week. In fact we are praying for more rain right now ... but the barras are biting in the Fitzroy and you can still get in there (that's why the tourists are discouraged 'cos the locals are quietly fishing without the tourists about)

I caught nothing last weegend but I did land a nice freshwater croc. Bit of excitement !!

JohnS
Derby, WA
AnswerID: 44174

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