The Gibb River Road – August 7th to August 21st

It was with no little trepidation that we set off from Kununurra to the turnoff to the Gibb River Road.

Gibb River Road 001

First stop was at the eastern end for a group shot.

Gibb River Road 002

Then off down the road towards the Cockburn Ranges.

Gibb River Road 003

The bitumen didn’t last long and we stopped just past the El Questro turnoff to lower our tyre pressures to something more suitable for running on the rough stuff.  We dropped ours to 24PSI for the cruiser and 28PSI for the van.  Had no tyre problems at all.

Gibb River Road 005

The Cockburn Ranges are spectacular.

Gibb River Road 007

And the road was not too bad.

Gibb River Road 011

We arrived at the Pentacost River crossing

Gibb River Road 012

I was the first across.

Gibb River Road 016

We all crossed safely and headed further south.

Gibb River Road 017

We stopped at a Photo-Op location just past Home Valley Station.  We were doing one of our routine checks on our hub temperatures when I found one of my van hubs was running hot.

Gibb River Road 017A

The Management sorted it. We got the hub off after letting it cool down.  Turned out the brake shoes were on a little too tight.  We adjusted the brakes, bunged a little more grease in the bearings put it all back together and set off again.

Gibb River Road 017B

We found a great camp not far further down the road that had a view over the Cockburn Ranges, the Pentecost River and the confluence of the rivers at Wyndham.  It also had decent Telstra connection, the last on the Gibb River Road.

Gibb River Road 018

It was my birthday so we applied our skills with the camp ovens and cooked up a dinner of lamb shanks and a chocolate cake, with candles, for desert.

Gibb River Road 018A

I thought it was an appropriate occasion to have another cigar.  A Cohiba Behike.  Very nice.

Gibb River Road 019


The Gibb wasn’t too bad, but some of the roads leading off it were pretty rugged.  This was the road to Ellenbrae Station and we’d pulled up to help a couple of guys in a Prado.  They said they’d heard a bang and then some thumping noises.  I had a look and found a blown shocker on the front driver’s side wheel.  The rest of the management agreed with the prognosis.  We told them to lower their tyre pressures and slow down a little.

Gibb River Road 020

Ellenbrae Station was a pleasant green spot and we stayed their for lunch.

Gibb River Road 021

We circled the wagons at Russ Creek that night.  A good camp spot well back from the road and nice and flat.

Gibb River Road 021A

We turned right at the Kalumburu and headed on up to Drysdale Station.  The road was pretty rough so we kept the speed right down.

Gibb River Road 022

We came across an 80 Series Landcruiser abandoned and being stripped on the side of the road.  Apparently a local bloke died in it and it was left there to rot.

Gibb River Road 023

We arrived at Drysdale Station and settled in for a few days.

Gibb River Road 024

We arranged the vans in our “Circle the Wagons” configuration.  No power, no water, $15 per person per night.

Gibb River Road 025

The place was quite busy with a large number of motorcycle riders camping there.  Beer was around $8 a stubby.

Gibb River Road 026

The Kimberley Burger was pretty tasty, and should have been for $18 for lunch or $26 for dinner (with chips).

Gibb River Road 027

We cooled off in Miner’s Pool just up the road from the station.

Gibb River Road 028

We cooked up a side of beef in the camp oven.

Gibb River Road 029

For Terry and Rosemary’s Wedding Anniversary.

Gibb River Road 030

We thought the road out to Mitchell Falls was just a little too rough for comfort so we booked a flight.

Gibb River Road 031

The countryside was pretty arid.

Gibb River Road 032

And some great ranges.

Gibb River Road 033

Mount HannGibb River Road 034

And closer up.

Gibb River Road 035Lots of escarpments

Gibb River Road 036

And the Prince Regent River.

Gibb River Road 037

We flew along the river.

Gibb River Road 038

Heading towards St. George Basin.

Gibb River Road 039

The river turned a little turbid and green as it became an estuary.

Gibb River Road 040

There wasn’t much water going over the King Cascades.

Gibb River Road 041

Mt. Trafalgar stood out.

Gibb River Road 042

Or this might have been Mt. Trafalgar. It was just next door to the last image.Gibb River Road 043

Lots of bays along the Kimberly Coast.

Gibb River Road 044

And lots of cliffs and beaches.

Gibb River Road 046

It would be a great place to go with a boat.

Gibb River Road 047

We arrived over the Mitchell Falls and did a few orbits.

Gibb River Road 048

It was a pity the gorge was in the shadow.

Gibb River Road 049


But we were pleased that the falls we running.

Gibb River Road 050

Judy was enjoying herself.

Gibb River Road 051

We had a good view of our “Circled Wagons” on the landing approach.

Gibb River Road 052

We left Drysdale Station headed off back to the Gibb.  Along the way Terry called up to say he had a problem.  A broken spring.

Gibb River Road 053

We strapped the axle up and slowly headed back to Drysdale.

Gibb River Road 054


The Drysdale Station staff were very helpful, they gave Terry a number to call in Kununurra for the replacement springs and organised the shipment.  Next morning the springs arrived by air at about 7:30AM and The Management set to work.  We’d replace all the springs by mid afternoon.

Gibb River Road 055

And got pretty dirty in the process.

Gibb River Road 056


We set off early the next morning and we very pleased to arrive back at the relative smoothness of the Gibb River Road.

Gibb River Road 057

We motored on through the red dust.Gibb River Road 058

And arrived at the Mount Barnett Roadhouse, gateway to Manning Gorge.

Gibb River Road 059

We set up camp at Manning Gorge, no power or water but the best ablutions block I’ve seen in a bush camp.

Gibb River Road 060

Next day we ferried across the Manning River for the trek to the gorge.

Gibb River Road 061

It’s a little over an hour across rocky ground and small gorges.

Gibb River Road 062

With wonderful views if you remember to look back at where you’ve come from.

Gibb River Road 063

Coco accompanied us and enjoyed a refreshing drink stop along the way.

Gibb River Road 064

The gorge was delightful. Plenty of water and full of fish.

Gibb River Road 065

I’d love to have a house on the gorge rim.

Gibb River Road 066

The waterfalls didn’t look particularly good in the image, but they were great being there.

Gibb River Road 067

The water tasted pretty good as well.

Gibb River Road 069

We were lucky to see so much water so late in the dry.

Gibb River Road 070

This was pool we went swimming in.

Gibb River Road 071

We swam over and under the falls.  There was quite a stream of water falling.

Gibb River Road 072

Lots of Boab trees around.  Some were extremely large.

Gibb River Road 073


The Manning River was only a couple of hundred metres from our camp and we went down for a swim the next day.

Gibb River Road 074We left Manning Gorge and filled up the next day at Barnett Station.  $2.50 litre for petrol or diesel. Ouch.

Gibb River Road 075

So back on that wonderful red dust


Gibb River Road 076and corrugations again.  But the vistas were amazing at every turn.

Gibb River Road 077

We crossed a number of ranges.

Gibb River Road 078

and lots of rocky terrain.

Gibb River Road 080

We stopped at Imintji for an excellent lunch an the diesel boys refilled at a somewhat cheaper price.

Gibb River Road 081

A little further down the road we were passed by a “hiker” looking somewhat tired.

Gibb River Road 082

There’s a lookout spot not far south of the turnoff to Bell Gorge that provides a great outlook over the Kimberley countryside.

Gibb River Road 083

Brilliant views.

Gibb River Road 085

We camped for a couple of days at March Fly Glen.

Gibb River Road 084

Rather poor name, but a lovely location surrounded by escarpments and full of tiny birds.

Gibb River Road 086

Continuing down the road we stopped for some great photo ops in the King Leopold Range.

Gibb River Road 087Queen Victoria’s Head on the right down the road is an interesting rock formation.

Gibb River Road 088

It’s a little more obvious up close.

Gibb River Road 088A

We set up camp next to the Lennard River.

Gibb River Road 089

And the intrepid travellers set off next day to Tunnel Creek.

Gibb River Road 090

The tunnel goes for about 750m

Gibb River Road 091

Parts of the tunnel have collapsed allowing a some daylight in.

Gibb River Road 092

There was quite a deal of water to wade through.

Gibb River Road 093

And some aboriginal art on the rock walls at the south entrance.

Gibb River Road 094

Rob adjusted the water temperature

Gibb River Road 095

Next morning we went to Windjana Gorge.

Gibb River Road 096

Large numbers of fresh water crocodiles.

Gibb River Road 097

Surrounded by sheer limestone cliffs of old coral reefs.

Gibb River Road 101

Some of the “freshies” were quite large.

Gibb River Road 099

And while it is claimed they they are relatively docile and harmless, will still rip you leg off if you upset them.

Gibb River Road 102

The entrance/exit to the gorge is through a narrow cleft.

We left our campsite and headed to Derby.  A fairly easy run over a mix of bitumen and smooth graded gravel roads.

Gibb River Road 103

And celebrated our adventure with a glass of french champagne at the Kimberley Entrance Caravan Park.




This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The Gibb River Road – August 7th to August 21st

  1. Tom Smith says:

    Great photos mate

  2. Gerda & Ray says:

    Wow..looks like you had a fabulous time..great photos…wish we had been with you…enjoy you guys..

  3. Lynne Friis says:

    Thank you Rob for posting this and sharing it. Really enjoyed it. If I show Ray, he will want to go and do the Gibb River Road. I thought I’d managed to get it out of his system….if he sees these pics, he’s going to get the idea back into his blood.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *