Gibb River Road Adventures
The Gibb River Road, in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, is simply breathtaking. Remote and inhospitable to many, it draws travelers from all over the world. Rivers, gorges and magical mountain ranges combine with a stunning coastline to provide an adventure that many Australians dream of experiencing.
The Gibb River Road is a true iconic outback drive, arguably, the most incredible drive that visitors to Australia can undertake. Constructed in the late 1800s to transport cattle from surrounding cattle stations to Derby and Wyndham. The original old stock route covers over 660 kilometers.
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A 4 wheel drive adventure along the Gibb River Road from Derby in the west to Kununurra in the east, takes in stunning areas such as the Windjana Gorge, Tunnel Creek, and the Pentecost and Ord rivers. Travel is possible in the remote Aboriginal community of Kalumburu, where visitors can stay and fish from the reef and rivers and camp on the beach at Honey Moon Bay and McGowan Island. Discover Aboriginal rock art and the wildlife of the Mitchell River National Park, hike onto the Mitchell Plateau and see the series of four waterfalls dropping into the pools below.
Lonely Planet Guide books describe the area well…
“With just two opposing seasons, the Wet and the Dry, the Kimberley is a land of extremes – semi-arid plains dotted with spinifex and outback roads that flow like rivers, spectacular ranges cut by steep stony gorges and tiny pockets of tropical rainforest and tranquil waterholes. It’s these dramatic contrasts that make a trip here so compelling”
The Gibb is only open during the dry season from around May, when the road is graded, until the end of October. The earlier in the season the more water in the gorges and waterfalls, but the busier it is too, understandable.
Own Vehicle or Rental 4×4 required to drive the Gibb
Find further details and images of the Gibb River Road, Gorges, and Waterfalls in The Kimberley Australia Guide.
Camping and accommodation options available along the Gibb:
- El Questro Wilderness Park offers four types of accommodation, each different in style and catering to a range of budgets: exclusive and five-star luxury at the Homestead, Tented Cabins nestled into the natural bushland at Emma Gorge Resort at El Questro, air-conditioned Bungalows at the El Questro Station and Riverside Camping.
- Digger’s Rest Station offers a range of comfortable accommodation options from bunkhouse rooms and unique bush huts to modern camping facilities for visiting guests. All guests are invited to use and enjoy the homestead campers’ kitchen and to gather around the barbecue at the end of the day to share the stories that make unforgettable memories.
- Home Valley Station – Our spacious Grass Castles on idyllic Bindoola Creek are generously appointed, providing guests with the ultimate in outback lodging. Guesthouse Rooms provide a comfortable retreat and are perfect for couples and families. The safari-style Eco Tents, located in a quiet bush setting, will impress those seeking to connect with nature. Those wishing to roll out a swag under the stars are invited to enjoy the Gibb River Road’s best camping facilities at our Station Campground and the picture-perfect Pentecost River Bush Camp.
- Ellenbrae Station has two campsites, both offering shady and secluded campsites surrounded by native trees, vegetation, and wildlife. Uniquely designed toilet & shower facilities (built using a combination of natural bush materials). The Ringer’s campground has a large communal cooking area, whereas the Jackaroo’s campground has BBQ’s. Ellenbrae also offers 5 stockman’s cabins, sprawled throughout the gardens near the homestead.
- Drysdale River Station We are not a hotel, not a motel, not a farm stay, not a bed and breakfast, not a roadhouse, but we ARE an Australian outback mixture of all these things. While we are a general service center, even more, important to your fun & comfort is our Beer Garden, “Kimberley North”. Offering shaded tables, cold beer, good food and on cold nights a log fire all combine to ensure it is the hub of the North Kimberley.
- Mt Elizabeth Station Our family has been operating the Mount Elizabeth pastoral lease continuously since 1945. The primary operation over most of those years has been the production of beef cattle, but in recent years we have established tourism facilities that cater for visitors interested in the lifestyle, weather and natural environment of this wonderful region. Whether staying as outdoor campers or as ‘house guests’, visitors at our station can experience the natural beauty of our unique environment.
- Manning Gorge & Mount Barnett The Mt Barnett roadhouse is the main entrance to Manning Gorge. There is a campground a short drive in, pay camping fees at the roadhouse first. The walking trail to Manning Gorge starts from here. The roadhouse is well stocked with supplies.
- Charnley River Station
- Mornington Wilderness Camp – Located in the heart of the Kimberley, Mornington Wildlife Sanctuary covers more than 3,000 km2 of spectacular gorges and tropical savannah dominated by the Fitzroy River and King Leopold Ranges. Owned and managed by the non-profit AWC, Mornington Wilderness Camp provides a comfortable base from which to explore this remarkable sanctuary. It is a naturalist’s paradise, providing refuge for over 200 species of birds and a diverse range of other wildlife. All proceeds from the Wilderness Camp are dedicated to the conservation of wildlife in the Kimberley.
- Silent Grove Campground – Bell Gorge – Silent Grove campsite is the best area to set up camp and to see Bell Gorge and Bells Falls, which are about 11km to the north-west of this campsite. Silent Grove was named after a homestead that once stood here. A ranger’s station, shower and toilet facilities area available. Camping fees apply. 4WD access.
- Mount Hart Homestead This must be the hardest place to find genuine information about actually camping. Mt Hart has a somewhat checkered history since it was taken over from a genuine Australian, and handed to a large company. Money talks…
- Windjana Gorge The park has good camping facilities and the Windjana Gorge Campground is suitable for caravans but there are no powered sites.
- Birdwood Downs – “You are welcome to stay on our quiet bush style campground amongst a grove of shady trees, where we accommodate tents, camper trailers, and campervans. You will have the experience of a bush camp combined with the comfort of shared ablutions with a hot shower. You can enjoy dinner and breakfast in our gazebo restaurant and we can provide you with a packed lunch.”