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WA Road Trip Itinerary: Gibb River Road

Western Australia Britz Campervan
  • Day

Derby to Kununurra

​​If you’re looking for an exhilarating 4WD challenge, The Gibb River Road is one of Australia's best.  This legendary 660-kilometre stock route was originally built for droving cattle from Wyndham to Derby. Today, it’s an epic adventure exploring the Kimberley’s magnificent gorges, authentic outback cattle stations, ancient Indigenous culture and captivating pioneering history.

  

The Gibb River Road is accessible between May and October only. Roads are often closed due to flooding between September and May (the wet season). 

Travel

7 – 10 days

Best time of year

All year round

Route

Derby to Kununurra

Vehicle

Highlights

  • ​Windjana Gorge National Park
  • Bell Gorge
  • Drysdale River Station
  • Home Valley Station
  • Zebedee Springs

​​​

Leg One Derby to Windjana National Park ​
Distance: 150km Driving time: 2.2 hours

Stock up on fuel, food and water supplies before leaving Derby, where your adventure begins. You’ll have 70kms of sealed road before the four wheel driving fun begins.
Your first stop is Windjana Gorge National Park, situated within the Napier Ranges – part of an ancient reef system formed over 350 million years ago. Its sheer 100 metre walls reveal fossils of primeval lifeforms and its cool pools support an abundance of wildlife. When it gets dark, explore the 750-metre tunnel and its subterranean world of bats and fresh water crocodiles. Our advice? Wear sneakers and prepare to get wet.
Return to Windjana Gorge National Park to camp, where facilities include toilets, showers and firewood, and wake up to a glorious sunrise bouncing off the magnificent gorge walls. Talk about a room with a view!

Leg Two​ Windjana National Park to Bell Gorge  ​
Distance: 128km Driving time: 2 hours

Head into the Kimberley highlands in your camper and stop at Lennard Gorge for a morning walk or swim. It's just a 30-minute walk to view the gorge, and an additional 15-minute steep climb to get to the water's edge. Bell Gorge is considered to be one of the Kimberley's most spectacular attractions, with a cascading 100-metre waterfall, plenty of places to swim, and breathtaking cliff-top views. Camp under the clear Kimberley night skies at Bell Gorge campsite, or travel a little further to Mount Hart. Here, you can stay at the heritage homestead or campsite with amenity block – it's a good base for exploring the bushwalking and canoeing trails of King Leopold Range Conservation Park. 
 

Leg Three Bell Gorge to Manning Gorge
Distance: 86km Driving time: 2.15 hours

On the journey to Manning Gorge, stop in at Adcock Gorge, which is about 5km off Gibb River Road. This gorge is particularly beautiful in the afternoon when the sun casts a red glow over the waterfall, and rocky outcrops. Manning Gorge, where you’ll be camping overnight, is home to incredible ancient Indigenous rock art, and visitors can book a guided walk to Upper Manning Gorge and Manning falls. 

Leg Four Manning Gorge to Drysdale River Station
Distance: 168km Driving time: 2.4 hours

Turn off Gibb River Road onto Kalumburu Road, which will lead you into Mitchell River National Park. Make an early morning swim stop at the Gibb River crossing before continuing on to your base at Drysdale River Station. Drysdale River Station is a working cattle station and is a great stop before you head on to Mitchell Falls. From the station you can take a scenic flight over the coastal canyons of the Prince Regent River, circle Mitchell Falls and get an eagle's eye view of the dramatic Kimberley coastline. Explore the rainforests and open woodlands surrounding the station on foot, or go fishing on the river banks. 

Leg Five Drysdale River Station to Home Valley Station
Distance: 136km Driving time: 2.1 hours

Return to the Gibb River Road to reach Home Valley Station – a three-million-acre outback oasis nestled at the foot of the spectacular Cockburn Range. Ride out with the stockmen and experience an authentic cattle muster. Venture through ancient gorges and ranges to inviting plunge pools, or chase barramundi in some of Australia's top fishing spots. Powered and non-powered camping sites are available, with access to showers, toilets, gas barbecues and a bar serving drinks and meals.

Leg Six Home Valley Station to El Questro Wilderness Park
Distance: 141km Driving time: 2.15 hours

On your way to your last station stay, stop for a swim at Durack River crossing, fish for barramundi at Jack's Waterhole or take in the expansive views of the Cockburn Ranges and Pentecost River. Set on one million acres, El Questro Wilderness Park extends deep into the unexplored heart of the Kimberley. Take a relaxing soak in the thermal pools at Zebedee Springs and a sunset cruise to Chamberlain Gorge. Discover the region's ancient Windjana Aboriginal rock art. Join local guides on a hike to Emma Gorge, 4WD adventure or horse ride. Or try your luck at hooking a one-metre barramundi. Accommodation varies from camping and safari tent accommodation to self-contained cabins and the five-star homestead.

Leg Seven El Questro Wilderness Park to Kununurra
Distance: 110km Driving time: 1.3 hours

Complete your Gibb River Road adventure and head for the east Kimberley hub of Kununurra. Take a thrilling helicopter flight over one of the world's most curious land forms, the Bungle Bungle Range of World Heritage-listed Purnululu National Park, or cruise the big waters of Lake Argyle – the largest manmade lake in the southern hemisphere. Continue your Kimberley adventure on the sealed Great Northern Highway to Broome, stopping overnight at Fitzroy Crossing to explore Geikie Gorge.

Check out our other Western Australian Roadtrips:

 

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