Gibb River Road

Trip Start Apr 21, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Australia  , Western Australia,
Wednesday, July 27, 2011

We started off the Gibb River Road in Derby. We went to the visitor centre to inquire about the road conditions. 
The Gibb River Road is a heavily corrugated road with many riverbeds crossing and recommended for 4WD with high clearance only. It's a very rough road and we had heard a lot about it, people saying it's in very bad conditions.
So we didn't expect many people and didn't think about going to the Mitchells Falls because we don't have a second spare tyre. But in Derby, we met an elderly couple that told us they went there and it was no problem. 
Also, there is quite a few crocs over there, but mainly Freshies (freshwater crocodile, who are not dangerous as long as you leave them alone. The Salties, saltwater one, however would love to make you their next meal!).

Our first stop on the Gibb River road was in Windjana Gorge, where we saw some freshies and even got closed to them (but not too much!).There was actually quite a few people on the road, which was good, in case we breakdown.
Actually, we helped a German backpacker that thought it was a good idea to do the Gibb River Road with his 2WD stationwagon. We had to pull him out of the side of the road where the edge had collapse under his car. We told him he should go back and take the highway, but he didn't listen. We don't know if he made, especially with the big river crossing that was coming next!
We then did the Lennard Gorge walk and after those 10km walking we stopped for a well deserved rest! 

At the campground, a guy came to us because one of his friends got a couple of friend who are from Germany and drive a Land Rover Defender navy blue, like Gary. And they now live in NSW.
So with Gary, a big D sticker at the back and a NSW registration, he thought we were. Of course, how likely you are to have 2 groups of people with those same detail? A little bit it appears!

The next day, we visited Bell Gorge and we forgot our swimmers! Too bad, it would have been nice to have a swim after a walk in the heat!
On our way to the car, while talking about what we should do if one of us got bitten by a snake, a long black snake came out. Normally, they say you should not move when you see a snake. I run as far as I could! Once the snake moved away from us, Andreas went to have a look (!) but a this moment, someone else came the other way, so the snake came back. Lucky, he must have think it was too crowded for him and went back in the grass on the side. From what we had a look on the internet, it was probably a Taipan or a Eastern Brown Snake, some of the more venomous snake. Lovely! But thanks to him we meet a nice and funny Irish guy Carl, who was on the way to the Mitchell Falls as well.
We stopped at Imintji as we have been told it was the cheapest diesel on the way. But we also bought the most expensive water ever! $20 for 10l. It was most expensive that the diesel!
We went to Adcock Gorge, where the track was very bad, with big rocks and deep water crossing. When we got there, we saw a couple that came in with their volkswagen van. Crazy or brave? Maybe both! And to finish the day, we went to Galvans Gorge where we saw a huge monitor!
We camped next the Hann River, ready to get up early to attack the road to the Mitchells Falls.

The road wasn't actually as bad as we thought but it was a lots of corrugation. Ladies, wear a good bra if you do it, trust me! We did it nice and slow, trying to avoid to puncture a tyre but some people went very fast (yes, I'm talking about you, Carl!)

The following day, we woke up once again early (well early for us, everybody was already gone) to do the walk to the Mitchells Falls before the heat got too much. It a very nice walk, 8.6km return. The only "difficult" part is the river crossing where you have to take of your shoes, roll up your pants and walk through the water on slippery rocks. Andreas felt in the water on the way back. His phone survived and I was the one carrying the camera so it was ok.
The view from the falls is fantastic, it's hard to capture on a picture. We also took our swimmers this time and went for a swim. And a back massage with the small fall!
Then we walked back to the campground, starving after this busy morning! 
We then went back to see some aboriginal arts. We got down to the river and saw nothing. We looked everywhere, impossible to find anything. So we walked back defeated. And then we saw a track going on the side so we took it and found the right spot! It was very different from the one we saw in the Flinders Range and very impressing.
We went to sleep already dreading the corrugation the following day!

So we spent the next day driving, stopping overnight at Ellenbread Homestead (very nice!) and keep going the day after to reach the famous El Questro. Well, we didn't stay in the " $1,500 a night" homestead, we opted for the campground solution, much better!
We stayed there 3 nights, there was so much to do! We also treated ourselves to a cruise on the Chamberlain River where we got spat on by fishes. For real!

It was the end of the Gibb River Road. I didn't put too much details as it will be with the pictures. Now you have to check them all!

We really loved it and we will have to do it again, we didn't see everything yet! As an old man told us: always leave something for the next time you visit!


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Celeste on

The Gibb River Road is beautiful, I've done it 4 times now! Ellenbrae is lovely :)

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