The Ultimate Gibb River Road Itinerary
For those looking to immerse themselves in the wilderness that is the Kimberley region, no journey would be complete without tackling the infamous Gibb River Road, arguably one of the greatest 4WD adventures still in existence. This 660 km track between Derby and Kununurra traverses right through the wild heart of the Kimberley, a wild and beautiful region, so it is no wonder that it is considered to be one of the Kimberley’s main attractions.
FROM START TO FINISH
The magnificent Gibb river road journey begins in the historic town of Derby. Known for its distinct boab trees and its mining industry, this small town has become a popular stopover for those embarking on the Gibb River Road or exploring the Windjana National Park. Derby is a town that is rich in cultural diversity, with the local Indigenous culture playing a large part in the community, so it is the perfect place to commence your understanding and discovery of the Aboriginal culture.
Some 660 km away, at the other end of the Gibb river road, lies Kununurra, located at the Eastern extremity of Western Australia, just a stone’s throw away from the border of the Northern Territory. With vast lakes, ancient ranges and rare pink diamonds, this is definitely a place worth visiting.
THE DRIVE ITSELF
The Gibb river road has often been called one of Australia’s last true wilderness adventures, infamous for its rough road conditions and its reputation for a challenging drive. Whilst it is true that driving the Gibb river road is an adventure, and that a 4WD is certainly required, the conditions of the road are nowhere near as difficult as they used to be. This means that whilst it still provides plenty of adventure and the gateway to a beautiful remote region, those with limited 4WD experience no longer need to miss out.
Of course, you need to be aware of the time of year you intend to traverse it, and the conditions of the time, but as long as you are sensible the majority of people should have no problem at all. Alternatively, if you wish to enjoy the experience of the Gibb without worrying about the actual driving, there are plenty of Gibb river road tours to choose from that give you the best of both experiences.
NUMEROUS NATIONAL PARKS
The Gibb river road allows you to explore numerous national parks along the route. Soon after your departure from Derby you’ll head towards the Windjana National Park. Found in the Napier ranges, this ancient wilderness allows you to travel back in time over 350 million years and discover ancient fossils from a time almost forgotten. Taking the time to stroll around this beautiful national park is well worth it for the variety of natural beauty you will encounter, including the opportunity to see an abundance of wildlife unique to the area such as crocodiles and exotic birdlife.
Further along the Gibb river road you’ll discover the Tunnel Creek National Park where you’ll be treated to one of Australia’s oldest cave systems, perfect for those who love adventure and exploration. One of the main highlights of any journey along the Gibb river road has got to be the immaculate Mitchell River National Park. Here you can enjoy the awe inspiring landscapes of the Mitchell Plateau, fuelled with rich biodiversity, this fantastic location will allow you to see wildlife, rainforest and waterfalls.
The Gibb river road is famous for its abundance of truly spectacular gorges that litter the Kimberley region. From start to finish along your journey, you’ll be treated with natural beauty, starting with the Windjana gorge not too far from Derby, followed by the magnificent Lennard River Gorge further along the road which boasts highlight including spectacular views over the gorge and waterfalls. Continue further along The Gibb to the exquisite Bell Gorge which is arguably the Gibb’s most iconic gorge, and marvel as you gaze upon massive waterfalls cascading down the pristine cliffs, or take a swim in the cool waters below.
A couple of hours further down the route and you will reach the horseshoe shaped Galvans gorge where you can relax in the water or sit under the waterfall and listen to nature at its finest. Alternatively, if culture, history and tradition pique your interest then you will love the wonderful Manning Gorge where you can admire ancient aboriginal rock art and beautiful waterfalls from the tranquillity of a pool of water.
A MULTITUDE OF OTHER ACTIVITIES
If stunning National Parks and magnificent gorges don’t take your fancy (although we would be surprised, not many can dismiss the beauty afforded to them by this region), the great thing about Gibb river road tours is that there are a multitude of activities you can get involved in. For example, if you travel to the Drysdale river station you will not only find wonderful rainforests but you can also undertake a spot of fishing on the river banks. Alternatively, for a change of atmosphere, move on to the home valley station where you can hike around the Cockburn ranges or sit back and enjoy a sunset beverage unparalleled to anything you’ve experienced to date.
The penultimate stop along many a Gibb river road itinerary is the El Questro Wilderness Park. Here you can experience sunset cruises or simply soak in the relaxing thermal pools at Zebedee Springs, or else enjoy additional activities including horseback riding, discovering ancient rock art or try and catch the biggest barramundi possible. Whatever your interests, you are sure to discover the perfect adventure.
FIND OUT MORE
There is no doubt that the Gibb river road has a whole host of options and experiences waiting for you. If you are ready to explore this wild and remote region and see the natural beauty with your own eyes, Instyle adventures have got a range of tours and itineraries for you to choose from. Suitable for all visitors, whether you are travelling solo, as a group, with your family or as a couple, talk to us today and let us help you plan your adventure.
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