The Gibb River Road stretches 660km through the heart of the Kimberley taking you from Derby to Kununurra. Passing through some of the most spectacular scenery in this region including waterfalls, gorges and rocks pools.
Gibb River Road History
The area surrounding the Gibb River Road was abundant in fresh water and food sources. This allowed the original inhabitants to enjoy life and develop a rich culture. The tribes of the area understood their land intimately and this can be seen in the beauty of the rock and cave art in the area. There are many different Aboriginal language groups along the Gibb River Road and most of the communities still maintain their traditional spiritual customs.
Until 1962 the Gibb River Road was known as Mount House Road and previously passed through Windjana Gorge, Carpenter’s Gap, Whisky Crossing and Wombarella. The Mount House Road was handmade using shovels and picks to move large rocks and boulders. It took around one month by wagon to travel this road.
In 1961 main roads upgraded the Mount House Road, and in 1962 the road was opened up to Inglis Gap and then extended to Dog Chain Creek. It was then taken further to Glenroy Meatworks through Marsh Fly Glen. The first truck carrying beef travelled through to Glenroy Meatworks in 1963. Finally, in 1965 the Mount House Road was extended through Kurungie and Gibb River, and later renamed the “Gibb River Road’.
Travelling Along the Gibb River Road
Travelling along the Gibb River Road can be a challenge. The majority of the road is dirt and gravel so a 4WD is highly recommended; towing is not. Although some off-road trailers may handle the conditions, caravans are definitely not suitable for this road.
During the wet season (November to April), travel along the Gibb River Road can be restricted. This is because of road closures due to flooding. During the wet season this area can become quite waterlogged. Travel to the gorges during this time is usually not possible, but if it is, 4WDs are restricted to the Gibb River Road and must avoid the side tracks leading to the gorges.
Along the Gibb River Road, you will discover many gorges. There are the well-known Kimberley gorges such as Windjana Gorge and Geikie Gorge. As you drive from Derby to Kununurra you will pass by many other gorges including the Lennard, Bell, Adcock, Galvans, Manning and Barnett River Gorges. There are also gorges that can only be access when staying at some of the cattle stations along the way.
Gibb River Road Tours
There are tours that can take you safely along the Gibb River Road, stopping at some spectacular natural attractions along the way, which include gorges but also much more. A Gibb River Road Itinerary tour can be the best way to enjoy what this area has to offer while not having to drive yourself. Gibb River Road tours are available through InStyle Adventures, a not to be missed 4WD adventure.