Now more accessible than ever, there's never been a better time to discover the magic of the Kimberley wilderness along the rugged and remote Gibb River Road.
Read on to discover the best things to see and do on the Gibb River Road, or find and book accommodation on the Gibb River Road today.
Remote, raw and utterly wild, the Kimberley remains one of Australia’s last bastions of wilderness, a place as enigmatic as ever and the stuff of dreams for enthusiastic offroaders. Its popularity skyrockets every winter when around two million visitors journey along the Gibb River Road in search of grand vistas, to bathe beneath palm-fringed waterfalls, and to experience the stillness and solitude that comes with being a long way from anywhere.
From the King Leopold Ranges to Kununurra, the Kimberley’s vast savannah landscape of rugged red ranges, hidden gorges, Indigenous art and incredible wildlife has lost none of its appeal. It is still isolated, still pristine and still one of the most adventurous destinations in the country.
The calling card of the Gibb River Road has long been its rough and rugged 4WD tracks – making it one of Australia’s premier offroad destinations. As roadworks continue to groom the corrugations out of the Gibb, a new breed of offroad-ready vanners with sound rigs and adventurous spirits are queuing to cross the Pentecost River and experience time out on this once rugged pathway through the country’s far north-west.
There’s something for everyone to enjoy on the Gibb River Road though - if 4WDing isn't your thing, with swimming, fishing, bushwalking, camping and kayaking just some of the many activities on offer along the track.
This rugged high country capped with flat-topped mesas and pink quartzite escarpments elevates travellers, providing grand vistas. If you cruise through at daybreak, prepare for a truly awe-inspiring sight: the ranges are bathed in golden, early morning light and corellas rise above the river in spectacular, snowy swirls. The star of the park is Bell Gorge: an accessible canyon carved by a small stream that spills over a five-tier waterfall and fills a deep amphitheatre and plunge pool below. This is one of the best places to get wet in the Kimberley.
Galvans Gorge is a picturesque sight: ferns feeding on the waterfall’s mist, fig trees clinging to the rock face and a shady pool fringed by pandanus palms. There’s also Indigenous rock art hidden behind boulders at the water’s edge, and make sure to watch out for water monitors soaking up the sun as it inches over the high gorge walls. It’s a popular spot for a swim, so arrive early to enjoy the gorge before the trickle of travellers start arriving.
Dramatic gorges and waterholes aside, El Questro offers a dizzying array of tours and experiences, with facilities that belie its remote location. Because it lies just 100km from Kununurra, El Questro can pull quite a crowd, so don’t expect the delicious isolation you’ve cherished at camps further west. On the upside, there’s a dozen ways to fill your days and spend your cash if a splurge is overdue. Favourite, popular spots include Emma Gorge for a swim beneath the falls (and a resort lunch afterwards), the rocky thermal pools and waterfalls at Zebedee Springs, and Amalia Gorge for the rainforest trail that disappears into waterholes you have to rock-hop and wade through.
The Gibb River Road is a 650km stretch of road in WA’s Kimberley region. It begins in Derby and ends at either Wyndham or Kununurra.
As weather conditions can be extremely unpredictable during the wet season, the Gibb River Road is frequently closed from about December to March. That makes the dry season, from April to November, the best time to travel along the Gibb River Road. Regardless of what time you travel though, it’s always important to check road and weather conditions beforehand.
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