Red Dust // A Journey Along The Gibb River Road (WA)

Who would’ve thought you could spend two solid weeks driving a 660km road? The Gibb River Road in North Western Australia is something else entirely though; a proper adventure through a remote landscape teeming with unique and contrasting natural wonders with an undercurrent of deep culture.  Our Explorer Ashlee Kehoe reckons there’s enough to keep you occupied for even longer.


Highlights

  • The El Questro Gorge hike – a 10-kilometre hike through a tropical oasis surrounded by the towering red cliffs of the King Leopold Ranges to a crystal clear gorge and waterfall.
  • Zebedee hot springs – natural thermal pools shaded by tropical palm trees under the giant red cliffs that are the signature of the Kimberleys.
  • Tunnel Creek – a natural 2km cave of great Indigenous Australian meaning as the resting place of Jandamarra, rock art and amazing history to be discovered
  • Bell Gorge – huge waterfalls tumble into this giant amphitheater of a gorge with rock jumps and a scenic hike in.
  • Saltwater croc watching in the Pentecost River. They can be spotted easily at night with a torch.
  • The Imintji community store, with a local art centre run by the Imintji people.

The Gibb River Road

A dusty red corrugated road, the Gibb River Road leads you to true adventure and real remoteness that can be difficult to find these days.

The Kimberleys are truly something to behold; a place of stark contrasts. The deep red of the dirt is reflected in the towering rock of the King Leopold Ranges, which loom over beautiful clear water gorges surrounded by tropical palms. Big silver boab trees stand out amongst the dry scenery and create a truly unforgettable landscape.

A Place Of Culture

The Gibb River Road also runs through a place of strong Indigenous cultural importance. Amazing historic sites, incredible rock art and the continuance of deep cultural connection makes for a truly unforgettable and educational experience.

Depending on your style of adventure there are various free camps and roadside stops along the way or there are various campgrounds and stations with amenities. Home Valley Station and El Questro even have a pub!

Red Dust // A Journey Along The Gibb River Road (WA) Ashlee Kehoe, van, dirt road, dust, trees, roofracks

Hikes And Waterholes

It is well worth checking out every gorge you can, they are all so different and are always worth the effort. Most gorges require a hike in, so we often left in the morning before the heat of the day and were well rewarded by a refreshing swim at a stunning waterhole.

While the Gibb River Road is quite a mission to get to, it is well worth the effort. You’ll witness first-hand this entirely unique and magical part of Australia that feels a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of cities and modern life. It is the adventure of a lifetime and it lies in our own backyard!

Red Dust // A Journey Along The Gibb River Road (WA) Ashlee Kehoe, swimming hole, waterhole, river, cliffs

Essential Gear

  • A 4WD
  • Jerry Cans (petrol is scarce, particularly if you want to explore off-road)
  • Camping gear
  • Plenty of water (There are a few places to fill up on the road but we always carried 50L)
  • Spare tyre
  • Compressor
  • Plenty of non perishable food
  • It is good to be quite self-sufficient as there are many amazing spots to camp with no amenities.
  • It is a good idea to go with another car and have walkie-talkies for communication, as there is no phone reception.

How To Get There

The Gibb River Road is in North Western Australia, and is the beginning of the Kimberley region. It can be accessed from the south through Derby or through Kunanurra from the north.

It is quite a road trip to get to however it can also be accessed by flying into Broome or Darwin and hiring a 4WD.

Activities

  • Swimming in gorges
  • Hiking
  • Camping
  • Fishing
  • Four wheel driving (river crossings included)
  • Croc watching
  • Discovering amazing rock art

Skill Level

Intermediate. It is not overly difficult however it is essential to be well prepared as it is remote.

Distance Covered

The Gibb River Road itself is 660km long, however there are various roads off the side that are waiting to be explored. It can take anywhere from a week to three depending on how much you want to see.

 


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