Our Exciting Road Trip Adventure Driving The Gibb River Road Including Itinerary And Facts

Driving and camping on our road trip adventure in the Kimberley Western Australia is an exciting and spectacular experience. Several years ago my family and two other families set off on an amazing journey.

Part of our road trip in the Kimberley was driving on the Gibb River Road which has many beautiful natural attractions amongst the harsh surroundings.

This was one of the many highlights of our adventure trips in Australia.

The Gibb River Road is only suitable for four wheel drive vehicles and travels between Derby near Broome and the other end joins the Great Northern Highway near Kununurra, a short drive from the Northern Territory border.

Gibb River Road Map

These maps show the Kimberley region in Western Australia and the Gibb River Road.

road trip adventure gibb river road map

road trip adventure gibb river road map

Gibb River Road Facts

  • The Gibb River Road is an alternative and the more adventurous route to the Great Northern Highway.
  • Driving from Derby to Kununurra is about seven hundred kilometres.
  • The Gibb River Road is closed in the Wet Season - November to April.
  • The Gibb River Road is open in Dry Season Mid April/May to end of October after the grader has made the road safe again.
  • 4 Wheel Drive vehicles recommended due to corrugations and rocky surfaces.
  • Trailers and campers can be towed but they must be purpose built off-road vans and camper trailers.
  • You must be self sufficient when travelling on the Gibb River Road with food water and mechanical supplies, carry at least 2 spare tyres and know how to do basic repairs.

Our Gibb River Road Trip Adventure Itinerary

Drove from Derby to start of the Gibb River Road to Bell Gorge - Stayed overnight.

Drove from Bell Gorge to Old Mornington Camp - Stayed 3 nights

  • Old Mornington Camp – visited Sir John Gorge.
  • Old Mornington Camp – visited Dimond Gorge.

Drove from Old Mornington Camp to Mount Barnett Roadhouse - Stayed 2 nights (planned to stay for one night but had to wait for the fuel truck to come the next day)

Stayed Mount Barnett Roadhouse – visited Manning Gorge Falls

Drove from Mount Barnett Roadhouse to El Questro - Stayed 3 nights

  • ElQuestro – visited Champagne Springs.
  • ElQuestro – visited Zeebeedee Springs & El Questro Gorge .

ElQuestro – visited Emma Gorge and drove to Kunnunarra

road trip adventure gibb river road driving australia

Our Gibb River Road Trip Adventure

Bells Gorge

We left Derby and drove to Bell Gorge, set up camp, the campground had basic amenities and plenty of shade. We walked to Bell Gorge, which was a fairly easy walk to the top of the Gorge. What a great sight, we were out in the middle of nowhere and there was this amazing gorge.

Bells Gorge has two parts the Upper and Lower, we saw the Upper section first then to get to the lower section, we went across the top Gorge and then down rocks on the far side to reach the bottom pool. It was beautiful and refreshing to swim in.

Old Mornington Camp

Our next stop was Old Mornington Camp which is now known as the Mornington Wilderness Camp. We set up camp once again in a unique setting, basic amenities were available - the hot water for the showers was heated by a wood heater.

Mornington Camp has two gorges named Sir John Gorge and Dimond Gorge. On the first we went to Sir John Gorge which is the Fitzroy River.

Dimond Gorge is about forty minutes drive from camp and downstream of Sir John Gorge. We hired canoes and canoed up the gorge and across to the other side and climbed the cliff, the cliffs in the area are very rich with amazing colours.

road trip adventure gibb river road mornington camp dimond gorge

Mount Barnett Roadhouse and Manning Gorge

Our next stop was on the Gibb River Road was at Mount Barnett Roadhouse, we camped in the campground which was short drive from the road house. We were going to stay one night, but they had no fuel so we had to stay for two nights and wait for the fuel to arrive,

Manning Gorge was about an one hour's walk from the campground, it’s a beautiful swimming hole with a high waterfall.

We left early in the morning for this walk as it was going to be fairly hot day, we returned by early afternoon. The fuel truck had been so we filled up the vehicles with fuel.

El Questro Station

Our next stop was the famous El Questro Station which has featured on many travel shows, but they only show you the 5 star accommodation, the helicopter rides and cruise down the Chamberlain River.

Unfortunately the campground was very average, but we have found out that it has improved since we were there.

El Questro Station has some beautiful water features, gorges and springs to see that anyone can walk to.

Zebedee Springs is warm spring water flowing through many rock pools surrounded by palm trees that made it very shady and cool.

El Questro Gorge was stunning, walking in we were surrounded by huge rocky cliffs covered with ivy and other creeping plants with lush plants everywhere. The creek bed was really interesting as well, with rock pools to explore and many rocks to navigate across.

Emma Gorge is another section of El Questro Station. We stopped there on our way to Kununurra, Emma Gorge was about a thirty minute walk in, it is a beautiful big shallow rock pool with massive high cliffs, with water cascading down from the top.

Kununurra and Lake Argyle

After the end of the 'Gibb River Road' road trip adventure we continued on to Kununurra, Lake Argyle and Mataranka on the Stuart Highway.

Kunnunurra – went Barra fishing on the Ord River.

Kunnunurra visited Zebra Rock Gallery and Ivanhoe Crossing

Drove from Kunnunurra to Lake Argyle

Lake Argyle – visited the amazing Dam Wall and the historic Durack Homestead

Left Lake Argyle and drove to Mataranka in the Northern Territory.

The Gibb River road is an exciting spectacular road trip adventure although the surroundings can be harsh sometimes there is always something beautiful around the next turn or a short walk away.

For more information about the Gibb River Road this website has plenty of interesting first hand knowledge.


If you are looking for a different kind of road trip adventure try this website for a cycling challenge. http://www.thegibbchallenge.com.au/

Related Pages - More Road Trip Adventure Ideas

Australia's Stunning Scenic Road Trips

Unique Australian Road Trip Destinations

Great Australian Road Trip Ideas, Tips And Suggestions

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