Gibb River Road – Overview & Things to See and Do
The Gibb River Road is a 660km track that takes travelers through one of Australia’s last wilderness frontiers – The Kimberley Region of Western Australia.
Traveling the Gibb is an awe inspiring experience and gives travelers access to some of the worlds oldest geological formations. The spectacular ranges, magnificent rivers, steep cliff faces and delightful gorges forged over hundreds of millions of years allow travelers to truly immerse themselves in the beauty of nature. To see the rare and unique species of Australian wildlife that call this land home and admire the absolutely spectacular views of this breathtaking country is one of the highlights of world travel.
Please find attached a quick overview of the main attractions along the Gibb River Road. For more detailed information refer to our travel pack received when you book a campervan or car hire accommodation package.
El Questro Station: One of the most recognised tourist destinations in the Kimberley. El Questro is one million acre property that was developed in 1991. Please note there are 2 sections of El Questro Station and campgrounds are at the township. El Questro Station is a blend of working cattle station, upmarket ranch and private wilderness park. In addition to 6 accessible gorges and fantastic lookouts, there are all sorts of station activities including flights, heli-fishing, gorge cruises, horseback riding, and bushwalks. A store stocks basic items and souvenirs a spacious veranda restaurant “The Steakhouse” is open for breakfast lunch and dinner and is famous for its fresh barramundi and local Kimberley Beef.
When planning how you will spend your time at El Questro we suggest thinking of El Questro as 2 distinct regions. The Eastern Section is where all the Walks, Swimming Holes Gorges and Waterfalls are. The Western Section is where Chamberlain Gorge is and all the spectacular lookouts and challenging 4WD tracks are.
Karunjie Track: The loop is a scenic 4WD track that encircles the Cockburn Ranges on a variety of different terrains. It consists of The Gibb River Road, Great Northern Highway and Karunjie Track. It can be joined from Emma Gorge, The Station and Wyndham via Digger’s Rest. Please note: Available as a self-drive option (Wilderness Park Permit required) or guided full day tour (Tour – Leisurely 10hr duration)
Pentecost River: The main river that cuts off the Gibb River Road. *Take extreme care crossing this River if the water levels are high* Recognised Safe procedures for driving across river crossing is to walk out and check the depth. This area is known to have saltwater crocodiles so we do not recommend this course of action.
Home Valley Station: Situated 1km off the Gibb River Rd stretching from the Pentecost River to Jacks Waterhole. Home Valley is a cattle property that also offers adventure tourism and has positioned itself to compete with El Questro. Australia’s Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC) purchased Home Valley Station along with Karunjie Station and Durack River Station. The combined area of the three cattle stations exceeds 3.5 million acres. The modern day diversification of these enormous land holdings has seen the development of tourism and in Home Valley Station’s case, an on-site training academy designed for local Indigenous men & women.
As well as camping, Home Valley offers modern as well as luxury lodges with 2 large swimming pools, Meals are served at the outdoor (under cover) Dusty Bar & Grill restaurant which has become an iconic part of Home Valley Station, serving quality Australian cuisine against a backdrop of authentic station memorabilia. In addition to heli-flights, horse riding and fishing the station has created nine self-guided walking trails to allow visitors to explore the stunning landscape on the property. The most spectacular of which is the walk to Bindaloo Falls.
Cockburn Range Lookout: Signposted lookout with spectacular uninterrupted view of the west side of the Cockburn Range. From this vantage point you can see the Durack & Pentecost Rivers along with the western side of Cambridge Gulf. Great photo opportunity especially at sunset.
Ellenbrae Station: 6km off the Gibb River Road. Ellenbrae is situated between two billabongs. No Gorges or Walks but they do offer cold drinks, coffee, tea & great scones. The buildings are all built using local material and you will note the open plan design ideal for the Kimberly climate.
Gibb River Station: Recently opened to tourism Gibb River Station offers diesel, basic general stores. The Diesel is usually cheaper than at Mt Barnett Roadhouse.
Mount Elizabeth Station: Halfway between Derby and Kununurra Mount Elizabeth is a true working cattle station offering bed & breakfast and a home cooked 3 course dinner with freshly baked bread. Accommodation is clean but basic even by Gibb River road standards. Camping is also possible for a reasonable fee. Attractions include Wunnumurra Gorge, Hann River Gorge and an exclusive Rock Art Site
Barnett River Gorge: Barnett River Gorge is a tranquil gorge located on the Gibb River Station lease. From the turn off it’s a 4 km drive to the carpark. Negotiating the drive to the carpark requires a high clearance 4WD. There are two walks into the gorge. The shorter walk from the car park to the river is 750m one way and leads to delightful spot where you can swim.
Mt Barnett Roadhouse (Manning Gorge): This Roadhouse offers fuel (Unleaded & Diesel) and also carries a good range of groceries as well as take away food and offers minor mechanical repairs. Roadhouse hours are 7am – 5pm (April to Sept) and 8am –12pm & 2pm – 4pm (Oct to March). It is here that you have to pay your fees to get access to Manning Gorge
Manning Gorge: Named by Frank Hann in 1898 after Mr Manning of Lennard River. This gorge is a delightful swimming and fishing spot. Lower Manning Gorge is a good place to swim with easy access and cool, clear waters. For the more adventurous cross the river in the dinghy or swim across & walk the 3 km to Upper Manning Gorge, Upper Manning Gorge is an attractive area with a waterfall & huge swimming pool surrounded by high cliffs.
Galvans Gorge: This horseshoe-shaped gorge lies less than 1km off the road. Day use only so NO Camping. The 750m walk (15min) easy walk takes you to a two stage waterfall that offers a beautiful spot to swim. Its’ easy access, clear water and plenty of shade make it a popular spot.
Adcock Gorge: The three walls of this gorge exceed thirty metres in some places. A small waterfall cascades down over rock benches into a small pool beside what is believed to be an Aboriginal burial ground. Named by Frank Hann in 1898 after Adcock brothers of Derby.
Charnley River Station: A working cattle station that offers camping accommodation only. Activities include visiting gorges, bush walking, bird watching and safe swimming. There are 3 gorges /falls on the property and 1 is spring fed so offers year round swimming. Mud maps available from the homestead.
Mornington Wilderness Camp: Owned & operated by the Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC), the broader Mornington and Marion Downs areas protect almost 6,000 square kilometres of the iconic Kimberley region. Bounded to the south by the rugged King Leopold Range, the properties contain some of Australia’s most spectacular scenery. Massive mesas and dramatic sandstone escarpments overlook vast savanna woodlands, while a network of tropical rivers, including the Fitzroy River, carve deep gorges through the ancient landscape.
Imintji: This Aboriginal Community Store is right on the road and is open to the public. Diesel fuel (only) The store stocks a basic range of supplies. Phone / Fax 08 9191 7471.
A new campground opened in 2016 with excellent facilities including grassed areas, BBQ’s, hot showers and flushing toilets.
Bell Gorge : Bell Gorge is located 30 kilometres off the Gibb River Road some 245 kilometres north-east of Derby within the rugged King Leopold Range National Park. Wet season rains see great volumes of water cascading down a series of waterfalls. It is one of the most picturesque gorges of the West Kimberley where swimming, photography, bush walking and bird watching can be enjoyed. Two campsites managed by the Department of Conservation and Land Management are nearby. Access to Bell Gorge Falls are reached via a one kilometre path from the car park.
Lennard River Gorge: Lennard Gorge is located 8 kilometres off the Gibb River Road 127 kilometres from Derby. This gorge is a spectacular narrow gorge featuring, after a good wet season, a spectacular cascade waterfall. It tumbles off red rocks and plunges into the narrow gorge below. The falls are a day use site only and part of the King Leopold Range National Park.