The Gibb River Road is a road in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. The road is a former cattle route that stretches in a east-west direction almost 660 kilometres through the Kimberley between the towns of Derby and the Kununurra and Wyndham junction of the Great Northern Highway. Like its namesake, which does not actually cross the road but runs nearby at 16°06.108′S 126°31.075′E, it is named after geologist and explorer Andrew Gibb Maitland. The Gibb River Road is one of the two major roads which dissect the Kimberley region - the other being the extreme northern section of Great Northern Highway which runs further to the south.
The Gibb River Road has scenic views of geological formations and natural scenery, aboriginal and pastoral history, as well as rare and unique fauna and flora. Attractions along the Road include Windjana Gorge National Park, Tunnel Creek National Park, Adcock Gorge, Manning Gorge, Galvans Gorge, Lennard Gorge, Bell Gorge, and King Leopold Ranges.
The road is often closed due to flooding during the wet season, which is typically November through March, although delayed openings have been known to happen, frustrating the tourism industry as well as locals who rely on the road.
Since the mid-2000s, the road has been upgraded to a formed gravel two-lane road including a few short bitumenised sections, but 4WD vehicles are still recommended due to the water crossings and numerous heavily corrugated sections.
There is only one very small store at Mount Barnett, 350 kilometres after the eastern starting point on the road, so bring supplies with you. The whole crossing takes 3 to 5 days at a leisurely pace, but bring extra food and water in case you get stranded.
There is a grand total of 3 fuel supplies along the road : Mt Barnett, Imintji Roadhouse (diesel only) and Drysdale Station (58 kilometres north of Gibb River Road on Kalumburu Road). Needless to say, fuel prices are very high along the road, and as distances are great, so start the drive with a full tank, and be mindful of your fuel consumption.
Accommodation is offered by several cattle stations in the area including Mount Hart Wilderness Lodge, Mount Barnett Station, Mount Elizabeth Station, Drysdale River Station, the El Questro Station, Ellenbrae and Charnley River Station.
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