The Gibb River Road is one of the last true outback experiences. Spanning 660km between Derby and Kununurra, the track passes vast cattle stations, remote wildlife sanctuaries, and stunning gorges.
|Distance||Approx. 1200km (visiting gorges and stations)
|When to visit||May - October|
|Itinerary||Kununurra - Wyndham - Gibb River Road - Derby - Broome|
|Tips for travel
||Don't forget to purchase a National Park Pass before you leave. The Gibb River Road can be an unforgiving journey if you're not prepared, so pack the car with water, food, and emergency supplies. This trip can only be taken in a four-wheel drive. Stay safe on your road trip.|
|Highlights||El Questro - Gorges - Boab trees - bush hospitality - National Parks - working stations - Argyle diamonds - Derby's 11 metre tides - Cable Beach - Broome Pearls|
Kununurra to Wyndham (106km)
Experience the real Australian outback and immerse yourself in the famous scenery and views of the Ord Valley and Lake Kununurra at sunset.
Kununurra is a local Aboriginal word meaning “meeting of big waters” so no visit would be complete without doing a cruise along the Ord River, Lake Argyle, or Lake Kununurra. The birdlife and vegetation are breathtaking.
Just a one-hour drive from Kununurra on Great Northern Highway is Wyndham, a small frontier town established in 1886 on the tidal banks of the Cambridge Gulf at the base of Mount Bastion. At the mount’s summit, over 330 metres above sea level, the fantastic Five Rivers - King, Pentecost, Durack, Forrest and Ord - can be seen.
There's great fishing throughout the year in the waters around Wyndham.
Wyndham to Emma Gorge, El Questro Wilderness Park (100km)
South of Wyndham you'll find the entrance to the Gibb River Road on the right.
It'll take you about an hour to get to your first stop at Emma Gorge Resort in the El Questro Wilderness Park, only 1km off the Gibb River Road. Take a leisurely walk from the resort to the stunning Emma Gorge.
El Questro Wilderness Park is without doubt one of the world’s most unique holiday destinations.
A million acres in size, El Questro is in WA’s untamed Kimberley, and extends for 80km north to south and 60km east to west in the heart of the region. It makes a great overnight stop on your journey.
El Questro to Home Valley Station (60km)
Home Valley Station is a cattle station and tourism operation 120km west of Kununurra, and two minutes off the Gibb River Road. The station is a 700,000 acre outback oasis set at the base of the majestic Cockburn Range with access to several river systems and waterholes making it the perfect location for barramundi fishing, boating, canoeing and ancient gorge walks.
Halfway between Derby and Kununurra, Mount Elizabeth is an operating cattle station. The station offers access to gorges as well as ancient Aboriginal rock art.
Explore the special Wunnumurra Gorge, about 15 minutes from the homestead.
Mount Elizabeth Station to Manning Gorge (45km)
Manning Gorge offers camping by the tranquil pools of the Manning River. Go bushwalking and discover the gorge, rock art, and waterfall. Stay here the night or continue to Galvans Gorge.
Galvans Gorge to Charnley River Station (45km)
Along the way to the station, be sure to stop at Galvans Gorge - a 1km easy walking track to a horseshoe-shaped gorge. It's a great location to relax, swim and take in the beauty of the Gorge, the Boabs and the Aboriginal rock art.
Charnley River Station is 43km off the Gibb River Road. Parts of the station are managed as a wilderness sanctuary but tourists can still camp in the area.
Charnley River Station to Mornington Wilderness Camp (approx. 160km)
In the heart of the Kimberley, Mornington Wilderness Camp offers nearly one million acres of spectacular gorges and tropical savannah dominated by the Fitzroy River and King Leopold Ranges.
You can stay in safari-style tents or camp beside a shady creek, and after days of travelling you'll be ready to treat yourself with a meal at the restaurant and a drink at the bar.
Mornington Wilderness Camp to Dimond Gorge (day trip)
Rugged and remote, Dimond Gorge sits amidst the Kimberley outback near Mornington Wilderness Camp. Here you can go bushwalking, swimming, canoeing, and bird watching. Tucked away at the end of Dimond Gorge is a beautiful waterfall.
Mornington Wilderness Camp to Imintji Wilderness Camp and Bell Gorge (75km)
Imintji Wilderness Camp is situated on Saddlers Creek adjacent to the Imintji Aboriginal Community. Imintji is an ideal base from which to explore Bell Gorge and the numerous magnificent gorges of the Gibb River Road.
Bell Gorge, Lennard Gorge to Mount Hart Wilderness Lodge (80km)
Step off the well-trodden tourist trail and explore beautiful Lennard Gorge. If you can get there shortly after the wet season, you will be awestruck by the spectacular cascading waterfall as it tumbles over the rugged rocks and plunges into the narrow gorge below.
Mount Hart Wilderness Lodge is a 10 acre oasis of beautiful lush tropical gardens alongside the majestic Barker River. The magnificent Mt Matthew, Talbot and Yellow-Man Gorges are only short drives away from the homesteads.
Mount Hart Wilderness Lodge to Windjana Gorge (90km)
Windjana Gorge is a picturesque 3.5km gorge - make sure your camera is charged and ready. It offers great nature walks. The walls of Windjana Gorge rise up from the floodplain of Lennard River, reaching 100m high in some places.
Windjana Gorge, Tunnel Creek to Derby (approx 320km)
A visit to the Tunnel Creek National Park is a truly unique experience that you must include on your Kimberley itinerary. It's close to Windjana Gorge, allowing you to see both landmarks in one day.
Tunnel Creek contains Western Australia’s oldest cave system. Walk through the 750m tunnel which takes you from one side of the Napier Range to the other.
Derby to Broome (222km)
Ten kilometres from Derby on the Gibb River Road, call into the Mowanjum Aboriginal Art and Cultural Centre which was built in the shape of the Spirit of the Wandjina. There is some amazing art to see here.
Derby is located on an ancient sand dune and has become a popular stopover for visitors heading into the gorge country of the vast north west. With 11m tides, the highest in the southern hemisphere, a visit to Derby is not complete without seeing high and low tide at the Derby Wharf.
Off the coast of Derby is the Buccaneer Archipelago, also known as the Thousand Islands. Take a scenic flight to see the islands and the Horizontal Waterfall at Talbot Bay.
When you arrive in Broome you will notice the laid back atmosphere for which the town is famous - so unwind and relax.
Enjoy a day of pampering at one of the luxurious day spas or shop for some pearls in Chinatown. Experience the magical sunset on Cable Beach and, when in season, see the stairway to the moon phenomenon on the tidal flats of Roebuck Bay.
Share your favourite road trip photos with us on Instagram using @racwa. And if you need music for your travels, download our For the Drive playlist from Spotify so you can just hit play and focus on the drive.
Last updated September 2018
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