A back road from Derby to Wyndham and Kununurra, Gibb River Road gives access to some of the Kimberley region's most spectacular scenery and geographical features. The road has stretches of bitumen but is mainly gravel. It is suitable for two and four wheel drive vehicles when conditions are good, but in rainy or cyclone seasons, four wheel drive is essential.
Location: Kimberley region of Western Australia
Length: 694 km. Minimum duration (one way): 2 days
Gibb River Road's main function is for the transportation of cattle from the various cattle stations of the West Kimberley region. The road starts at Derby and ends at the Great Northern Highway between Kununurra and Wyndham. It is approximately 660 kms in length, and apart, from short stretches of bitumen, is a graded gravel road. Between Derby and the Mount Barnett Roadhouse the surface is good, it deteriorates shortly after until Jack's Waterhole and then once again becomes good. The area is remote but with the more readily availability of 4WD vehicles, is becoming very popular in the dry season. The road runs through some of the most picturesque country in Australia and many of the gorges are superb.
Lennard River Gorge
The Lennard River Basin covers an area of 12,520 km2 and extends about 180 km inland. The gorge has a spectacular waterfall that flows like a torrent early in the dry season, however the narrow, deep canyons can be experienced all the year around. It can be a hazardous gorge and extreme care should be taken when exploring and climbing. At the first of the gorges, there is a rocky walk down to the top of the gorge and it is possible to descend to the base of the cliffs. Experienced rock climbers are able to climb the opposite face of the gorge, it is steep and ropes are essential. Swimming is possible.
One of the more spectacular gorges that are accessible from the Gibb River Road. Boab trees line Bell Creek. 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, bushwalking, rock climbing and bird watching can be enjoyed. Access to the gorge is along a 30 kilometre track suited to four-wheel drive only. No crocodiles.
Upper and Lower Manning Gorges
A 'must see' gorge for visitors to the area. It provides a delightful area with a waterfall and huge natural swimming pool surrounded by high ancient cliffs. Allow plenty of time for exploring this attractive area. A bush walk takes you to the upper Manning and Manning Falls. The falls are at their best early in the season (May-July). Visitors can view Aboriginal Rock art nearby and swim in the pools near the falls.
Takes its name from the 750 metre long tunnel carved by flowing water out of the limestone of the Napier Range, and is part of the 375 to 350 million-year-old Devonian Reef system. To pass through it to the other side of Napier Range, you have to wade through long waterholes up your waist and at times up to your chest. In sections, it is pitch black so you need to carry a torch in one hand and your camera in your other.