Darwin – Gibb River Road – Darwin in 22 days

by Mark
(Darwin, NT)

I have enjoyed comprehensively reading both your Destination Kimberley and Top End guides and as a result feel confident I have devised a good itinerary for my family's travel of the Gibb River Road in mid June.

I would however appreciate some feedback / critique of the itinerary should you be able to spare the time.

My family consists of four adults and three children (6, 4 & 18 mths).
We will travel in two 4x4 vehicles with one off road camper trailer in tow.
Whilst we have the camper and quick erect tents it is our preference to limit our one night stops to allow an easier pace for the kids.

To maximise our number of 3 night stops I have dropped Kalumburu from the itinerary. Time doesn't allow for Cape Leveque.

We have travelled the Victoria Highway and visited Katherine before so this trip we intend to drive to and from Kununurra without much deviation.

Activities that are most important to us are: swimming, walking (3-4 hr max), fishing, challenging driving, wildlife, Kimberley hospitality / experience.

Day 1
Darwin - Keep River NP / Saddle rest stop

Day 2
Keep River NP - El Questro (1)

Purchase fruit / veg and last minute supplies in Kununurra.
Would like to secure river side camp at ELQ early before driving Karunjie track on this day. Fuel at Wyndam.

Day 3
El Questro (2)
Zebedee Spr, El Questro Gorge

Day 4
El Questro (3)
Explosion Gorge, fishing

Day 5
El Questro - Drysdale River Station

Try to get to Emma Gorge. Could camp at Ellenbrae or Durack River Crossing if time runs out.

Day 6
Drysdale River Station - Mitchell Falls (1)

Plan to tow camper into Mitchell campsite. It is an off road and capable trailer that recently drove Duncan Road / Marella Gorge without problem. (Thanks for the tip. Instructions were perfect.)
Is this advisable or is King Edward River a better alternative? Would rather not drive track multiple times.

Day 7
Mitchell Falls (2)
Walk to falls, helicopter out with kids.

Day 8
Mitchell Falls (3)
Maybe drive to Surveyors Pool

Day 9
Mitchell Falls - Manning Gorge

Day 10
Manning Gorge - Mornington Wilderness Camp (1)

Visit Galvan and Adcock Gorges on the way

Day 11
Mornington Wilderness Camp (2)
Dimond Gorge

Day 12
Mornington Wilderness Camp (3)
St John Gorge

Day 13
Mornington Wilderness Camp - Bell Gorge

Day 14
Bell Gorge - Broome (1)

Via Derby. Lennard Gorge and Windjana Gorge on way.

Due to caravan park availability we need to arrive in Broome on this day.
Will do Tunnel Creek on day 17.

Day 15
Broome (2)

Supplies / laundry / shopping / Cable Beach. Stay at Caravan Park.

Day 16
Broome (3)

Day 17
Broome – Fitzroy Crossing (Mary Pool perhaps, time depending)

Tunnel Creek / Geikie Gorge on way. I've missed Tunnel Creek twice before and really want to go.

Day 18
Fitzroy Crossing – Spring Creek / Bungles

Don't want to rush the drive into the Bungles so could camp at Spring Creek if arrive late.

Day 19
Spring Creek - Bungle Bungle (1)
Arrive at Bungles before midday to be at Echidna Chasm.

Day 20
Bungle Bungle (2)
Cathedral Gorge / Domes / Piccaninny Creek

Day 21
Bungle Bungle - Timber Creek NT (Big Horse)

Need to get as close to Darwin as daylight will allow.

Day 22
Timber Creek

Thanks Birgit, your opinion is most appreciated.

Regards,
Mark (Darwin)

Comments for Darwin – Gibb River Road – Darwin in 22 days

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Darwin – Gibb River Road – Darwin in 22 days
by: Birgit

Hi Mark,

Thanks for the kind words. Glad the guides proved useful and that you found Marella without problems.

There is not much I can comment on. You've certainly done your home work!

Whether you can tow the camper to the Mitchell Falls campsite you'll have to decide at the time. Nobody can predict the road conditions. When you get there just ask the people going the opposite direction and the folks at Drysdale what they think.

Everything else looks good.
Sure, there are some big days and little hiccups can never be predicted. I also don't know how well organised your family is. So I can't guarantee that everything will work out smoothly and at a leisurely pace.
But that's the case for every trip in this part of the world.
Otherwise it wouldn't be an adventure :-)

Thanks
by: Mark

I appreciate your reply Birgit. Thanks. It's very reassuring.

Will carry your guide book with us and am looking forward to exploring some of the less tramped tracks at Mitchell Falls.

Mark.

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