Ford Territory to Bungle Bungles

by Terence O'Brian
(Geelong, Victoria)

Creek crossing on the way into the Bungle Bungles

Creek crossing on the way into the Bungle Bungles

I will be visiting the Kimberleys and Bungle Bungles in July / August - driving an All Wheel Drive Ford Territory, towing a standard 18' tandem caravan.

I note that you state that "a visit to the Bungles requires a 4WD" (Page 11) and "What you do need is the high clearance of a 4WD..." (Page 22).

Can you comment as to whether the clearance of a Ford Territory AWD would be sufficient to access the Bungle Bungles (without the caravan of course)? The Territory has more clearance than a Falcon - but less than the Toyota / Nissan 4WD's.

I am not planning to tackle the full length of the Gibb River Road - just the 2WD section from Derby to Windjana Gorge / Tunnel Creek / Highway 1.

However, could you also comment on taking an AWD Ford Territory along the full length of the Gibb River Road / Mitchell Falls in case other drivers of Ford Territory's are interested?

Related Reader Questions:
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Photo by Happy Little Nomad via Flickr

Comments for Ford Territory to Bungle Bungles

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May 13, 2008
Maybe, maybe not
by: Birgit

In July/August you might be ok, but I can't guarantee that one. I am not sure what exactly a Ford Territory is capable of. The track itself is not a problem, but some creek crossings may be, if you don't have the clearance.

I had a look at some pictures and it does look a bit low.

It would be ok to get up to Cape Leveque for example. It should be ok for the Gibb River Road and most of the gorges along it. On the Kalumburu Road, Mitchell Plateau Track and the Bungles access track you would have to take great care, keep an eye on the road and watch where you put your wheels in the creeks.

The problem with all borderline issues is that the state of our roads changes so much from year to year and also over time during a season.

How far you'll get depends on two things: what the creek crossings will look like after the 08/09 wet season, and the driver.

If you have the necessary experience and can judge what exactly the car can and can't do you should be ok, but you may also run into trouble at some of the crossings with steeper banks or if they are very rocky or have deep holes. I really can't say.

You would have to ring the visitor centre in the park once you get here (08 9168 7300 April - Dec). They would know exactly what state the track is in at that stage, and if you will be ok or not.

Edit: the track has seen some major upgrades (mainly in 2013) and the creek crossings are nowhere near as deep as they used to be. These days I'd say a Territory is likely fine. But do still keep all the above warnings in mind. Conditions can change, and a big wet season can change a LOT!

Dec 04, 2009
Into the Bungle Bungles
by: Mike

I took a Mazda Tribute right in, 21 creek crossings during the period after the wet but before the dry and had no problems!

Jun 28, 2010
Gibb River Road
by: Robert

Take care at the Pentacost River crossing. I believe it is tidal and DON'T GET OUT AND WALK ACROSS THE RIVER TO TEST DEPTH. The were two saltwater crocs there last time I was there. Wait till a bus or 4X4 crosses before you try. Then follow them if it is safe.

Aug 18, 2010
Ford Territory - OK for parts
by: Swanny

In 2009 we drove our AWD Ford Territory along the Gibb, staying at Slient Grove, Mt Barnett and El Questro; towing a Jayco Swan Outback.
It was a very slow trip due to the limitations of the car's tyres (you can't let them down very far before the soft sidewalls start sticking out). Fortunately we only lost one tyre (crossing the Durack River). Also, the creek crossings we did were deep enough.
We were not prepared to go to the Bungles as the Gibb was hard enough (the 20km trip into Slient Grove at night was the worst part). Glad that we weren't trying it in 2010!

I have attached a photo of us crossing Bell Creek, just leaving the Silent Grove campground in our Territory.

Jul 19, 2011
Ford Territory
by: Bruce

You need a high clearance 4WD like a land-cruiser or patrol. 4WD tour bus was stuck the day before we were due to drive out.

Feb 09, 2016
Territory AWD Gibb River Rd and Bunggles
by: Hunter

In 2013 we did the full length Gibb River Rd, El Q, Tunnel creek crossing on the way to Fitzroy (deepest) and the Bungles in our 2006 AWD Territory. Hairy in a few places but nothing overly dangerous all while towing a camper trailer.

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