Gibb River Road In June

by Ros
(United Kingdom)

We're nervous about doing the 4WD roads - the Gibb River Road itself and all the roads off it - given that we're 4WD virgins! We are thinking about coming to the Kimberley this year, around June. Should we be worried?

We would like to be there when there is water in the waterfalls still, but when the crossings aren't too deep. Impossible question I know, but is June too late/early? Any views greatly appreciated.

Related question:
Travelling the Gibb River Road in May 2009

Comments for Gibb River Road In June

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Oct 28, 2010
Gibb River Road in June
by: Birgit

Hi Ros,

I don't think you need to be worried at all. (I know that of course you will be nervous. I was, too, on my first few 4wd adventures, even though everybody told me that there is nothing to worry about...)

June is a great time for nervous people. May is more beautiful, but in June you can be sure that:
  • All the river crossings are down (except maybe the King Edward, depending on how early in June you are, and how much rain we get late in the season. But my prediction is that you will be fine. If you plan to go to the Mitchell Falls, check with someone about the water level before you leave and plan accordingly.)
  • There is still plenty of water around to sit under and splash around in. Falls won't be raging, but they will be flowing. (If they are raging you need to cross deep rivers to get there, so you have to compromise here.)
  • There are plenty of people everywhere, so if something unexpected happens and you need help there is help. But it isn't ridiculously busy. (Towards the end of June it may get a bit full.)

4wdriving is not rocket science. Just make sure someone shows you how to actually engage the 4wd. I've seen people stuck in hired 4wds because they did not realise that the car doesn't automatically use 4wd all the time.

The only time I engaged my 4wd on the Gibb River Road last year was when I crossed the King Edward River and the Pentecost, and in the Pentecost I would have been ok without it... Usually all you need are the heavy duty tyres and the clearance of the vehicle, not the actual 4wd.

Whenever you are not sure about something, go slow. The Gibb River Road is all rocky. There is no deep sand or mud. You can't go wrong by going slow.

Going too fast is the most common mistake people make. That's why so many people have problems with their tyres or even their suspension on the Gibb River Road.

You also don't take a run up to cross a deep river. You select the lowest gear and let the car walk across, just keep the revs up high enough to keep the engine going and the car moving. That way nothing much can go wrong...

Anyway, I very much doubt you will get a chance to cross a deep river or test your 4wdriving skills at all :-).

See some more Gibb River Road tips here.

And here is the main Gibb River Road page.

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