The Mitchell Plateau Track

Getting to the Mitchell Falls

The Mitchell Falls are the hardest to reach attraction in the Kimberley, at least among the big and well known attractions.

The Mitchell Plateau Track, officially called Port Warrender Road, is not a gazetted road. Which means it's hard to get insurance for hired cars for the drive to the Mitchell Falls.

But as the photos below show, that doesn't stop people from going...

(Also: if you want to hire a 4WD and need help with all those insurance questions, don't miss this page.)

Here are some images of that track to show you what to expect.

This is what the track itself typically looks like:



The track gets graded one to three times a year and most of the drive is not all that bad. That are very typical pictures of that track. The images don't show how rough and uneven it is. Often you can't drive fast at all. The 85 km drive typically takes 2 - 3 hours, but it is just slow, not difficult.

If you would stand where my car is in that image, and would turn left, you'd see this:


The drive often brings you close to the edge of the plateau and the views are great. But the track also does a lot of climbing up and down.


This part of the road is good, and I'm kicking myself now for not taking photos of the holes and wash outs of other sections.

Whenever you come across a steeper section of the track take extra care. Especially earlier in the year and if it's been a big wet season. You only see holes or washouts at the very last moment, as you come over the top of a crest.

If you are ready for that you should be fine. There is always enough room to drive around those holes.

The only other obstacle on that track is the infamous King Edward River crossing.



The vehicle above is a hired campervan. And so is this:


That, by the way, is the same vehicle that is also on the cover of the Destination Kimberley book.

(The people in those hire vehicles did not have insurance for that part of their drive.)

All the photos above and the others below were taken very early in the season, within two weeks of the track being opened.

The Mitchell Plateau drains very slowly and this track is usually the last one in the Kimberley to open, long after the Gibb River Road opens. And after a big wet season that may be as late as June!


Sorry about the image quality. The pictures are stills of a video someone took of me in the old ute going across.


And this picture was taken by reader Tina from Germany. Her account of her King Edward River crossing is here.

Below are two more reader photos, showing the track at its worst, after unseasonal rain. The readers from the Netherlands share their experience here.

The Mitchell Plateau track at its roughest.

Water on the Mitchell Plateau Track


And last but not least I want to show you what it looks like up there during the wet season. This last photo was taken by my friends Leonie and Neville from Over the Range Tyre & Mechanical Repairs.

(Neville is a legend in his own right. He is your man should you ever find yourself in any tyre or mechanical trouble on or near the Gibb River Road.)

Mitchell Plateau Track in the wet season


Next page: The hike to the Mitchell Falls

Mitchell Falls main page.


Travelling to the Kimberley?


The FREE Kimberley Pocket Guide
A great introduction to travel in the Kimberley region and along the Gibb. This free resource will answer all the questions you might have in the early stages of planning a trip.


Destination Kimberley
The full Kimberley travel guide shows you how to make the most of your adventure at Australia's last frontier. Destination Kimberley includes the most detailed and most current guide to the Gibb River Road available anywhere. Also called "The Bible" by its readers.


Travelling to the Northern Territory?


Destination Top End offers the same comprehensive, detailed insider information for the tropical regions of the Northern Territory. Be the best informed traveller in the Kakadu, Litchfield and Katherine Gorge national parks and beyond!

A must have if you travel to or from Darwin.


NEW! Destination Red Centre is the latest addition in this popular series. Monica Coleman takes you through Australia's red Outback heart, offering all the detail and insider tips that you have come to know and love about our guides. With special emphasis on Aboriginal communities and culture.

A must have if you travel to or from Alice Springs/Uluru.




Next page: The hike to the Mitchell Falls

Mitchell Falls main page.

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