2wd for road to Drysdale River Station?

by Cuppa
(Gippsland, Vic)

My wife & I will be leaving Victoria in 4 weeks time to begin an around Australia adventure lasting 18 months. We will be travelling in a 2wd bus (Nissan Civilian) I have converted to a motorhome, towing a road trailer (low clearance) with two off road motorcycles.

I am dreaming about visiting Kalumburu, and wonder if you can tell me where we would need to leave the bus & trailer and switch to bikes & tent. Is 4wd/high clearance needed to reach Drysdale River station?

The Kimberley is the region I am most looking forward to, out of all of Australia. We plan to arrive late April/early May next year ('09) & to stay a month or three.

I have yet to read all of your e-book, but am already really impressed, this is good stuff & really quite refreshing. Well done & thanks again.

Note from B.: you can follow Cuppa's trip on his blog.

Related question:
Motorhome/Bus on the Gibb River Road

Comments for 2wd for road to Drysdale River Station?

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Oct 28, 2010
2WD to Drysdale River Station
by: Birgit

Hi Cuppa,
Thanks for the kind words about the guide! Glad you like it.

It's impossible to answer your question a year in advance.

Firstly, the Kimberley will see another wet season between now and then. Any wet season can dramatically change the scenery. You never know ahead what will happen and how it will affect the river and creek crossings and the roads.

Secondly, they are forever trying to improve the roads (trying to!) to get more tourists into the area. So certain parts or crossings that could be a problem now may not be in 2009.

And last but not least, you say you plan to arrive here in April/May, and you may stay a month or three.

Now, whether you will be trying to reach Drysdale in late April or in early July will make a huge difference to how far your bus will get. You may need to leave it at the start of the Gibb River Road or you may be able to get through all the way to Drysdale. Nothing's impossible after all.

It also depends from which side you will be approaching. The western side is in better shape than the east.

I probably wouldn't take it to any places beyond Drysdale, not even in July. (Though even that's been done before. Where there's a will there's a way...)

If you look at these bike videos you get an idea what the Pentecost River Crossing is like. Very uneven!

Taking any low clearance 2wd vehicle is always a risk, but I am sure you are aware of that.

I think, if you can get all the way through on the Gibb River Road with that (big if!), then you can also get to Drysdale. And if you can't, well, then you may as well leave the bus at the start rather than risking serious damage or costly repairs in such a remote area.

All you can do is start your trip and see how it all goes. Next year, when you arrive up here in Broome or Kununurra, find out about the rivers. In April/May water will be the biggest hurdle for both your bus and the bikes. There are deep rivers and creeks on the way to both the Mitchell Plateau and Kalumburu.

You should also get in touch with the people along the Gibb River and Kalumburu roads. The contact details for everyone (Imintji, Mt Barnett, Drysdale, Kalumburu) are in the e-book. Just ring them and see what they say. They will know exactly what state their section of road is in at the time.

Whichever way it all turns out, this sounds like it's going to be an awesome trip.
Best of luck with all your plans!

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