Should we attempt the Pentecost River Crossing?

Truck crossing the Pentecost River

Truck crossing the Pentecost River

We are planning a road trip to Kununurra next year. We won't be doing the entire Gibb River Road on this trip given the vehicle we will be in, however we were hoping to go as far as Home Valley Station for a few nights.

Whilst we have a 4WD it is not a full fledged 4WD – it is a Toyota Kluger (it doesn't have a low box or clearance as high as full fledged 4WD - although it's clearance is higher than 2WDs).

My concern is crossing the Pentecost River. We intend visiting late in the season – mid August.

I know you can't guarantee if we will be able to cross the river without issue, however I am interested in your opinion as to whether we should attempt it.

I am interested if anybody else has attempted in a similar vehicle.

Related Reader Pages:
Crossing The King Edward River
Creek crossing on the Gibb River Road

Comments for Should we attempt the Pentecost River Crossing?

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Nov 28, 2009
Crossing the Pentecost
by: Birgit

Here is a page about the road into the Bungles. Check the first comment. The commenter says he took his Kluger all through the Kimberley.
I know of another guy who took his along the Gibb River Road and even up to Kalumburu.

People have taken 2WDs across the Pentecost and along the whole Gibb.
There is another reader thread on my other website somewhere, it mentions some backpackers doing the lot in a VW camper.

Nothing is impossible.
Plenty of those softroaders and crossover wannabe 4 wheel drives DO get into trouble every year!

I have no opinion as to whether you should attempt it or not. I write about this in both my guides. The less suited your car is to this terrain, the more it depends on the driver. Your skill, your judgement, your common sense. And that means it's your judgement call. Not knowing you I can't say what you should do.

I can tell you what I would do. If I was in your situation, I'd go. Of course I wouldn't just barrel into the crossing and hope for the best. I'd try to catch it at low tide. I'd also talk to people who have just come across, and I'd pull up and watch others going across, just to be sure that there aren't any holes or big rocks that weren't there last year.

But I've been driving in this country for many years, I do it all the time. I'd take a 2WD, just to see what happens :-)

If you go, take it easy. You don't have much ground clearance in that thing. The slower you go, the less risk that something bad happens.

Feb 05, 2010
Take it easy
by: Nelly

I agree with Birgit; pull up and watch some other cars go through, you will then see how deep the water is. Personally, I think that if you take it easy then you should be fine. We watched an old Falcon go through with no problems.

We went through last year in June and were dissapointed that the river was not as deep as we anticipated. We were in a 100series and the water only came up to the step (if that). I made my poor husband drive through 3 times so I could take photos!!

Although it changes every year and it could be deeper...I'd say that by August you will breeze it in.

The riverbed is very rocky, so if you decide to go through take it slow.

Jun 28, 2010
Pentecost River
by: dave

Easy, my son an I have done it in an old Commodore ute 2 wheel drive.

Jul 05, 2012
Pentacost River crossing
by: Tony of Perth

Toyota Kluger will cross OK if the depth is around the 400mm mark. I crossed in 2011 with a Falcon RTV UTE good ground clearance.. Stalled about 10 metres from the end and had to be towed. This was due to the air cleaner intake being low down alongside the radiator and although I had a towel across the radiator to control the tidal wave. You learn by experience, all i needed to do was undo the air intake from the engine side of the air intake and tie it up at the back of the engine out of the way.

Kluger intake would be much higher.

Problem with soft roaders like Kluger are the tyres. I have a 2008 Kluger Grande and would not even consider it due the low profile 19inch radials totally unsuited. I destroyed a new tyre on the RTV and these are light truck tyres 215/65 R16C

Jun 23, 2017
by: Anonymous

Good advice.
We have a Volvo XC90.
With an off road Goldstream Wing camper.
Do ya reckon that will get across the Pentecost?
Going to put 4wd tires on it.
If it's possible.
Thanks for all your info.

Jan 19, 2018
Night crossing Pentecost
by: Colin

Hi all, we are staying at Home Valley for a few nights... Can't get accommodation at El Questro.
Anyhow we are doing the sunset tour at El Questro and will need to head back to Home Valley. What's it like crossing the Pentecost at night? We will be traveling at the end of June.

Feb 22, 2018
Crossing the Pentecost at night
by: Birgit

Hi Colin,
Sorry, I hadn't seen this question.

Well, you will already have crossed it once to get to ELQ, so you will know what to expect. Crossing it at night will be exactly the same, just darker.
It's a super easy crossing once the water levels have dropped, which they should have by end of June. It's wide and there aren't any obstacles.

The crossing on the way into ELQ itself might be more interesting. :)

May 21, 2018
Pentecost river
by: Tony

As previously mentioned, it all depends on how wet it has been. Now a question! Are there ever salt water crocs that far up the river? I was advised not to walk across.

May 22, 2018
by: Birgit

Yep, there can be. Don't walk across.

Actually, it's not usually a problem, not during the day and when the water is low.
Still better to generally treat the area with caution, they are downstream and they do come up higher on big tides.

Jun 02, 2018
by: Anonymous

I've recently read of people doing the Gibb River Road towing caravans but I see that the Kimberley advisory is not to drive the road with caravans.
Are they being overly cautious?
Anything you can add?

Roads up here are getting better every year and more and more people are towing off road caravans. It's still not advised. Not advised is not the same as not possible. It's up to you, how much time you have, where you want to go exactly, how much you like your van etc.

Jun 29, 2018
Crocs and Tides
by: Seedy

Brigit mentioned crocs and big tides. Suggesting the river is tidal at the crossing. I recently did the Bright Blue Gibb River Postie Bike Challenge, trip 2, and our group leader commented that at the group 1 crossing two weeks earlier the water was much lower. I thought he must have been sneaking a couple of snorts out of a hip flask as it hadn't rained for some time. But by the time 40 of us had crossed (over an hour), only 5 made it without some sort of drama, including a few drowned bikes, I noticed that the water level had dropped a bit, and as the water there is a bit saline, and noting the position of the moon, I wondered if the river is tidal there. Can anyone confirm this.

Yes, the Pentecost is tidal. I point that out in my guide books.

Jan 17, 2021
by: Mel

Hi guys, we are in the process of planning a half lap with a caravan, going through this beautiful part of our country. I was keen, although nervous, to do the Gibb River Road so doing some research obviously. All of your info is fantastic but now I'm confused about the Pentecost Crossing after reading it's probably not advised to cross in a van. How the heck do we get through? Does this mean we have to avoid the Gibb altogether?

Feb 23, 2021
Pentecost River data NEW
by: Anonymous

What about now 2021. Update your posts some are very old!

Feb 27, 2021
Confused Mel NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi, been thru a few times with Prado, easy had a guy follow us thru in a small car close behind. With a van just take it easy no serious holes etc. watch someone else go thru first. From mid July shouldn’t be too deep at all, also great spot for sunset photos of river and ranges. Enjoy your trip

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