The Gibb River Road back in 88

by John Wheatley
(Perth, Western Australia)

A Boab tree in the shade of the beautiful Cockburn Ranges

A Boab tree in the shade of the beautiful Cockburn Ranges

Our Gibb River Road adventure started from our home in Perth traveling through the Pilbara region of WA, but the real adventure and the reason for our trip was about to begin leaving the black top and hitting the corrugations of the unsealed part of the Gibb River Road.

We passed the Windjana Gorge turn off and drove through to Mt Barnett Station for overnight camp and also to fill up with fuel witch was hand pumped filling our vehicle and jerry cans. This was done by an Aboriginal lady watched on by her shy young son who hid behind the pump peeping at us around the corner of the pump. Our fuel was unleaded and we had to phone ahead so they could arrange for it to be delivered for us. Back in 1988 not everywhere stocked unleaded fuel.

We spent a couple of nights at Mt Barnett Station and explored the gorges and lakes in the area.
After leaving Mt Barnett the road went from poor to darned near imposable, the roads were dry but hadn't been graded for ten years it was very slow going but it didn't take away from the breathtaking scenery and beautiful gorges.

The view of the Cockburn Ranges was one of the highlights of the trip and the colours in the photo are very true.

The cost of the Gibb River Road was one CB antenna, one spot light, and the four bolts securing the top to the base of our off-road camper trailer had sheered off.

My toolbox which was in the trailer contained a small glass jar filled with screws and on opening the toolbox the jar was gone, the screws were loose in the toolbox and there was a fine white powder. I also had a steel ruler which was polished to just a strip of shining metal. The corrugated road had broken the glass bottle, causing the powdered glass to take all the markings off the ruler.

After six hundred kms and six days of dirt road we were onto the Wyndham to Kununurra sealed road. In Kununurra we made our repairs ready to continue our journey to Darwin.

Related Reader Pages:
Gibb River Road by sports car
Gibb River Road: A Great Trip
Adventure of a lifetime: the Gibb River Road

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