First A Muddy Kalumburu Road. Now, A Muddy Gibb River Road!

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Last time, we had a breather at Drysdale River Station for a few days… until we had to run from the rain yet again.


Mud And Slush… Again

Our little convoy drove out of Drysdale, back onto Kalumburu Road. Drysdale to the Gibb River Road (GRR) was okay with a few short clay patches.

Driving out of Drysdale River Station along Kalumburu Road. Muddy Gibb River Road.
Driving out of Drysdale River Station along Kalumburu Road.

However the GRR was a different story. It was a slippery clay mush pretty well all the way to Ellenbrae Station, near the Durack River. At least there was a firm base under the slush, unlike Kalumburu Road a few days prior.

Again, we were surprised that a very muddy Gibb River Road was still open. Perhaps it was the lesser of two evils – get the tourists out but chop up the road or close the road and have tourists stuck all along GRR.

More mud and slush. Muddy Gibb River Road.
More mud and slush.
Check out the bonnet! It used to be silver. Muddy Gibb River Road.
Check out the bonnet! It used to be silver.





Well before Ellenbrae Station we encountered a small group who had been camped in the mud overnight. Their 100 Series Land Cruiser had a smashed front diff. Two groups of good samaritans had stopped and were pulling out the front axles and front drive shaft in the mud and rain. They’d spent 4 hours lying in the mud, working on the Land Cruiser. These unfortunate travellers were about to test their 2WDing skills!

Broken down in the mud. Not a nice place to have to camp overnight. Muddy Gibb River Road.
Broken down in the mud. Not a nice place to have to camp overnight.

One group of those good samaritans later had their own issues. Their old Nissan Patrol had pushed the fan through their radiator. So they were in all sorts of trouble.


Jabirus In The Rain

Durack River was pretty deep and the rain was getting heavier. We crossed the river then pulled up for some lunch and a breather. Our biggest challenge was figuring out how to scrape the layers of mud off our drinking water tap!

Approaching Durack River along a Muddy Gibb River Road.
Approaching Durack River along a muddy Gibb River Road.
Approaching Durack River. Muddy Gibb River Road.
Crossing Durack River.
Stopped at Durack River for a rest. Muddy Gibb River Road.
Stopped at Durack River for a rest.
How to get a mug full of mud-free water? Muddy Gibb River Road.
How to get a mug full of mud-free water?

The kids spotted some magnificent jabirus along the river. They were clearly enjoying the rain. Scenes like this reminded us of just how fortunate we were to see the Kimberleys in the wet.

A Jabiru hanging out on the edge of Durack River. Muddy Gibb River Road.
A Jabiru hanging out on the edge of Durack River.

Such a contrast, with misty fog hanging over the plains. You could almost see the countryside sucking up the water gratefully and storing it for the long dry season to come. What a beautiful place.

A Troopie crossing Durack River. Muddy Gibb River Road.
A Troopie crossing Durack River.





From there on, the road wasn’t too bad – still some slippery patches, but the rain had eased.

Crossing the Pentecost River was a milestone. We’ll all seen so many photos of this crossing, it was surreal actually being there. Although with the Cockburn Ranges shrouded in mist and rain, it was hardly the view we were expecting!

Crossing the Pentecost River. the Cockburn Range in the background is shrouded in mist. Muddy Gibb River Road.
Crossing the Pentecost River. Hope the bloke sitting on the roof doesn’t fall off – crocodiles are in there somewhere!
Crossing the Pentacost River - watch out for the crocodiles! Muddy Gibb River Road.
Crossing the Pentacost River.
The magnificent Cockburn Ranges. Muddy Gibb River Road.
The magnificent Cockburn Ranges.


Exhaustion And A Pizza!

By the time we rolled into Kununurra, we’d covered 350km of a muddy Gibb River Road – and an exhausting 7 1/2 hours. The Pajero and camper were covered in mud and looked like they’d been cement rendered.

Our camper trailer is somewhere under this mud! Muddy Gibb River Road.
Our camper trailer is somewhere under this mud!
This mud proved difficult to remove. Muddy Gibb River Road.
This mud proved difficult to remove.
What a mess! Muddy Gibb River Road.
What a mess!
Attempting to find the original silver colour underneath the mud. Muddy Gibb River Road.
Attempting to find the original silver colour underneath the mud.





Unable to open the camper due to the thick mud, we booked a cabin and ordered a very welcome pizza. Sheer luxury!


If you’re looking for Kimberley tours, cruises or places to stay, TourRadar have a good selection for you to choose from.

Next time: Kununurra and surrounds.

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