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