Gibb River Road is a legendary 4wd track in Australia

Built in the 1960s to transport cattle, the Gibb River Road is one of the most iconic roads in Australia. This 647 kilometre mainly unsealed road is an adventure seekers dream. Running from Derby To Kununurra, a journey along the Gibb River Road four wheel drive route is one of the last true outback adventures. The drive can be unpredictable as road conditions are constantly changing. It’s one of the Australia’s best 4WD tracks.

Gibb River Road

How long is the Gibb River Road?

The road is 660 kilometres (410 mi) long running from Derby -on the west coast- to Kununurra -on Western Australia's eastern border-. It was originally constructed in the 1960s to transport cattle from outlying stations to the ports of Derby and Wyndham. It is known to many as the “last real adventure in Australia”

Is the Gibb River Road sealed?

The road conditions vary from bitumen to natural rocky earth. Whilst driving the Gibb River Road it is important to drive to the conditions - which for the most part, means taking it slowly in an effort to safely avoid the number one puncture villain - the Gibb's infamous sharp rocks - as well as avoiding the abundance of wildlife and cattle that gather near the road's edge at dusk and dawn. It is sealed only for the first 60km of the western end and although the rest may be regularly graded, interesting corrugations are the norm. There are a small number of sealed sections which allow a short reprieve from all the rocking and rolling. It is one of Australia's most unique 4WD challenges.

How difficult is the Gibb River Road?

The Gibb River Road conditions have a bad reputation. Proper preparation is essential to having a safe, enjoyable trip on this road. You can drive most of the road with an ordinary car but for the most rugged areas, you need a 4WD. It is most practical to travel the road by 4WD and is not recommended for 2WD access at all. While motor homes regularly tackle the road with relative ease, towed caravans are not recommended. Travelling at a speed of around 50-60km/h is a reasonable guide however it all comes down to how much experience is behind the wheel and the conditions on any particular day. Especially people without 4WD experience are often nervous about tackling it. The Kimberley is also home to venomous snakes and crocodiles. Never assume any waterhole or river is safe to swim in unless advised that it is safe to do so by local authorities.

Is the Gibb River Road worth it?

The drive is one of the Kimberley's main attractions and is definitely worth it. Don’t forget your camera. It’s said to be the best way to discover the natural treasures of the Kimberley’s wild heartlands. The Gibb River Road takes you through the heart of one of Australia's last wilderness frontiers - The Kimberley Region of Western Australia, and provides access to the magnificent Kimberley region and its very diverse landscapes. You’ll drive through one of the wildest and most beautiful areas in all of Australia. You'll see deep canyons, colored rocks, waterfalls and rivers where you can enjoy a swim. The road runs through a spectacular landscape of intensely coloured ranges, dramatic gorges and lush rock pools and waterfalls.

Is the Gibb River Road open?

The surface on this gravel road is often loose, especially along the sides of the road. Tourists travelling the Gibb River Road should be aware the road is inaccessible during the wet season (November 1 - March 31) and therefore closed. Those travelling at the start of the dry season (April 1 - October 31) may still face several large water crossings at swollen river and creek beds, suitable for 4WD only.

How long does it take to do the Gibb River Road?

Allow between 7 and 14 days to complete the drive due the number of places to see and the road conditions. Remember it’s an epic 4dw adventure through one of the last true wilderness areas on Earth. It is a big adventure for most Kimberley travellers. It is named after the English-born Australian geologist and explorer Andrew Gibb Maitland (30 November 1864 – 27 January 1951).

Is the Gibb River Road remote?

"The Gibb" passes through remote areas, so you need to be prepared. Driving the road is not an extreme adventure, but nevertheless requires caution and preparation, as it goes through very remote areas. Limited supplies are available along the route; it is essential to be self-sufficient and well prepared. Remember it’s a drive through a very remote area where all sorts of dangers loom.