Gibb River Road Adventure
As part of your Gibb River Road Adventure you can visit 6 main gorges which are easily accessible and open to the public.
Each of these gorges have their own unique history, flora and fauna, and spectacular geological features.
Please note: You can access Windjana and Tunnel Creek via the Gibb River Road but you have to turn off before the Lennard Bridge, and travel along the Fairfield/Leopold Road which eventually joins up with The Great Northern Highway (Highway 1). If you are travelling North from Mt Hart to Mt Elizabeth or Drysdale Station, DO NOT try to do all the gorges along the way. It gets dark around 5:00pm up here so for your own safety make sure you allocate enough time to arrive at your destination WELL before dark.
A list of these 6 gorges has been included below (in order when travelling from Derby to Kununurra). You can do a "virtual tour" into each of these gorges if you click on the links beneath the description of each gorge. If you scroll to the very bottom of the page there is a map of the location of these gorges along the Gibb River Road.
Windjana Gorge - Gibb River Road Adventure
DESCRIPTION: Formed 350 million years ago during the Devonian Period - During this time a sea covered this area and a line of barrier reefs formed for 1000km, eventually becoming the Napier Range. Windjana Gorge has been carved through the Napier Range, over millions of years by the Lennard river. Originally named "Devil's pass" during Forrest's expedition through the Kimberley in 1883 because of the difficulties the party experienced crossing it. The current name is believed to be a corruption of the word "Wandjina" or the aboriginal spirit responsible for the wet seasons. Windjana Gorge is 3.5km long and has a current depth of 80 metres. The lennard River flows through the centre of the gorge. Very long winding river surrounded by steep devonian reef cliffs and a wide variety of vegetation including Coolamon Trees, Leichardt Pine, figs, Mellaluecas and grevillias. 100’s Fresh water crocs sunning themselves on sand & in water (especially in the later dry season months - August to November). They are harmless unless cornered or threatened. Ancient sea fossil imprints and various deposits visible on cliff walls.
DIFFICULTY LEVEL: Easy 10 min walk into gorge with view of cliffs, fossils, river & crocs. Swimming is not recommended due to the amount of fresh water crocs.
DIRECTIONS: Located in the Napier Range to the North East of Derby in the West Kimberley. The Turn-off for the road to access Windjana/Tunnel creek is located approximately 119km along the Gibb River Road from Derby, or 586km from Kununurra. This road is known as the "Fairfield or Leopold Road" and continues through to ‘Highway 1’. CAMPING PERMITTED AT CAMPSITE. AMMENITIES PROVIDED (TOILETS/SHOWERS/RUBBISH BINS). RANGER IN RESIDENCE. NO PETS. GOVERNMENT OWNED LAND - MANAGED BY D.E.C. CAMPING FEES APPLY. PUBLIC PHONE. DRINKING WATER FACILITIES. NO POWERED SITES.
Click Here To Visit Windjana Gorge!
Tunnel Creek - Gibb River Road Adventure
DESCRIPTION: Deep Winding Cave system filled with fresh water, carved 1 km long into the Oscar Range by Tunnel Creek . Some rock art visible.
DIFFICULTY LEVEL: In 2007 rocks collapsed
across the cave mouth which has made access harder. You now have to climb over 2 large boulders (partly submerged in water), to access the tunnel. There are sandy banks to walk across through most sections of the tunnel. Depending on what time of year you travel, you may have to wade through water up to your knees in some sections. It is also very dark in places so take a torch. Return walk through tunnel creek takes 1 - 2 hours.
DIRECTIONS: Turn-off onto Windjana/Tunnel Creek road is located 119km along the Gibb River Road from Derby, on right hand side. The turn-off to the Windjina/Tunnel Creek road is 586km from Kununurra. This road continues through to ‘Highway 1’. Tunnel Creek is located about 1 hours drive along the Windjana/Tunnel Creek road. NO CAMPING. GOVERNMENT OWNED LAND - MANAGED BY D.E.C. NO PETS. TOILETS AVAILABLE.
Click Here To Visit Tunnel Creek!
Lennard Gorge - Gibb River Road Adventure
DESCRIPTION: The Lennard River was discovered by Alexander Forrest in 1879 and named after his fiancee, Amy Barret Lennard. The Lennard River flows through the centre of this spectacular narrow gorge, after plunging 30 metres into a very deep, wide beautiful swimming hole at base of very high, steep, ancient cliffs. The waterhole is shaded by the cliff faces throughout the day.
DIFFICULTY: Walk to view of gorge from car park takes 30 minutes. Fairly long, rough, rocky track to top of cliffs walking both up and down hill (best to tackle in the early morning when it is cooler). To get to the waterhole for a swim it is a very steep climb downwards for 15 minutes. River pools above the waterfall are also a good place to swim, if you can't make it down to the waterhole
DIRECTIONS: Turn-off is located 195km from Derby on the right hand side of Gibb River Road, when heading north. The turn-off is 510km from Kununurra. Access Road from Gibb River Road to Gorge Carpark takes 15 mins to drive. CAMPING IS NOT PERMITTED. GOVERNMENT OWNED LAND - MANAGED BY D.E.C. TOILET BLOCK NOW AVAILABLE. NO PETS.
Click here to Visit Lennard Gorge!
Bell Gorge - Gibb River Road Adventure
DESCRIPTION: Bell Gorge, Mt Hart, Windjana Gorge, and Lennard Gorge are all scenic attractions located in the King Leopold Range conservation park. Bell Creek, was first discovered by Frank Hann in 1898 and named after an old Doctor from Derby. Bell Creek flows through the centre of this gorge.
Features a cascading waterfall over 100 metres high. Deep swimming hole at Base of waterfall, surrounded by shady ledges and high cliffs.
DIFFICULTY:View of Bell Falls is an easy walk from the car park along gently sloping trail.
Getting down to the water for a swim requires crossing the river
at the top of the waterfall (rock hopping) followed by
a relatively steep climb downwards for approximately 20 mins - there are markers guiding the way across the river and down to the water.
DIRECTIONS: Bell Gorge turn-off is located just before Imintji Roadhouse approx 214km from Derby, on the left hand side of the Gibb River Road, when travelling North. The turn-off is 491km from Kununurra. Bell Gorge carpark is approx 40 mins drive from Gibb River Road Turn-off. CAMPING ALLOWED AT SILENT GROVE (SHORT DRIVE FROM GORGE)- CAMPSITE WITH AMENITIES (RUBBISH BINS, FLUSHING TOILETS, SHOWERS, BBQ'S AND TELEPHONE) AVAILABLE. NO POWERED SITES. GOVERNMENT OWNED LAND - MANAGED BY D.E.C. NO PETS. RANGER IN RESIDENCE. CAMPING FEES APPLY.
Click Here To Visit Bell Gorge!
Adcock Gorge - Gibb River Road Adventure
DESCRIPTION: Adcock Creek passes through this gorge which was named after an old Derby Storekeeper. A Pretty Gorge with granite cliffs & deep lily lined waterway. After a short walk you come to a dead-end in the river where there is a water fall cascading down a steep cliff that curves around a deep, wide open water hole. Some cave paintings on southern cliff face.
DIFFICULTY: Walk to main swimming hole from carpark is on an easy flat trail - takes 15 mins. Slight walk uphill for 5 metres in 1 section. Trail ends at mouth of swimming hole with waterfall.
DIRECTIONS: Turn-off is located on Mt House station Land, after the Mornington Wilderness Sanctuary turn-off, on right hand side of Gibb River Road,when heading north, before the Phillips Range. Turn-off is Approx. 267km from Derby and 438 km from Kununurra. Access Road to the gorge carpark takes approx 20 mins to drive from Gibb River Road Turn-off. CAMPING IS NOT PERMITTED. CATTLE STATION LAND - OWNED AND MANAGED BY MT HOUSE PASTORAL PARTNERSHIP. NO AMMENITIES AVAILABLE. PETS OKAY .
Galvan's Gorge - Gibb River Road Adventure
DESCRIPTION: A long, deep water hole at the base of steep cliffs with a cascading waterfall. The water hole is easily accessible if you want to go for a swim - the walking trail leads straight to the mouth of the waterhole.
DIFFICULTY: Easy flat 15 min walk trail passing through bushland, granite rock outcrops and lily lined waterways.
DIRECTIONS: Turn-off located immediately
at the bottom of the Phillips Range (before Mt Barnett) on the left hand side of the road, heading North. Approx 284km from Derby and 421 km from Kununurra. Car Park is right next to the Gibb River road (no access road). CAMPING IS NOT PERMITTED. PETS OKAY. NO AMMENITIES AVAILABLE. ABORIGINAL OWNED AND MANAGED LAND.
Manning Gorge - Gibb River Road Adventure
DESCRIPTION: White 'sandy' beaches with pandanus lined waterway opening into a wide clear waterhole, only a short walk from the campsite. To get up to the gorge you need to first swim across the river, and then follow a trail leading to the top of gorge. The gorge has a waterfall plus a deep wide swimming hole surrounded by granite cliffs & rock outcrops.
DIFFICULTY: Walk to main beach and swimming hole from carpark is on a very easy trail (2 min walk). Walk up trail to top of gorge & waterfall is a fair hike (approx 3.5 hours return)
DIRECTIONS: To get to Manning Gorge you need to Turn-off at Mt Barnett Roadhouse, on the left hand side of the road when heading north, 300km from Derby. Turn-off is 405km from Kununurra. Pay your entry or camp fees to the Roadhouse attendents, and drive through the gate located 10 metres to the north of the roadhouse. You will then enter the gorge access Road, which takes approx 15-20 mins to drive direct from the roadhouse to carpark & campground. CAMPING PERMITTED AT CAMPSITE. NO POWERED SITES. CAMP FEES APPLY - PAYABLE AT MT BARNETT ROADHOUSE. AMMENITY BLOCK AVAILABLE. PETS OKAY. ABORIGINAL OWNED AND MANAGED LAND.
Click Here To Visit Manning Gorge!
Mt Barnett Gorge - Gibb River Road Adventure
DESCRIPTION: Deep, wide river surrounded
by spectacular pillared sandstone cliffs, and lush vegetation such as Pandanus Palms and Paperbark Trees. At the top of the river there are some cascading waterfalls, and rock pools.
DIFFICULTY:Easy flat 15 min walk trail from carpark past sandstone outcrops, lush riverside bushland & spinifex plains. This main walk trail ends at the gorge mouth, with a spectacular view of the cascading waterfalls in the distance & sandstone cliffs. You can go for a swim here, but the water is deep. More experienced bushwalkers can climb across the top of the sandstone cliffs, for a swim at the top of the cascading waterfalls, in the rock pools. But this hike is best tackled early in the day before it gets too hot.
DIRECTIONS: Turn-off is located on the left hand side of the road when heading north. Approximately a 30 minute drive after Mt Barnett Roadhouse when heading north. Turn-off is located approximately 330km from Derby, or 375km from Kununurra. The access road from the turn-off to the carpark = 30 minutes. There is a sign on the Gibb River Road indicating the turn-off, but once you are on the access road, signage is poor - when the track forks turn right to get to the gorge. CAMPING IS NOT PERMITTED. PETS OKAY. NO AMMENITIES. ABORIGINAL OWNED AND MANAGED LAND.
Click Here to Visit Barnett Gorge!
Exclusive Gorges - Gibb River Road Adventure
There are other beautiful 'privately owned and managed' gorges you can visit, if you choose to camp, or stay in homestead accommodation, at either Mt Hart, Mt Elizabeth, Mornington, Charnley, Drysdale, Home Valley or Elquestro.
To learn more about these particular destinations:
Click Here for: Information on Kimberley Travel Guidebooks