Contents

Key Highlights

  • The Gibb River Road in Western Australia’s Kimberley region is an adventure seeker’s dream, a thrilling expedition waiting to be embarked upon. It unveils stunning campsites and offers spectacular views of the Cockburn Range, promising an exhilarating journey that will leave you craving for more.
  • El Questro Station, Bell Gorge Wilderness Lodge, Manning Gorge Campground, Home Valley Station, Drysdale River Station, Windjana Gorge Campground, and Mornington Wilderness Camp are some of the top-rated campsites along the Gibb River Road.
  • These campsites are not just about adventure; they are a haven of comfort and relaxation. They offer a range of accommodation options, including powered and unpowered sites, safari tents, and homestead rooms. This ensures a truly rejuvenating and memorable camping experience, where your comfort is our top priority.
  • Each campsite is near breathtaking natural attractions such as gorges, waterfalls, and hot springs, providing ample hiking, swimming, and wildlife spotting opportunities.
  • Planning a camping trip along the Gibb River Road requires essential tips such as preparing your vehicle for the rugged terrain, carrying spare tyres, stocking up on groceries and extra fuel, and visiting the Derby-Imintji store for supplies.
  • The Gibb River Road offers a camping experience that is a unique blend of the Kimberley region’s beauty and the outback’s ruggedness. It’s an experience that will stay with you forever, inspiring you to explore more of Western Australia’s stunning landscapes.

The Gibb River Road, stretching over 660 kilometres through Western Australia’s Kimberley region, is a legendary route offering breathtaking landscapes, cascading waterfalls, and rich Aboriginal heritage. Originally built to transport cattle from surrounding stations to the ports of Derby and Wyndham, the Gibb River Road has become a popular destination for adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts.

Along this iconic road, you’ll find some of the most stunning campsites in Australia, where you can immerse yourself in the beauty of the outback while enjoying the comforts of modern camping facilities. From powered and unpowered sites to safari tents and homestead rooms, the campsites along Gibb River Road offer a range of accommodation options to suit every traveller’s preferences.

Each campsite is near breathtaking natural attractions, allowing you to explore spectacular gorges, swim in crystal-clear waterfalls, and soak in natural hot springs. Whether you’re a hiker, a wildlife enthusiast, or simply seeking a peaceful nature retreat, the campsites along the Gibb River Road have something for everyone.

In this blog, we will explore the top-rated campsites along the Gibb River Road, highlighting their unique features and the natural wonders surrounding them. Get ready to embark on an unforgettable camping adventure through the stunning landscapes of Western Australia.

Discover the Best Campsites Along The Gibb River Road

The Gibb River Road is home to some of the best campsites in Western Australia’s Kimberley region. From luxurious station stays to rustic wilderness camps, there is no shortage of options for a memorable camping experience along this iconic road.

Among the top-rated campsites along the Gibb River Road is El Questro Station. Situated in the El Questro Wilderness Park, this campsite offers a range of accommodation options, including powered and unpowered sites, safari tents, and homestead rooms. With stunning natural attractions like El Questro Gorge and Zebedee Hot Springs nearby, El Questro Station is a haven for adventurers.

Another popular campsite along the Gibb River Road is Bell Gorge Wilderness Lodge. Nestled near the famous Bell Gorge, this campsite offers safari tents with breathtaking views of the surrounding wilderness. With comfortable accommodation and easy access to hiking trails and waterfalls, Bell Gorge Wilderness Lodge is the perfect place to unwind and immerse yourself in nature.

Manning Gorge Campground is another gem along the Gibb River Road. Offering unpowered sites and fire pits, this campground is a favourite among campers looking for a rustic camping experience. This campsite provides the perfect opportunity to swim in tranquil pools and hike through stunning landscapes near the beautiful Manning Gorge.

Drysdale River Station is a must-stop for those travelling to the magnificent Mitchell Falls. With a range of accommodation options, including small cabins and larger spaces with queen beds and private bathrooms, this station is a convenient base for exploring nearby gorges and spotting endemic bird species.

Windjana Gorge Campground is a birdwatcher’s paradise. Situated near the awe-inspiring Windjana Gorge, this campground offers basic facilities and proximity to the gorge’s towering limestone cliffs and wildlife.

Mornington Wilderness Camp, owned and managed by the Australian Wildlife Conservancy, is a conservation-focused campsite along the Gibb River Road. With a range of campsites and stunning views of Annie Creek, this campsite combines comfort with a unique opportunity to experience the natural beauty.

These are just a few top-rated campsites along the Gibb River Road. They offer a range of accommodation options and access to some of Western Australia’s most stunning natural attractions. Whether you’re seeking adventure or relaxation, these campsites provide the perfect base for exploring the beauty of the Kimberley region.

1. El Questro Station – A Haven for Adventurers

Nestled in the El Questro Wilderness Park, El Questro Station is a must-visit campsite along the Gibb River Road. With various accommodation options, including powered and unpowered sites, safari tents, and homestead rooms, El Questro Station caters to every traveller’s preferences.

One of the highlights of El Questro Station is its proximity to stunning natural attractions such as El Questro Gorge and Zebedee Hot Springs. El Questro Gorge offers a picturesque hike through towering cliffs and refreshing waterholes. At the same time, Zebedee Hot Springs provides a unique opportunity to soak in natural thermal pools surrounded by lush vegetation.

Whether you stay in a comfortable safari tent or camp in one of their well-equipped sites, El Questro Station offers a haven for adventurers seeking to explore the beauty of the Kimberley region. Immerse yourself in nature, take in breathtaking landscapes, and indulge in the tranquillity that El Questro Station has to offer.

2. Bell Gorge Wilderness Lodge – Where Nature Meets Comfort

Situated near the stunning Bell Gorge, Bell Gorge Wilderness Lodge offers a unique camping experience where nature meets comfort. This campsite features safari tents with spectacular views of the surrounding wilderness, providing a luxurious retreat in the heart of the Kimberley region.

The safari tents at Bell Gorge Wilderness Lodge are equipped with comfortable beds, private en-suite bathrooms, and spacious verandas to relax and take in the breathtaking views. The lodge also features a restaurant serving delicious meals from locally sourced ingredients, ensuring a culinary highlight during your stay.

Bell Gorge is a natural wonder, with cascading waterfalls and inviting pools perfect for swimming and cooling off on hot days. Take a hike to the gorge and immerse yourself in the beauty of the Kimberley’s rugged landscapes.

For those seeking a camping experience that combines the beauty of nature with the comforts of modern facilities, Bell Gorge Wilderness Lodge is the perfect choice. Unwind, relax, and enjoy the tranquillity of this stunning campsite.

3. Manning Gorge Campground – A Gem in the Wilderness

Manning Gorge Campground is a hidden gem along the Gibb River Road. This rustic campground offers an authentic wilderness experience, with unpowered sites and fire pits to enjoy a campfire under the starry night sky.

Located near the beautiful Manning Gorge, this campground is the perfect base for exploring the stunning landscapes and tranquil pools. Take a refreshing swim in the gorge’s clear waters, hike through picturesque trails, and immerse yourself in the beauty of the Kimberley region.

While the facilities at Manning Gorge Campground are essential, the breathtaking natural surroundings make up for it. Enjoy the simplicity of camping in the wilderness, disconnect from the outside world, and truly connect with nature.

No matter what accommodation option, Manning Gorge Campground offers a unique camping experience that immerses you in the Kimberley region’s untouched beauty. Soak in the tranquil atmosphere, explore the stunning landscapes, and create unforgettable memories in this wilderness gem.

4. Home Valley Station – Experience the Outback Luxury

Home Valley Station is a luxurious campsite along the Gibb River Road that offers a unique blend of outback charm and modern comforts. Situated near the stunning Pentecost River, this campsite boasts two campgrounds that cater to different preferences.

The Homestead Camp at Home Valley Station provides powered and unpowered sites with easy access to Dusty’s Bar & Grill, the Station Store, laundry facilities, bathrooms with hot showers, a playground, and a lagoon pool. This campsite is perfect for those who want to be close to the action and enjoy the various amenities available.

For a more secluded and scenic experience, the Pentecost River Bush Camp at Home Valley Station offers campsites on the banks of the river with spectacular views of the Cockburn Range. This campsite provides a peaceful retreat where you can relax, disconnect from the world, and immerse yourself in the beauty of the Kimberley region.

Whether at the Homestead Camp or the Pentecost River Bush Camp, Home Valley Station offers a unique camping experience combining outback luxury with stunning natural surroundings. Indulge in the beauty of the Kimberley region, soak in the views of the Cockburn Range, and create unforgettable memories at Home Valley Station.

5. Drysdale River Station – An Outback Escape

Drysdale River Station is an ideal campsite for those seeking an outback escape along the Gibb River Road. This station serves as the last refuelling stop on the way to the magnificent Mitchell Falls. It is a convenient base for adventurers exploring nearby gorges and spotting endemic bird species.

With rustic charm and warm hospitality, Drysdale River Station offers a range of accommodation options, including small and basic cabins and larger spaces with queen beds and private bathrooms. The station also offers scenic flights, providing a unique opportunity to delve into the area’s hidden treasures from above.

Located on Kalumburu Road, Drysdale River Station is a remote and secluded campsite that offers an authentic outback experience. Immerse yourself in the rugged beauty of the Kimberley region, explore the nearby gorges, and soak in the tranquillity of this outback escape.

6. Windjana Gorge Campground – A Birdwatcher’s Paradise

Windjana Gorge Campground is a paradise for birdwatchers along the Gibb River Road. Situated near the awe-inspiring Windjana Gorge, this campground offers basic facilities and proximity to the gorge’s towering limestone cliffs, tranquil pools, and diverse wildlife.

The campsite at Windjana Gorge provides an ideal spot for photographing the gorge’s beauty simply taking in the breathtaking landscapes. Hike along the 3.5-kilometre gorge and discover the unique flora and fauna that call this place home, including fruit bats and freshwater crocodiles.

Near Tunnel Creek offers an exciting underground experience for those seeking more adventure. Walk through the dark tunnels, wade through calm waters, and marvel at the stalactites and stalagmites that adorn the cave walls.

Windjana Gorge Campground provides a peaceful and picturesque setting for birdwatching, hiking, and immersing yourself in the stunning natural surroundings of the Kimberley region. Capture the gorge’s beauty, spot unique bird species, and create lasting memories in this birdwatcher’s paradise.

7. Mornington Wilderness Camp – Conservation and Comfort

Mornington Wilderness Camp, owned and managed by the Australian Wildlife Conservancy, is a unique campsite along the Gibb River Road that combines conservation efforts with comfortable accommodations. Situated in a +700,000-acre sanctuary, this campsite offers a range of campsites against the stunning backdrop of Annie Creek.

Whether you choose one of the luxurious tents or one of the unpowered campsites, Mornington Wilderness Camp provides an opportunity to immerse yourself in nature while supporting the conservation efforts of the Australian Wildlife Conservancy. Explore the stunning landscapes, canoe down Dimond Gorge, or take in the sunset from one of the many scenic spots in the area.

With a focus on conservation and comfort, Mornington Wilderness Camp offers a unique camping experience that allows you to enjoy the beauty of the Kimberley region while contributing to the preservation of its wildlife and habitats.

8. Mount Elizabeth Station – A Family-Owned Gem

Mount Elizabeth Station is a family-owned gem along the Gibb River Road. Established in 1945 and halfway between Kununurra and Derby, this working cattle station offers a range of campsites and homestead rooms, providing a comfortable and authentic outback experience.

At Mount Elizabeth Station, visitors can explore the station by 4WD, hike through picturesque landscapes, swim in pristine waterholes, fish in nearby rivers, and visit exceptional rock art sites with an Aboriginal guided tour. The station also offers a peaceful retreat at Warla Gorge, where visitors can relax along the riverbank or take on a challenging 4WD track to Wunnamurra Gorge.

Immerse yourself in Mount Elizabeth Station’s rich history and rugged beauty. Discover the charm of a working cattle station, explore the stunning landscapes, and create lasting memories in this family-owned gem.

9. Ellenbrae Station – Rustic Charm and Hospitality

Ellenbrae Station is a campsite along the Gibb River Road that offers rustic charm and warm hospitality. Situated five kilometres off the road and 230 kilometres from Kununurra, this station provides bush campsites, homestead rooms, and safari tents, ensuring a comfortable and memorable camping experience.

One of the highlights of Ellenbrae Station is its famous bakery, known for its delicious homemade scones. Indulge in freshly baked treats and enjoy tea or coffee in a serene outback setting.

Whether you camp under the stars, stay in one of the homestead rooms, or experience the rustic charm of a Savannah hut, Ellenbrae Station offers a unique and welcoming atmosphere. Settle in, relax, and enjoy the warm hospitality of this rustic campsite.

10. Birdwood Downs Station – Eco-Friendly Camping

Birdwood Downs Station is an eco-friendly campsite along the Gibb River Road that offers a unique camping experience. Located just 20 kilometres from Derby, this station is a great place to relax before or after your adventure on the Gibb River Road.

At Birdwood Downs Station, you can choose from shady bush camping for tents and caravans or stay in one of their Savannah Huts with double beds and shared bathrooms. This campsite provides all the comforts for a peaceful stay, including self-guided bob walks, bob walks to Windjana Gorge and Tunnel Creek, and a friendly atmosphere.

Embrace Birdwood Downs Station’s eco-friendly ethos and enjoy a sustainable camping experience. Immerse yourself in nature, explore the surrounding attractions, and relax in the comfort of this eco-friendly campsite.

Essential Tips for Camping Along The Gibb River Road

Camping along the Gibb River Road requires essential tips to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip. Here are some tips to make the most of your camping experience:

  • Prepare your vehicle for the rugged terrain of the Gibb River Road. Check your tyres, carry a spare tyre, and have a repair kit on hand.
  • Stock up on groceries and essential items before setting off on the road. The Derby-Imintji store is an excellent place to shop for supplies.
  • Carry extra fuel to avoid running out in remote areas with scarce fuel stations.
  • Plan your itinerary and campsites to secure a spot at your desired locations.
  • Be prepared for the unexpected and carry a first aid kit, emergency supplies, and plenty of water.
  • To preserve the natural beauty of the Gibb River Road, respect the local environment and follow Leave No Trace principles.

Following these essential tips ensures a safe and memorable camping experience along the Gibb River Road.

Preparing Your Vehicle for the Gibb River Road

Preparing your vehicle for the rugged terrain is essential when embarking on a camping trip along the Gibb River Road. Here are some tips to ensure your car is ready for the journey:

  • Check your tyres and ensure they are in good condition. Carry a spare tyre and a tyre repair kit in case of emergencies.
  • Service your vehicle and make sure it is in good working order before setting off on the road.
  • Carry extra fuel to avoid running out in remote areas where fuel stations may be scarce.
  • Pack essential tools and equipment for basic vehicle maintenance, such as jumper cables, a jack, and a wrench.
  • Carry a first aid kit, emergency supplies, and plenty of water in case of unforeseen circumstances.

By preparing your vehicle before hitting Gibb River Road, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable camping experience.

What to Pack: Essentials for the Outback

When embarking on a camping adventure along the Gibb River Road in the remote and rugged Kimberley region of Western Australia, it’s important to pack the essentials for the outback. Here are some key items to include in your packing list:

  • Sturdy hiking boots: The terrain along the Gibb River Road can be rough and uneven, so sturdy hiking boots are essential for comfortable and safe exploration.
  • Insect repellent: The outback is home to insects, including mosquitoes and flies. Pack a strong insect repellent to protect yourself from bites and annoyance.
  • Sunscreen: The Australian sun can be intense, even in the cooler months. Pack a high-SPF sunscreen to protect your skin from harmful UV rays.
  • Plenty of water: Staying hydrated is crucial in the outback, where temperatures can soar. Pack enough water for your entire trip, as water sources can be limited along the Gibb River Road.
  • Camping gear: Pack your tent, sleeping bag, cooking equipment, and other essentials. The campsites along the Gibb River Road offer basic facilities, but you’ll need to bring your gear for a comfortable camping experience.

Packaging these essentials will prepare you for a memorable camping adventure along the Gibb River Road.

Safety Measures for Campers in Remote Areas

When camping in remote areas like the Gibb River Road, it’s essential to prioritise safety. Here are some safety measures to keep in mind:

  • Emergency preparedness: Before starting your camping trip, inform someone of your itinerary and expected return date. Carry a well-stocked first aid kit, extra food and water, and emergency supplies such as a satellite phone or emergency beacon.
  • Wildlife awareness: The Kimberley region is home to diverse wildlife, including snakes and crocodiles. Be mindful of your surroundings, avoid approaching or feeding wildlife, and follow the guidelines set by the Australian Wildlife Conservancy to ensure your safety and the preservation of the local ecosystem.

By taking these safety measures, you can enjoy a safe and enjoyable camping experience in the remote areas along the Gibb River Road.

Navigating Wildlife and Keeping Safe

As you venture along the Gibb River Road, navigating the wildlife in the area and ensuring your safety is essential. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Wildlife encounters: The Kimberley region is home to various unique wildlife, including snakes, crocodiles, and other species. Keeping a safe distance and avoiding interacting with these animals is essential. Follow the guidelines set by the Australian Wildlife Conservancy and respect their habitats.
  • Aboriginal heritage: The Gibb River Road passes through land of great cultural significance to the Aboriginal people. It’s important to respect their heritage and follow any restrictions or guidelines set by the local communities.
  • Safety precautions: When camping or hiking in the outback, always carry ample water, wear sturdy footwear, and inform someone of your plans and expected return time. Pack essential supplies and be aware of your surroundings to prepare for the remote and rugged conditions.

Navigating wildlife and following these safety tips can ensure a safe and enjoyable experience along the Gibb River Road.

Emergency Preparedness: What You Need to Know

In remote areas like the Gibb River Road, emergency preparedness is crucial for your safety. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Inform someone: Before starting your trip, inform a trusted person about your itinerary, including your planned route, campsites, and expected return date. This ensures that someone knows your whereabouts and can raise an alarm if necessary.
  • First aid kit: Carry a well-stocked kit that includes essential items like bandages, antiseptic ointment, pain relievers, and any necessary prescription medications.
  • Communication: Cellphone coverage may be limited or nonexistent in remote areas. Consider carrying a satellite phone or emergency beacon for reliable communication in emergencies.
  • Supplies: Pack extra food and water in case of unexpected delays or emergencies. It’s also a good idea to carry emergency supplies like a flashlight, spare batteries, a whistle, and a map or GPS device.

By being prepared and taking these necessary precautions, you can ensure your safety while exploring the remote areas along the Gibb River Road.

Activities to Enjoy at Gibb River Road Campsites

The campsites along the Gibb River Road offer more than just a place to pitch your tent. Here are some activities to enjoy during your stay:

  • Hiking trails: Lace up your hiking boots and explore the breathtaking trails that wind through the Kimberley region. Plenty of trails suit all skill levels, from the Cockburn Ranges to the Mitchell Plateau.
  • Fishing: Cast a line into the pristine waters of the Pentecost River or other nearby waterways and try catching some of the region’s famous barramundi or other freshwater species.
  • Cultural experiences: Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of the Aboriginal people by participating in guided tours, visiting rock art sites, and learning about their traditions and customs.

Whether you prefer hiking, fishing, or cultural experiences, the Gibb River Road campsites are the perfect base for enjoying these activities and exploring the stunning Kimberley region.

Hiking the Breathtaking Trails

The Gibb River Road is a paradise for hiking enthusiasts, with breathtaking trails that showcase the natural beauty of the Kimberley region. Here are some must-visit hiking trails along the Gibb River Road:

  • Cockburn Ranges: Explore the rugged beauty of the Cockburn Ranges on the Cockburn Range Track. This challenging hike offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.
  • Mitchell Plateau: Hike to the iconic Mitchell Falls and discover the beauty of this multi-tiered waterfall. The trail takes you through ancient gorges and past rock art sites, offering a glimpse into the area’s rich Aboriginal heritage.
  • Windjana Gorge: Stroll along the Windjana Gorge Walk and admire the towering limestone cliffs and tranquil pools. This trail is known for its abundant wildlife, including freshwater crocodiles and fruit bats.

These hiking trails offer a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the natural wonders of the Kimberley region and create unforgettable memories along the Gibb River Road.

Fishing in the Pristine Waters

If you’re an avid angler, the Gibb River Road offers excellent fishing opportunities in its pristine waters. One popular fishing spot is the Pentecost River, known for its abundance of barramundi and other freshwater species. Cast your line into the crystal-clear waters and try your luck at catching these prized fish. Remember to obtain the necessary fishing permits and adhere to catch limits and size restrictions to help preserve the local ecosystem. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced angler, fishing along the Gibb River Road is an activity to be noticed.

Cultural Experiences with Local Communities

Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of the Aboriginal people by engaging in cultural experiences along the Gibb River Road. Here are some ways to connect with the local communities:

  • Guided tours: Join a guided tour led by Aboriginal guides who can share their knowledge and stories about the land, its history, and the traditions of their people.
  • Rock art sites: Visit ancient rock art sites, such as Wandjina and Gwion, and marvel at the intricate artwork that tells the stories and histories of the Aboriginal people.
  • Cultural events: Look for cultural events and festivals in the region where you can witness traditional dances, music, and storytelling.

By participating in these cultural experiences, you can gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the rich Aboriginal heritage woven into the fabric of the Gibb River Road.

Exploring the wonders of Gibb River Road through its top-rated campsites is an adventure waiting to happen. From El Questro Station’s thrilling escapades to the conservation haven at Mornington Wilderness Camp, each site offers a unique experience. Take advantage of the luxury of Home Valley Station or the rustic charm of Ellenbrae Station. As you prepare for this journey, remember essential safety measures and pack wisely for the outback. Whether hiking breathtaking trails, fishing in pristine waters, or immersing yourself in cultural experiences, Gibb River Road promises unforgettable moments. Plan your trip during the best season, and book your campsites early to secure your spot in this remote paradise.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I access all campsites with a 2WD vehicle?

Yes, however only some campsites along the Gibb River Road are accessible with a 2WD vehicle and it’s not advisable, most campsites will require a 4WD. Before planning your trip, it’s best to check with the specific campsite or station to ensure your vehicle suits the terrain.

Are pets allowed at campsites along Gibb River Road?

Pets are generally not allowed in the campsites along the Gibb River Road. However, some station stays may allow pets, but it’s essential to check with the individual campsite or station beforehand to confirm their pet policy.

What is the best season to camp along Gibb River Road?

The best season to camp along the Gibb River Road is during the dry season, which typically runs from May to September. This period offers more predictable weather and lower chances of heavy rain, making it ideal for camping and exploring the region.

How do you book campsites and what are the fees?

Campsites along the Gibb River Road can be booked through the individual campsite or station. Fees may vary depending on the facilities and services provided. Some campsites offer online booking options, while others may require in-person or phone booking. It’s best to contact the specific campsite or station directly for booking details and fees.

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