Sealing the iconic Gibb River Road - yes or no?

“To seal, or not to seal, that is the question”. If William Shakespeare lived in the Kimberley right now, perhaps this is the question that he’d be asking (ok, maybe not, but anyway …) This has been a hot topic lately, after more of the iconic Gibb River Road has recently been sealed on the eastern end (just west of Home Valley).

What are your thoughts on the Gibb being sealed? Leave a comment below.
Gibb River Road, image by  Sean Scott

Gibb River Road, image by Sean Scott

The Gibb River Road is a 660km dusty old cattle route that’s now one of Australia’s most iconic 4wd adventure trails with gorges, waterfalls, sprawling savannahs and clear starry nights. Many say that part of the appeal of this road is how remote and inaccessible it is, which certainly keeps visitor numbers down to only the most intrepid of adventurers. Unfortunately, more and more people are now bringing their fully-loaded caravans, which is deteriorating the road and also keeping mechanics busy, as reported by the Kimberley Echo (click here to read).

Gibb River Road. Pic by  S. Connell.

Gibb River Road. Pic by S. Connell.

One of the many gorges accessed from the Gibb River Road. Turquoise Pool. Pic by  Elise Cook.

One of the many gorges accessed from the Gibb River Road. Turquoise Pool. Pic by Elise Cook.

The new bitumen near Home Valley

We travelled to Home Valley Station this weekend just gone (Saturday 7th September 2019) and we drove on the freshly sealed portion of road, which is east of the Home Valley Station turn-off and runs for about 8-10km toward Bindoola Falls. Certainly, 8km’s isn’t much, but any sealing of the Gibb always raises eyebrows. Here are some photos that we took…

The western end of the new bitumen. Pic by B. Connell.

The western end of the new bitumen. Pic by B. Connell.

The turn-off to the look-out. Pic by B Connell.

The turn-off to the look-out. Pic by B Connell.

A dust funnel (or willie willie) reaches up toward the sky from the fresh bitumen. Pic by B. Connell.

A dust funnel (or willie willie) reaches up toward the sky from the fresh bitumen. Pic by B. Connell.

Sealing the eastern end

Of course, if you’ve travelled the Gibb in recent years then you’ve noticed that the eastern end of the Gibb, between the turn-off from the Great Northern Highway and Emma Gorge, has been sealed. This makes Emma Gorge accessible to all vehicles, but if you want to venture further in to El Questro then you’ll need a 4x4. Will more of the Gibb slowly become sealed in coming years? Comment below to let us know your thoughts on this iconic outback road slowly being sealed.

Gibb River Road map, by  Derby Visitor Centre.

Gibb River Road map, by Derby Visitor Centre.

Planning in tackling the Gibb on your own adventure one day? Read about a family’s costs, experiences and itinerary doing the Gibb River Road in a caravan.

Melissa Connell19 Comments