Follow the Gibb River Road
There is something adventurous and unusual in store for those who fancy this self drive tour. Combining the vast beauty of Western Australia with some unique accommodation and scenic routes this self drive tour packs it all in. Follow the Great Northern Highway travelling north east and enjoy the wonders of the Western Australia National Parks- untamed wilderness which are seldom visited and which at certain times of year are carpeted with wild flowers. The iconic Bungle Bungles are visited before heading off to Nitmiluk (previously Katherine Gorge) which is beautiful – make the time to visit before Kakadu. This 4WD tour offers a glimpse of the wilderness in the Australian Outback, a plethora of National Parks and an opportunity to learn more of the culture, art and history of Western Australia.
Use the suggested times and mileage each day to get the most out of your holiday.
Image: Self Drive W.A. ©Tourism Australia/Oliver Stewe
- Broome and the Kimberley Mountain Range
- Driving the Gibbs River Road
- Haven for wilderness lovers
- Bell Gorge Wilderness Lodge
- El Questro Wilderness Park
- Gregory National Park
- Scenic flight over Bungle Bungles and Lake Argyle (additional cost applies)
- Nitmiluk (Katherine Gorge)
- Kakadu National Park
What’s included in cost:
- Car Hire
- Accommodation as detailed in itinerary
- Getting Around Map Pack
Day 1: Arrive Broome
Arrive Broome and collect your rental vehicle.
Broome, a unique and exotic town with a romantic and often flamboyant past is the southern gateway to the raw wilderness area of the Kimberley. Established as a pearling port in the 1880’s, Broome boasts a multi-cultural population made up of the many nationalities that have flocked to the shores of Roebuck Bay in the hope of making their fortune in the pearling industry. The pearling industry with its colourful personalities has helped to create the character and charm of Broome.
Day 2 to 3: Broome to Bell Gorge Wilderness Lodge
Approximately 447kms (278 Miles)
Depart Broome and head east via the Gibbs River Road to Bell Gorge Wilderness Lodge, located near Bells Gorge on Saddlers Creek near the Imintji Aboriginal Community.
Situated in a beautiful and unique setting close to the Gibb River Road and the Imintji Aboriginal community, the lodge takes full advantage of its prime Indigenous-owned site and affords magnificent views of the King Leopold escarpment. Explore Bell Gorge Wilderness Lodge and surrounding areas.
Day 4: Bell Gorge Wilderness Lodge to El Questro
Approximately 405kms (251 miles)
Today you will continue northeast on the Gibb River Road to El Question Station.
El Questro Wilderness Park is considered to be one of the world’s most unique holiday destinations. Being over one million acres in size it provides a true outback-Australian experience.
Day 5: El Questro Wilderness Park
Day at leisure at El Questro. Spend your morning on an excursion of some kind – walking, riding, fishing, looking at Aboriginal rock art, boating on the Chamberlain River or just relaxing by the pool.
Day 6: El Questro Station to Kununurra
Approximately 100kms (62 miles)
Departing El Questro Station travel the last 40km east on the Gibb River Road before turning left on the Great Northern highway to continue on to Kununurra.
Kununurra is the gateway to the Kimberley’s from the East. It offers access to an enormous variety of unique and colourful Kimberley adventures. It is a pleasant, modern town, established in 1960 as the centre for the Ord River Irrigation Project.
The town has become the major administrative centre for the East Kimberley, servicing farmers, pastoralists and the rapidly developing tourism and mining industries. Kununurra is one of the biggest towns in the Kimberley.
Day 7: Kununurra
Today is at leisure for you to explore Kununurra. Optional tour: Scenic flight over Bungle Bungles and Lake Argyle (additional cost applies)
Day 8: Kununurra to Katherine
Approximately 510km (316 miles)
Depart Kununurra and travel across the Western Australia/Northern Territory border to Katherine.
You may also wish to stop at Gregory National Park where the red of the Centre blends gently with the green of the Top End. An impressive 10,500 square kilometres of ranges, gorges and sandstone escarpments, curvaceous silhouettes of Boab trees enliven the Park’s landscape.
Katherine is the Top End’s second largest town. Its river – the first perennial running water along the route from Alice Springs – was originally dubbed the ‘Catherine’ by John McDouall Stuart in 1862, after his patron’s daughter. The spelling was changed and the town of Katherine was eventually settled to service the Overland Telegraph Line. More recently the gorges have been renamed Nitmiluk National Park as they and the surrounding landscape have great ceremonial significance to the local Jawoyn people. The Jawoyn people are custodians of Nitmiluk National Park.
Day 9: Katherine To Kakadu National Park
Approximately 300km (186 Miles)
You may wish to visit Nitmiluk (Katherine Gorge) before heading to Kakadu National Park.
Just 29km from Katherine itself, the Nitmiluk (Katherine Gorge) National Park consists of 13 natural gorges and is a massive 292,008 hectares in size. The Gorge is where the Katherine River, after beginning in the wild escarpment country of Arnhem Land, flows through 13 spectacular gorges before heading northwest to the tidal Daly River and the Timor Sea.
Due to the abundance of water, the Park is vibrant with life, not only Barramundi and freshwater crocodiles, but rare birds like crimson and Double-barred Finches, as well as goannas, bats and wallabies.
Continue onto Kakadu National Park, the largest National Park in Australia.
Kakadu is one of four Australian sites included on the World Heritage List for both cultural and natural outstanding universal values. The floodplains of Kakadu illustrate the ecological effects of sea-level change in northern Australia. The park features great natural beauty and sweeping landscapes, as well as internationally important wetlands.
Day 10: Kakadu National Park
Today is free for you to explore Kakadu National Park.
Day 11: Kakadu National Park To Darwin
Approximately 257km (160 Miles)
There’s a lot to see on the road between Kakadu National Park and Darwin – from the clouds of waterfowl on wetlands to jumping crocodiles. On your journey you may wish to enjoy a cruise on the Adelaide River flood plains before arriving in Darwin where you return your rental vehicle.