The Gibb River Road is an amazing dirt road adventure through the heart of the Kimberly in Western Australia. The dusty road was once a cattle route and now it is an iconic 4wd expedition. There are plenty of gorges, rivers and waterfalls to explore.
I was so concerned about ‘surviving the Gibb River Road’ that I didn’t think about what we actually needed for the journey. Besides having a 4wd and camping equipment for this epic journey there are some other must have items to assist in exploring the region.
There are so many amazing hikes down gorges to stunning waterfalls along the Gibb River Road. The Kimberley is hot and it is important to stay hydrated while hiking. Some of the hikes are challenging and you need your hands free to clamber over rocks. A Camelbak is a backpack and drinking container all in one so it is perfect for hiking. We found hiking with kids, a 2L Camelbak per adult should be a minimum. Find Camelbaks here.
Ok, so there is no reef on the Gibb River Road but your feet will get wet as you walk through Tunnel Creek which is an old cave system. You will be wading through freshwater pools and certain points of Tunnel Creek are rocky. Reef Booties also come in handy when you are walking over slippery rocky gorges. Find Reef Booties here.
We wore sneakers and the grip on the kids’ shoes was pretty bad! There were lots of slips and tears. I wish I had a pair of hiking shoes for ankle stability and for safety when walking through high grass. Hiking shoes are perfect for crossing creeks as you hike down the beautiful gorges plus they are sturdy and provide good traction on rough, steep, slippery terrain. Find Hiking Shoes here.
A small compact towel is perfect after a swim at a waterfall. It dries quickly, it is lightweight, not big and bulky to carry in your backpack. I have several of these towels which I use when travelling but I forgot to pack them. Next time I will definitely make sure they are at the top of the packing list! Find Microfibre towels here.
First Aid Kit
Accidents happen and being in a remote location you want to carry a first aid kit. I recommend having band-aids, bandages, cream for insect bites, antiseptic cream and a snakebite kit. We saw several snakes while hiking on the Gibb so please take care. You can put your own kit together or buy a compact first aid kit packaged with all the essentials. Find First Aid Kits here.
Not only will you need a head torch for the campground but you will also need one for Tunnel Creek. The cave is 750 meters long and it is dark. A head torch is perfect for keeping your hands free to climb or swim. A decent head torch can also light up the eyes of crocs in the dark. Find Head Torch here.
100 Things to See in The Kimberley
100 Things to See in the Kimberley is your bible not only for the Gibb River Road but for the whole region. The book was written by an award-winning tour guide and who knows the area better than a local? We found it beneficial to help us find aboriginal rock art and a secret thermal spring! Grab a copy of 100 Things to See in The Kimberley here.
Pool Noodle/Floatation Device
Our children got a little anxious when swimming at waterfalls as they were unable to see the bottom. When they were armed with a pool noodle their confidence soared. They were annoying to carry on the longer walks but made swimming much more enjoyable. If you are not a confident swimmer you also might find a pool noodle beneficial.
Travel safe and enjoy this epic adventure off the bitumen and off the grid and through the Kimberley’s vast untouched wilderness. You will not regret it!
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