Many of the Kimberley’s most famous gorges are located along the Gibb River Road – it’s the reason this long, dusty and sometimes bone-jarring road is so popular with adventure travellers.
This legendary road trip takes you through ancient landscapes, awesome gorges and incredibly beautiful waterfalls where you can swim in freshwater pools. The wildlife is abundant and the scenery is amazing.
The Best time of Year for Waterfalls
If you are interested in viewing the many Gibb River Road waterfalls in all of their glory, make sure to plan your trip for early in the dry season. Once the wets season ends, the waterfalls dry up quickly and fast flowing falls soon become just a trickle!
But even if you are visiting in the later part of the dry season, you’ll still be able to swim in the pools underneath the falls at any time. Also, bear in mind that when the waterfalls are flowing well, that will also mean river crossings – and lots of them along the Gibb River Road!
Be sure to keep up to date with the latest Road Conditions in the Kimberley
Starting at Derby and heading towards Kununurra, we’ve listed the Gibb River Road gorges in order…
A slight detour off the Gibb River Road, Windjana Gorge is a wide gorge with a sandy beach along the river bed, and there’s an easy 3.5km walk on a marked trail.
Windjana is best known for the many freshwater crocodiles which inhabit it. Groups of the small crocodiles laze around in the freshwater pools near the gorge entrance, and there’s lots of good photo opportunities.
Tunnel Creek is about 30k south of Windjana Gorge.
Bell Gorge & Lennard Gorge
Bell and Lennard gorges are two of the Gibb River Road’s most spectacular gorges.
Bell Gorge’s impressive waterfall drops into a deep clear pool, ringed by a horseshoe-shaped orange wall. It is definitely one of the most incredible places to swim along the Gibb River Road.
Lennard Gorge is less visited but is one of the most dramatic gorges in the Kimberley. From the viewing platform you lookout into a narrow chasm where three streams of waterfall cascade into the pool below.
Grevillea Gorge (Charnely River Station)
Grevillea Gorge is the most impressive gorge on Charnley River Station.
If you have been to Karijini National Park, the narrow chutes of Grevillea Gorge might bring back a few memories! A series of three waterfalls are accessible, and the top pool (closest to the start of the walk) is best for swimming.
As you descend into the lower sections you’ll be rewarded with incredible views, but be careful as the descent is tricky.
Sir John Gorge and Dimond Gorge
Mornington Sanctuary is home to two massive gorges – Sir John and Dimond. Many people rank Dimond and Sir John Gorges as their favourites along the Gibb River Road and it’s not hard to see why.
The huge expanse of the gorges and the pools makes you sit back and marvel at the ancient and powerful forces that have carved out this landscape.
Canoes are available for hire to explore Dimond Gorge, and this is the best way to experience the gorge.
Galvans Gorge and Adcock Gorge
Not far from Mt Barnett, these two small pools are great places to stop for a refreshing swim.
Galvans Gorge is a pretty little pool with a thin multi-tiered waterfall. It is only a short walk from the carpark and it’s well worth checking out.
Nearby Adcock Gorge is about 4km down a dusty track. It’s pretty and secluded and doesn’t see many visitors.
The waterfall at Manning Gorge is wide and powerful, and there’s a large deep pool. You can swim right up and under the falls and the freshwater splashing onto your head is nature’s way of washing your hair!
At the campsite there is also a large swimming pool which a great way to wash off the dust and the heat from the walk back from the falls. Manning Gorge is a very popular spot for families – the easy access to the campsite swimming pool is perfect for kids.
The four-tiered Mitchell Falls is one the the most impressive sights in the Kimberley, and it is an essential detour from the Gibb River Road. It is also Western Australia’s tallest waterfall.
The energy and forces of nature are incredible and it is without a doubt one of the best views in the Kimberley.
The drive into the Mitchell Plateau is part of the adventure. Along the way you’ll drive through the infamous King Edward River crossing and there are some excellent examples of Aboriginal rock art.
Emma Gorge and El Questro Gorges
There’s a good reason why El Questro is the most famous of the Kimberley stations – it is blessed with some of the most spectacular gorges and landscapes.
Emma Gorge is definitely one of the most stunning gorges in the Kimberley. The gorge ends in a horseshoe, with sheer walls rising up 100m and a thin waterfall spills into the large pool below. The water is crystal clear and it is an incredibly picturesque place.
El Questro Gorge is another stunning highlight. The first part of the walk is quite gentle and takes you along the edge of a creek. At the mid-point of the walk you’ll reach a beautiful rock pool with a small waterfall trickling into it.
You can continue past this point and the reward at the end of this very scenic walk is an incredibly beautiful waterfall which flows into a bright blue pool. It has to be seen to be believed!