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The Road Chose Me with Dan Grec: The Gibb River Road

/Consumer News, Team Yokohama
The Gibb River Road

S 15°48'45.2"
E 127°24’17.2"

Notorious for shredding tires and vibrating suspension to pieces on the nightmarish corrugations, the remote and wild Gibb River Road holds the title of most spectacular and remote roads in the Australian Outback. The gravel and rock road slices from East to West through rocky landscapes littered with breathtaking canyons, waterfalls, iconic Australian wildlife and trees and plants found no where else on earth.

We load the Gladiator to the brim with food, drinking water and fuel before setting out from Kununurra, the last town we will see for the next ten days. The dusty and rocky road is lined on both sides with boab trees of all shapes and sizes. These enormous and majestic trees are a relative of the famous African Baobab, and are so magnificent they hold a presence like no tree I have ever encountered. Combined with the scorching sun, red dust and endless corrugations, I am strongly reminded of my time across Africa, and half expect to see elephants crossing the road instead of the occasional Kangaroo and Emu.

After exploring the stunning canyons, hot springs and waterfalls at El Questro Station we continue West to the Pentecost River, which can be a mighty obstacle to overcome. We have arrived many months after the last rains, and so the river is barely flower, and we don’t spot any saltwater crocodiles that are known to infest this waterway. We find a high overlook above the river gorge to camp for the night, and find ourselves alone with only boab trees and the milky way to keep us company for the night.

Swimming in the canyons and waterfalls is an enormous relief to escape the scorching sun and wash away the dust from the trail, and I’m a little concerned to see small freshwater crocodiles swimming side by side with us. The “Freshies” never really attack people, and everyone says it will be fine. It takes some getting used to, but in the end the pull of the cool water is too much, so I jump in and hope for the best, giving the toothy reptiles a wide berth.

Taking detour to the North and the enormous Mitchell Falls adds days to our journey, and we encounter the worst road conditions so far in Australia. Being so far from civilization the road is rarely graded, and with each vehicle the corrugations are amplified until they’re almost six inches tall in places. With 22psi in all four Geolandar X-AT tires I keep a close eye on pressures and temperatures, and we never have a single moment of concern as we battled the hundreds and hundreds of miles of corrugations, rocks, heat, dust and occasional small river crossing.

Over eight stunning days we cover eight hundred and fifty miles of rugged adventure over nasty corrugations, sharp rocks, relentless dust and intense heat without a single issue of any kind. Once again the Geolandar X-AT tires gave us the confidence to venture deep into the rugged Australian outback.

-Dan Grec
CategoriesConsumer NewsTeam Yokohama

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