Why Manning Gorge is our favourite campsite and waterfall on the Gibb River Road

Manning Gorge has to be one of our favourite places on the Gibb River Road.          

However, I can’t say it is my favourite hike! However it does have a bonus, read on to see why we reckon this spot is a must see in The Kimberley, Western Australia. 

1.  The hike starts with a swim! 

That’s right, a bit of a novelty – place your gear in a halved 44 gallon drum and push it across the creek! Although you can wade through most, there is a section where walking is not an option. Years ago, the owners had a tinnie to get you across the 25 metres or so. Fact is, if you aren’t up for a swim, the walk might be too much of a challenge. 

2.  The hike ends with a swim! 

You will look forward to this section of the walk. So refreshing after the hot return walk. The information urges people to commence the walk before 11am, and leave the gorge before 2pm – as it is easy to wander off the track, and darkness come on quickly. 

3.  Great calorie burn 

This 5 km return walk was “do-able” for me despite the dodgy knee. It’s starts with an incline up flattish rocks to a cairn. There are sections of sandy tracks through wildflowers and long grasses, boabs to admire, epic views as you reach further – all signed with pink tape and white arrows. Then you’ll come to sections where a lot of rock scrambling is required. Heatley found it easy. I sucked it up and just did it, because I knew the reward was worth it. And it was.                                                   

4.  You don’t need to go far for a swim 

If you are planning to stay more days, or not opting for the walk, you can still cool down in the beautiful creek. The “beach” has great access, a sandy and rock bottom with fish were nibbling my toes! You world normally pay top dollar for a pedicure experience! As we bobbed around, and cooled down after our drive in – we people watched those ferrying their gear back from the walk. Everyone said the walk was worth it! There are lovely big rocks to sun yourself and dry off, plus a rope swim up river. 

5.  Shady campground with good facilities 

It was $50 for 2 for the first night $15 each for second, just pay at the roadhouse. A really lengthy campground with plenty of spots. Amenities are located close to the access road in. 

6.  Roadhouse with supplies and burgers 

Just off the Gibb River Road, we definitely recommend the burgers and chips! Tip: The roadhouse kitchen shuts at 1.30 (but is open for breakfast) and fuel closes at 3pm. 

7.  Hot chooks 

Drove off with a “bachelor’s handbag” and throughly enjoyed our hot BBQ chicken salad lunch! 

8.  Pets

Pets are welcome on leash in the campground – but not on the walk. 

Find more sites like Manning Gorge as well as camps and caravan parks across Australia in our CAMPS App and guides.

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