Roadhouse closure could leave travellers stranded

Published: April 1, 2015

Grey nomads are being warned to plan ahead following the surprise closure of the Imintji store on Western Australia’s remote Gibb River Road.

It was one of only two roadhouses on the iconic 4WD route, and was extremely popular with many of the estimated 20,000 travellers who adventure along the 660-kilometre track each year.

According to a report on the ABC, the local Aboriginal community has been locked in conflict with those contracted to run the shop over lease conditions. Last Friday, community chairperson Edna Dale padlocked its doors and closed the shop indefinitely.

She warned grey nomads and other travellers that there was now nowhere to buy supplies for much of the route.

“If they’re coming up the Gibb River Road, they should make sure they have lots of food and fuel ready, because Imintji store is closed,” she told the ABC.

As well as having a major impact on the local community, there are also fears that the closure of the roadhouse could leave tourists stranded.

“If you’re driving from Derby, the next petrol supply is at Mt Barnett, so we’re looking at over 300 kilometres,” said District Officer Glenn Hall from the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES). “So, if people aren’t prepared that will be a concern for us.”

The Imintji community is hoping another company will come along and re-open the store.

  • What memories do you have of the Imintji store? How important is it that a way is found to re-open it? Comment below.



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Robyn Davies
7 years ago

Actually never went in to the store on our last trip. These days many people carry long range fuel tanks and can navigate the GRR without refuelling. On our next trip we will have up to 2000kls of fuel before we start.

7 years ago

Mmmmm, guess Ye olde mighty dollar had clouded thoughts …. Wonder who’ll suffer the most from the lack of income from this source? Experience tells me that when folks are “forced” to prepare and bypass they very, very seldom return easily.

Rob & Pam King
7 years ago
Reply to  Nomad1946

Very well said and written, never done the trip but i can read between the lines, the name said it all.

7 years ago
Reply to  Rob & Pam King

What can you read between the lines? What does the name say??
You really need to know why they are closing before making comment.

Linette Russ
7 years ago

I have called in many times to Imintji for a cup of coffee and home made cake.
Such a welcoming place.
Gibb River Station will soon be opening a larger store which is one hour from Mt Barnett Roadhouse on your way to Kununurra.

I hope the re-opening of Iminji store will be soon.

7 years ago
Reply to  Linette Russ

Thanks for the info Linette.

We will be cycling the Gibb River Rd (unsupported) in June and had been hoping to stock up at the Iminji Store!

Is the Gibb RIver Station also known as Ngallagunda? Any idea when the store will open (unless it is already operating?) Can anyone call in here for supplies?

Laetitia Mansfield
7 years ago
Reply to  Cate

Hi Cate, I wouldn’t bother with Gibb River. The store is only open an hour or 2 a day whenever they feel like it it seems, sells only junkfood and charges 50c more for fuel per litre than Barrnet.

Linette Russ
6 years ago
Reply to  Cate

Great place, friendly, great variety of food, Art by top Kimberley artists.
Free tea
Local story tellers.
Great atmosphere

Linette Russ
6 years ago

Letitia Mansfield has apparently not visited Gibb River Station.

6 years ago

Does anybody knows more about the saison 2016? Will the Iminji store reopen till may?

6 years ago
Reply to  Seb

From Derby Visitor Centre on Facebook:
Great news for those planning on travelling the Gibb River Road, The Imintji Store has re opened as of today May 11th. Mon. to Sat. 9am to 11am and 2pm to 5pm (May 11th 2016 to June 4th 2016)
Mon to Sun 9am to 5pm (June 5th 2016 to Wet Season)
Deisel Fuel Only Available.


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