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Home
Page


Starting
Off


Halls
Creek


Bungle
Bungles


Geikie
Gorge


Broome

Derby

Windjana
Gorge


Manning
Gorge


Jacks
Water
Hole


Wyndham

Ord
River


Kununurra

Homeward

Grand
Finale


- DERBY -
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Yet another orientation map!

Our tour has arrived at Derby and will continue along the rough road (marked in red) through to Windjana Gorge and on to Wyndham through the Gibb River country.

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During the nineteenth century sheep, rather than cattle, grazed the West Kimberley. In 1885 the inhabitants of the small town of Derby constructed a jetty so that wool could be shipped more directly. The fortunes of Derby went from times of depression to times when business boomed. By the 1960's cattle had replaced sheep as the major agricultural interest. Today local minerals are the main export out of Derby. Exploratory drilling has revealed a profitable oil field only 100 kilometres east of Derby.

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The jetty is reached by a causeway through the mudflats that separate the town from King Sound.

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The area has a large Aboriginal population. Some members of the tour group enjoy a chat with these two friendly Aborigines during the lunch break at Derby.

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The unusually shaped boab trees (Adansonia gregorii) are scattered throughout the Kimberley. The bulbous silvery grey trees shed their leaves in the dry season so as to conserve moisture. The shape of the tree is particularly grotesque when it is leafless leading to the boab being called 'the tree which God planted upside down'.

The Latin name was given by botanist Ferdinand von Mueller in 1855 in honour of Augustus Gregory who at the time was leading an expedition through northern Australia.

Boab trees, which rarely exceed 20 metres in height, may have a trunk circumference of over 25 metres. They are closely related to the baobabs of South Africa.

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Boab trees can have their uses apart from producing large edible fruits rich in vitamin C.

This hollow Boab Prison Tree, located about 8 kilometres south of Derby, is said to have been used by the police as a holding cell until prisoners could be taken into Derby.....

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......Many graffiti 'artists' have made their mark over the years around the 'prison' entrance.

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Our coach leaves for the Gibb River Road........

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