Shire of Derby / West Kimberley
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sdwk@sdwk.wa.gov.au

Derby

PO Box 94
Derby WA 6728

Phone: (08) 9191 0999
Fax: (08) 9191 0998

Fitzroy Crossing

PO Box 101
Fitzroy Crossing WA 6765

Phone: (08) 9191 5355
Fax: (08) 9191 5085


Tourist Information


Derby


The Derby Wharf/Jetty

The first wharf, built in 1894, was a wooden T shaped structure located at the northern end of the present steel and concrete jetty. It was linked to the town of Derby by a horse drawn tramway, crossing the mud flats via a causeway where the present day road is located. Wool and pearl shell were the major exports in the early days. In 1964, when the new jetty was built, live cattle were exported and fuel, oil and provisions were the main imports. The last passenger ship visited in 1973 . Now-a-days, barges exporting lead and zinc concentrates from the Cadjebut Mine at Fitzroy Crossing and pleasure and tourist craft are the main vessels visiting the jetty. The Jetty is a popular place from which to view the stunning sunsets over King Sound or to fish for silver cobbler, shark, golden grunter, north west salmon and mud crabs on the incoming tides. These tides are Australia's highest and the second highest in the southern hemisphere.


The Centenary Pavillion

Located at the jetty, this Pavilion tells of the geography and history of King Sound and the Port of Derby. The Pavilion features a colourful 28sqm mosaic tile floor depicting facets of life in the district.


Wharfingers House Museum

Corner of Elder and Loch Streets

Open on request. (Call at the Derby Visitor Centre during opening times for a key.) The history of the Wharf and the demise of the steam ship, the SS Colac, continues in displays at this Museum devoted to the communications history of the town. Displays feature the shipping, telecommunications and aviation history of the area together with small displays on fossil mud lobsters and termites. The building is a fine example of the prefabricated wooden housing of the 1930s well adapted for living in a tropical climate without the benefits of air-conditioning. It was restored in 1988 as part of the Bi-Centennial Project.


Opposite the Museum can be seen one of the oldest buildings in Derby. This is the old Wool Shed, for the export of goods prior to 1964. The import shed, where goods imported were stored for collection was demolished in 1998 to make way for a direct route to the wharf.


The horse drawn tramway extended from the Jetty down Loch Street as far as the King Sound Hotel site. Nearby was a quarry that was used to supply stone for the causeway across the mud flats. The tramway finished near McGovern and Thompson's Store, (now Woolworths).


Those wishing to follow up on the story of the SS Colac can view the anchor and propeller of the vessel in the Lions Park in front of the Derby Civic Centre in Loch Street. The remains of the vessel can be viewed at low tide out from the end of the Derby airport runway via a fixed wing or helicopter flight. Access to the wreck is not possible from the land.


Old Derby Gaol

Loch Street - Registered National and State Heritage Site

The Police Station and depot for the Police Horse Patrol was located in Loch Street halfway between the original Town of Derby (established near Numbala Ngunga) and Derby Port, locally known in the early days as 'The Point'. The restored Old Derby Gaol is a tangible reminder of these times and is the oldest building in the town (1906). The significance of the Gaol to the Derby community is explained at the site.


Derby Pioneer Cemetery

Lovegrove Street

The cemetery and Old Gaol are sites on the Pigeon Heritage Trail which tells of the exploits of the Aboriginal Jandamarra. A booklet on the trail can be obtained from the Visitor Centre. At the cemetery one of Jandamarra's victims, Police Constable William Richardson, is buried.


Another interesting grave is that of the Aboriginal Police Tracker 'Larry' Kunamarra who was honoured by the Queen for his services. Many graves in the cemetery are without headstones.


Botanical Gardens

Access via the Library, Clarendon Street or adjacent to Shire Council, Loch Street

Established in 1985 these gardens are a tranquil oasis containing many species of exotic palms. The rock work is constructed from the Cretaceous sandstone, Kimberley Colour Stone, quarried at Mt Jowlaenga.


Myall's Bore and Cattle Trough

7km from Derby near the Prison Tree

The first bore at this location was dug in 1910/11. It replaced the original well sunk by Alfred Duckworth Mayall in the early 1890s. The 1910/11 bore was 322 metres deep, had a residual head of 6 metres and cost 2700 pounds. When John Tait Blain was Secretary of the Road Board (1916/17) he had Joe Griffen build the concrete trough which is there to this day. This trough could handle 500 bullocks at one time and was later extended to a length of 120 metres. The flow from the bore was dropping off even by 1919. Now water is pumped into the trough by a windmill. The water from the bore has a rich mineral content and was reputed to have therapeutic properties. A bath house once stood near the trough. (See the Boab Prison Tree Interpretative Pavillion located on site for further information).


Boab Prison Tree

7km from Derby on the Derby - Broome Highway

This huge tree is believed to be around 1,500 years old and has a girth of 14.7 metres. It was used as staging point for prisoners being walked into Derby in the early days.


The Prison Tree is a registered Aboriginal Site. Visitors are requested to respect the cultural sensitivity of the site and not climb into or approach close to the tree. (See the Boab Prison Tree Interpretative Pavillion located on site for further information).


Derby Pastoral Trail - Stage 1

The Derby Pastoral Trail tells the story of the last day of travel for drovers with their herds from Myall's Bore to the jetty. Stage 1 starts at the One Mile Dinner Camp at the corner of Mimosa Street and Rowan Street and ends at the Centenary Pavillion at the jetty.


Frostys Pool

Adjacent to Myall's Bore

Built in 1944 as a bathing area for troops stationed in the area during the Second World War, this is one of the few remaining reminders of those years in the town. The bath was constructed by the 3rd General Transport Co. and was nicknamed Frosty's Pool after a platoon member, Charles L.V. Frost.


Joonjoo Botanical Trail

Some of the plants and animals of the Wanganut Land System are described on three kilometres of walking trail located in the Wanganut Reserve between the Derby Speedway and Conway Street. Interpretative plaques explain how the bush was used by the Nyikina people. The trail is an initiative of the Derby Chamber of Commerce and the Derby Visitor Centre. Access off Speedway Road. A trail booklet is available at the Derby Visitor Centre.


Art and History

The Spirit of the Wandjina Art Studio at Mowanjum Aboriginal Community welcomes visitors. Phone 08 9191 1104. Work from this community was a feature of the opening ceremony of the Sydney Olympics. Ngunga Designs shop in Stanley Street affords an insight into the art and culture of the Aboriginal people with designs transformed onto fabrics and garment. A museum has been opened at the former Derby Leprosarium, Bungarun and is available for visits by groups. Between May and October a regular tour run to these attractions. Ask at the Derby Visitor Centre.


Derby (Waste Water) Wetland

Access via Conway Street

Bird watchers can make use of an observation tower provided by the Water Corporation near the waste water ponds to view a great variety of ducks, waders and other water birds that use the area as a day time roost. The managed wetland adjacent with shallow water and reed beds attracts wetland birds and migratory waders. (Ask at the Derby Visitor Centre for a bird list and directions)


Derby Golf Course

Derby Recreation Area, Ashley Street

The wonderful boab trees, green fairways and putting surfaces make this 18 hole composite course a pleasure to play on for any golfer. Recycled water has enabled the green fairways to be created to a design by well known professional golfer Terry Gale. Visitors are welcome.


Kimberley School of the Air (KSOTA)

Marmion Street

KSOTA is based in Derby and provides educational services for children in pre-school to Year 7 who live inisolated and remote locations across the entire Kimberley region. Children undertake correspondence programs which are supported by satellite lessons, teacher visits and regular camps and seminars. Camp programs focus heavily on interactive and collaborative socialisation experiences, including the Arts and Physical Education. Year 4-7 students also attend camp in Perth with their counterparts from four other Schools of the Air around the State. KSOTA is also open to visitors and tourists. Daily tours operate in term - Tuesday to Friday between 8:00am -9:00am, with fundraising merchandise available.



Fitzroy Crossing


The Original Townsite

Off Russ Street

Built on a high bank of the Fitzroy River, the other side of Brooking Creek from the Crossing Inn, was the original town. Today it consists of the former Police Officer's House, the old Post Office, a monument to the Australian Inland Mission Hospital and an avenue of Boab trees. The old concrete crossing of the Fitzroy River is still in use. A path and footbridge connects the old town to the Crossing Inn. In the wet, the old town can be completely cut off by flood waters as the Fitzroy River rises and breaks its banks.


The Pioneer Cemetery

Skuthorp Road

Just up the road from the Crossing Inn and on the river banks is the original cemetery containing the graves of old stockmen and district pioneers.


The Crossing Inn

Skuthorp Road

July 5th, 1997 saw this historic hotel celebrate its Centenary as the oldest Kimberley Hotel on its original site.


Located close to the banks of the Fitzroy River, it has been a 'haven in a lonely country' and many a story of the droving days has been told across its bar. The Fitzroy River has flooded the property and in 1993 the level was measured as 9 bricks through the bar. The walls of this historic hotel have been decorated with over 20 pieces of art by students from the Fitzroy Crossing District High School. Postcards of the art are available at the Fitzroy Crossing Visitor Centre.


Geikie Gorge National Park

20km from Fitzroy Crossing via Russ Road

This spectacular 30 metre high walled gorge has been carved by the Fitzroy River through the ancient Devonian limestone reef.


Between April and October, the tranquil waters offer a haven for many types of fish and bird life abounds. During this time boat tours are provided by Department of Environment & Conservation (DEC) Rangers. An Aboriginal Cultural Tour is also available run by Darngku Heritage Tours. This takes in a scenic lookout over the Gorge.


The Gorge is an ideal location for photography, walking, nature observation and picnicking. Rangers are based in the park throughout the dry season. A scenic flight over the Gorge gives a very different perspective of this beautiful feature.


Business & Tourism

Business Directory
Tourist Information
Derby Visitor Centre
Fitzroy Crossing Visitor Centre
This website was last modified on 29.7.2014
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