The major Kimberley Towns that are directly accessible via the Gibb River Road are Derby, Wyndham and Kununurra.
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Are you looking for information on Getting to Broome? Or Where to stay? Getting around, What to do? Where to eat in broome?...Then you really should...
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Location:Derby is located at the southern end of the Gibb River road, north of the mouth of the Fitzroy River. The centre of Derby town is located approx 6km drive North west of the turn-off onto the Gibb River Road.
History: Derby was the first official town and port in the Kimberley region, first gazetted in 1883. Derby was named after Edward Henry Stanley, or Lord Derby, who was the Secretary of State for Colonies between 1882-1885. The town was originally established as a port, to enable supplies to arrive by ship to the Kimberley from the major Australian towns such as Perth. These supplies were originally used to service the Kimberley cattle & sheep industry. Many of the early Kimberley cattle stations would have to embark on long journeys of three weeks or more, driving a donkey wagon team into Derby to collect their supplies. The population of Derby and it's infastructure increased after the discovery of gold at Halls Creek in the Kimberleys in 1885. During this era many people used Derby as a place to rest, gather much needed supplies, and information, before embarking on their quests for gold. Today Derby continues to function as an important supply point for the Kimberley's pastoral, pearling, oil & mining industries. In recent years, the tourist industry has introduced Derby into the international spotlight, as the "Gateway to the Kimberley".
Description:This town is located along the Kimberley coastline, and borders the great 'King Sound' Gulf, which has tides of more than 11 metres. The Western region of Derby is surrounded by spectacular mud flats, and mangrove forests, allowing Derby to have excellent places to fish, and go mud-crabbing. Derby also has very good vantage points, such as the 'Derby Wharf', where you can enjoy the views of the magnificence King Sound gulf. Derby is still a friendly outback country town. It is not over-commercialised or developed, and for this reason it still has a rich culture and strong connection to it's history. Many of the locals in town are descended from people that have lived in the area for generations - they are genuine outback characters who are proud of their home, and help Derby continue to grow in a positive way. By walking in their forefathers footsteps, the old-time Derby locals help protect & ensure the continuation of the original Kimberley values and culture that Derby was built upon.
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Derby Accommodation & Camping
*Birdwood Downs Station: Located 16km along the Gibb River Road. Total of 22km from Derby town centre. Accommodation in solar powered bungalows made of Kimberley colour stone, Dinner, bed and breakfast package, Campsite with ammenities (no powered sites), Guided trail rides on horseback throughout spectacular savannah landscapes. Contact information:
Phone:(08)9191 1275 CLICK HERE FOR BIRWOOD DOWNS WEBSITE
*Kimberley Cottages: Located off of the Gibb River Road along "Windjana Road" about 5 minutes drive out of Derby.
Overnight, short-term or extended stay accommodation in air-conditioned comfortable cottages surrounded by bushland and gardens. PH- (08)9191 1114 CLICK HERE FOR KIMBERLEY COTTAGES WEBSITE
* King Sound Resort: Hotel Accommodation, meals & bar. Located 20 minute walk to the centre of town on left hand side of the main road (when heading into Derby), just after Woolworths - for Bookings/Enquiries Ph:(08)9193 1044
* West Kimberley Lodge (Backpackers): Single/Double/Dormitory rooms available, located towards the end of town right across the road from the Derby Visitor Centre & Greyhound Bus stop, 10 minute walk to town center, meals available across the road at Spinifex Hotel or Derby Takeaway. For Bookings/Enquiries Phone: (08)9191 1031
* Spinifex Hotel: Located towards the end of town just down the road from the Derby Visitor Centre & Greyhound Bus. 10 minute walk from town center. Bar, Meals, Double/Dormitory/twin rooms available. For bookings/enquiries Phone: (08) 9191 1233
* Kimberley Entrance Caravan Park: Located on 'Rowen Street' in Derby (behind Rusty's IGA). 500m from the main shopping area, Powered and un-powered sites, Tree covered shady bays, 3 ablutions blocks. For more information: Ph:-(08) 9193 1055 CLICK HERE FOR: KIMBERLEY ENTRANCE CARAVAN PARK'S WEBSITE
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Derby's Main Attractions
Derby's Main Attractions:The Boab Prison Tree & Myall's Bore
Location: 7km from Derby township along the Broome Highway. Turn-off is located on the left hand side of the road when travelling south and is well sign posted.
Description: 'The boab prison tree' is listed as an aboriginal heritage Site - there are many 'dreaming' myths & legends associated with it. It is approx. 1,500 years old and is very rare because unlike other boab trees the inside of this particular tree is hollow with a naturally formed opening or 'doorway' leading into it's centre. Unfortunately people who have visited this tree over the years, have not respected it by carving their names all over it - defacing it's beauty. So please...take the time to appreciate the wonder of this magnificent boab tree, but don't damage it or climb all over it, so that visitors can continue to enjoy it for years to come. This boab tree was a landmark located on a route regularly used by police sergeants leading chained groups of aboriginal prisoners into town for sentencing during the 1900's. These aboriginal prisoners were accused of European laws such as; spearing cattle, or commiting murder. Aboriginals accused of commiting such crimes were often tracked by mounted police sergeants (usually with aboriginal trackers) for months throughout the Kimberley ranges. Once the accused were located they were caught and chained up, ordered to leave their homelands, and walk all the way into Derby for sentencing & detainment.
The prison boab tree is located near Myall Bore which was one of the major watering points used by stockmen when herding cattle from the Kimberley into Derby. Myall Bore was also used as a watering point for bullock and donkey teams as well as travellers in the early days. The original well was sunk at this location by Alfred Duckworth Mayall in the early 1890s. The first bore was dug at this location in 1910, and measured 322 metres deep, with a residual head of 6 metres, costing 2700 pounds. In 1916 John Tait Blain (Secretary of the Road Board)commissioned Joe Griffen to build the concrete trough, which still exists today. This concrete trough, measuring 120 metres in length, was long enough for 500 bullocks to drink from it all at once. The amount of water flowing into the bore had significantly depleted by 1919, so water was pumped into the trough via a windmill. The water from the bore is reported to be high in mineral content, and a 'bath house' was once positioned near the trough to take advantage of the water's therapeutic properties.
Derby's Main Attractions: The Derby Wharf/Jetty
Location: Located to the north west of the town centre, on the coastline, about 2km from the centre of town.
Description:The first wharf at Derby was a wooden structure, originally erected in 1894. There was a horse drawn tramway that linked the town of Derby, across the mud flats to the wharf. In 1964, the current jetty was built, and it was a spectacular feat of human engineering - This new jetty was structured with 2 rows of long, thick concrete pillars spaced apart in rows along the mud flats. These pillars were designed long enough to rise above the highest tides of the King Sound. Thick wooden horizontal & metal planks were then placed on top, beneath a flat wide layer of concrete.
Throughout history the wharf has been used as a means of importing supplies & passengers to Derby and the Kimberley, and for the exportation of livestock (cattle) and various minerals. Today barges use the wharf to export lead and zinc from the Cadjebut Mine at Fitzroy Crossing, as well as supplies & machinery to and from places such as cockatoo island. The wharf is also frequented by fishing & tourist boats. The Derby Jetty is a wonderful vantage point for viewing; the waters of the King Sound with Australia's highest tides of more than 11 metres, Kimberley sea-creatures that live on the mudflats at low tide, as well as the Kimberley birdlife that inhabitat the mangroves and ocean skies. It is also a great place to watch the sun rise or set over the waters of the King Sound and surrounding islands, as well as fish for silver cobbler, shark, golden grunter, north west salmon and mud crabs on the incoming tides.
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Click Here For: More Derby Attractions - Kimberley Towns
Location: Wyndham is approximately 100km North West Of Kununnurra. This outback town is located at the mouth of the Cambridge Gulf, near where the King, Ord and Forrest Rivers enter the sea, and eventually flow out into the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf. The turn-off for Wyndham is located at the northern end of the Gibb River Road, 45km West of Kununurra.
History: During the early 1880's Wyndham was established as a port for the importation of supplies to the East Kimberley, from larger Australian Towns such as Perth. The town was primarily selected and established as an entry point for the importation of equipment, supplies and passengers for the Halls Creek gold rush. In March 1886 when 'gold fever' started to sweep throughout the country, 1000's of people began journeying to the Hall's Creek Goldfields, seeking their share of fame and fortune. The resulting need for supplies prompted the government to send the explorer John Forrest to the Kimberley to select a suitable site for a township that could be used to service the new goldfields. In September 1886 the township of Wyndham was gazetted and Governor Broome named the site 'Wyndham' after 'Major Walter George Wyndham' who was the youngest son of Mary Anne Broome & her first husband Captain George Robert Barker, of the Royal Artillery. Mary Anne later became the wife of the Governor of Western Australia (1883-1890). Wyndham grew rapidly as the only port servicing the Kimberley goldfields. As the popularity of the goldfields declined, Wyndham became one of the biggest ports in the Kimberley, for the exportation of live cattle to Perth. You can still see the old cattle holding yards, and some of the old meatworks at the old Wyndham Port. Until 1985 the Wyndham meatworks was the town's most successful industry. However after the big 'meatworkers strike' throughout the whole of the topend, and the resultng closure of The Wyndham abbatoir, the town has become a service centre for East Kimberley pastoral industries & aboriginal communities, mining, and tourism. Wyndham Port still handles some live cattle transport to Asia.
Description: With a population of only 1000 people, Wyndham is a pretty & cosy little town surrounded by some of the most spectacular landscapes, ranges, scenery, rivers and wetlands in the Kimberley region. Wyndham is made up of two main areas: the original site of Wyndham Port and Wyndham East or 'Three Mile' - the shopping and residential area. Wyndham is similar to Derby in that it is still a small country town filled with friendly and genuine outback characters, who are all proud of their heritage & culture. Many saltwater crocodiles are found in the estuaries surrounding Wyndham.
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Wyndham Accommodation & Camping
*Digger's Rest: Turn off into 'King River Road' is located 10 km south of Wyndham along the main road into town. Digger's Rest is then another 37 kilometres along the 'King River Road', which is a four wheel drive gravel road. Which makes Digger's rest a total of 40 kilometres south of Wyndham. Offers: Homestead Accommodation, hearty home-cooked meals, Cattle station life experience, horseback rides and treks, extraordinary scenery, fishing for barrumundi in the King River, bushwalking, bird watching, beautiful country.
For Bookings/Enquiries Contact: (08) 9161 1029
Click here for: Digger's Rest Website
*Parry Creek Farm - Really well set up small tourist resort situated on 120 acres of freehold land in the middle of Parry Lagoons Nature Reserve - a 'Wetland of International Importance'. Peaceful getaway located 20km south Wyndham. Fresh country air, wide open spaces, Air-conditioned cabins, motel style rooms, meals, powered caravan sites and 50 acres of well maintained lawn for camping. Turn-off is located along the Main road into town and is well signed. Access to the property from the main road is along 'Parry Creek Road' which is a maintained gravel road - Property is located 7km along Parry Creek road.
Bookings and Enquiries: ph: (08) 9161 1139
Click here for: Parry Creek Farm's Website
*Wyndham Town Hotel - The Resort At The Port: Located on O'Donnell St, at the original site of Wyndham Port. Hotel Accommodation, Meals, & Licensed Bar. Bookings/enquiries - Ph: (08) 9161 1202
*3 Mile Caravan Park: Camping only - Located on Cable Street (off of main road into town) across from Clarrie Cassidy Memorial Oval. Contains a large boab tree - that has a fence around it said to be the largest boab tree ‘in captivity’.
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Wyndham's Main Attractions
Wyndham's Main Attractions: Five Rivers Lookout 5 km north of Wyndham's center you can drive up a winding hill that takes you to a beautiful lookout over Cambridge Gulf. From this vantage point to the north and west you can see a spectacular view of the King, Durack, Pentecost Ord and Forrest Rivers spiralling across the landscape into the mouth of Cambridge gulf, out to the distant horizon. To the South there is a beautiful view of '3 mile' & the residential areas of Wyndham majestically dwarfed by the magnificent ranges in the background. Beneath you, there is a view of the port, and the old Wyndham township with the cattle yards and storage sheds - From this vantage point you can imagine how busy this port was when it was in it's prime.
Wyndham's Main Attractions - Memorial - Warriu Park Aboriginal Monument: Located in the back streets of Wyndham's residential areas in Warriu park, these large statues are made from copper, and realistically depict members of an aboriginal tribe including; a man with a spear (that stands some 5 metres high), a lady and a young child. These Warriu Park statues are dedicated to 'those who prepared us for today' - they were built as a reminder to all that 'aboriginal spirits will always srvive in this timeless, beautiful land'.
Wyndham's Main Attractions - Heritage walk: You can drive down to the old Wyndham township and see the old 'Port Town precinct' - including the old Port Hotel, Post Office, old Shire Hall, Boab Art & Craft Gallery, Durack's Wool Store, and Anthon's Landing.
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CLICK HERE FOR: A MAP OF OTHER SCENIC ATTRACTIONS IN WYNDHAM