The Best Books on the Kimberleys

A list of some of the best real Australian books that we have for sale on the Kimberleys are included below. These quality books have been reprinted, and are brand new (they are not second hand). Many of the books we have available for sale are rare, limited edition reprints of historical stories and documents about extraordinary people and places. The books listed below can be ordered via the form at the bottom of this page.Being avid collectors of books on Australia, we have read many of these works. They provide an excellent insight into the aboriginal history, early exploration, the colonisation & settlement, drovers and characters of The Kimberleys & North West Australia. If you are venturing up this way, or have a passion for the Kimberleys, the books in this collection will definately give you a deeper understanding and appreciation of Australia's Great North West. ~Taffy and Kim~
Please note; All prices are in Australian Currency and are inclusive of GST.

The Challenge & The Chance

S.K Forrest, Hard Cover, 364 large pp, Illustrated, 1996 new.
The colonisation and settlement of North West Australia 1861-1914. Forrest focuses on black-white relationships, and the changing attitudes and moralities of white Australians when they, too, became indigenous. Opens a new chapter of Australian history.



Customs and Traditions of the Aboriginal Natives of North Western Australia

By John G Withnell, Soft Cover, 2007 reprint, 1st published 1901.
This work helps to preserve the early traditions and customs of the aboriginal natives of the North Western Australia, as accurately as possible. It is based upon observations by Pastoral Pioneer John Withnell, who studied the natives of the North West for many years.



Do Not Yield to Despair

Edited by Mike Donaldson & Ian Elliot, Hard Cover, Illustrated, 1998 New, 440pp.
This is the epic bush diary of Frank Hann (1895-1908) which details his journeys from Townsville, Queensland to the Kimberley, in the eastern Pilbara, Parkers Range south and Laverton-Wiluna area to Oodnadatta. Hann's diary reveals his incredible journey through the rugged King Leopold Ranges,and the discovery of a large tract of most excellent pastoral country throughout this area of the Kimberleys.


Flight of Diamonds

By Major W. Tyler, 1987 New, 134pp, Illustrated, Hard Cover.
Major W. Tyler gives the first full account of the raid and the loss of $12 million dollars in diamonds (still unrecovered,) during the 1942 Japanese attack on Broome. This book contains copious illustrations of Japanese, Dutch, United States and Australian Aircraft & personnel involved in the disaster.

$28.00 + POSTAGE


History of The North West Of Australia

By J.S Battye, 1985 reprint of 1915 edition, Hard Cover, 322pp, illustrated.
This magnificent, large format, hard bound volume contains details of some 230 early North West settlers, their families and 100 stations. It is the most valuable source of pre-1915 information on the North West.

$155.00 + POSTAGE


Journal of The Brockman Droving Expedition of 1874-75 to the North of Western Australia

Edited by Nan Broad and Peter Bridge, 2006 new, Hard Cover, Dust Jacket, 177pp, Illustrated.
The story of one of the greatest early stock droves in Australia. In 1874 John Brockman answered the call to assist the Clarkson droving party, stranded on the Murchison River in drought conditions. The party had tragically lost its two leaders and Brockman was able to successfully drove the several thousand cattle and several hundred horses over scarcely explored country, with no further loss of men and minimal loss of stock. The original drove started near Albany, took approximately thirty months and covered a minimum of 2400 kilometres, ending in the Roebourne area. A 32 page introduction examines the background to the drove, the men, and the social-historical context. A volume in the Western Australian Explorers' Diaries Project.


Kimberley Scenes

Edited by C.Clement & P.J Bridge, Hard Cover, 310pp, Illustrated, New 1991.
Kimberley Scenes is a collection of material written by people who were involved in Kimberley exploration, prospecting and pastoral enterprise in the 1880s and 1890s. Much of the material deals with the gold rush of 1886, providing rare insight into the events and hardships that marked the short-lived rush. The written material is complemented by numerous photographs. The seventeen individual items presented in Kimberley Scenes include letters written by Glin Layman to his family at Wonnerup House (WA), the rough diary of R.T.S. Wolfe (after whom Wolfe Creek Crater was named) and the reminiscences of August Lucanus, Donald Swan and 'Black' Pat Durack. Taken as a whole, the book offers the best collection of early Kimberley material currently available outside the State Records Office of Western Australia. Where necessary, it has been annotated by Dr Cathie Clement, an authority on the history of Australia's north-west. Kimberley Scenes is thus not only an interesting and informative book but also a thoroughly reliable source for those interested in Australian history.


Metamorphosis of a Race - Kuini & Kulari Tribes of Kulumburu Mission

By Seraphim Sanz De Galdeano and Dolores Djinmora, Soft Cover, 152pp, Illustrated.
Engrossing ......a living history. The fascinating observations and life of Father Seraphim Sanz, a Benedictine monk, who served his God at Kalumburu, an isolated Aboriginal Mission in Australia's Far North West. and the impressions of an amazing Aboriginal elder, Dolores Djinmora who worked along side Father Sanz in his Christian endeavours.(Diana Temby, Executive Director, Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission) A fascinating account - Father Seraphim Sanz and Dolores Djinmora describe the lives and conditions of the Aboriginal people of the far flung Kalumburu Benectine Mission in the Kimberley of Western Australia from the 1930's to the present .... a living history of a time little known or understood. (Hon. Justice James Macken, QC OAM) When the true story of Australia's involvement with the far North Kimberley comes to be written, few local reputations will survive wholly untarnished. But one name will stand out: that of the Spanish missionary monk, Dom Seraphim Sanz, whose profound, self-sacrificing love for the indigenous people of Kalumburu has been measured out over the course of six decades. These pages, published only after long struggle, detail the observations and reflections of a remarkable man condemned to live through dark times. (Nicolas Rothwell, Author "Heaven and Earth" )



Northern Patrol

By R.A Pilmer, 1998 New, Soft Cover, 180pp, Illustrated.
This book provides a fascinating insight into the experiences of a mounted policeman posted to Fitzroy crossing, in the Kimberleys, in the 1890s and early 1900s. Accounts of native murders, horse stealing, gold rushes, the outlaw Pidgeon, Canning Stock Route, Wiluna, Kimberley, and more....



Nor' Westers of the Pilbara Breed

By Jenny Hardie, 2001 reprint of 1981 edition, Soft Cover, 416pp, Illustrated.
An Illustrated History of the North West of Australia - A reprint of a pioneering classic. Jenny Hardie began writing of the changing pastoral history of the Pilbara for the West Australian newspaper. She collected photos, anecdotes, and historical data from the earliest days of the Pilbara to the late 20th century. Before she died in 1982, the Port Hedland Council requested her to write a book of the settlement and massive changes that have taken place in the Pilbara during European settlement. What resulted was Nor’ Westers of the Pilbara Breed, a book that since its 1981 publication has become a classic of the North and one that is unlikely to be surpassed. It includes 266 photos from the 1880s to the 1960s, grouped in chronological order.

$55.00 + POSTAGE


Pearls & Pearling Life

By EW Streeter, 1886 reprint 2007, Hard Cover, 340pp, Illustrated.
The pearling classic, impossible to obtain. With tipped in colour plates and map. A study of pearls and pearling regions of the world. Early WA pearling.

$116 + POSTAGE

The Price of a Pearl

By Rod Dickson, 2002 New, Soft Cover, Illustrated, 204 pages.
Incidents of pearling life, shipwrecks and murders in the North West of Western Australia, never before told.In twenty two individual stories, mostly unpublished, the author attempts to portray the hardships encountered by the thousands of men who were engaged in the pearling industry during the early part of the 1900s in the northwest of Western Australia. The industry, in these years, was central to the township of Broome, truly the melting pot of nationalities. Apart from the Australians Japanese, Koepangers, Malays, Javanese and Manilamen made up the majority of races but there were also Americans, Chileans, Peruvians, Finns, Germans, and many other races represented in the industry. Many of these men were never to see their homelands again and were buried in lonely, mostly unmarked graves, scattered along the vast distances of the northwest coast or consigned to the depths of the sea. Divers, tenders, crewmembers, shellopeners, skippers and owners all paid the ultimate price through carelessness, wild nature, storms and cyclones. More than a thousand deaths with hundreds of luggers, schooners and ketches wrecked all for the price of a pearl. The author went to sea at 15 and ‘has been there ever since’. An honorary Associate of the Fremantle Maritime Museum, he has been cataloging the State’s maritime history. Currently he serves aboard the North West Storm Petrel, a LNG tanker trading to Japan.

$28.00 + POSTAGE


Rivers of the Kimberley

By Kim Epton,2000 reprint of 1996 edition, Soft Cover, A4 spiral wire bound, 90pp.
Rivers of the Kimberley is a meticulously researched work on the discovery and naming of rivers in the Kimberley region of Western Australia by Europeans. It includes information on each of the 109 rivers in the Kimberley region - and a few since renamed, 'lost' or 'downgraded' to creek.Because rivers (and other features) were generally named by the first explorers, Rivers of the Kimberley contains a great deal of information on those who were first to uncover the region. Apart from the historical information relating to who found and named the rivers, after whom (or what) they were named and when, Rivers of the Kimberley details the location of the head and mouth, the length, and maps required to follow the courses. Rivers of the Kimberley is an authoritative reference presented in a no-frills package. It is essential reading for schools, tour operators, libraries, government departments, station owners and anyone with an interest in the Kimberley. It is the ONLY complete and authoritative work on the discovery and naming of the rivers of the Kimberley.

$30.00 + POSTAGE

Russian Jack

By P.J Bridge, 2002, Soft Cover, 143 pages, illustrated.
Out of the great Kimberley goldrush of 1886 came stories of hard men in a hostile land. Some grew into legends, entering folklore, larger than life in their own lifetimes but now almost completely forgotten. Men like those of the Ragged Thirteen, Paddy the Flat, Tom Hood, Frank Hann, Billy O'Donnell, William Carr-Boyd and Russian Jack. Women also, Mother Dead Finish and the Mountain Maid. Of all these none has seen the legend eclipse the man as the story of Russian Jack. A legend in his own lifetime, the strongest man on the goldfields, Wheelbarrow Jack. The first great gold rush of Western Australia drew men from thousands of miles to the Kimberley. A few hardy overlanders made it through with packhorses from the Territory and further east or from the south via Newcastle Waters. Most, however, landed by ship at two previously non-existent ports, Wyndham and Derby. From these distant and uninviting landings the diggers headed south or east through desolate, uninhabited and trackless country to their goal, Halls Creek. At the time of the rush it was an area rather than an organised settlement and consisted of police tents and a hastily erected bough shed sly groggery, with the diggers scattered over a wide area. Men died from thirst, disease or native attack, and were buried where the fell. Horses, especially those from New Zealand, died by the score, and their bones and the wreckage of the drays together with the lonely graves marked the new track as tragic milestones. Along the track from Derby, Russian Jack set out with his ungainly wheelbarrow loaded with provisions. In a particularly difficult section about thirty miles from Halls Creek he found a sick and worn out prospector. Succoured, he was placed with his swag on Russian Jack's barrow and carried to safety. By this act Russian Jack endeared himself to a generation of men and ensured himself an unlooked-for fame and immortality that has become the epitome on the concept of mateship in Australia. This is his story.

$22.00 + POSTAGE


Three Families Outback in Australia's Tropic North

By Florence Martin, 1980 reprint of 2007, Soft Cover, 107pp, Illustrated.
The story of the families on Carlton Hill, Ningbing, and Legune Stations in the early 1900s.

$22 + Postage


The Voice of the North

By Jim Kelly, Soft Cover, 1993 New, 138pp.
A Kimberley classic of the collected bush poems of Jim Kelly. This collection of poems is the result of Jim's love of the bush and his time in cattle camps in the 1930s and 40s, some 60 years ago.

$16.50 + POSTAGE


Wyndham - with a ton of salt

By Ken Mellowship, 2004 new, Soft Cover, 53pp, Illustrated.
The people of Wyndham on the wharf and at the meat works, the characters and their foibles. A series of sketches of life in a forgotten town with sidelights on the Territory and PNG during the late ‘50s and early ‘60s.



Books of the Kimberleys Order Form

Please note that all fields followed by an asterisk must be filled in.
First Name*
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Please select checkboxes of books you wish to order;*
A -Challenge & The Chance
B -Customs & Traditions of the Aboriginal Native of NW Australia
C -Do not yield to Despair
D -Flight of Diamonds
E -History of the NW of Australia
F -Journal of the Brockman Droving Expedition
G -Kimberley Scenes
H -Metamorphosis of A Race
I -Northern Patrol
J -Nor'Westers of the Pilbara Breed
K -Pearls and Pearling Life
L -The Price of the Pearl
M -Rivers of the Kimberley
N -Russian Jack
O -Tales of the Overland
P -Three Families outback in Australia's Tropic North
Q -Voice of the North
R -Wyndham with a ton of salt

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