Doing Derby

Derby Jetty Sunset

DOING DERBY – Western End of the Gibb River Road

Whether your Kimberley Adventure starts or ends in Derby, spend some time discovering what makes the coastal township of Derby so special! Amazing sunsets, fascinating history, and Aboriginal Culture will keep you in awe of the area during your visit to this unique part of remote Australia. As the main access point to the Gibb River Road; Windjana Gorge; Tunnel Creek; and the islands of the Buccaneer Archipelago – Derby provides a base for discovering nearby attractions.

Despite the isolation and harsh conditions, pastoralists settled in the area, and Derby was borne as a small town to service the area. In 1885 a wooden jetty was built, which serviced the pastoral areas and those who flocked to Western Australia for the gold rush. The Gibb River Road was developed for outback station owners to drove their cattle to Derby or Broome, or Wyndham in the north.

Horizontal Falls Seaplane Adventure

Book ahead, so as to be sure not to miss this thrilling adventure! A 14 seat jet seaplane will fly you from Derby to the Horizontal Falls, over the amazingly beautiful Buccaneer Archipelago. A heart-stopping 900hp boat will zoom you through the Falls, and then take you on a relaxing cruise around the bays. Swim in the blue water of Talbot Bay within the safety of a marine enclosure, and enjoy a delicious meal onboard the moored houseboat. Save your pennies for this must-do Kimberley experience.

Boab Prison

Recognised today as a ‘site of significance’ to the Aboriginal people, prior to 1883 and the establishment of Derby, Aboriginal people were kidnapped by Blackbirders, wanting divers for the pearling industry. The Boab Prison was a holding point while waiting for the pearling boats to arrive. You will also hear the magical story of Jandamarra, the daring Aborigine who outwitted the local police and used Tunnel Creek in the Napier Range as his hideout. Take a torch and water shoes when visiting this local attraction, not far from spectacular Windjana Gorge, both a day trip out of Derby.

Derby Jetty

An absolute attraction for late in the day is the Derby Jetty, where you can sit in your camp chair and watch Mother Nature’s colourful show. The ocean seems to vanish flat, revealing mudflats and rock, but then comes flooding back into the coast with tides of over 11metres. North-west Australia has a large continental shelf, stretching hundreds of kilometres out towards Indonesia, which is why the Kimberley tides are among the largest in the world – so much to see and experience in Derby, which is why this area is such a great tourist destination.