Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Kununurra to Derby

Our last day at Kununurra was spent at the pool and enjoying a fabulous lakeside lunch.

Fish gathered alongside the balcony and enthusiastically shared our lunch with us.

The views from our table were magnificent!

That evening there was a fundraiser burger barbecue and entertainer at the park, followed by some socialising with other travelers.  It was a perfect end to our stay in Kununurra with the exception of having to say goodbye to our friend Larry who was a frequent visitor to our campsite.

Larry The Lizard

I said in my last post that I would try to remember to photograph a boab tree to add to the blog.  Little did I know that our drive to Derby would present the perfect opportunity ...  or three. 

We drove toward Derby stopping for a break and some fuel at Halls Creek.  We'd heard that Halls Creek isn't a good spot to spend the night and drove another hour  to a free camping spot at Mary River.  Mary River was fantastic.  It was much larger than we expected - there would have been approx 50 caravans/campers there.  Set beside the river were BBQs, picnic tables, bathrooms, shady sites and lots of camaraderie. 

As we drove along the following morning we came across this beautiful boab tree at one of the rest stops.

On the outskirts of Derby we passed a sign for a tourist attraction, "The Boab Prison Tree".  Intrigued by it's name, we went to have a look.  It turns out that before Derby was established (in 1883) Aboriginal people were kidnapped by settlers in the pearling industry to be used as labor.  The kidnappers, known as Blackbirders, would round them up and march them, in chains, to the coast.  Some were held in the Boab Prison Tree to wait for a boat to the pearling region.

By 1887 a prison was built in Derby (5 Km away) where hundreds of Aboriginals were held over the next few decades.  Most had been charged with killing and eating livestock.

The Boab Prison Tree
As we drove into Derby we passed these leafless boabs which illustrate what I meant when I said that boabs look like they're growing  upside down with their roots in the air.  The boab nuts are carved when used in Aboriginal art.

We've only spent one full day in Derby, and our favourite part of it was the wharf.  There are huge 11 meter tides here.  At low tide the wharf appears to be raised up high on stilts.

As the tide came in the fishing rods came out and the stilts disappeared (as did the fish when they saw me coming!)

Although we were unlucky with the fish, we were very lucky to be on the wharf to see the beautiful sunset.

We easily could have spent more time in this area exploring the Gibb River Road and gorges.  It seems that the longer we travel and the more people we talk to the more there is to see.  We're pretty gorged out at this point and are looking forward to some beach camping.  Tomorrow we're heading to Broome to spend some time at beautiful Cable Beach. 

1 comment:

Missymaomao said...

Just to let you know we are still following you and enjoying every post. Gave Maggie a pat for you when I last saw him. I think he is having a great time being totally spoilt.
Kurt has moved to a new place. He now lives in a little old miners cottage of a hugh block of land that back onto the creek. It's the same creek thats behind us except it's on the opposite side of town.
It has been very cold here and we have had the best rainfall for 15 years. All the lakes are starting to fill so we may have boats back on the lake soon. You will be able to bring your canoes when you visit.
Love Marilyn and Allen