Derby and Fitzroy Crossing

Australia, Western Australia Add comments

An Aboriginal in Fitzroy Crossing carving a Boab nutThe Prison Boab Tree on the road into DerbyFitzroy Crossing was our first stop on the bitumen after completing our almost three week trek across the Gibb River Road.  Fitzroy is pretty much an Aboriginal community along the Great Northern Highway, a stop for people driving the stretch between Kununurra and Broome.  Fitzroy Crossing earns its name from being located alongside the Fitzroy River, one of Australia’s largest rivers, at points being more than 15 kilometers wide during the wet season.  We stayed at one of the few caravan parks in Fitzroy, which also happened to be located behind the only pub in town.  It’s illegal for liquor to be sold in Fitzroy prior to 12:00PM, at 11:45AM we noticed a sudden influx of taxis dropping off Aboriginals around the entrance to the pub, where it seems almost the entire town of Fitzroy Crossing as well as stockmen from the surrounding cattle stations spend their Saturday afternoons.  We didn’t The Tank driving on the wharf in Derbyhave much to do except change a tire on The Tank so joined the fray at the Crossing Inn, at times being the only two white faces amongst the 100+ patrons at the bar.  We enjoyed watching a fantastic game of footy between the Western Bulldogs and West Coast Eagles as well as some quite interesting conversations during the afternoon, definitely an eye-opening but quite fun experience!

Lisa at the end of the Derby wharf with some local Aboriginal women fishing for dinnerOur final stop before spending some time in Broome was Derby, a small port town located at the mouth of the Fitzroy River.  Derby has the largest tidal range in the world, the ocean at the port moves a massive 12 meters during peak tides!  We took a drive to the port as the tide was rising and were amazed at the speed with which the water was rising, boulders on the shoreline would disappear underwater before our eyes.  The water moved so quickly that the tidal movement was creating huge wakes around the supports for the jetty, it was like watching the water move up the beach in fast forward.  The Kimberley is home to quite a number of mineral leases, the pier at Derby sees two cargo ships filled every day with nickel and uranium from the nearby mines.

A cargo ship (right) coming in for a load of mineralsThe Derby wharfThe Derby wharf


This entry was posted on Sunday, August 9th, 2009 at 2:24 PM and is filed under Australia, Western Australia. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.

  • Next...

      A couple of months cruising up Australia's east coast...