Tag Archives: derby

The Gibb River Road (End)

The end of the day came at our campsite at Windjana Gorge by the campfire.

Windjana Gorge

It was made even more spectacular against the backdrop of the gorge. It became my final picture of the day.

Windjana Gorge

The final day, we made our way back to Highway One, although there were still a few sights to see along the way, like this very long cattle trough at Myalls Bore.

Myalls bore and cattle trough

By morning tea we were back on the Indian Ocean at Derby – a sleepy town compared to Broome with a long jetty, mud flats and 10 metre tides.

Old jetty/wharf

Derby coast

And by afternoon tea, we were back in Broome and ‘civilisation’ and the end of our fortnight in the Kimberley. I hope you enjoyed the journey. It was certainly more than a series of grand landscapes – it was a place of rich and deep history, too.

Jandamarra’s Path – Part 1

Our last stop the Oscar and Napier ranges, and our trip came full circle. The Napier Range downstream runs through Geikie Gorge on our first day on the road. This time around, we learned how each place related to the custodians of the land, the Bunuba people, and particularly learned about the history of their leader, Jandamarra.

Jandamarra was born in the 1870s just as the first pastoralists were setting up cattle stations in Bunuba country. He grew up being at ease in both camps, black and white, but many of his people weren’t so lucky and fell foul of white law which they didn’t understand. Blackfella law states that you are to share everything that you have, while white law is built around knowing whose property is whose. So the first people incarcerated for ‘cattle rustling’ were probably breaking the law unknowingly. They were chained and jailed in places like Lillimooloora homestead (now in ruins), where there was a makeshift police station.

Lillimooloora Police Station

Then they were marched 113km to Derby, where they were housed in the prison boab outside of town…

Boab prison tree

Or in the open air prison in Derby itself.

Old Derby prison

Jandamarra, who worked at Lillimooloora as a police tracker, must have seen some deplorable things done to his people.