So you’ve got the best off-road family caravan and are looking for the best beaches and tourist attractions for your next trip. Don’t miss out on Derby, one of only three Kimberley towns with over 2,000 residents. From eye-opening Aboriginal history to Australia’s highest tides, Derby definitely delivers. If you’re ready to explore back roads and get lost in this beautiful part of the world, then Derby is a great starting point for memorable travels.
WELCOME TO DERBY
Derby is situated about 2,375 kilometres from Perth in the northern part of the state. If you head northeast from Perth, it will take around 25 hours, but you can split the trip up along National Highway 95 and National Highway 1. Nestled on the edge of King Sound, Derby has 11m high tides and the Fitzroy River’s outflow. Known for the annual Derby Boab Festival and surrounded by mangrove swamps and mudflats, Derby has a dedicated visitor’s centre where you can book tours and learn more about the local area.
Before you head out for caravan day trips from Derby, make sure you stop at the Boab Prison Tree. This magnificent tree is thought to be upwards of 1,500 years old and is more than 14m in diameter. Known as Kunumudj, this site is culturally significant for the Nyikina people.
One of the must-see sights near Derby is the Devonian Reefs. This Australian protected area is about 180km or over 2.5 hours’ drive from Derby, making it a great day trip the entire family can enjoy. The Balili Conservation Park or Devonian Reef Conservation Park highlights the region’s amazing history. This land was once covered by a limestone reef and shallow sea during the Devonian Period at least 360 million years ago. The reef’s extinction led to the amazing landforms that make this a bucket list destination.
FITZROY RIVER FISHING
Another fun caravan day trip from Derby is the Fitzroy River. It runs south of Derby throughout the Kimberley and is the last major habitat for the endangered sawfish. Check out Willare Bridge where Barra gather in the river’s deep pools. You could also catch Cherabin, but they are more challenging to hook in the river’s fast water flow and steep banks. 4WD vehicles can handle the river’s rugged conditions, but always remember to check the weather and tide conditions to ensure it’s safe. Don’t forget to watch out for saltwater crocodiles too.
Often called one of the greatest wonders of the natural world, the Horizontal Falls are a sight to behold. The tidal flows on the coast create waterfalls with the ebb and flow of each tide. Located on the Buccaneer Archipelago, these unbelievable waterfalls are nestled within Talbot Bay in the coastal McLarty Ranges. Water rushes horizontally through a 300-metre gap between two gorges, bringing this unique natural wonder to life. Helicopter tours give you the best vantage point to check out the beloved “Horries” throughout the Lalang-garram/ Horizontal Falls Marine Park. You can book tours from Derby or Broome if you head up that way.