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Derby, WA, is an extraordinary corner of the planet and the gateway to one of the most beautiful regions imaginable – The Kimberley. And the great thing about Derby is that no matter how much, or little, time you have to explore, there’s plethora of exciting options to suit all ages and budgets.
The only problem you have to contend with is choosing which ones to visit….
Crocs, fossils and geological marvels at Windjana Gorge
Fancy seeing crocodiles as they bask in the sun? Then Windjana Gorge should definitely be on your ‘must-see’ list (and it’s OK, they’re freshies, not salties). The gorge is located in the Napier Range and is one of the best places in the world to view an exposed fossil reef complex, the Devonian Reef.
Another highlight is Tunnel Creek, a naturally formed tunnel measuring 750 metres in length. To traverse it is to enjoy a walk on the wild side, plunging through knee-deep pools as you negotiate the darkness (take a torch). Exhilarate in the adrenaline rush as you push forward towards the welcoming light at the end of the tunnel…
Birdwood Downs Station – a fascinating insight into strategic eco-management
A unique perspective into an incredible pastoral regeneration program that’s been 30 years in the making. After decades of misuse by humans (overgrazing and degraded) this 5,000 acre station has been transformed into a biodiverse and sustainable ecology through tactical and sensitive pasture management to wonderful effect. Visit, discover, camp, or simply take a horseback ride to explore, visit an ancient boab tree and lose yourself in the wonder of a stunning Kimberley sunset.
Horizontal Falls & The Kimberley – a unique experience not to be missed
Horizontal Falls are the only place in the world where you can visit a true horizontal waterfall. Described by David Attenborough as “it's one of the greatest natural wonders of the world”, they’re caused by tidal motion pushing the ocean water through a narrow break in the McLarty Ranges of hills, creating a plunging rush of white swirling water and whirlpools each time the tide turns. A true spectacle to behold.
The falls can be visited in a single day from Derby by seaplane, including a thrilling ride through the falls in a powerful speedboat. Even a short day tour gives a great overview of the stunning Kimberley, visiting the azure blue water location of Talbot Bay and its incredible marine life.
For those who have a little longer why not take advantage of an overnight tour with accommodation on a houseboat. If you’ve never experienced the stars at night in a truly dark sky location then prepare to be blown away…
The gateway to the legendary Gibb River Road
Perhaps the most famous 4WD adventure in Australia (if not the world), the Gibb River Road – or simply ,‘The Gibb,’ is a classic 660km track that heads through the heart of the Kimberley wilderness from Derby on the west coast to Kununurra (or Wyndham) on the eastern border of WA. This bucket list adventure takes some prior planning and certainly isn’t for the feint-hearted as it heads through some of the remotest landscape in Oz. But wow – it truly is a once-in-a-lifetime experience…!
Be welcomed by the indigenous Wunambal Gaambera People
The aboriginal corporation of Wunambal Gaambera welcome visitors with open arms to discover more about their culture and natural assets. Purchase the Uunguu Visitor Pass and visit approved visitor locations such as Punamii-Uunpuu (Mitchell Falls) – it’s a wonderful opportunity to understand more about Australia’s indigenous people and the deep connection they have with the landscape and natural phenomenon of the region. Doing so also provides an important contribution towards keeping these locations healthy and remain accessible for future generations to enjoy.
The Boab Festival
2019 saw the 58th annual Boab Festival take place in Derby, a unique two-week spectacular featuring events to suit all tastes – and we mean all! From a basketball carnival to float parade, music concerts, art displays, horse racing, speedway, family fun day, Aussie rules football, mud crab races (yes, really) and the classic evening out that is the Long Table Dinner, the festival is held each July and sees the town transform into a wonderful carnival location where visitors are made truly welcome.
These are just a handful of the wonders on offer in Derby and the surrounding area. For the best insider experience and the discovery of more intimate locations it’s essential to use the expertise of local guides. Horizontal Falls Adventures are the pioneering Horizontal Falls tour operator of the region and have been wowing visitors with their knowledge and expertise for decades.
To find out how this award winning company can help turn your visit into the trip of a lifetime give us a call on 08 9192 1172