Sheep loose in the main street of Derby

Sheep on the run

Few may remember that it was sheep, not cattle, that were brought to the rich pastures along the Fitzroy River in the 1880s. Since that time Derby has been the regional centre and port for the west Kimberley. Tons of wool as well as live sheep were exported from the jetty. The sheep were mustered and drovers brought them to the jetty via the Myall Bore and the one mile dinner camp on the edge of the marsh. Occasionally things didn't go to plan, and the sheep went their own way, as in this image, in which they are fleeing through the town!

Available at:

Shire of Derby / West Kimberley Library - local studies collection

Muddy Waters

Named after the Earl of Derby, the town has a rich colonial history as the first regional and administrative centre, supporting the sheep and cattle stations of the west Kimberley. Keeper of this...


Clarendon Street
Derby WA 6728

Open Hours
Mon, Tues, Wed & Fri 9.30am - 12pm; Thurs 1 - 5pm; Sat 10am – 12pm

More from the Shire of Derby / West Kimberley Library - local studies collection

Valued skills

Larry Kunamarra, a Bunuba man, once ran with Jandamarra and his gang through the Napier and Wunaanim-Miliwudi Ranges. After finally being shot and captured, Larry, like Jandamarra, became a valued...

Namarali, the great wandjina

Namarali is one of the greatest and most powerful Wandjinas of the Worrorra people, characterised by a halo of several lines and a shell pendant on his chest. The feared Wandjina, who enforces the law...

While you're in the area

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Lovegrove Street, Derby, WA 6728
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Wharfinger's House Museum
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Corner Elder and Loch Streets, Derby, WA 6728
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Corner of Derby Highway and Worsley Road, Derby, WA 6728
Mt Elizabeth Station Stay
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Derby-Gibb River Road, Derby, WA 6728