Wharfinger House Museum

Muddy waters

Situated on the edge of the Derby marsh, surrounded by the iconic boab trees of this region, stands the Wharfinger House Museum. Built in the 1920s, it is situated in the former home of the manager of Derby’s jetty (Wharfinger). Its eclectic collection, developed from donations by West Kimberley residents and government departments, reflects the changing history of the region with a focus on the importance of Derby as the former primary port for exports and a regional administrative and communications centre of the north west. As a consequence, many Aboriginal groups came to live and work at Boodolar, the Warrwa and Nyikina name for Derby. In its modest way, the Museum seeks to honour their cultural stories and contributions to the region.


3 Elder Street
Derby WA 6728

Opening Hours

Accessible by collecting the key from the Derby Visitor Centre at 30 Loch St

Connecting the Kimberley to Australia

Hands on! This is one of the most popular items on display. Many may have forgotten that Derby, not Broome, was the regional administrative centre for the West Kimberley, including host to the...

Innovator and leader

One of the museum’s most dedicated supporters is Sam Lovell OA—songman, drover, croc hunter, stockman, saddler, gardener, road maker, tour guide and passionate resident of Derby and the West Kimberley...

Aboriginal watercraft

The Saltwater people of the Kimberly made this canoe, from locally sourced bark. It was suited to the calmer waters of the north Kimberley inlets and bays, whereas the more stable raft was adapted to...

More North West collections

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Kings in Grass Castles

Stone by stone, the Argyle Homestead was moved from its original site,now under the waters of the ‘top dam’ on the Ord River, to its current home on the edge of Lake Argyle. It was the former home of...

Not forgotten – the story of Wyndham

Sitting at the confluence of five rivers on the Cambridge Gulf, lies the old town of Wyndham, the most northerly port of Western Australia. After the great cattle treks by Nat Buchanan and the Duracks...

Collecting the Kimberley through art

Since its inception as an educational campus for Kimberley communities, the University of Notre Dame’s campus in Broome has also been committed to collecting and exhibiting the art generated from...

While you're in the area

Derby Lodge
Derby Lodge
Derby Lodge welcomes you to their oasis in the heart of the Kimberley's...
15-19 Clarendon Street, Derby, WA 6728
Derby Jetty
Derby Jetty
Located north of the Derby town site, the jetty experiences the biggest...
via Jetty Road, Derby, WA 6728
Galvans Gorge
Galvans Gorge
Galvans Gorge is the most accessible gorge along the legendary Gibb River...
Galvans Way, Derby, WA 6728
Pigeon Heritage Trail
Pigeon Heritage Trail
Discover the intriguing story of the legendary Aboriginal tracker and...
Derby Gibb River Road, Derby, WA 6728