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Derby Western Australia

Located on the vast King Sound, the town is a gateway to the Western Kimberley Region. The town boasts a diverse and unique natural surrounding.

At a Glance

One of the most noticeable features, reflected as the town's icon, are the hundreds of 'Boab Trees' that rise from the dusty landscape, practically everywhere you look.

Derby Western Australia

Where is Derby?


Derby is 2643 kilometres north-east of Perth.

Derby is situated in the northern area of Australia's North West tourist region. Derby faces north to the Timor Sea and is on the mud flats of King Sound on an isolated stretch of coastline. Derby is the nearest town to the magnificent Buccaneer Archipelago. One of the best ways to get to Derby is to hire a car from Perth Airport or flying to Derby Airport.

Derby Western Australia

Things to see in Derby


Buccaneer Archipelago

Enjoy a sea safari or camp out under the stars on remote island beaches. Make sure that you take an aerial flight or boat trip to see the unique horizontal waterfalls, where the high tidal range of the area forces water to be fiercely sucked through openings between neighboring islands.

Buccaneer Archipelago Derby

Image © Garry Norris Photography


Gibb River Road

This road follows the Gibb River and leads to the National Parks containing spectacular gorges. Take your time to appreciate the area as you will be amazed at the diversity of native Australian wildlife and the raw peace and quiet will bring you into harmony with the natural surroundings.

Gibb River Road Derby

Image © Tourism Western Australia


Gorges and Waterfalls

It is said that the real Australia begins at Derby. It is close to some interesting and unique natural attractions such as the fascinating Devonian Reef Gorges of Windjana and Tunnel Creek which are only a few hours away along the Gibb River Road or on a boat cruise along the rivers. 

Gorges and Waterfalls Derby

Image © Tourism Western Australia


River Systems

Derby is situated on a river delta at the base of King Sound. The mighty Fitzroy River feeds into the ocean to the West and the May, Meda and Lennard Rivers meet the ocean east of Derby. These are wild rivers, meandering through some of the most rugged terrain in Australia.

River Systems Derby

Image © Tourism Western Australia

What's the weather like?


Derby has a Tropical climate which is pleasant for most of the year. With warm Winters and hot, humid Summers, the temperature is hardly ever cold. The warm, torrential rain is a great feature of the wet season if you like a good lightning show. In Summer (December to February), the average maximum temperature is 36°C with an average minimum temperature of 25°C. In Winter (June to August), the average maximum temperature is 32°C with an average minimum temperature of 18°C.

Tropical Cyclones are a prevalent part of this region between December and April. It is essential that you understand the steps and the procedures in place for Tropical Cyclones when entering this beautiful part of the world.

Get to know Derby's history


The coastline around Derby was first explored in 1688 and was followed later by Phillip Parker King who, from 1818 to 1822 explored the region and named King Sound, on which Derby is currently located. It wasn't until 1879 that any European settlement of the area occurred. Isolation and harsh conditions had combined to ensure that only the most tenacious of pastoralists and workers came to the area.

In 1883 a grid pattern was laid out for roads and Derby was born. A Jetty was built in 1885 and the area began exporting wool products and the establishment of cattle ranches followed. The town's name was bestowed in honour of the British Secretary of state at the time.

Looking for visitor and tourist information, maps and brochures, booking assistance and local expert tips in Derby? Check out the Derby Visitor Centre!