The Prison Tree

The Prison Tree, believed to 1500 years old – in the language of the indigenous people, ‘Kunumudj’ – has a history nearly as striking as its appearance.

Boasting a circumference of over 14 metres, the historically significant Adansonia gregorii sits just off the Derby Highway in Western Australia, about seven kilometres from the port of Derby itself.

The Baobab is a culturally significant site for the local Nyikina and Warrwa people, and figures in the history of the early settlement of Derby and the region’s pastoral industry. Stories from the early 1900s indicate the tree had been in use by local Aboriginal people as either a resting or sacred place. Along with the nearby Myalls Bore, the tree was also the last overnight stop for local pastoralists droving cattle to the nearby port at Derby.

The Prison Tree is also said to have been used as a holding area for Aboriginal prisoners being transported long distances to the Derby gaol, and is now a registered Aboriginal site and on the WA State Heritage Register.

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