Boab Prison Tree Rd, Off Derby Highway, Derby, 6728
The Boab Prison Tree, also known as Kunumudj is believed to be 1,500 years old.
This remarkable tree has a circumference of over 14 metres and has an oblong slit in the bark, through which the hollow centre is visible - this is common among older boab trees when the soft spongy trunk tissue dies off, causing the trunk to become hollow.
The Boab Prison Tree is a culturally significant site for the local Nyikina and Warrwa people and is also important in the story of the early settlement of Derby and the region’s pastoral industry. It is known to have been used for several different purposes - accounts from the early 1900’s indicate that the tree had been in use by local Aboriginal people, whether as a resting place or a sacred place is unclear. The tree and adjacent Myalls Bore were also the last overnight stop for local pastoralists droving cattle to the port at Derby. The Boab prison tree is also said to have been used as a prison, or as a holding area for Aboriginal prisoners being transported long distances to the gaol at Derby.
Interpretative signage at the entrance to the Boab Prison Tree provides more information on the history, natural environment and Aboriginal heritage of the site and its surrounds.
The Prison Tree is a registered Aboriginal Site and is on the WA State Heritage Register. Visitors are requested to respect the cultural sensitivity of the site and not climb into or approach close to the tree.