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Kunumudj, the Boab "Prison" Tree


Kunumudj, also known as the Boab Prison Tree, is a specimen of Adansonia gregorii located 6 km south of Derby in Western Australia. It is a culturally significant site for the local Nyikina and Warrwa people (who also refer to boabs as larrgadiy). It also has historical value for the early settlement of Derby. It is an ancient tree, believed to be over 1,500 years old. 

The tree is hollow in the middle and has an impressive girth of over 14 metres. It has been used in the past by First Australians and settlers as a resting place, and is a registered Aboriginal Site on the WA State Heritage Register.

The tree is said to have been used as a holding place for Aboriginal prisoners being transported to the gaol at Derby, hence its name, however this was a misrepresentation by an Albany Advertiser journalist in the late 1940s. In fact, researchers are now pushing for the Kimberley icon to be correctly named.

The illustrated story boards on the approach to Kunumudj give a great insight into the tree's history. This iconic tree is well worth a visit for travellers visiting the Kimberley.

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