After a wonderful nights sleep we wake up early to get on the road. We head up to Derby just up the road. We stop and take a break. While Ann is making a call we look at the Boab trees.
Adansonia gregorii, commonly known as the boab, it is a tree in the family Malvaceae. As with other baobabs, it is easily recognised by the swollen base of its trunk, which gives the tree a bottle-like appearance. Endemic to Australia, boab occurs in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, and east into the Northern Territory. It is the only baobab to occur in Australia, the others being native to Madagascar (six species) and mainland Africa and the Arabian Peninsula (two species).
Boab ranges from 5 to 15 meters, usually between 9 and 12 metres, with a broad bottle-shaped trunk. Its trunk base may be extremely large; trunks with a diameter of over five meters have been recorded. Baobab is deciduous, losing its leaves during the dry winter period and producing new leaves and large white flowers between December and May.
The plant has a wide variety of uses; most parts are edible and it is the source of a number of materials. Its medicinal products and the ability to store water through dry seasons has been exploited.
Indigenous Australians obtained water from hollows in the tree, and used the white powder that fills the seed pods as a food. Decorative paintings or carvings were sometimes made on the outer surface of the fruit. The leaves were used medicinally.
A large hollow boab south of Derby, Western Australia is reputed to have been used in the 1890s as a lockup for Aboriginal prisoners on their way to Derby for sentencing. The Boab Prison Tree, Derby is now a tourist attraction.
The Boab Prison Tree, Derby is a large hollow Adansonia gregorii (Boab) tree just south of Derby, Western Australia. It is reputed to have been used in the 1890s as a lockup for Indigenous Australian prisoners on their way to Derby for sentencing. It is now a tourist attraction and we decide to go visit it while we are in Derby.
The Gibb River Road is a former cattle route that stretches almost 660 kilometres through The Kimberley between the Western Australian town of Derby and the Kununurra and Wyndham junction of the Great Northern Highway. Like its namesake, which does not actually cross the road but runs nearby. It is named after geologist and explorer Andrew Gibb Maitland. The Gibb River Road is one of the two major roads which dissect the Kimberley region—the other being the extreme northern section of Great Northern Highway which runs further to the south.
The road is often closed due to flooding during the wet season, which is typically November through March, although delayed openings have been known to happen, frustrating the tourism industry as well as locals who rely on the road. Since the mid-2000s, the road has been upgraded to a formed gravel two-lane road including bitumenised sections, but 4WD vehicles are still recommended.
The Gibb River Road has scenic views of geological formations and natural scenery, aboriginal and pastoral history, as well as rare and unique fauna and flora.
Geikie Gorge (known locally as Darngku) is a feature of the Napier Range and is located within the grounds of Geikie Gorge National Park, in the Kimberley Region of Western Australia. Believed to be one of the best-known and most easily accessed, the gorge is named in honour of Sir Archibald Geikie, the Director General of Geological Survey for Great Britain and Ireland when it was given its European name in 1883.
Along with Tunnel Creek and Windjana Gorge, Geikie Gorge is part of an ancient barrier reef that developed during the Devonian Period. The walls of the gorge are 30 metres high. The eight kilometer gorge was created by the flowing waters of the Fitzroy River, which still flows through the region and the wildlife present in the Gorge includes: the freshwater crocodile, Leichhardt's sawfish and Coach-whip stingrays. Remind me not to swim there for sure!
Mitchell River National Park is a national park in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. The park adjoins the northern boundary of the Prince Regent Nature Reserve. The nearest towns are Derby which is 350 kilometers to the southwest and Wyndham which is 270 km to the southeast. Access to the park is achieved by 4WD only along the Mitchell Plateau Track from the Kalumburu Road. The two main features of the park are Mitchell Falls and Surveyors Pool.
The park is biologically significant and contains over 50 species of mammal, 220 birds and 86 amphibians and reptiles, including the Saltwater Crocodile, King Brown snake and Taipan.
Pseudechis australis, the common king brown, mulga snake or Pilbara cobra, is a species of venomous snake found in Australia. It is one of the longest venomous snakes in the world and the second longest in Australia. Despite one of its common names, "king brown", it is part of the Pseudechis (black snake) genus.
Mulga snakes are large, venomous snakes growing up to 2.5 to 3.0 m (8.2 to 9.8 ft) in length in the largest specimens, although 1.5 m (4.9 ft) is a more typical length for an average adult.
The mulga snake venom consists of neurotoxin. The LD50 is 2.38 mg/kg subcutaneous. Its venom is not particularly toxic to mice, but it is produced in huge quantities. The average tiger snake produces around 10–40 mg when milked. By comparison, a large king brown snake may deliver 150 mg in one bite.
Black snake antivenom is used to treat bites from this species, after a CSL venom detection kit has returned a conclusive result for mulga snake envenomation, and there are signs that antivenom use is required. The mulga snake primarily preys on lizards, birds, mammals and frogs. It is well adapted to eating other snakes, including all venomous snakes.
King Brown Snake
You can see the length in this picture.
The Taipan is a genus of large, fast-moving and highly venomous Australasian snakes of the elapid family. There are currently three recognized species, one of which, the coastal taipan, has two subspecies.
Species of this genus possess highly neurotoxic venom with some other toxic constituents which have multiple effects on victims. The venom is known to paralyze victim's nervous system and clot the blood which then blocks blood vessels and uses up clotting factors. Members of this genus are considered to be among the most venomous land snakes based on their murine LD50, an indicator of the toxicity on mice. The inland taipan is considered to be the most venomous land snake and the coastal taipan, which is arguably the largest Australian venomous snake, is the third most venomous land snake. The central ranges taipan has been less researched than other species of this genus, so the exact toxicity of its venom is still not clear, but it may be even more venomous than the other taipan species. Apart from venom toxicity, quantities of venom delivered should also be taken into account for the danger posed. The coastal taipan is capable of injecting a large quantity of venom due to its large size.
Temperament also varies from species to species. The inland taipan is generally shy while the coastal taipan can be quite aggressive when cornered and will actively defend itself.
We stop for the night at the Mitchell Plateau Camping area. Thank goodness that we were able to find enough areas in the quiet area of the camp. Even though there are toilets I'm so going to make sure there are no snakes near us! I'm not afraid of snakes but these two snakes make me concerned!
Well it's off the sleep for me. I'm so tired from the day.