THE MAY RIVER

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THE May River, north-east of Derby, has a cou­ple of spots worth in­ves­ti­gat­ing, es­pe­cially if you’re into fish­ing for bar­ra­mundi or cher­abin. To reach the best of the camp­ing spots, take the dirt road from the GRR (ap­prox. 40km from Derby) and head north to Meda Sta­tion. Travel six kilo­me­tres along this dirt road, veer­ing right where the road forks to reach the wide cross­ing of the river.

This isn’t nor­mally a prob­lem in the dry sea­son, though af­ter heavy rain this black-soil route can be boggy. The best spot to camp is near the cross­ing (GPS 17°22’14.6”S 124°01’37.3”E), but with a bit of ex­plor­ing you’ll find other spots wor­thy of throw­ing down the swag.

A rough track on the right – just be­fore the cross­ing – leads up­stream, but access to the long stretches of wa­ter­hole is dif­fi­cult be­cause the track is of­ten washed away. Nearby is a mon­u­ment to the Emanuel broth­ers, who first es­tab­lished this pas­toral prop­erty, one of the first in the re­gion, in 1882.

The Blue Holes can be found closer to the mouth of the May River (GPS 17°06’23.5”S 123°40’30.8”E). It’s a pop­u­lar spot for lo­cals to launch a boat and fish for bar­ra­mundi and a host of other es­tu­ar­ine species.

The access road can be found along the GRR, about 10km from Derby at the junc­tion of the track to the Bun­garun Abo­rig­i­nal Com­mu­nity.

It’s ap­prox­i­mately a 120km round trip from Derby to Blue Holes and Black Rock Light. There are some rea­son­able camp­ing spots close to the track – west of the Blue Holes and around to and be­yond the Black Rock Light. There are no fa­cil­i­ties and fresh wa­ter is non-ex­is­tent, but there can be plenty of sand­flies and mozzies. High tides can flood the tracks around Blue Holes and Black Rock Light, so take care as you don’t want to get bogged out here. Also be aware of salt­wa­ter croc­o­diles which in­habit this area and all the wa­ter­ways in the re­gion.

Black Rock Light. The Blue Holes at mouth of the the May River.

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