THE MAY RIVER
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.