Derby is known as “The First Town In The Kimberley”…
The Kennedy Development Road (Min Min Byway) runs from Boulia to Winton it is a fully sealed one lane road it is 361km in length. It is a spectacular drive which takes you through the foothills of the Lilleyvale Hills (Cawnpore Lookout). There are many historical sites along the way to stop and relive the history of the area.
Our first stop was Hamilton Hotel site the hotel was demolished after the owners left and all that remains is the open fireplace. There is an amenities block, shelted area and tables. Next was the Min Min Hotel site where the first reported sighting of the Min Min Light was in the early 1890’s. The hotel was destroyed by fire in early 1900’s there is nothing left of the building. There are 2 graves at the site. One is that of Mrs Lilley who was related to the original hotel proprietor. The hotel was known for being the watering hole of murderers and unsavoury people and it is said the lights are the spirits of these people. Just after leaving here I had a puncture so it was out with the trusty puncture kit and a quick fix to get back on the road.
The Cawnpore Lookout in the Lilleyvale Hills was stunning it has spectacular panoramic views of the surrounding hills. Next stop the Middleton Hotel it was built in 1876 it was the first and last hotel standing out of 8 hotels built on the Winton-Boulia road. You can stop here for a meal, drinks and fuel is available. There’s an old Cobb & Co Coach out front, the coach would take 4 days to complete the one way trip and the last coach was run in 1912. Across the road from the hotel is another place to stop and rest under the shade with tables. Then on to Winton. A great drive with plenty of places to stop and marvel at how hard it must have been for the explorers to cross this country all those years ago.