On the way to Derby from Broome, about 4 miles (7 km) from the town, there is a sign to a “Boab Prison Tree”. A track leads you to is a very large 1500 year old hollow boab tree.
In the 1890s, it was used as a lockup for aboriginal prisoners on their way to Derby for sentencing. The tree is hollow, with an incredible 46 foot (14 metres) in circumference!
Aboriginals used the giants as shelter, food and medicine. For the white settlers they served as easily recognisable land marks and meeting points as well as impromptu prison cells. There are quite a few “prison trees” in the Kimberley.
For the Aboriginal people, every boab tree is unique. They have character and personality. Some boab trees are 1500-1600 years old or more. This makes them the oldest living beings in Australia, and puts them amongst the oldest in the world.
Tags: Flowers and plants