Fitzroy Crossing – Overview & Things to See and Do
Fitzroy Crossing is located on the tremendous Fitzroy River, one of the last untamed rivers in Australia and has become an overnight rest stop and supply centre for travelers.
Fitzroy Crossing has a population of approximately 1500 people and is close to some spectacular National Parks. For those driving south it is the last township before hitting the major centres of Broome and Derby. The town is a service centre for some of the biggest and best pastoral properties in Australia. The Fitzroy river itself is one of the world’s largest. Like many rivers in The Kimberley, the Fitzroy is a quiet riverbed of water holes in the late dry season, then becomes a raging torrent during the wet, flooding to nearly 10 kilometres wide at some points. In extreme cases the road can be cut for weeks at a time.
Fitzroy Crossing offers hotels, motels, backpackers and caravan parks. The Fitzroy River Lodge & Caravan Park, located on the banks of the river, is reputed to have one of the best campsites in northwestern Australia. The Crossing Inn is the original hotel in Fitzroy, and has the oldest licensed pub in the Kimberley. There is also a supermarket in town supplying all the basics. Fuel and vehicle repairs are also available.
The town of Fitzroy Crossing was originally established as a crossing point on the river. Prior to 1935, travelers had to ford the river during the dry or low water levels. Several phases of bridge construction over the next 40 years made the crossing easier, but the low bridge was often closed for months during the floods, stranding travelers at the crossing. With the new higher bridge built in 1974, crossing the river is not the drama it used to be. Today, the town of Fitzroy Crossing is located south of the original crossing and old town site.
Things to See and Do
A visit to the legendary Crossing Inn built in 1897 as a shanty inn and trade store for long distance travelers is a must. Other original buildings still stand including the original Post Office (now a backpackers) and parts of the Police Station. There is also a pioneer cemetery that holds the remains of many local personalities.
Fitzroy Crossing has become an overnight rest stop and supply centre for travelers, and is the major access point to Geikie Gorge, Windjana Gorge and Tunnel Creek National Parks.