Thoughts on Location No 80
Broome, Kimberley, Western Australia
As one of the gateways to the Kimberley region of Western Australia, specifically the remote far north-west of this big beautiful country, we had quite a few things on our list to do and see when we rolled into Broome. We knew we’d be staying more than one or two nights.
It’s just (very) unfortunate that we arrived when we did, because the wet season, a season that didn’t arrive this year I must add, heralds the close of many attractions, and a time when tour operators choose to close their doors.
As it turns out, we were in Broome for eight days, and as much as our days were full, here’s a list of things we didn’t do.
We didn’t take a tour to Horizontal Falls. The falls themselves are not an area where water cascades down a cliff face, but rather a natural phenomenon that sees tidal waters rushing horizontally between two cliff faces.
Described by Sir David Attenborough as:
“Australia’s most unusual natural wonder.”
How could we not have a trip to the falls on our ‘must do’ list?
Not for one moment did we consider that tour operators would not be – well – operating. There was no mention of ‘seasonal’ operations when I had last checked their websites. Perhaps I should have called, but it’s all too late now.
As a result of not touring Horizontal Falls, we didn’t visit Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm either. Given any other road conditions, we could have driven to the farm, however, with a distance of over 200 kilometres (124.4 miles), including over 90 kilometres of unsealed road (55.1 miles), couped with travelling solo (AKA – just the two of us), we decided it would be best to not make that trip.
What we did was take a cruise in Roebuck Bay to see the Snubfin Dolphins, we visited the Willie Creek Pearl Farm, and then went to the Malcolm Douglas Crocodile Park.
(Click here to read my previous thoughts on all three of these.)
We didn’t ride camels along Cable Beach. Though rides were operating and available for sunrise, early afternoon, and sunset, I had my heart set on a sunset ride but was unable to secure a seat during our stay. This was/is a very popular tourist activity.
We did see the camels walking the beach at sunset and as we were staying at Cable Beach, we saw a few sunsets, though there was never any cloud and the sky was always devoid of the myriad of colours we’d been told about.
We didn’t see the Staircase to the Moon. This event occurs at extreme low tides when the full moon rises across the water on the other side of Roebuck Bay. With the Moon’s reflection visible in the mudflats it creates the illusion of a staircase – right up to the Moon.
In Broome, the Moon rises in the best location between March and October, and I know we were there in February, when the Moon rises over the land, BUT … I thought IF there was clear skies, and IF the tide was low enough, I could still witness the reflection across the mudflats.
The tide was extremely low, the Moon was very full, and the skies to the east bursting to overflowing with big, black clouds – three nights in a row. The only three night I ‘might’ have been able to see something. My friends who know how much I love the Moon will appreciate how disappointed I was.
We did go to look and I captured the amazing image featured above with the light from a ship in port reflected in the mudflats. At least it gave me something to dream about and a reason to return one day (perhaps) to see the Moon’s reflection.
We stayed at the Palm Grove Holiday Resort. With an off-season offer of ‘pay three, stay four’, we quickly settled in for four nights because there was so much we were going to do, even though it turned out that we did other things.
We knew our tyres were getting ‘old’, so we dropped in to speak to a Tyrepower Pro. “You’ll have to get new ones!” He told us. Perhaps we should have done that before we left Perth, but we didn’t. As our specific tyres had to be sent from – you guessed it, Perth – we stayed another four nights waiting for them to arrive.
Considering all the things we didn’t do, we did have a few days of lazing around the pool. Not too many though, the sun was cruel and the water in the pool 36°C (96.8°F) most days. We did give the caravan air-conditioner a good work out and enjoyed a few midday siestas waiting for the heat to tone down at the end of the day.
Given any other choice, I think we might have left Broome sooner, but it wasn’t so bad being there for eight days. We’re just glad the tyres arrived when they did and we didn’t have to stay longer.
Dean and I left Broome five days ago and have been in a telecommunications black hole ever since. I’ll catch up on what we’ve been doing over the next few days.