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Oceania » Australia » Western Australia » Broome
August 7th 2010
Published: August 8th 2010
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Sheik & Princess!Sheik & Princess!Sheik & Princess!

Akaba was not sure of his passengers!
Just 100 klm out of Broome and we were yet to find a caravan site! We had chosen not to put ourselves under pressure by booking too far in advance. Not just in Broome, but for the whole trip. Anyhow, Rhonda looked at her mobile and saw that there was a signal so she started calling. We were under the impression that we would get into overflow parks set up at PCYC or the Pistol Club if we couldn't get a site in a caravan park.

First call … ‘sorry, no sites’, second call … ‘sorry, no sites’, third call … ‘we can offer you four nights on an ensuite site and so we grabbed it immediately! To cut a long story short, we made a move to another ensuite site in the same park for a further ten nights. Phew, we had heard all the way along that many people give up on getting into Broome. It is the mecca for West Australians to holiday in winter and is heavily booked up to a couple of years ahead. By the way, the overflow sites are pretty ordinary.

We finally met up with David, Carole
Stairway to the MoonStairway to the MoonStairway to the Moon

Reflection of the moon on mud flats in Roebuck Bay.
and Kristie Small. They are travelling in the opposite direction to us so they go south when we head off to Derby. They have had a bit of bad luck on their trip. It began with damage to their van when they ran over a dead emu and poor Kris had a bout of gastro and finished up with a spell in the hospital in Fitzroy Crossing. In spite of all that they are having a ball.

Stairway to the Moon

Three or four nights a month when there is a full moonrise and a low tide, there is a phenomenon known as ‘The Stairway to the Moon’. It is brought about by the reflection of the moon on the mud flats of Roebuck Bay. Our first night in Broome was the third night of viewing for July.

The Golf club was close and we were told it was a good vantage point so off we went. There was a bit of cloud on the horizon so conditions were not ideal. It proved to be worth the effort and we got some good photos. The last night we saw from Town Beach and that was good too.
Camel ArtCamel ArtCamel Art

Just for fun. That's Akaba in the middle.
There was still a bit of cloud around but we enjoyed a good showing.

Cape Leveque

If you come to Broome, you go to Cape Leveque. Most people who have been here make that call so we decided to do it also. There are over 100 klms of very rough gravel road in the 200 klms journey and we were not keen to run the BMW over it so we booked a day tour. And boy were we pleased! The road is very rough and dusty. By the time the gravel part is over you feel like jelly for a while.

The first stop was at Beagle Bay, an aboriginal mission town that has a strong connection to the ‘stolen generation’. In the town there is a pretty white church that contains an alter that has been decorated extensively with Mother of Pearl shell.

Our next destination was on the other side of Cape Leveque at a place called Deep Water Point. We were met by Vincent, an aborigine, who took us off to chance our hands at mud crabbing. We were armed with a piece of thick fencing wire. One end
Experts ConsultExperts ConsultExperts Consult

Vincent and some bloke examine a catch.
was bent and formed into a hook whilst the other end was bent to form a handle. After walking across the open mudflats, we went into the mangroves, and began looking for holes in stumps and other nooks and crannies. A likely hiding spot was then poked with the wire in the hope of hearing a ‘clunking’ sound. Over an hour or so we only caught two ‘keepers’ for lunch. In the meanwhile Rhonda had caught three crabs of the wrong variety and I had two. It was great fun and enjoyable tasting crab cooked in the traditional way on coals.

The tour operator set up a very pleasant healthy lunch while we removed the reef shoes provided and drank some water. It was hot work climbing around the mangroves. You had to be careful with the mangrove ‘breathers’ because they were capable piercing the reef shoes if you were not careful.
After lunch we moved back to the other side of the Cape and north to Lombardina. Lombardina is an aboriginal settlement that requires the residents to work around town. It was surprising to find lots of green lawn and tidy gardens. We visited a ‘bush church’ built
Cable BeachCable BeachCable Beach

The revellers enjoy the sun on Cable Beach.
with a timber frame and corrugated iron lining. The stump work looked a bit dicey but still stands and is used as a functioning church.

The next leg of the journey took us to Cape Leveque Resort. It is an eco resort with accommodation ranging from tents to chalets. We dropped off four people to stay for the night and then went down to the beach for a swim. Rhonda really enjoyed that.

The final destination was of course home. Three hours in all and more than half of that time on teeth rattling gravel. We were picked up at 6.45 am and arrived home at 9.00 pm! The day was very enjoyable but we discovered that there is nothing special about the scenery on the way or at destinations along the way. So, it is a matter of enjoying the journey versus the destination. We are all about the destination so were a little disappointed but even so had a really good day.

Sunset Camel Safari

Everyone knows that Cable Beach and camels are synonymous. You can’t go to Broome and not do a sunset trek along the beach in a camel train. So naturally
RewardRewardReward

A carrot for Akaba from the boss.
we had to line up for the experience too.
We arrived at the appointed time, were briefed, then mounted our camel and were led off into the oncoming sunset. Cameras were going off everywhere and the guides were offering to use our cameras to get some shots of us on board.

David, Carole and Kristie were along to give us support . We had a really good time and would highly recommend it. There are three different camel tour operators that do the same thing at the same cost so any one is fine to use.

Open Air Movies

Another famous landmark in Broome is the ninety year old open air movie house. We went to see The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. It was interesting sitting in the deck chairs with our pillows to make it more comfortable. The movie was a subtitled European movie. A murder mystery. All good fun.

Willie Creek Pearl Farm

Broome is the home of Pearl Farming in Australia and the nearest farm is just north of the town. They run bus tours and our pickup was 8 am for the 9 am tour of
$10,000 to Spare?$10,000 to Spare?$10,000 to Spare?

not a perfect pearl but very valuable.
the facility. The drive to Willie Creek took about half an hour and the pearling history Jock gave us on the way was very interesting.

On arrival, there was some pre tour retail therapy to be had for the keener attendees. We then had a detailed session on the biology of the pearl oyster to start the day and that included extracting a pearl from an oyster. After morning tea we were taken by boat to see an example of how the oysters are farmed. Willie Creek is used for growing lesser pearls and the main farm is klms offshore. We enjoyed the tour and would recommend it to you if you visit Broome. The round trip took four hours.

We have three nights left in Broome before heading off to Derby.



Additional photos below
Photos: 23, Displayed: 23


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The SmallsThe Smalls
The Smalls

Giving cheek at the Camel Sarfari.
Doctor PearlDoctor Pearl
Doctor Pearl

Slicing the gonad to harvest the pearl.
Open Air cinemaOpen Air cinema
Open Air cinema

A daylight view.
In case it rains!In case it rains!
In case it rains!

some of the deck chairs are under cover.
The TrainThe Train
The Train

The Blue team.
Beagle Bay ChurchBeagle Bay Church
Beagle Bay Church

Built by Missionaries.
On the MarchOn the March
On the March

Vincent and his mud crabbing team.
Bush ChurchBush Church
Bush Church

Lombardina. Check the footings!
Cape Leveque BeachCape Leveque Beach
Cape Leveque Beach

Beautiful colours.
Face Paint?Face Paint?
Face Paint?

A block of chalk in the cliff face at Cape Leveque beach.
Willie CreekWillie Creek
Willie Creek

The water colour is amazing.
Green Tree FrogGreen Tree Frog
Green Tree Frog

This little fellow lives in the washing machine outflow in the ensuite on site!
Anastasia's PoolAnastasia's Pool
Anastasia's Pool

Refreshed at high tide.
OysterOyster
Oyster

A look at the biology of the pearl oyster.
Pearl TourPearl Tour
Pearl Tour

Cleaning shells is important for pearl growth.


8th August 2010

Brings back great memories
Dear Peter and Rhonda, What a great time you had in and around Broome, it was like a tour guide book of the trip we did 12 years ago except we took the discovery up the Cape Leveque road, it was all sand in those days and it took 5 hours. Its a great part of Australia, we enjoyed your photos, particularly of Vincent who hasnt changed except for the grey, we remember him talking rather loudly to his wife one night at the camp ground which was at the end of the bush airstrip, great value especially the Muddies. We then camped on the beach past the light house and spent a wonderful 3 days snorkelling and walking. I hope the next part of your trip is as pleasant as this.

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