More than the famous camels of Cable Beach

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August 26th 2013
Published: August 26th 2013
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Stairway to the moonStairway to the moonStairway to the moon

Night two. Colour and brightness adjusted a little to get a better balance.
Other than the camels of Cable Beach, we knew little of this coastal town. Oh, we remember cyclone warnings too, but knew little else.

The drive from Karratha to Broome is through arid scrubby country, and only occasionally was land methodically farmed. Then you wind your way across town to the caravan park, proceed to your site and WOW - such a beautiful turquoise bay. (at high tide)

Broome has a fantastic winter climate, so is very popular with those living in the colder southern areas of Australia for winter holidays. In fact, the caravan parks are bursting at the seams with retirees enjoying the warm days and mild nights, often staying for 3 or 4 months.

Now, one of our team wanted a camel ride, two had previously had a camel ride, so the one who chose not to go alone took the camera for a walk on Saturday afternoon along the camel route at Cable Beach.

As far as this part of WA is concerned, the long white swimming beach is great featuring gentle slopes and warm crystal clear water. Just as we arrived in Broome a 3.5 Mtr croc was seen on the port
Roebuck BayRoebuck BayRoebuck Bay

The colour of the water here is simply stunning. This beach isn't great for swimming, but none the less is a popular place to enjoy the fresh sea breeze while sipping a coffee.
beaches, and so some of the other good swimming spots were closed for a few days. Apparently it is unusual to have salties here at Broome - they prefer muddied waters so they can sneak up on their prey.

One thing which is different at Cable beach is the left and right halves of the bay. To the left, people rule. On the right side, $WDs rule, and you must watch out. The photo walk for the camels was amongst the sunbaking 4WDs parked close to the tide line. To ensure safety, I walked away from the accepted 'Road' at the edge of the water. A silly driver roared up behind me trying to outrun other drivers on the beach. Though female, I delivered a blunt message about careless driving. The driver was a photographer for a camel wedding party dashing around for the wedding photos - still no excuse.

We planned our trip to Broome to coincide with the Stairway to the moon. We hadn't heard of this phenomena until we started planning this trip. We applied for caravan sites at Roebuck Bay November 2012, and finally heard that we had been successful in getting sites close to the waters edge. Lots of people told us that you cannot get good photos without very good cameras. So we were dying to give it a go.

We arrived here on Tuesday (19th), and the three nights where this phenomena is visible was the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Marg and I went walkabout on the Tuesday evening to see where the moon would rise, and get a feel for the best approach for getting good pictures. David had told us about a BBQ area up the hill a little from our van site, so that is where we headed on the first two nights of Stairway to the Moon. I think our photos show that with good cameras, aided with a tripod, good results are achievable. David has a good Samsung camera he bought recently, and his photos are excellent as well.

The staircase effect occurs when there is an extremely low tide coinciding with the full moon. The steps allusion is created as the light from the moon reflects off the drainage channels of the bay at this low tide. The best view and photos require these steps to cross the moon light at right angles,
Pearl fleetPearl fleetPearl fleet

Ships moored off Roebuck Bay.
creating the striped light and dark steps and treads affect.

A little out of town is Mango Place. In the tropics, mangoes grow well, and Broome is no exception. Mango place is an orchard that makes their own chutneys, jams etc, a couple of variations of mango wine, but also run a beaut restaurant with dining under the shade of the huge mango trees. A great place for a quiet coffee or a dinner party. Try their wood fired pizza.

Broome is one of a few places on the west coast to have been bombed by the Japanese in WWII. The remnants of a fleet of flying boats can be seen here at very low tides. You can walk out and may need to swim back, or do as most do, go by hovercraft. There are also dinosaur footprints in the sea bed, again seen at low tide.

Each morning there is a major chorus across Broome as the many varieties of birds remove any need for an alarm clock. This also makes for many photo opportunities for those trying to get that extra special shot. Kites whistle all day here and are great to watch. The
Stairway to a shipStairway to a shipStairway to a ship

Just thought I would try the same effect across the bay to a ship at the long jetty.
way they glide and suddenly dive and swoop is a joy to watch. The equal to stunt flying air shows.

There are many other things to do here like visit the movie theatre - a real old timer and take a moment to look at the history of movies here.

Broome was and stil is a centre for the pearl industry. The Japanese Cemetery is a reminder of the human cost of the pearl industry of yesteryear.

Additional photos below
Photos: 37, Displayed: 25


Night one -01Night one -01
Night one -01

Unedited picture. Ambient light minimises the stairway effect.
Night one - 02Night one - 02
Night one - 02

As the moon rose, and as the suns light diminished, the stairway became brighter.
Night one - 03Night one - 03
Night one - 03

The moon brightness over dominates the picture. A good effect with only half the moon.
Night one - 04Night one - 04
Night one - 04

A touching time
Night one - 05Night one - 05
Night one - 05

Reflection of jumping for joy. (lower foreground of moon beam.)
Night one - 06Night one - 06
Night one - 06

Darkness finally descends.
Just the moonJust the moon
Just the moon

Night one
Desert roseDesert rose
Desert rose

Fill in shot waiting for the moon night two.
Night two - 01Night two - 01
Night two - 01

Moon just up. The eye could see the stairs, but the camera struggled. This was about an hour later than night one, so little ambient light left.
Night two - 02Night two - 02
Night two - 02

The steps taken immediately after moon rise. Without moon dominating exposure, steps visible.
Night two - 03Night two - 03
Night two - 03

Small amount of moon, and glowing steps
Black rockBlack rock
Black rock

Cable beach

27th August 2013

Another good bloglines
Loved the staircase pix you did well. Interesting comments too
27th August 2013

Another good bloglines
Loved the staircase pix you did well. Interesting comments too
27th August 2013

Another good bloglines
Loved the staircase pix you did well. Interesting comments too
29th August 2013

Stairway to the Moon
When I visited Broome back in 1989, I timed my visit for the Stairway to the Moon, but as luck would (or would not) have it, both days were very cloudy, so it was not possible to see the moonrise. Thanks for providing such lovely photographs of what I missed more than 20 years ago.
30th August 2013

Stairway to the moon
You missed a treat. Our friends 3 years ago got some pics on night one, and then it rained for the balance of their stay. So we see ourselves as blessed. The third night we were on our way back from Cape Leveque so well away from coast. Cheers Rob
30th August 2013

just loved the shots of the stairway to the moon,am so grateful for you blog as I guess I'm noy going to see these places until I've gone "home", so I thank you so much.
30th August 2013

Stairway to the moon
Glad you like pics. While up Cape Leveque we saw some large pearly shells - If the pearly gates are like these, then I want a good camera up there too.

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