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We loved Broome!

We loved our stay in Broome, have to say we were a little bit sad to leave this morning. We had 5 nights in Broome and made the most of every minute!

When we first arrived we went to the shops and had a look around and grabbed some lunch. Next we headed to the information centre and booked in for a few tours over the coming days.

While in the information centre we found some great artworks by a local artist so we went off in search of his studio. This visit resulted in us buying a print. Not doing so great so far on our ‘no artwork’ rule for this trip, this is the second one that we have bought in a week!

There were so many things to do in Broome and we will list a few of what we did below. It was quite busy, which we had been warned about, but we still loved it all. It’s so relaxed, even the tours we were doing, the guides wore thongs! The crocodile park had a little wire fence separating you from the crocodiles, as you’ll see in a photo below you could just reach in and pat them (no we aren’t that silly!). The cliffs don’t have barriers around them, you can drive on the beaches and even have fires on some, they seem very dog friendly with dogs being allowed most places (the beach was full of 4wds and dogs!) and you know what, people smile and say hello to you in the street! ….. we definitely aren’t in Sydney anymore!

We stayed in Cable Beach and this seemed slightly less busy than other areas, although our park was packed every day. The houses and resorts in Cable Beach are very nice, looked to be a great little suburb. We were actually staying on the same steet, about 200 meters from Kerry Stokes (Chairman of Seven Network) mansion!

Staircase to the Moon – you can read about this is our separate ‘Staircase to the Moon’ blog, but basically it’s a natural phenomenon that is caused by the full moon rising over the exposed mudflats at Roebuck Bay at low tide and this creates an optical illusion of a staircase reaching the moon. This only occurs between March and October and for 2 to 3 nights each month. Our whole trip was planned around being in Broome for these three days!

Cape Leveque – Cape Leveque is a remote area about 250km north of Broome. It’s the northernmost tip of the Dampier Peninsula. The colours up here are spectacular, the red rock, the white sand and blue water and clear blue skies. Part of the old ‘I Still Call Australia Home’, Qantas ad with the choir was filmed at Cape Leveuqe.

Horizontal Falls – You can read more about this in our ‘Horizontal Falls’ blog, but this day was amazing. The day started with pickup at 5.15am and included seaplane flights, jet boating through to the two horizontal falls, boat cruise, shark feeding, 4WD tour and more …… AMAZING!

View of the Horizontal Falls from our seaplane

Sunset on Cable Beach – watching the sunset over Cable Beach was definitely high on our list of things to do. The beach stretches for 22 km, the sand is so fine and the water is a beautiful turquoise blue colour. You are allowed to drive onto the beach so we headed out and enjoyed a few beers watching the most amazing sunset.

Cable Beach – this whole area is beautiful, we met up with some of Shelly’s clients for a beer in one of the bars at the beach, a nice way to spend the afternoon. We didn’t swim at Cable Beach during our stay as it was closed most of the time due to a Crododile that was hanging around, it closed the day we arrived! In saying that, there were still plenty of people there each day.

Sun Pictures – This picture garden was originally built in 1916 by pearling master, Ted Hunter. It showed “Monte Carlo”, its first ‘talkie’ in 1933. It’s all still very original and has indoor and outdoor deck chairs and still shows movies each night. One strange thing about where this theatre is positioned is that it’s right under the flight path to the runway at Broome airport. You feel like you can touch the planes when they fly over, they are so low! Apparently films through the years have been interrupted at strategic moments by the engine roar and flashing lights of a landing aircraft, often accompanied by applause from generations of movie lovers.

Sunset over town beach – Town Beach is on the opposite side of town to Cable Beach where the sun sets. Even though the sun sets on the opposite side of town, we still saw this great sunset sky while we were waiting for the moon to rise for Staircase to the Moon.

Willie Creek Pearl Farm- this pearl farm is situated in the tidal estuary of Willie Creek. We went on a tour to a see how technicians seed live oysters to produce pearls. It was very interesting to see how cultured pearls are produced, as well as learning about the pearling history of Broome.

View from our helicopter ride – while at Willie Creek we went on a helicopter ride over the area and had amazing views of Willie Creek and Cable Beach. First time in a helicopter for both of us and we had an amazing time.

Broome Deep Water Jetty – The Port of Broome is the largest deep water access port servicing the Kimberley region, this is where cruise ships dock, as well as many other cargo ships and services. This port was built to replace the old jetty near Town Beach.

Gantheaume Point – This is where the lighthouse stands and the views from here over the Indian Ocean are great. The cliffs are so red and the water is its distinct turquoise colour, it’s a beautiful sight. This is also where you will find dinosaur footprints preserved in reef rock at the bottom of the cliff. These are only viewable at fairly low tides. Anastasia’s Pool is also at Gantheaume Point, but we couldn’t find it (it was destroyed by a cyclone a few years ago and is hard to find now). This pool was created by a former lighthouse keeper for his wife, Anastasia who suffered from arthritis.

The race course is also out here, this is a red dirt race track. Apparently the thoroughbreds are trained down on the beach. We didn’t witness this, but it would have been a great sight.

Dolphin Sunset Cruise – we went on a sunset cruise with Absolute Ocean Chaters to see the cute little snubfin dolphins (google them, so cute!). Unfortunately the Dolphins weren’t playing nice and we only saw a few in the distance, but we did see about 5 or so humpback whales, a few sea snakes and a turtle. Great, informative cruise and a great way to spend an afternoon.

Entrance Point – Located just around from the port, this small beach area is quite secluded. It does have some boat ramps so plenty of boats launching from the ramps or the beach itself. As like most beaches in the area, there are also some great rock formations. The colours of the rocks are so varied, with a lot of them having a sparkle to them aswell. A very pretty area.

Courthouse Markets – great markets which we believe are on Saturday and Sunday mornings (well there were while we were there!). Good range of food, jams, clothing, jewellery, even massages and haircuts!

The Mango Place – We went out to The Mango Place for lunch one day. They sold a range of products from soaps to jams and chutneys and their mango wine. We had their yummy mango slushies and wood fired chicken and mango pizza. I would never think to put mango on my pizza, but it works, it was so good!

12 Mile Bird Park – what a great little place this is! The 12 Mile Bird Park started as a bare 5 acre block and the owner has created this great bird park with over 600 birds, 80 different species and 93 aviaries. Some of the birds are tame and love to have a chat which was quite fun. Each aviary also has information about the species and where they are found, as well as information about the specific bird if applicable (eg what to say to them to get them talking etc). It doesn’t take too long to go through but it’s great and for $15 it was pretty good value.

Malcolm Douglas Crocodile Park – This crocodile park was the work of Malcolm Douglas. Since his passing in 2010, his family have taken over to ensure that this park is maintained and remains open and Malcolm’s legacy and hard work lives on. There are a huge display of crocodiles and alligators on display, as well as dingos, kangaroos and birds. Your entry cost includes a 1 hour tour of the park and crocodile feeding which was great. A lot of their crocodiles have been relocated to the park from other areas where they were a threat to humans or livestock. One highlight of the tour was when they handed around baby crocodiles for everyone to hold and get photos with. Unlike back home where this would have cost you a couple of hundred dollars and you would have people holding the croc or standing guard, here they just pulled out about 5 babies and handed them out and you all just played and passed it on! Their only rule was ‘don’t drop it!’.

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