After 12,550 kms on the road since leaving home eight weeks ago, we finally made it to the west coast.
And what a sight it was … Broome’s beautiful Cable Beach stretching out its vivid white sands along 22 kms of west coast shoreline.
We were fortunate to have arrived in Broome at the right time to witness the ‘Staircase to the Moon’, a natural phenomenon that occurs when a full (or near full) moon coincides with the low tide, whereby the moon rises over the exposed tidal flats of Broome’s Roebuck Bay. This only happens for two or three nights each month, in the dry season (ie between about March and October). We joined hundreds of others from the vantage point provided by the Mangrove Hotel, which has an uninterrupted view out over Roebuck Bay. At the appointed time, the lights dim and the haunting sound of a didgeridoo plays as the moon rises over the bay. And the moon did not disappoint! It was such a spectacular sight, to which our photos simply did not do justice.
Broome’s other unforgettable sight is that of sunset on Cable Beach. We even managed to capture the Staircase to the Moon’s alter-ego, the Staircase to the Setting Sun!
There’s a lot of activity on Cable Beach around sunset, including the iconic camel rides … which, at around $90 per person for a very slow bumpy ride, we were happy to miss! Besides, it was much more fun to sit back and take in the all-encompassing view.
Just before sunset, scores of 4WDs hit the beach, and their occupants set up chairs and picnic tables in prime positions, armed with drinks and nibbles, naturally. A very civilised way to watch the sunset!
We enjoyed it so much the first night, we brought our friends from Canberra along the next night! Jenny and John had just arrived in town, following their delightful cruise from Darwin to Broome.
We were mesmerised by the constantly changing sunset colours on the beach.
Jenny and John also joined us on a bit of sightseeing around Broome, including the vibrant Saturday morning Courthouse Market, the newly opened lookout over Roebuck Bay and, of course, Cable Beach for a daytime viewing.
In truth, we were a touch underwhelmed with Broome. Yes, it has a fabulous beach and great sunsets, but … so do many other places that are much closer to home and easier to get to. Beyond Cable Beach, Broome’s best attractions were, how do we say this, outside Broome!