West Kimberly - Broome

Trip Start Jan 29, 2012
Trip End Apr 01, 2013

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Where I stayed

Flag of Australia  , Western Australia,
Sunday, May 27, 2012

We camped one night at Mary Pool, which is a very popular free camp beside the Mary River. It was a huge area, with lots of grass and shade trees. The next night we stayed at Fitzroy Crossing which was a beautiful resort next to the huge Fitzroy RIver. We cought up with Daryl and Lorraine, who we had met at Spring Creek, and had a very long "happy hour" with them that night. Next day we left extra early, and drove straight to Broome.
The first thing we did after unhitching and having a quick lunch was to drive to Town Beach and look at the absolutely beautiful colour of the water. I have seen pictures of the water at Broome, but it was even better than I thought it would be. That afternoon we headed for the famous Cable Beach to watch the sunset. Cable Beach is a beautiful stretch of soft sand and turquoise water, and the sunset was awesome.
A good description I found for Broome is as follows: Where the desert meets the sea, where white sands, red rocks and cobalt blue waters come together, on a peninsular not more than 15km long, here rests the town of Broome. Originally founded in the late 1880s as a pearling port, there is a strong multicultural influence with Chinese, Malay, European and Aboriginal cultures blending together. Pearling still plays a major part of Broome's economy, with lots of up-market shops selling pearls and Argyle diamonds. With the advent of the gas hub proposed for the area, things will change in Broome in the future, and it will not be the laid-back town that it is today. Seems that everywhere we go either mining or gas production is changing the towns. 
We had a great time during our stay. We visited a mango farm at 12 Mile, rode camels on Cable Beach, visited Broome Port, went to Gantheaume Point to look at the dinosaur footprints embedded in the sandstone at low tide, visited the markets on Saturday and Sunday, as well as the night markets on Tuesday night. We saw the famous "Staircase to the Moon" at Roebuck Bay, which is caused by the reflection of the rising moon shining off the exposed tidal flats creating the illusion of steps reaching to the moon. We also saw a movie at the world's oldest working outdoor cinema. This was a great experience. We sat on deck chairs and watched the screen with the stars shining overhead, and at one stage a plane took off right over our heads from the nearby airport, such a funny sight when you are at the movies. When the show was over I laughed when I looked around and all the grey nomads were trying to get up out of the deck chairs, including us. They definitely were not the most comfortable things to sit in for nearly two hours.
We had dinner at Cable Beach one night with Darryl and Lorraine, and kept on bumping into them at Woolies, a bit like home when you always bump into people you know at the shops. We also bumped into Grahame and Jeanette at the markets. We had met them at the caravan park at Katherine Gorge, then again at the park at Adelaide River, then at Kakadu. We then found out that they were in the same caravan park as us, almost directly opposite our site, on the other side of the park.
Two other people we had met at a free camp on the way to Broome called us and asked us to a roast dinner at their place. That was one very welcome invitation, and we had a great night.
The last day was our busiest and best. We left at 6.15 in the morning, and flew in a single engine Cessna 210 to the Horizontal Falls, which are a must see. We were the only ones on the tour, so John sat with Johan the pilot (who was only 22 we found out later), and we had the whole tour to ourselves. The Horizontal Falls are amazing. The tide is so great there (it is the second largest in the world at 10 metres) that the narrow gaps in the cliffs produce a vertical drop when the tide comes in and out. We then flew over the Buccaneer Archipelago, which was beautiful, then we landed (on a red dirt runway) at Cape Leveque. We had breakfast and then went for a swim on the pristine beach, which we had completely to ourselves. The colours of the rock formations on the beach were a brilliant orange and red, contrasting with the blues of the sea and the sky. 
 The flight back was along the coastline to Broome, and it was absolutely beautiful. Oh I almost forgot, when we flew out in the morning it was too early for the Control Tower to be operating, so the pilots just notified each other where they were, and we took off. I didn't find that part very good, I kept looking around to see if we were going to run into another plane. The trip that day was fantastic, and we loved every minute.
We ended up spending much longer in Broome than we had intended, but it is such a magical place that you just don't want to leave. We were in a great caravan park too, which was an added bonus. We had a lovely lady opposite us who kept baking scones and cakes, and asked us over all the time to eat them. We couldn't say no.... 
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