Some of the most beautiful beaches in the world are in Australia, and Broome has an amazing stretch of white sand that will make your jaw drop.
Speaking of Jaws, on the day we arrived, a 14 salt water croc was seen on the main beach soaking up the rays with the locals. Crazy but true, well, maybe there wasnt too many locals sharing the same patch of sand, but the croc was there, true.
But dont let that put you off, the water is so clear that you will see one if it gets too close, although what you will do if you do see one!!!
Everyone still swims and nobody has been eaten, yet!
It's crazy to think that a place could be so laid back, but it is, it's amazingly laid back. They joke that they even have their own time, Broome Time, so no clocks are needed :) Of course there are clock, just not a lot of people WE met seemed to bother with them.
There is loads to do and see, it is and amazing. I was brought up down the coast in Perth, and it wasnt until I was living in the UK and 44 years old, that I decided I would like to see it. I just can't believe I left it so long. If I had visited there when I was in my 20's, I would still be there, maybe.
This was the second stop on our cruise ship excursion. First they passed baby crocodiles around for us to hold, and then they took us out in the park. They fed the crocodiles and showed us how they jumped. They also had bats, kangaroos, wallaby's and dingoes. I loved the dingoes.
Child (5-15 yrs) $20.00pp
Cable Beach it seems is the beach to be seen at. The beach itself is sparkling clean and a huge expanse of white, hard sand.
Be prepared to see some "expanses" of nude bodies!
You can hire sun lounges and umbrellas during the peak season.
Every Saturday from 9am - midday there are markets in front of the Courts where local craftspeople sell their wares. Examples of some of the goods on show: jewellery, handmade soaps (see other shopping tip), clothes, artwork, honey, various condiments, gemstones and of course pearls (be careful some are Chinese not local). There are also foodmarkets and sometimes a local band playing.
If you are interested in what is happening on the local scene this is the place to go.
An interesting way to have a look at the mudflats around Roebuck Bay is to take a hovercraft tour.
It is quite expensive but different!!
There are a number of different tours you can take including: a 1 hour tour over the tidal flats to see preserved dinosaur prints ($85), a sunset tour which takes 1 3/4 hour and includes hors d'oeuvres and non alcoholic cocktails ($125) or a full scenic/historic tour to see flying boat wreckages and the dinosaur prints 1 1/2 hour ($125).
We took the $85 trip and found it quite enjoyable. The driver/guide is quite informative and humorous. The seats are in pairs so you can get a good view of the surroundings.
Well worth it if you have the time and the money.
There are a variety of tours you can take in and around Broome. These are the websites and addresses of some of them.
Broometopdecktours@bigpond.com Free phone 1800-858-985 ($40/$10)
wildsidetours@ westnet.com.au 0407575237
Girlworldtours 0412833501 email@example.com
Here and there in Broome there are some bright colours emanating from the flora of the place, most notably bougainvillea but, if you keep your eyes open, there are plenty of other plants to choose from.
All this is just an excuse really to include the first shot because I really liked it!
It was taken on the edge of Roebuck Bay.
Gantheaume Point lies at the southern end of Cable Beach and is where the lighthouse is. The rock formations here are, at times, extraordinary.
The dominant colour is rust red but the early morning and late afternoon light show them up to best advantage.
There's a short patch of dirt road to negotiate to get there but it's worth the effort.
Located approximately 6 km from town, this is a scenic area of red, craggy cliffs providing a stark contrast to the azure water below.
What are presumed to be dinosaur footprints over 120 million years old can be seen here when tides are less than 1.5 metres. As the reef area is very fragile, care must be taken when exploring this area. For the benefit of visitors a plaster cast of the tracks has been embedded at the top of the cliff.
On the north side of the point is Anastasia's Pool, a small man made rock pool built by a former lighthouse keeper for his wife Anastasia who was crippled with arthritis.
This attraction opened in early 1999 and has developed into one of the towns most talked about tours and has brought back to life the history and heritage of the early pioneering days.
A choice of two experiences are available. The day tour which takes and hour and 15 minutes, or the ultimate evening tour which features the tasting of exotic pearl shell meat dishes, a rare delicacy considering it sells for $700 per kilo in Japan!
This special evening tour not only includes a first hand insight into the world of pearling, but the opportunity to view one of Broome`s best collections of loose Australian South Sea Pearls, which are naturally available for purchase.
Pearl Luggers is situated in the heart of Chinatown, Broome and features two beautifully restored Broome built pearling luggers as well as an exciting collection of early pearling equipment.
It's easy to find, just drive along Dampier Terrace and you'll see the boats eventually.
This largely unappealing, though at times photogenic, bay is writ large in Broome's history.
The English buccaneer William Dampier was the first European to actually visit Broome's shores in 1688, after sailing north from Shark Bay in the H.M.S. Roebuck, and landing in the region of the Buccaneer Archipelago.
There's a legend that says he also landed at what is today called Buccaneer Rock in Roebuck Bay and buried a pirate treasure chest.
You can see his ghost there at night, looking for his lost treasure with a lantern...then again, maybe you won't; Dampier actually never landed at Roebuck Bay.
Still, the Dampier Archipelago, Dampier Peninsula, Roebuck Bay and of course the famous Roebuck Hotel on Dampier Terrace are all named after this first visit.
The bay itself is a mangrove lined mud flat sugject to huge tidal influence with the occasional croc or two. Not the sort of place to take the children........then again, there have been times!
The CBD is set beside Roebuck Bay and most buildings feature corrugated tin in one form or another.
The reason for this is that it used to be used as ballast when ships returned so, rather than waste it, it was used for many of the constructions in Broome.
You also have to remember that this isn't an old town, historically speaking.
There's lots of touristy shops, including 5 pearl shops in the same block, along with all the usual cafes and such.
Palm Trees and verandahs also feature heavily, both designed to give some relief from the sun.
Dating from 1896, the Japanese cemetery is possibly Broome’s best known historical attraction. The Japanese were here in numbers for the pearl industry, mainly employed as divers.
The Japanese cemetery records that in the cyclones of 1887 and 1935, 140 men were lost in each catastrophe. There is a dominant obelisk in the cemetery that lists those who were lost in the 1908 storm.
In addition, in 1914 alone, the bends caused the death of 33 men. The cemetery has been restored totally due to a grant from Ryoichi Sasakawa of the Japanese Shipbuilding Foundation from an initial impetus from Senator Kazuo Tamaki.
919 people are interred here in 707 grave sites.
This is the most commercial of the pearl companies in Broome, even though it's the smallest.
Their tours to their nearby operation are popular and give you a wonderful insight into those precious things that women love.
In addition to a full explanation and demonstration of the humble pearl, you also get a boat ride around the Willie Creek area and will see a resident croc or two in addition to lots of birdlife.
They also have a showroom where the classification of pearls is explained. Let me tell you right here, the fakes are impossible to spot with the naked eye on first glance!
Also, I never knew that every oyster has its own resident blind crab - amazing.
Trips occur at least twice daily, book in at the local tourist office.
Willie Creek pearls is owned by a family called Banfield who came off their wheat property, influenced by the legendary Lord Alistair McAlpine, and got into the local tourism via the bus lines, ultimately branching out into pearls. They now own four showrooms.
Watching the sunset is a popular activity in Broome. Many take their dinner, a lot more take drink, all come to watch the sun go down over the water.
Depending of what cloud formations there are, you may be in for a special treat but, more often that not during the tourist season (the dry) there will be no clouds.
However, when I was there there was a fire somewhere inland and the smoke drifted over and gave an unusual colour to the evening sky. None of these pictures have been touched up in any way, it's just the way it was.
You can also drive onto the beach as you can clearly see in my pictures.