NOW: BROOME AND CAPE LEVEQUE
It’s been nearly three months since we’ve been on a beach where you can swim in the ocean so Broome was a welcome sight. Soon after arriving we walked on the claylike white sand and watched the camels arriving for their nightly sunset walk on Cable Beach.
In keeping with our ‘do the truly local thing’ we had to visit the Willie Creek Pearl Farm. You can open an oyster and find a pearl, cruise the creek where the oysters grow and purchase an exquisite drop pearl for your wife for her birthday. Now these are south sea pearls and it takes the oyster 2 years to yield just one pearl which makes them even more precious. Add a tiny Argyle diamond to the setting and you’ve got the ultimate Kimberley souvenir.
After swimming in the Indian Ocean we enjoyed lunch in Shady Lane in Chinatown, but only just as everything seemed to shut at 2 o’clock and it was already 1.45 when we decided we’d eat out. We ended our day with a sunset camel ride on Cable Beach. Our camel’s name was Burke which seemed quite fitting to us as we’d been following the route of so many explorers and adventurers.
Surprisingly, the Tvan’s shock absorbers were destroyed on the Kalumburu Road but we’d called Track on the sat phone and a pair were waiting for us at Broome post office. Out with the blue tarp, on with the getting under the vehicle clothes and we had the job done pretty quickly. We had another pair of shocks sent while we were in Broome so that we’ve got spares. We may never need them again now! We also changed the wheel bearings while the tools were out as we’d done about 17 000 kms on the current set. Repairs complete, we spent the rest of the day on the beach!
Matso’s Brewery was also on our itinerary and we wanted to try their brews with a twist of lime or mango or ginger. The tasting paddle let us try a few and compare. The mango beer was very like a soft drink but more deadly! The moon was pretty deadly too as it rose over Roebuck Bay creating a staircase of light on the mudflat called Staircase to the Moon. When the tide is right and the moon full it makes these staircases that everyone comes to see.
Before we got too comfortable in town we headed up the Cape Leveque Road through Beagle Bay to Middle Lagoon. The ocean was so warm and whales were leaping out of the water very close to shore making it easy to see them despite the windy conditions. Some fishermen caught big blue bonefish on the beach below our clifftop camp.
The wind eventually got the better of us and we abandoned our clifftop camp escaping back into the trees. Once we decided to move all the other campers followed suit leaving the clifftop to the falcon that sat outside our camper looking for dinner.
Back on the Cape Leveque Road with our next stop at Kooljaman with another clifftop campsite. Luckily the wind had eased and we enjoyed our perch on the red pindan cliffs above the white sandy beach. Add the stunning blue water and spectacular sunsets and the colours just blow you away.
After a windy morning drive to Cygnet Bay, Lombadina and One Arm Point we decided we had the pick of the campsites. We even had a campoven dinner with the wood supplied next to the fireplace. We did try a low tide swim by floating out over the rocks but the shore dump caught us out and we managed a few rock scraps and cuts on the way back in!
The Kooljaman restaurant was quite special with a local band playing on the grass and bush foods on the menu. We were really quite awestruck by Kooljaman.
We farewelled the Kimberley Coast at 80 Mile Beach on Father’s Day. What a perfect place for Father’s Day with an incoming tide and threadfin salmon caught on the beach. But the story of the day was the fish that got away biting through the leaders after some big hits on our fishing rods!
NEXT: THE PILBARA
See you on the Emu Track
Cheryl and David