Thursday, June 24, 2010
This romantic town is often described as the southern gateway to the Kimberley. It oozes charm, has a rather checkered and interesting pearling history, is extremely picturesque and is where the red pindan cliffs meets the turquoise blue ocean, and we love it!!
Broome is a melting pot of cultures. The area was originally founded in the late 1800’s as a pearling port which attracted Koepangers, Malays, Chinese, Japanese, and Europeans along with the local aborigines, many who were taken as slaves for work on the boats. It is hard to imagine that over 1000 men died while diving for the mother of pearl shells which was used to make buttons until the discovery of plastics in the mid 1900’s. With the advent of cultured pearls about the same time Broome then became the world’s leading producer of large cultured pearls and they are stunning.
The town of Broome, as you would expect is full of pearl shops, art galleries, restaurants and many beautiful resorts. Mike and I had coffee at many of them enjoying the beauty of their surroundings and deciding which one we would stay at if we had the opportunity to come back without our caravan.
Camel rides along the 22klm Cable Beach are one of the “must do” things when here, and the most popular times are at sunset. Hundreds of people descend onto the beach with their chairs and beverage of choice to enjoy the sun setting over the ocean. We spent many evenings here enjoying this spectacle. A highlight for us was to watch the inaugural Polo match on the beach. Apparently it was such a success that it will now be an annual event.
Another” must do” is to watch a movie at the Sun Cinema. This indoor/ outdoor theatre was built in 1916 and has withstood the war time bombingof Broome, cyclones and king tides.The Australian movie Bran Nue Day was filmed in the Broome area and one of the scenes was filmed in this theatre, and we were very fortunate to see this movie here.
While in Broome Mike spent most mornings fishing of the town jetty and we have eaten some magnificent fish meals. Many times the local gropers or sharks would eat the catch before it could be pulled out of the water. While at the jetty we also saw large water snakes and turtles gliding by. Mike caught a “bluebone” here which is one of the best eating fish in the area but difficult to catch.
“Stairway to the Moon” is a natural phenomena that occurs 2-3 nights each month when the moon rises over the ocean and reflection on the water creates the stairway effect. Hundreds of people line the shores of Roebuck Bay to watch this event.
We loved Broome so much that we extended our 10day stay to a month. We needed a holiday from our holiday! It was beginning to get rather busy by the time we left so we were ready to move on.