• 20 . 05 . 06
  • Broome, lovely Broome, which reminds me of that (awful) Simply Red song, “Beautiful But Oh So Boring”

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Broome Town

Full marks to Virgin Blue for the most entertaining flight I’ve taken in a long time. Not only did cabin crew randomly dress up like Guinevere with paper cup and toilet paper hats, but they also treated us to crazy games based on the theme of passing toilet rolls from one end of the plane to the other. I’m already looking forward to the return flight!

Well the adverts were right, Broome does have a fantastic beach and sunsets. Cable Beach is huge, white and sandy, with a curving bay and next to nobody on the shore. Watching the camels walking along the beach silhouetted against the setting sun is a great experience and would be a very romantic one if you were here with the right person. Last night I saw newlyweds having photos taken just as the sky was changing colour and the evening before that there was a group having a full silver service dinner down by the water, complete with a waiter in black tie. For most people, including me, sitting on a rock watching the pearl luggers drift across the bay as dusk sets in is more than enough, with some great photo opportunities. I even managed to get some of the rare brown, lesser-spotted Jamie.

Cable Beach Backpackers is all it promised to be, with a really laid-back atmosphere and staff who are keen to help out. I’m glad I’m not staying at The Last Resort, as from what I’ve heard from people who are there, its name is pretty fitting. I’m only a 5 minute walk from the beach and there are free bus runs into town to buy groceries. Sitting around the pool, playing pool and chatting with other travellers is nice, but I’m starting to get itchy feet to go and actually do something. The upside is that finally I can catch up with all the stuff I’ve been meaning to write about.

In Broome itself, there really isn’t that much to do. It’s great as a stop-off point on a West Coast trip, but talk to lots of people here and they’re a little bored. There are a few places to go out at night and certainly lots of cool people to hang out with, but in the day you’re limited to the beach or one of the expensive tours into the Kimberley. The town is great as a base from which to go into the Outback, but the guided tours run to thousands of dollars which I just can’t justify for such a short amount of time. Having your own car would be different, but the inherent risks of driving in the wilderness mean you have to be very well prepared and you definitely can’t travel alone. Making sure your car is ready for the harsh journey ends up being almost as expensive as doing a tour anyway. All of which is moot anyway, seeing as I can’t drive.

So, one way or another it looks like I’ll be leaving on Tuesday. I was hoping to find a rideshare back down to Perth, but again the cost is prohibitive, so I’ll probably fly. If I was only staying on the West Coast, or had the guarantee of a job somewhere, I’d be happier to do it, but I still want to go across to the East and meet up with people there, so I have to make a few sacrifices. As a compromise, I’m going on a short tour to Windjama Gorge and Tunnel Creek on Monday, so I can see at least some of what the North West has to offer. It’s not even scratching the surface of this vast area, but coast to coast flights are really cheap here now, so there’s still a chance I could find my way back here with a bit more money some other time. When I fly back down to Perth, I’ll head down to Fremantle and Rottnest Island, which I did somehow manage to miss out despite being in Perth for more than three weeks. Then, pretty soon after that, I’ll make my way across to Melbourne.

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