Day 5 was a welcome change. After 5 days of driving long distances, it was nice to spend the entire day just in Broome exploring the sights there. We got to watch the sunrise over Roebuck Bay looking back towards the West Australian coast.
The weather was quite unusual with clear skies to start with, and then as the sun got up a bit higher, thick clouds came in, and soon it was clear again.
After breakfast, we headed out of the caravan park to explore Broome. We went to:
- Gantheaume Point
- Broome Port
- Streeters Jetty
- Cygnet Bay Pearl Showroom
- Pearl Luggers
- The Mango Place
- Japanese and Chinese cemeteries
We got underway early so we could get out to Gantheaume Point at the lowest tide for the day, which was just after 7 am.
Gantheaume Point is charming in its own unique way, and at low tide, there are 3 fossilised dinosaur tracks that you can see.
It turn’s out to be quite difficult to access with a steep and slippery climb down the rocks.
Then, of course, you have to actually find them. We had picked up a map at the visitor information centre the day before that indicated where they should be from the lighthouse. However, they were still tough to find, and it’s hard to tell if the tide is low enough to see them. We knew the tide at it’s lowest was meant to be low enough to see all of them, but it seemed one, possibly two of the tracks were almost under water again already by the time we found them at 7:34 am. That said there are plenty of other interesting things to see from crabs to other funny little underwater things.
Fortunately, all the other tourists were trying to find them too, but even those who had found them only the day before were having trouble finding them again. After a while, some other people found one, possibly two of them and called out letting everyone else know.
We couldn’t find any trace of the third track, and it was starting to get hot, so we decided to call it quits.
Plus, the tide was creeping back in, and we had a lot we wanted to see with a tough climb back up the rocks to do first.
On the way back to Broome, we passed the turn to Broome Port, so we went in to have a look.
It was on our list purely because it was on the way, if it weren’t, we probably would not have gone in. At the port, there is a cafe and beautiful garden with a plaque commemorating the jetty opening.
We weren’t able to go out on the jetty itself, but from the garden, we had a pretty good view of the pier and the surrounding beaches and cliffs.
The tide was still quite low, so it was quite a sight seeing this jetty so high, towering above the water.
There isn’t a lot left of Streeters Jetty, but the history is fascinating.
It used to be the main wharf in Broome, at the centre of the pearling industry.
Now it is short, ending in a mangrove swamp that was once cleared to let the pearl luggers in.
It is also shorter than it once was.
While not much to see, I did personally find it fascinating to picture the luggers coming into town. Especially after also reading more of the history at the Cygnet Bay Pearl Showroom and visiting the restored pearl luggers up the street.
Cygnet Bay Pearl Showroom
While it is a promotion for Cygnet Bay Pearls, the Showroom at Shop 2, 21 Dampier Terrace in Broome’s China Town is full of history with an operating demonstration of pearl farming.
It has a looping documentary running on the pearling industry along with examples of how pearl farming works now and a history feature wall.
The feature wall includes a lot of history beyond just Cygnet Bay and actually tells a fascinating story of Broome’s pearl history.
As you might expect the Showroom also holds many pearls and pearl jewellery as well as the worlds largest pearl.
It really is remarkably large, and the showroom jewellery is beautiful.
At 31 Dampier Terrace, just up the street from the Cygnet Bay Pearl Showroom are some restored pearl lugging ships with a cafe and museum.
While there is a fee to access the museum, the pearl lugging ships are free to see.
A hard hat diving helmet is also setup for you to get your photo taken if your head is small enough (mine isn’t).
The oldest continuously operating open-air picture theatre in the world is located at 8 Carnarvon St in Broome.
Who would have thought that Broome would be home to something as unique as that, especially given that this kind of cinema is pretty well non-existent nowadays?
During the day you can access the theatre for free and learn about the history intertwined with memorabilia and old equipment on display.
Each night there are 2 movie sessions available.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have the opportunity to watch a movie with our schedule, but it would be great to take the time and watch one if we ever make our way back.
While the theatre is open air, a significant portion of the laid back, hessian deck chair style seating is undercover leaving open air around the screen where you can see the occasional plane coming in for landing overhead at Broome Airport.
Japanese and Chinese Cemeteries
The large paifang stands out at the entrance to the Broome Chinese cemetery located on Port Drive near the Taiji Road intersection.
Inside is a history of the Chinese contribution to Broome and the pearling industry.
Located next to it is the Japanese Cemetery.
While not quite as prominent it has recently had all the headstones replaced and looks beautiful. A fitting memorial to the Japanese people that contributed to making Broome what it is today.
The museum is located at 67 Robinson Street in Broome and contains a lot of historical information about Broome. At the entrance is a large time capsule and some general information about Broome.
Unfortunately, there is no information about whether there is a cost to entry, but after going inside and asking the person at the counter, we found it is $6 per adult for entry. The price is reasonable, but the attendant also told us it would take 1-2 hours to go through the museum and read some of the information. We decided we didn’t have the time and saved the money, but from what we could see inside it looked like it would be attractive to the history buffs.
Located in Roebuck, about 15 minutes out of Broome, That Mango Place is a mango farm and cafe that sells everything mango.
You can expect everything from ice cream to cheesecake to syrup and chutney.
We had the mango cheesecake with mango ice cream on the side.
The cheesecake was served with cream and mango syrup and tasted great!
That said, the mango ice cream was even better! It was the best mango ice cream I’ve ever had. It was oozing with mango goodness. I can’t recommend it enough!
If you happen to be a bit bored, there is also a mini golf course that you can try your hand at. We had to keep going, though.
The Blue Body Buddha Sanctuary is near Cable Beach at 5 Millington Road and is open to the public from 7-10am and 4-7pm.
It’s a quiet and peaceful place, but the relatively small gardens are dominated by a 3m high Buddha statue.
Entry is free during opening hours, and the gardens are beautiful, it has a similar atmosphere to the Zen temple we visited in Kyoto a few years ago.
So if you have a little bit of free time, it is a beautiful, tranquil place to visit.
The beach is a 22km long, wide white sand beach with small red ochre cliffs that enable you to see further out to see.
Three companies offer camel rides around sunrise and sunset that head north of the rocks from the Cable Beach carpark.
Four wheel drives are also allowed north of the rocks.
Unfortunately, there is almost no shade at Cable Beach. Just a couple of trees. Everywhere else is just open grass or sand.
We had dinner in the back of our van in the beach carpark and then watched the sunset from the grassy cliff tops.
It was a beautiful night with a stunning sunset. From the cliffs, the sun takes a long time to go down, and you can watch it for almost a good 45 minutes.
Early afternoon you can see the camels heading onto the beach and is the sun disappears over the horizon, the camels and a stream of four wheel drives return from the beach.
It’s a remarkable traffic jam as a train of vehicles queue to get back onto the road.
Finally, we made our way back to the Roebuck Bay Caravan Park after dark and headed to bed. We had an early start the next day for our full day Horizontal Falls tour!
Been to Broome? Got any thoughts or tips for the places we visited, or any other places worth seeing? I’d love to hear them, let me know in the comments below.