Saturday, August 29, 2009


You may remember my post (here) about the lack of street lighting on the main road into town near the airpot (namely at the end of the runway). One year later, the lights are in and the works are (almost) complete. They have landscaped the medians and the roundabout with rocks and installed strangely low street lights. There is a gap in the lights in front of the runway followed by normal height lights. The higher ones are closer to the runway approach than the lower ones.
The short lights look quite funny. Bit of a difference between one floodlight in the middle of the roundabout with its generator chugging through the night and this multitude of streetlights. Overkill perhaps?

Friday, August 28, 2009

High tide

Forget Cable Beach and it's camels and fancy resort. My favourite thing about Broome is Roebuck Bay (at high tide, not the muddy low tide!). The azure of the water against the bright blue sky, the green mangroves and the red sand and cliffs takes my breath away.
Low tide at Town Beach vs High tide

When the tide is higher than about 9m, it breaches the airport perimeter fence. Quite a strange sight! Below are the new hangars that they started to build when I was here last year. They had to cart huge amounts of dirt to the site to build it up higher than the tide line. the end of the runway: Water beyond the perimeter fence:

low tide Cable Beach

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A piece of Broome history

It would have to be something pretty significant to get me out of bed at 5am on a Sunday during a holiday. Despite the desire (strong) to sleep in, I couldn't pass up the chance to see this. On the mudflats under Roebuck Bay lie a number of plane wrecks. I wrote briefly about this in one of my early Broome posts.

During WWII Broome's airport was strafed (shot at) by Japanese fighter planes. They also shot and destroyed a number of Catalina planes (aka flying boats) which were carrying Dutch refugees from Java. A number of these have been preserved in the mudflats.

So we trudged through 1km of mud and a tidal river to get to the wrecks. The tide was so low that there were some wrecks exposed that Chris and Wendy (longtime Broome residents) had never seen.


tide coming back in

Chris with his new-found wreck. I decided not to venture out there because there were stingrays in the knee deep water!

Crab in disguise:

Looking back towards shore:

Some go in style: No sloshing through mud for these hovercraft passengers

The long walk back: 2.5 hours later, the sun has fully risen

The reef

I joined about 20 people (half of them kids) on a 4WD journey up Cable Beach to a reef which is exposed at very low tides (the tides ranged from 0.4m to almost 10m twice a day!). This produces rock pools full of much more exciting things than usual. Amazing corals, lots of sea cucumbers and even a reef shark.

reef critters

Blue-ring octopus

reef shark

When you poke one of these clams, they spit out water

<--it looks like a floating rose petal but it is a 'Spanish dancer' or nudibrank. Amazing to watch as it swims through the water
<-- Blue spotted lagoon ray

Back to Broome

I have just returned from a quick 4 day break to Broome. I needed to warm up and dry out after 15 days straight of rain in Perth (a record for August) and just have a break.
I got to do some things that I didn't get to do in the 3 months I spent in Broome last year. One of which was get a pic of the camel trains that take tourists up and down the beach. I don't get the attraction really. The camels stink for one. Someone was telling me they saw a topless guy on one once and the camel behind licked the sweat off his back the whole way. yum!

Broome's old jetties

The second jetty in Broome which was adjacent to Town Beach (first bit of land sticking out in the aerial picture) The current Jetty can be seen beyond that. Parts of the old jetty still remain under the water and are exposed at very low tides. People walk along its path with long sticks and dig up plates, bottles and other rubbish (I mean treasures) which had been dumped off the jetty.

Streeter's Jetty