Travelling Australia - Journal 2006
11-16 July 2006 - Broome (Part 1 of 3)

Location map This week was spent in Broome (at Broome Caravan park 6 km out of town). The weather was most unusual for the Kimberley in July with cold nights (8 degrees minimum) and warm days (30 degrees in the afternoon for an hour or two). Strong and gusty winds blew on several days requiring a bit of re-arrangement of the A'van awning/annex on our part. The usual weather at this time of year is much warmer (35 degrees by day with strong sunshine and more than 20 degree at night). These afternoons are very pleasant with a cool breeze blowing through the A'liner and awning.

Our arrival in Broome means we have passed the furthest point from Sydney which lies somewhere between Port Hedland and Broome depending on the precise route planned through the south of Western Australia for the southern option. Now we are in Broome the quickest way back to Penrith is north about through Katherine and Mt Isa. We expect to go through both in the next couple of months but as part of a very casual route including Darwin and the Queensland coast.

After so long out of Internet touch I spent quite a while bringing various security applications in my laptop up to date. It's surprising how quickly these get out of date. BigPond Wireless Internet connectivity at the caravan park is just enough for e-mail, banking, blogging and general use.

The caravan park is crowded (so are all the others in Broome) and we often see vans moving around the park as people who didn't book before they reached Broome move to available sites to extend their stay. After an earlier visit to Broome we booked last January for three weeks so we had no concerns about finding a site for this stay. The park is so full that the hot water runs out in the evening (when I have my shower) so I've had to try different times chasing hot water. During this week we passed the total of 600 nights spent in the A'liner since we bought it in 2003; the A'liner has been towed 54,919 kilometres in that time.

One of Broome's attractions is the number and variety of birds either living in the region or passing through on their migration to/from Siberia and China. Roebuck Bay is reported to be a particularly fertile feeding ground for migratory birds. The Broome Bird Observatory on Roebuck Bay provides facilities for people to see the local birds and to gather for special events (such as the departure of some species on their long migration to Asia). The road is about 15 km of red dirt; possibly kept rough to make sure only serious visitors make it to the observatory. In a brief visit I saw a surprising number of birds.

Cable Beach White sand of Cable Beach is popular with tourists.
Broome has some good beaches including the famous Cable Beach. While looking for beaches to investigate I inadvertently ended up on one end of Cable Beach in the Territory; the sand is very hard at low tide and there were a couple of dozen vehicles around me on the beach. I didn't feel inclined to go racing along the sand; the all-wheel drive is very useful but the Territory is an SUV (sports utility vehicle) not a 4WD intended for serious off-roading. But I can set off along sandy roads knowing that the wheels will grip.

We had passed our wedding anniversary while we at Port Smith which had no facilities for celebrating; we 'did lunch' in Broome during the week in a delayed celebration.