It was a short drive from Derby to Broome along a bitumen road which was easy. Broome is a cosmopolitan town on the coast which began during the pearling days in 1880’s. The population is a melting pot of traditional indigenous, Japanese, Chinese, Malays, Europeans, and Islanders.
It has an easy, laid back feel to it and, in what has become a tradition, viewing the magnificent sunset from Cable Beach is a must do on arrival in Broome! Many flock to the beach in their 4 wheel drives, others wander down slowly and sit on the rocks and yet others choose to watch the spectacle from the comfort of the Sunset Bar at the Beach Club or Zanders – both of which are located right opposite the beach. Two camel trains wend their way slowly along the beach carrying eager tourists and children and as the sun goes down and the sky turns gold and then pink.
The camels are a reminder of the Afghans who came to Australia in the 1840’s bringing their camels with them to assist in the exploration of inland Australia. Camels were also imported from British India at that time. Today they are mostly feral with some being used for tourism purposes.
Another tradition is to drive to Gantheaume Point which is at the end of a red gravel road and is a rocky outcrop which is stunning because of its intense red colour which contrasts with the very white sand of the beach and the shimmering aqua colour of the sea. Dinosaur tracks can be seen in the red rocks at low tide. There is an old lighthouse here and the Keeper’s house is still occupied. Legend has it that the Lighthouse Keeper had a wife, Anastasia, who was very beautiful but who was crippled from polio. She loved to bathe at high tide and so her husband found a little rock pool which had formed naturally near the house and which would fill up at each high tide and then empty again on the low tide. He would carry his wife down each day and thus the pool is now known as “Anastasia’s Pool”.
We have been to Broome several times and this time decided to stay at the Cable Beach Club which, although a little way out of town, is in an excellent location on the beach itself. Built in the style of the old bungalows of days gone by in the tropics, it has lovely gardens and an amazing Asian art collection donated by Lord McAlpine who developed the resort in the 1980’s. This is one of my favourite places on the west coast and we will definitely return.