July 2017 and finally a destination we have longed to visit for quite a while!
On arrival in Broome, from cold and wet Melbourne the days gave way to beautiful, warm, sunny days averaging 30* every day, giving the old pins to once again adorn shorts and soak up the sun.
Our accommodation was the “Bali Hai Resort” that gave the feeling of being on a holiday in Asia, with the rooms, decor, buildings, garden layout and atmosphere all allowing relaxation to kick in within minutes of arrival.
This particular holiday we decided not to rent a car, and instead, do lots of walking each day to discover the town and its surroundings utilizing the magnificent and very reasonably priced town bus service.
It was our desire to experience as much as possible during our stay, the only downside of the trip was mainly due to ocean tidal changes, and, one only bus service connection to “Gantheaume Point” first thing in the morning, the opportunity to see and stand in the 130 million-year-old Dinosaur footprints was to hopefully see them at any future visit we may embark upon.
Some of the outings we experienced included attending the huge local “Court House” markets set amongst tropical frangipani trees in full flower, displays of local produce, local entertainment performers, various stalls on yummy smelling food outlets and trash and treasure of all varieties,from there a stroll into town to visit the “Pearl Luggers” outlet reflected many of the origins of Broome’s primary pearling industry.
On three separate occasions we visited Chinatown in the heart of Broome and enjoyed the towns unique multicultural character, the vast amount of outlets where pearls/jewellery could be inspected and purchased, and indeed the wonderful variety of eating establishments, all having both indoor and outdoor dining on the footpath where the sunshine and fresh air could be enjoyed.
A point of historical interest was that 75 years ago the Broome airport was the target of a Japanese air raid resulting in a high cost of 70 lives being lost and the destruction of a fleet of flying boats that were enclosed in nearby “Roebuck Bay”.
Our resort was about a five-minute walk to the magnificent 20 kilometers plus length of Cable Beach to view the evening sunset. The villa was fully self-contained amongst beautifully manicured gardens, we additionally had a secluded outdoor dining area and also a secluded outdoor shower for use on hot days.
Another highlight was the “Astronomy lecture and star viewing night’; we were collected from our accommodation in a huge 4WD vehicle, and driven about an hour out into the hinterland where a large area of scrub had been cleared for seating about 100 people on fold up chairs and 10 big telescopes pointed out into deep space. The lecture on the universe went for a very informative hour followed by the viewing of the night sky.
The absolute experience that we both thoroughly enjoyed was a 10.5 hour day adventure, that is truly a natural wonder of our world.The Horizontal Falls are only accessible by either boat, helicopter or sea plane.
We were collected at 5:30 am in a 4WD that took us to the Beagle Bay Mission where a welcome stop for a cuppa and biscuits was enjoyed. At this mission is the Beagle Bay church that had the altar and backdrop made from a collection of Mother of Pearl shells that gave a unique and interesting look.
Beagle Bay Mission Church.
On the road again our next stop was “Cygnet Bay” pearl farm where breakfast was waiting for us prior to going on a tour through the establishment, a history of pearling and a demonstration of pearl seeding was given.
All fed and watered, we next boarded the 4WD again and headed to a small private tarmac,where we climbed aboard a combined land/seaplane for a half hour flight over the Buccaneer Archipelago consisting of in excess of 2000 small islands situated in the most beautiful blue/aqua colored waters to our destination of “Talbot Bay”.
We smoothly landed on the water and taxied to the “Horizontal Falls Pontoon” to have a wonderful Barramundi lunch and refreshments and also if one was game enough have a swim with the sharks.
Finally the most exciting part of the day trip was when we boarded a 900hp very fast Jet Stream boat (The fastest in all the Kimberley) that took us through the most thrilling ride into the horizontal falls (6x) and then to let the adrenaline subside a cruise around the surrounding creeks and bays prior to returning to the pontoon and boarding the Seaplane. This was a direct flight back to Broome airport and on arrival to be delivered back to our accommodation. Wow, what a great holiday and new experiences to tick off the bucket list.