We hired our chariot for a ride around Broome and the surrounding area.
Ton up Maureen
OK, I admit that we will not be driving – we should have taken this tour at the beginning of our holiday, but we didn’t. Our driver was full of information that we couldn’t find in the usual tourist brochures.
House built over a hundred years ago so that the owner’s wife could look out of the window and watch the sea. Although today she would only see her view covered with mangroves and salt bush. In her day the creek would have been alive with oyster boats and traders.
Perhaps the above is a grey nomad calling in to Broome for supplies. In Australia the grey nomads (like Maureen & I, but we fly), hate the cold and those with the wherewithal (caravan, motorhomes, camping gear etc,) leave the southern States around June and drive north for warmer weather.
Many just keep driving and sampling the local life at various stops during the drive from Sydney to Cairns, 2400 km. A longer break in Cairns before they are off again, perhaps to Darwin, stopping at any place they fancy on the way during a further 2850 kms drive. Darwin to Broome is a short hop of 1700 km, and Broome to Perth 2400 km.
The season in the north of the country is the dry season, and the weather can be beautiful. This ‘movement’ keeps nomads going all the way around the country, so that by the time they start the drive from Perth to Sydney (4,000 km) which could be longer if they go via Adelaide, Melbourne and then drive the coast road to Sydney, it is Spring, and the southern weather is getting warmer in September – hence grey nomads.
A motorhome (grey nomad?) parked outside Roebuck Bay pub in the town centre. Originally built in 1890, and refurbished after a fire in 1904. It still has the original façade of wide veranda, corrugated iron roof and I can recommend the cold beer!
The oldest picture house garden cinema still in existence in the world.
The cinema might be old but the films are current.
Wide roads, traffic is slow and courteous – and they don’t have any traffic lights in Broome, only roundabouts.
Where has the sea gone ?
Driver Frank stopped to show us the trees that produce ‘wild’ food that the aborigines eat, and apparently the flowers from this tree are used in salads. The edible flower was out of season when we were visiting Broome.
He also told us of the gubinge nut, which has the highest vitamin ‘C’ content of any food in the world. Perhaps a new ‘super food’. Again we were out of season for the nut. A partnership between the aboriginal people of the local area and a businessman have created orchards of theses wild gubinge nut trees (the nut is also called Kakadu plum), which are now in great demand as food and skin care products. I have seen adverts on the internet for dried gubinge powder retailing at $420 a kilo. Picture below of the ripe nut.
Off again this time to a beach area to see dinosaurs’ footprints. This part of the world is famous for fossilised footprints, so many that they don’t ‘look after’ the prints in the same way as other areas of the world.
About 130 million years old
At least nine different species have been found in one area, and they all seem to have been meat eaters.
The port can be seen in the background. Cruise ships have started visiting Broome, but they can only arrive and leave at high tide, which can be a pain for the passengers. If high tide is 1.00 am and the ship goes alongside she has to leave at 1.00 pm.
We hit the ‘ton’ on our way to the old lighthouse.
The old light house keeper’s accommodation has gone, and the tower is automatic – on the second to top level is a large bird’s nest. I think it is an eagle’s nest.
There is a house with a magnificent view close to where the lighthouse keep’s house used to be some years ago.
The land, on which the house stands, was won in a game of cards by an Australia from the aboriginal who owned the land. The Australian wanted it all legal and had the debt payment written down so that he was able to claim the land and build this house. The authorities allowed the house to be built BUT it can not be sold or leased and only him and his Chinese wife can live in the house. It can not be used as a reception center or as a restaurant. The couple’s children will not be allowed to take over the house on the death of their mother (their father, the card game winner, died some time ago).
The view from the house. Can you imagine the view from the bedrooms?
When the light house was in full use the lighthouse was manned by a married man and his wife, Anastasia, who suffered from arthritis. Just below the cliff there used to be a natural rock pool – the water being changed every tide. The lighthouse keeper dammed the water’s exit area to retain more water in the pool, but didn’t stop the water changing with the tide.
To ease his wife’s pain he had her carried down to the pool where she could lie in the warm salt water and enjoy the view, and receive some relief from the pain. The pool then became known as Anastasia’s pool and is now listed on maps as such, although the pool has fallen in to disrepair.
Off to the beach – this is the beach that stretches to the pearl farm area.
The sea in the distance – but the tide comes in very fast and if you have parked your car on the beach in the wrong area while you are fishing, it could well be covered by the time you return. Frank (our driver) commented that locals often picked up towels, picnic items and beach chairs, and moved them to higher ground because the tourists were not aware of the speed of the tidal movement.
The one thing that jumped out at me while we were on this beach – the lack of rubbish! It was pristine.
Guess who ?
Do I look frightened . . . :or sad, because our trip was over?