Keeping Busy in Broome.

Keeping Busy in Broome.

People visit Broome for many reasons. For some it is the gateway to the Kimberleys….the starting point on a drive along the famous Gibb River Road which can then take you through to Kakadu National Park and Darwin. For others it is a place to escape the winter. From May to October, grey nomads clog the roads pulling their caravans or motor homes north while many others who have fallen in love with the relaxed lifestyle have bought homes and become semi permanent residents.

Then there are those like ourselves who would love to stay longer but use Broome as a week long winter escape.

Whether you are here for a week or months, you can be kept busy with these things to do in Broome.

 

1. Take an early morning walk along Cable Beach

Cable Beach, Broome

Sparkling white sand and crystal clear blue water against a backdrop of red earth has made Cable Beach famous. Early in morning, the tide is out and the beautiful expanse of Cable Beach lies before you. It’s an easy walk along the hard sand, enjoying the early morning light being reflected on the water and the exposed rockpools.

 

Cable Beach at low tide

 

 

2. Spend the day relaxing on the beach

Cable Beach, Broome

People come to Broome to relax and spending the day at the beach is high on many people’s agendas. Don’t forget that the tide comes and goes and at high tide you will need to be lying close to the dune!

 

Cable Beach, Broome

 

 

3. Take a camel ride along the beach

Camels on Cable Beach, Broome

 

Broome’s famous camel teams make the walk to Cable Beach twice a day to take visitors for a camel ride on Cable Beach. A morning ride at around 10am can start the day or take the popular sunset ride which must be booked in advance.

Camels on Cable Beach, Broome

 

4. Watch the sunset at Cable Beach

Sunsets drinks on Cable Beach is a must! The perfect finish to a day.

Sit on the grass above the beach, join the crowds at Cable Beach Club’s Sunset Bar or take your car on to the beach and set up your own club lounge! You’ll want to go back every night, so try all the options!

Sunset at Cable Beach, Broome

Sunset at Cable Beach, Broome

Sunset at Cable Beach, Broome

Camel ride at Sunset on Cable Beach, Broome

 

 

5. Drive to Gantheaume Point

By day, the contrast of the red rocks and the turquoise water is classic Kimberley landscape. An aboriginal site, the story of the land can be read before you make your way down the cliff. At very low tide, you may be able to see the 130 million year old dinosaur footprints but if you miss this, replicas of these can be found at the top of the cliff.

Gultheaume Point-2 Gultheaume Point-3

At sunset , it has be come an alternative spot for sunset drinks and a beach barbecue.

Sunset on the rocks

Sunset at Gantheaume Point

 

6.Visit Chinatown

Chinatown is the name given to Broome’s township. Settled in the 1880′s by the Chinese, Japanese and Malay pearl fishermen, it is now a melting pot of cultures. Broome pearls are famous and you will be tempted by the displays in the many jewellery shops in the town. Or maybe you prefer art?  Galleries here specialise in aboriginal art bought from the outlying communities.

Main Street of Broome

 

7. Catch up on local history at the Broome Historical Museum

Broome has a fascinating history. It’s character has developed from the early days of the pearling industry and the cultural diversity of those who worked in the industry. Here you can learn about these early days and the effect on the community and the pearling industry of the Japanese attacks on Broome in WW2.

Bronze statues of Broome pioneers

 

8. Pearl Luggers
Have a coffee, take a guided tour or just look over the two restored pearling luggers moored at the reconstructed jetty and imagine how it would have been in the early days for the deep sea pearl divers.

Pearl luggers Collage.jpg

 

 

9. Go to the Movies
Sun Pictures, in the centre of Chinatown, is the oldest operating outdoor theatre in the world. A visit here to watch one of the latest releases is a must. Don’t be surprised when the planes taking off and arriving at the nearby airstrip feel as though they are landing in the theatre!
The doors are also open during the day for a visit.

Sun Picture Theatre, Broome

 

10. Shop at the Courthouse Markets

From May – October the Courthouse Markets are held every Saturday. The grounds of the historical Courthouse are taken over with stalls selling locally made jewellery, clothes, art  and fresh produce and home made goodies.

Courthouse Markets, Broome

 

11. Have a Matso’s Ginger Beer

Matso’s Broome Brewery is famous for their ginger beer. Try one here where it is made! If ginger beer is not for you, choose from one of Matso’s award winning beers. Coffee and meals are also available.

Matso's Broome Brewery

 

 

12. Watch the tide rise and fall in Roebuck Bay from Town Beach Cafe

Town Cafe, Broome

Tides in Broome can vary by up to nine metres. Watch the tide come in as you enjoy a fabulous breakfast at The Town Cafe. One minute the roots of the mangroves and the rocks on the jetty can be seen. Minutes later, the water has risen and only the tops of the mangroves can be seen.

 

Roebuck Bay, Broome

 

 

13. See the WW2 Flying Boats

If your visit coincides with a very low tide, take the 1 kilometre walk out to see the remains of Broome’s Hidden Flying Boats that were bombed on March 3rd 1942.

Broome's Flying Boats

 

14. Visit Roebuck Bay and the Broome Bird Sanctuary

You’ll need a car for this one! About 25 kms from Broome, on the shores of Roebuck Bay, the bird observatory is home to over 800,000 shore birds. Over 310 species of migratory wader birds return to the mangrove forests, pindan woods and natural grasslands of the bay.

Roebuck Bay Bird Sanctuary

 

Roebuck Bay Bird Sanctuary

 

 

15. 12 Mile Creek

On your way back from the bird observatory, stop at 12 Mile Creek Cafe for lunch. Sit under the avocado trees and enjoy organic vegetarian food, freshly squeezed juices and a loo with a view!

12 Mile Creek Cafe

 

 

16. Visit Willy Creek

About 45 minutes from town, Willy Creek is an easy place to visit. Here you can cruise the creek by boat, take a helicopter ride or learn about the pearling industry.

Willy Creek Pearl Farm

 

17. Go Mud Crabbing

Beg, borrow, befriend a local with a tinny (dinghy) or take a tour to try your hand at mud crabbing in the many creeks around Broome. Keep an eye on the tides or you could be spending the day sitting on the dry creek bed waiting for the tide to come back in! Don’t forget that you are only allowed to catch ten crabs per boat but that will be more than enough for a delicious meal!

Mudcrabbing 1 Collage.jpg

 

18. See the Stairway to the Moon 

When the tide is at it’s lowest and there is a full moon, the reflection of the moon on the exposed mud flats of Roebuck Bay creates the optical illusion of a staircase reaching the moon. From March to October this natural phenomenon can be seen.

Stairway to the Moon, Broome

 

19. Take a trip to Horizontal Falls  

Horizontal Falls is a natural phenomenon where two different water levels meet and create a natural waterfall. Tours are available from quite  a few companies in Broome that will take you on a seaplane flight over the Buccaneer Archipelago before landing in Talbot Bay where you will enjoy a jet boat ride through the falls.

Horizontal Falls in the Dampier Archipeligo

 

20. See Cape Levique

At the tip of the Dampier Archipelago, about 220 miles from Broome, is Cape Levique. Clear blue water surround the peninsular that is home to a a wilderness camp jointly owned by two of the area’s Aboriginal communities. You can learn about bush tucker, catch mud crabs, go fishing or just lie in the sun and do nothing….best you stay the night!

It is a long day trip from Broome if you are driving but it can be done, otherwise a visit here can be included in some of the seaplane tours from Broome that also go to Horizontal Falls.

 

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Copyrights reserved by SK Westmore

 

 

Major Events:

Broome Races. 
A major date on the social calendar, Broome race week is very popular and racegoers arrive from all over Australia. If you’re planning to be here at this time of the year, don’t forget to book your accommodation well in advance. The Broome Cup is being held on August 16th this year!

 

The Shinju Matsuri Festival

Shinju Matsuri Festival, Broome


The festival celebrates the pearling industry and the community that has been bought together because of it. Enjoy the community street parade, a long lunch and many other activities. A fun time to be in Broome.
This year the festival is from the 5th-14th September 2014.

 

How would you like to holiday in Broome ?

 

You may also enjoy the following articles on Broome:
The Oldest Outdoor Theatre in the World
Broome’s Hidden Flying Boats
Broome’s Famous Camels
Celebrating Broome’s Shinju Matsuri Festival

 

 

 

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The Flavours of Campbelltown: A very different Adelaide Food Tour

“Welcome to the Kumar’s at Number 20.”

For a moment I thought I was in a British sitcom but no, this surprise stop was all about curry. We were not expecting to stop at a private home on our food tour but this shows how innovative Adelaide’s Campbelltown Council has been in starting their award winning Food Trail Tour.

 Campbelltown Food Trails

 

Campbelltown has attracted many migrant families to this part of Adelaide who have bought their culinary traditions with them and have started businesses. The Campbelltown Council has recognised this and in a very clever initiative has established the Flavours of Campbelltown Food Trail that promotes these businesses and offers visitors to Adelaide a very different experience.

 

But back to the Kumars…..

The Kumar’s Indian Culinary Service

I must admit we weren’t sure what was happening when we pulled up to a suburban house in Rostrevor, a suburb in the Campbelltown area but after a warm welcome from Vinnie and Anish Kumar and their two children we were very glad we were there.

The Kumars at Number 20

Vinnie and Anish run a successful Indian catering service making some of the best curries I have tasted in a long while…and at very reasonable prices!

Along with delicious pakoras and mint sauce, we were treated to their signature dish, the butter chicken curry,  a beef korma and a fabulous spinach paneer made with ricotta.

Vinnie’s parents were visiting from India, taking a holiday from their confectionary shop, but she was able to convince her father to make us some of the wonderful Indian sweet, jalebi to finish the tasting.

fabulous food from The Kumar's at Number 20

 

We had started the day with coffee….

Java Lifestyle Coffee and Tea
Mario’s father bought the first expresso machine into Adelaide in 1956 igniting his love for coffee. The coffee machine still stands in the cafe but today Mario uses a modern machine to roast and ground the beans for the coffee that the shop is known for.Tea lovers aren’t forgotten either so whether it’s tea or coffee, Java Lifestyle is the place to go….and don’t forget to try the churros with your coffee…they are delicious!

Java Lifestyle Coffee and Tea

Java Lifestyle Tea and coffee

 

and cake….

Elbio
Elbio may be from Uruguay but the cakes and pastries made at his bakery embrace all cultures. Here you’ll find treats from Italy, France and Spain as well as his Latin American delicacies. Elbio has also established a separate gluten free bakery within his larger bakery. The gluten free products are mixed in their own large mixer, baked in their own ovens and packaged away from other products.

Delicious cakes from Elbio

 

Chaja is one of his famous cakes…light, fluffy and wickedly delicious, it is a mixture of meringue, cream, sponge cake, caramel and fruit.

Chaja Cake from Elbio

 

 

Mercato
I’d love to have Mercato down the street from where I live!

Mercato

 

As I walked into Mercato I was immediately transported back to Italy! It wasn’t just the scooter standing inside the entrance, or the shelves filled with wonderful Italian products. Nor was it the salami hanging from above the counters and the display cabinets filled with a huge selection of cheese and antipasti. The wonderful selection of italian wines may have helped but what really took me back was the sight of four lovely nonnas hand rolling pasta called cavaletti…a scene that is played out often in homes in Italy.

This is part of the original owners Mario and Immas’ son John’s vision to take the store from the small corner deli it once was to the large emporium it now is. They also offer a great range of cooking classes which booked out very quickly.

Mercato in Campbelltown

 

Salt in Bocca
Andreas Carstensen bought Salt In Bocca as a present for his wife.. While most women in our group said they would not be appreciative if their husbands did this, Therese is passionate about their small family business making a range of almond breads and biscotti. The fig and pistachio biscotti were to die for! Unfortunately they are not available outside South Australia at the moment which is probably quite good for me as I would be buying them constantly.

Fig and Pistachio biscotti at Salt in Bocca

 

Cheese platter from Salt in Bocca

 

Assagio Café
Just incase we were still hungry, Assagio Cafe, an offshoot of the well known restaurant in Central Adelaide, had arranged a delicious lunch for us of arancini, polpetti, prawns, mediterranean vegetables and proscuitto and pizza.

Assagio Cafe

 

What I love about this area is that the businesses all support each other. Assagio acknowledges where their produce comes from and many suppliers are other businesses in the area.

 

This tour has been so successful, not only for visitors to the area but for the businesses themselves. There are 25 businesses in the Food Trail guide book with many more on the waiting list. The council also holds Moonlight Markets attended by businesses in the food trail booklet.From a visitor’s perspective, the diversification of the places we visited and the food we tasted was a fabulous introduction to a part of Adelaide that we probably would never have found.

Congratulations Campbelltown Council for establishing the fabulous Food Trail Tours

 

 

I was a guest on the Food Trail Tour as a part of  Tasting Australia’s culinary bloggers forum Words to Go
You can read more about the Campbelltown Food Trail at  www.foodtrail.net

 

 

 

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Sunset in Zadar

Sunset in Zadar

 

“Zadar has the most beautiful sunset in the world, more beautiful than the one in Key West, Florida”

These words were uttered by Alfred Hitchcock in 1964.

Does Zadar have the most beautiful sunsets in the world?  I’ll let you decide!
With music in the background from Zadar’s Sea Organ and the uninterrupted views over the Adriatic Sea, it is definitely a sunset that is hard to beat.

Zadar's waterfront promenade

Zadar’s waterfront promenade

 

The wide promenade on the ocean side of the town, provides a perfect viewing spot to see the sun set. Beneath the steps at the end of the Riva, is the famous art installation by Nikola Bašić called the Sea Organ. You can’t actually see it but underneath the steps are a series of musically tuned pipes and blow holes that create music when air is forced through these by the waves.

The Sea Organ

The Sea Organ: Under the steps are pipes and blow holes

 

There’s a little bar in the park opposite that is the perfect spot to watch the world go by before the day is finished!

Sunset in Zadar

Cheers

 

Slowly the sun sinks…

Sunset in Zadar

 

Sunset in Zadar

 

Sunset in Zadar

 

And on another day…a completely different sunset!

 

Sunset in Zadar

 

Sunset in Zadar

 

As daylight diminishes, the lights from Zadar’s other art installation from Nikola Bašić, the Greeting to the Sun, start to brighten. This installation is like a giant disco floor. The energy stored by the cells in the glass floor during the day now produces a changing wave of colours.

Greeting to the Sun in Zadar

Maybe Alfred Hitchcock was right when he said that “Zadar has the most beautiful sunsets in the world”

Do you agree with him? Where have you seen your best sunset?

 

Related articles:
Sunset drinks on Cable Beach
Seven Weeks in Croatia: The Highlights
It’s Tulip Time at Keukenhof
The Beauty of Melbourne’s Notorious Weather

 

This is the last post in the A to Z Challenge. Thank you for following along with me and leaving your comments. If you’ve missed any posts, you can see them all here 

 

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Yellow Waters in Kakadu National Park

Yellow Waters in Kakadu National Park

Our drive from Broome to Katherine in Australia’s north had provided us with some amazing sights so far. After a couple of days spent exploring the fascinating Katherine Gorge, we were now heading to Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory. An early departure from here was needed for our three hour plus trip to Yellow Waters…the tour started at 11.30 and we had to be on it!!

Yellow Waters Billabong is part of the wetlands area in Kakadu National Park that comes from a tributary of the South Alligator River, one of the areas large river systems. The wetlands includes river channels, floodplains and swamps. It was a lot bigger than I had imagined.  Our boat meandered up and down channels that varied in width, past swamplands and around outcrops of water lilies in flower. The scenery is stunning…..

Yellow Water Cruise

Yellow Water Cruise

 

Yellow Water Cruise

Swamps on the Yellow Water’s Cruise

Water lilies on the Yellow Water Cruise

Water lilies on the river bend

 

Flowering water lilies on the Yellow Water Cruise

Flowering water lilies on the Yellow Water Cruise

 

The wetlands are home to many species of birds…in fact about one third of Australia’s bird species are found in Kakadu National Park.

Great Eastern egrets

Great Eastern egrets stand on the lake’s edge.

 

The comb crested Jacana

The comb crested Jacana

 

The Jabiru

The Jabiru

 

Crocodiles lurk beneath the waters surface. Sometimes the only clue that they are here are their eyes appearing out over the  water….watching…waiting!  At other times they sun bake on the river edge. I’ve never forgotten our guide telling us that crocodiles can eat only once a year if they have too.

Yellow Waters-6

 

Crocodiles in Yellow Water

 

Crocodiles in Yellow Water

Crocodiles in Yellow Water

 

As you can imagine, the sunrise and sunset cruises on the YellowWater’s Billabong are incredibly popular. If you are planning a visit here at this time, make sure you book ahead. You can find more information on the Yellow Water cruises here

Related articles:
Postcards from the Kimberleys
The Oldest Outdoor Theatre n the Word
Broome’s Hidden Flying Boats
Celebrating Broome’s Shinju Matsuri Festival 

 

This post is part of the 2014 A to Z Challenge You can read all the posts on my theme “Off the Beaten Track”  here 

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X…. is for Xian

As a young enthusiastic traveller, I expressed a desire to go to China before it changed.

So way back when, just after China had opened its doors to tourists in the ’80s, my husband and I joined an expensive, small tour of China. This was the only way you were allowed into the country then. Our group of eight, all American except for us, thought we had paid for the best accommodation available at the time!

Wrong!

The Chinese government controlled the itinerary, they controlled what we saw and they controlled where we stayed!

Shanghai was our first introduction to this mystical land. In these days everyone wore blue Mao suits and rode bicycles. There was no resemblance to the Disney land that Shanghai reminds me of today. I do remember being the object of fascination from the Chinese…my long blond hair and pale skin was new to the locals. I remember the crowd that followed us to a camera shop and came inside whilst we bought a battery! The few who were learning English wanted to chat to us whilst the others just wanted to hear us speak.

I did enjoy Beijing….the Great Wall, the Summer Palace, Tianamin Square all made up for the hotel that wasn’t quite finished and still had wall panels in the room missing!

It’s probably best we don’t talk about Guilin….going up the river against the current in a less than safe boat and then staying in a cockroach infested camp was something I do not want to remember!

Finally we made it to Xian…I’m not sure how….for a moment I thought our Russian prop jet plane was going there by road….it must have been the heavy, old Kelvinator fridge plugged in a the back of the plane that was necessitating a long, long takeoff!

Unfortunately for Xian, my memory is again of the dreadful accommodation we had there! We were getting excited as we passed a brand new hotel on the way into town! At last …but, no, we kept going….off to the local sports ground and the few meagre rooms they kept for eager students! But I had other plans! My husband headed off to see if he could get a booking in the hotel we had passed.

Nothing beats a good night’s sleep in a comfortable bed with no cockroaches running around on the floor, a flushing toilet and a warm shower. The only room left…the honeymoon suite may have cost us a fortune but it was worth every penny!

I was now ready to see the famous Terracotta Warriors….

 

Photo by Fabio Achilli via Flickr with CC License

Photo by Fabio Achilli via Flickr with CC License

 

We entered one of the pits and there they stood….some of the 7,000 pottery soldiers, horses and chariots that were buried with Emperor Qin Shi Huang in 210-209BC to protect him in his afterlife. Local farmers found the warriors in 1974 whilst they were digging a well. Some remain uncovered to protect them but the sight of this army is amazing. 

 

Photo by Fabrizio Giordino via Flickr CCLicense

Photo by Fabrizio Giordino via Flickr CCLicense

 

Xian’s Terracotta Soldiers and Horses were given world heritage status by UNESCO in 1987.

 

Have you been to China. What was the highlight of your trip? 

 

 

Other stories you may enjoy:
Sri Lanka’s Lion Rock
The Backwaters of Kerala
Bali’s Galungan Festival: Just like Christmas
Dar es Salaam’s Colourful Markets

 

 

This post is part of the 2014 A to Z Challenge You can read all the posts on my theme “Off the Beaten Track”  here 

 

 

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