Leaving Broome

Having spent a glorious week in Broome we decided that we weren’t ready to leave and booked a second week.  The second week followed the path of the first week although we swapped beaches on a couple of occasions to try and avoid jellyfish in the high tides.

Gantheaume Beach, Broome, WA

On one of those occasions we drove on to Gantheaume Beach and noticed four police officers talking to three guys who it turned out were from a boat just off the beach which in turn was a landing craft for a much bigger boat anchored off the shore.  This bigger boat looked like a rusting piece of death at sea and could be mistaken for an Indonesian people smuggling cruise ship.  After a while the three of them were ordered to produce passports etc before being allowed to leave.  We never did find out the true story but it made things interesting for a while.

We spent several days at this beach as the vibe was really good with everyone just laying back enjoying the heat, water temperature and of course beautiful sunsets.

On returning to the van we invited our caravan neighbours Matt and Shelly over for drinks and we sat around in the nice cool night air having a laugh.  Then before we knew it it was 1am.  Time passes fast when chatting and it was off to bed.

Next morning we went off to the Courthouse Market which had all the usual Beach goodies on offer and in fact Karen’s hat we bought here 4 years ago and old mate was still there looking exactly the same.

Later we went to the town beach for the staircase to the moon event but really I can’t say I was impressed by it.  It might just have been that that one was not that great but others might have been superb.  It’s a bit like a sunset but as the moon rises it shines on to the flats of Roebuck Bay giving the illusion of a staircase going up to the moon.

Roebuck Viewpoint

One of the days we visited the Roebuck viewpoint which gives an amazing view of the  colours of the ocean.  To get up the stairs to the viewing platform we walked through a group of local people which at first seemed a bit daunting but they all wished us a great day whilst referring to us as Brother & Sister.  We then took in the view, took some snaps then were given the same send off from the group “enjoy Broome Brother & Sister” as we walked to the car.

It was then time for a visit to Matso’s Brewery just for a look at the menu as we fancied coming here later to eat.  On the same site there is a gallery full of amazing artwork.  Luckily as we have no house for some time it was easy not to buy anything.  Adding to the fact that any we would have bought were priced in the thousands.  The artists here also do massive street art type murals as well as canvas.  Outside there was one such mural and we grabbed a pic of that one.

Later we returned to the van before taking in the sunset on Cable Beach once again.  This time however we decided to splash out and went to the Life Saving Club for a cold one.  

We then went back to Matso’s Brewey where we had arranged to meet our caravan neighbours Matt & Shelly for dinner.  We arrived and were surprised to see a band playing.  Luckily Matt & Shelly had already grabbed a table although later we did move tables as the one we were on was pretty high.

The place was really busy and when ordering food we were told it would be at least a 40 minute wait.

Eventually the food arrived and it was certainly worth the wait.  I had the Seafood Linguine, both Kaz & Matt had the Snapper and Shelly the Duck Pasta then after 1 more drink we had to get back to the van as we had left Max in there.  Not a worry for him with the air conditioning keeping him cool.

A Bit later Matt & Shelly returned and joined us for a natter as we would be leaving the following morning.  This time there would be no repeat of the previous nights lateness as we had a relatively long drive ahead of us.

In the morning we packed up said our goodbyes and headed for the road South.  We have seven days to get to the Ningaloo coast beaches as we have booked ten days on a beachfront spot that we will drive on to.  We will then have uninterrupted ocean views.  This one has been on our to do list from four years ago when we had to give it a miss due to time constraints.

On the way we stop at the Sand fire Roadhouse for a night.  This is just what it is, a roadhouse although it does have plenty of wildlife around.  

One night here was more than enough and the next day we headed for the town of Port Hedland where we stayed at the racecourse free camp.  Again there is nothing fancy about the place but it is free and we stay for two days.  Port Hedland is a massive mining area and everywhere you look there are white mining Utes and Land Cruisers everywhere distinguished by there yellow stripes and high red flags.  You see so many of these that we wondered if anyone is actually working at the mine sites.

As usual when we come to a major town with amenities we stock up.  The beauty of the racecourse is its proximity to a Woolworths/BWS supermarket allowing us to purchase the essentials as well as food.

One thing here is if you were a light sleeper you would be in trouble as all day and night the mining trains don’t stop and they are at least a kilometre each in length.

We visited the viewpoint across the road where you can see one of the only domestic beaches where turtles lay eggs.  You can also count the number of iron ore and coal ships waiting to dock in to PH before heading back to China.

We only stayed here for two night b4 we headed back out on to the road South this time making our way to a spot just south of Karratha.  

To the Kialrah Pool (Jones River), Roebourne-Wittenoom Road, Sherlock, Western Australia.  This is privately owned but the owners allow anyone to come off the road set up on the riverfront as long as they like for free.  It’s only about 185 km from PH and we would have been quicker if not for the huge mining truck being transported in front of us.   This load is extra wide and if you want to pass is best to wait until told it is safe.  We sit back not bothered about overtaking it and in fact pull off the road and take a break letting the wide load move further in front.  

Shortly after we arrive at the turnoff and drive the 10 km rocky road arriving after 10 minutes at a great riverfront spot with only two other vans here.  There is an abundance of wildlife here, unfortunately that includes snakes which we will have to keep our eyes peeled for especially for Max.  Apparently the river is good for swimming in but well I don’t think we will risk it as it looks like a crocs dinner table.

Two nights will be the go here before we move on through Karratha heading for Ningaloo.

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