Wonderful week in the Kimberley: Broome

Boab Tree, iconic image of the area around Broome and Derby

Maggie and I recently spent a week in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. It was a varied and wonderful experience.

Our week began with four nights in Broome, staying at the ever-reliable Mangrove Hotel, overlooking Roebuck Bay. The second photo gives you some idea of the large tidal movements common in this part of Australia.

It was the second half of July, the best month to visit Broome during its dry winter season. Daily maximum temperatures were in the high 20s (Celsius), with very low humidity. As the sun set each day, the temperature dropped quickly, making for idyllic alfresco dining.

The Mangrove Hotel features an expansive terrace overlooking the bay, from which you can view the famous ‘staircase to the moon’ from time to time. It’s a great spot for a leisurely evening of dining, chatting with other guests and watching the sky change colour.

Dusk on the terrace at the Mangrove Hotel

We spent our first morning in Broome on a half-day ‘town tour’. We recommend doing something like this because the history, culture, coastline and layout of Broome are so diverse. A well-organised orientation will help you get the most out of your visit.

Significant Broome sights we saw on the tour included Gantheaume Point, home to fossilised dinosaur footprints …

Broome sandstone at Gantheaume Point

… the Camel train on Cable Beach, where the original telegraph cable connecting Australia to Asia and beyond came ashore …

Camels at Cable Beach

… the Japanese cemetery, final resting place of about 170 Japanese men brought to Broome to dive for pearl shell, also called mother of pearl. It was a very dangerous occupation. Some men died while diving, others when their boats were caught in cyclones …

Cemetery in the Japanese ‘stone garden’ style

… and a poignant memorial to the 88 civilians and military personnel killed by Japanese fighter planes – bullets, not bombs – in March 1942. Some of the victims had only just been airlifted to safety from Java by a fleet of Catalinas (flying boats or seaplanes). The memorial was ‘unveiled’ on the air raid’s 80th anniversary earlier this year.

Part of the memorial at Town Beach

Cheers for now!
Rick Grounds

About rmgtravelsandfood

Maggie and I are both in our late 60s and live in Melbourne, Australia. This blog is devoted to our shared passions for travel and fine dining at home. As cooks, we are skilful and adventurous within a framework of mainly traditional ingredients and techniques, and we aim to prepare nutritious food that looks good and tastes delicious. Our evolving repertoire is influenced by both our travels and Melbourne's vibrant food culture. From 2008 to early 2020, our priority travel destinations were overseas, although we have always spent a bit of time each year exploring parts of Australia. Our first overseas journey together was to Italy in the northern autumn of 2008. We later travelled in France (2009), Spain (2011), Singapore and Cambodia (2012/13). Most of our international adventures from 2014 to 2020 are covered in this blog. We have now reached a time in our lives when the prospect of long flights to distant places are unappealing, so we will travel mainly within Australia or to countries that are close to home.
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1 Response to Wonderful week in the Kimberley: Broome

  1. The wonderful red dirt and complex history of the Broome. Love it. Thanks Rick!

    Like

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