Page 75

More Of The Horizontal Falls Then Broome.

A close-up of a shark then back to Derby.


C'mon in, the water's fine. I have some friends I'd like you to meet.

We all decided that, tempting though the water looked, we might just give swimming a miss that afternoon. The shark pictured was just one of several that came to visit.

The houseboat had a permanent crew of three, one to drive JET A1 over the falls plus a young chap and a good-looking German girl to cook and look after visitors. After we left they had a party for afternoon tea and another party for dinner and to stay the night.

When the seaplane's pilot radioed in to say he was approaching they asked him to descend through the gorge and land beside the houseboat. Thus we were able to board the aircraft directly without all the performance of the life jackets required by a ferry trip to the plane on 'JET A1'.

Cessna emerging from the gorge

The Cessna Caravan exits the gorge and lines up for . . .

Cessna landing

. . . a perfect water landing.

Cessna panel

I got to be First Officer on the flight home. Our Captain had been hard at it all day so I offered to do
the take-off for him. He declined! Some people have no sense of adventure.

The flight home took us out over the Buccaneer Archipelago and then down the coast and back to Derby. In Pam's aerial photograph below, Loch Street, the town's main street, runs diagonally through the picture towards the lower left corner. If you could extend Loch Street down beyond the photo's border, you would find that it crosses mud flats and ultimately terminates at the jetty. Derby is surrounded on three sides by mud flats - there are no sandy beaches here.

At the bottom of the picture are new houses under construction - the ones with the grey roofs. Our caravan park is somewhere in the upper left, possibly just out of the picture.

Derby from the Air

Derby photographed by Pam from the seaplane.

When we landed and disembarked from the Cessna our bus was waiting to ferry us home. What a day! And how lucky we were to go on the day we did for the following day was cold, overcast and raining.
Our Website

Three days later we packed up and drove to Broome, but before we explore Broome please indulge me and take a look at our 'Website Visits' chart below. We use the monthly 'visits' statistic rather than the much larger number of 'hits' as it far more accurately reflects the number of people who have logged on to our site. For example, in May 2008 the number of 'visits' was recorded as 1,722. The number of 'hits' recorded for the same period was 16,346.

Website visits graph

Visits to pete-n-pam.com since we developed it in April 2004 until May 2008.

So what happened in March to cause the numbers to skyrocket? We use a very good website called Australian Caravan Park Reports (http://home.vicnet.net.au/~badger04/) to see which parks other caravanners recommend at our next port of call. It is a really marvellous tool for people such as ourselves and we highly recommend it. A few months ago Mr. Badger, the gentleman who runs the site, kindly included a link to our site and suddenly, up the visits went.

Nearly everybody we meet raves about Broome so before proceeding I'd better tell you where we're coming from.

We flew here once, several years ago, in the summer (wet season). Our short stay was spent going from one air conditioned location to another, such was the heat and humidity outside. When it rained it came down so hard that within minutes the streets were kerb to kerb torrents that the storm drains couldn't handle. Then the sun would shine again and everything would steam. Our hired car was not allowed on dirt roads so we were confined to the town.

That was our previous experience of Broome but now we'll look at it in the dry season and through the eyes of more experienced travellers.

Broome has changed a lot. It has grown and is still growing fast with much development in evidence. Alice, our poor GPS, is very confused as so many roads have been altered or built since she was programmed. Broome has become a useful sized town in that many of the larger chain stores are here which we found useful - we were even able to access some replacement parts for the caravan. Naturally, the expansion will not be to the liking of many who loved the 'Old Broome' but that's what passes for progress.

We visited the famous Cable Beach. The breakers were not doing a lot for the surfers who made the best of what there was.


The surfers made the best of what swell there was.

There were, however, compensations which we discovered as we walked along the beach staying near the water where the sand was firm. Just for the exercise, you understand.

Beauty on beach

Cable Beach was very pleasant to walk along.

We also visited Town Beach which was entirely different. Broome is built on a peninsula and Cable Beach has a westerly outlook whereas Town Beach is on the opposite side and is just a small bay with mangroves at each end. The water was still.

Town Beach

Town Beach with a caravan park beyond. What a location! Our 'van was five kilometres out of town.

Cable Beach

Cable Beach was sparsely populated. If cooking in the sun all day, semi naked or entirely naked, is your thing then Broome's as good a place as any to do it.

So, initial impressions of Broome this time around are much more favourable. There is some history here, some dinosaur footprints and it has the pearling industry for us to investigate but it is primarily a holiday destination, a place for going to the beach in the day and the clubs at night. Not really our scene but very nice.

Footnote: This re-working of Page 75 was completed on 29th June 2013. It conforms to HTML5 and CSS level 3.