Brisbane, QLD

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Kimberley and The Top End Adventure

Kimberly is the name given to the northern area of Western Australia and Top End is the name given to the northern area of the Northern Territory. Two weeks ago we flew from Brisbane to Broome via Sydney to join a guided tour through these regions to Darwin.

Broome is a small town but rapidly growing due to the tourist trade. It has a population of 15,000 which increases to 45,000 in the tourist season. There are two seasons: The Wet and The Dry, both are hot but it is hotter in The Wet, tourists prefer The Dry.(Apr-Nov.)Temperatures range from 30C/88F to over 40C/105F.

Together with six friends,we arrived at the small international airport.

Soon we were transferred to our resort. Bill, Helen and Paul.

After we settled in we went for a walk to the beach. We passed these Boab trees, which are common in the outback. They are fibrus inside and don't have rings like other trees.

We noticed how different the houses are compared with the East Coast. They are made of colourbond, corrugated iron as this is the cheapest material to transport the huge distances, and they don't have guttering because no guttering can cope with the torrential tropical downpours.

Cable Beach is 22.5k/15miles long and has 9m/30ft tides.It is called Cable Beach because it is where the telegraph, undersea cable connects Australia to Singapore and the rest of the world. It was laid in 1889.

Tourists can take camel rides along the beach. Camels were introduced into Australia to help transport supplies to the builders of the overland telegraph line in the 1800's. After train tracks and roads were made the camels were often let go to run wild. Now we have the biggest population of camels than any other country. We even export them to Arabia.

The camels are on their way back and the tourists in 4Xwheel drive vehicles drive on the beach to picnic and watch the spectacular sunsets over the sea, (which is unusual for us East Coasters).There were also 2 weddings taking place on the beach.

On the way back to the resort we stopped by a lovely restaurant for dinner. "Eight friends will travel."

The next morning we explored the little town centre, because we weren't meeting the tour guides until 6:00pm. One of the two main streets with arcade. The car has been travelling on the red dirt roads.

I couldn't get used to giving way to cars even when on a crossing. Nearly got skittled a few times.

Broome has a colourful history. In the late 1800's Broome developed due to the discovery of "Pinctada maxima", huge mother of pearl shells. The shells were sought after by overseas countries for the manufacture of buttons, and for the rare finding of natural South Sea Pearls. These statues are of the men who developed the pearling industry.

The old jetty where pearling luggers used to unload their haul of shells.

In town there is still operating today an open air movie theatre. It was built in 1916.

Some of the chairs had been moved today to make way for another function.

A local aboriginal.

In 1942 when the Japanese occupied Dutch Indonesia many refugees arrived in Broome. There were many Dutch, American, British and Australian ships and flying boats in Roebuck Harbour in Broome. The Japanese mounted three bombing raids over the harbour. Many ships and flying boats were sunk and 88 people were killed some were Dutch civilians on board the boats. The war with Japan caused extra problems for Broome because the pearling industry employed hundreds of Japanese deep sea divers.

See Bill's video HERE.

View Brisbane to BroomeAugust 2009 in a larger map


  1. What a wonderful trip you had and so interesting things to see ! I have never seen such Boab trees in my life not even in photos ! I learn !!
    My son was 6 weeks in Australia and visited as most as he could by plane, rented car etc and went from one end to the other. At the end he loved the country so much that he wanted to stay !

  2. How fascinating. I never associated camels with Australia. I love the Boab trees, they look like giant yams.
    Thanks for sharing all the info and lovely pictures.
    Sunny :)

  3. Well Broome is much more attractive than I imagined. It's no wonder it costs an arm and a leg for a holiday there! Your resort looks pretty grand and the pool very inviting. I am pleased that you posted information about the camels as they have now become feral pests in that region of Australia and thus the culling of them. Your blog and that of "BB" have become not only picturesque but of historical and educational value. Excellent work and I am sure very much appreciated be the viewers, here and overseas.

  4. Great photos Diane, glad you had a fabulous time. I love the history of the place and just love the pearls. cant imagine me on a camel though..ha ha. Alma and Bill

  5. Hi Diana, thanks for your visit to my blog.

    Wow, this was quite an interesting post. I knew you have a lot of camels there, but not that you actually export them to Arabia! The photos are dramatic...lines of camels and tourists by the sea.

    Being a west coaster myself, it would be really special for me to see the sun RISE over the ocean, so I can certainly understand how an ocean sunset would seem exotic. Having seen both, which do you prefer?


  6. Diane, This is wonderful. I love seeing and hearing about places where I've never been. SO interesting. Looks like you all had a wonderful trip. I can't wait to see more pictures from your long trip. It's so nice to travel with a group of friends.

    Thanks for sharing...

  7. What a wonderful trip Diane, I look forward to reading more about it. Lisa G

  8. Great pics. You and Bill have so much fun together. Welcome back though - missed you a bunch.

  9. Lovely photos, and glad you had a good trip.
    Been to Broome a few times and wish to return.
    I could live in Broome.
    I adore the sunsets and I took many photos whilst there.

  10. Wow! What a lovely tour! I am so glad to get to 'go with you' and see these sites. Sites I am sure I will never get to see in my life, except through someone like you!

    Thank you so very much!


  11. what great pics as usual and i love your comments. Fran

  12. Beautiful photos and a very informative post. I have never see a Boab tree before, very interesting that is is fibrous. I also had no idea there were camels in Australia and so many of them. I love the photos of the tourists on the camels.

    What a wonderful trip. I look forward to seeing more of your photos.


  13. Diane, this is a great report from the beginning of your holidays. I have read books about the pearling industry, very interesting. A lovely town Broom. Love the houses without gutters and they look a little oriental, I think they suit this tropical area. Great pictures too. Have you missed your vocation you are such a good reporter! Looking forward for more!

  14. Diane, those Boab trees look like our yams but bigger! The pictures are amazing.

  15. Very interesting! I didn't know that we had the most camels and even exported them the Arabia! Looks like the start of a great trip!

  16. Seeing 'my' tour through someone else's eyes is just terrific! ou saw much more of the camels than we did. I mainly saw them too on my first day before meeting the group at 6pm.