By mid-day we departed from Karijini National Park. I honestly had a fantastic time exploring the gorges – it is such a remote and difficult to reach part of Australia that few get to see it, and it’s both a shame and a blessing. It’s too bad many won’t see one of the more spectacular regions before it succumbs to mining (there are extensive operations in the region, even in the NP), but it was great to be in a place that we largely had to ourselves. It’s the remote, peaceful exploration that really makes you feel miles removed from EVERYTHING. I wasn’t able to get a great picture of the surrounding areas, but as we left the park I took a quick snap of the low mountains we had driven through.
We spent the rest of the day driving, stopping at Paradoo Roadhouse for the night. Despite being so far north already, the drive from Karijini to Broome was nearly 1000 kilometers. Have I mentioned Australia is BIG?
The next day was nothing but driving until we reached our destination of Broome. When you’ve been away from the water for a few days you forget just how stunningly vibrant the colour is up here.
Before our tour was officially ‘finished’, our guides took us to Gantheaume Point, the site of a lighthouse and also some red rocks. During low tide there are also some ancient dinosaur prints in the rocks at sea level.
It was a beautiful spot to finish the tour as it combined the two things we had seen the most of – electric blue water and rusted red rocks.
After dropping our bags and checking into our hostels, many of us headed to Broome’s most famous beach – Cable Beach. Named for the fact that this was where the telegraph cable from Java to Broome came ashore (very creative naming :P), this is a stunning expanse of white sand, stretching 22 kilometers end to end. We rested up on the grassy hill above the beach, enjoying the last vestiges of the sun.
The beach was far from packed, but people had kites out, beer was easy to find and there was plenty of space on the grassy hill. Not to mention the temperature was perfect – it was about 30C or so. Broome is pretty darn tropical.
After the sun dipped below the horizon we found some food at various nearby establishments and eventually went our separate ways. Many of us would be seeing each other again over the next few days, but it was a final goodbye for a couple of people.
I returned to my hostel knowing I was ready to do some exploring of Broome the next day – it was back to independent travel for a few days!