We have just got back from a week at Cape Leveque. Before we talk about that we need to update you on our day at the Horizontal Falls.
We got picked up at 5.15am so we could leave at 6am. Our ride (& a blonde pilot) as you can see from below is a seaplane. It takes off from Broome airport & lands on the water at Cyclone Bay.
Great views on the way via Cape Leveque Lighthouse.
This is what the Horizontal Falls looks like from the air. There are two falls, the one in mid picture is the narrow falls & the one in the foreground is the wide falls. This picture was taken about an hour before low tide so the narrow falls were still active but the wide falls were calm. We were lucky as we got to see the falls on the outgoing tide & the incoming tide.
This is the pontoon you land at & have breakfast on & this is the 1200 horsepowers that get you through the falls. It also musses your hair at full speed.
You can see from this picture how high the water gets. The maximum height the boat can go through is about a metre so you can only get through the narrow gap an hour or so either side of high or low tide.
Hope these do it justice. If you get a chance its something that has to be on your bucket list.
When we got back I went for a swim with the sharkies.
We flew in formation on the way home with the other plane.
So we then went up to Cape Leveque. The first 90km is dirt & then strangely the next 100km is tar.
We have seen some funny things on the road but this is the first time we have seen a wild donkey.
We stopped in at Beagle Bay to have a look at the Sacred Heart Church. It is nearly 100 years old & was built by German priests & the locals.
The inside features pearl shells & is very spectacular.
Did I mention that we left the caravan in Broome & we are camping. Also left Billy who is having a holiday at the kennels.
Stayed at Kooljaman which is just under the Cape Leveque lighthouse. Great spot, had cooling westerly winds for the 4 days we were there. Camping was interesting!
Sunsets once again were awesome.
Miles & miles of beaches to have a swim.
It is a dry community but you can bring your own. Managing intake to ensure we did not run out was the toughest part of the trip.
We then moved across to the Eastern side of the Dampier peninsula & went a bit up market & stayed at Cygnet Bay. It is a working pearl farm. Stayed in a Safari Tent.
Went & visited the Ardiyooloon Hatchery at One Arm Point. It was originally set up 30 years ago as a hatchery for Trochus Shells. The shells were used for buttons & was very lucrative. Most buttons are now plastic & the demand has dropped dramatically. The hatchery now is more of an aquarium & tourist attraction. Still great spot to visit. Even had a blue ring octopus.
It also has a great outlook, its called Round Rock. Tide was running in at about 10 knots.
I mentioned that Cygnet Bay was a working pearl farm. Well here are the anchors for the stringers (railway wheels) & a line of pots being made up. When we had dinner in the restaurant we shared it with 20 or so workers. The food was really good.
Really good pool looking over the bay.
The good news is that we were successful in rationing the beer supplies & we had the last one at 8pm last night.
I haven’t mentioned the helicopters yet. There is a fleet of ~10 Sikorsky S92’s at Broome that service the gas fields ~300km north of Cape Leveque. They can carry about 18 pax. They haven’t got the fuel capacity to get there & back again so they land at Djarindjin Airport (10km south of Cygnet Bay) & are refueled hot (whilst rotors are still turning). They do a couple of trips a day. On way home today we stopped & watched one. Not a job I want.
Words of day:-
Alacrity – brisk & cheerful readiness (me)
Inculcate – instil by persistent instruction
Cruciverbalist – a designer of aficionado of crosswords (i’m becoming one)
Aficionado – a person who is knowledgable & enthusiastic on a subject
Baroque – relating to or denoting a style of European architecture, music, and art of the 17th and 18th centuries (Ulrika likes this style of pearls)