Our one day 4 wheel drive tour from Broome to Cape Leveque was full of interesting information and amazing and different scenery. We set out at 7.00 with Roger Chomley of Chomley Tours. Despite the 200km trip with 100 km of that being over very corrugated unsealed roads we enjoyed every minute of the nearly 14 hours.
Our vehicle for the trip over some very corrugated roads
Beagle Bay, our first stop, was one of three different missions we visited. It is home to the beautiful Sacred Heart Church, famous for its pearl shell altar. The church, built during WWI, is an elegant stark white set against the dark red soil. Not what you expect in such a tiny community. It was featured in the church scenes in the movie “Bran Nui Dae” and can be seen in many a travel brochure.
The interior of the Catholic Church in Beagle Bay is decorated largely with Mother of Pearl
Hand made bricks and lime created by burning sea shells the at Beagle Bay church build by German priests during WWI
Further down the road at Lombadina Aboriginal Community we viewed the ‘bush-style’ Church. What a contrast. This seems much more in keeping with the setting. This is a prosperous community where everything is orderly, clean and very green. It has some of the largest gum trees we have seen. Rare in this hot, dry land but as with other places water makes such a difference.
The exterior of the church at Lombadina is much simpler and in keeping with the beautiful local environment of this well-managed community
The interior shows use of native timbers.
Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm was next. This is Australia’s oldest operating pearl farm. We learnt about the labour intense processes needed to produce cultured pearls and resisted the temptation to buy, despite their beauty. We also had a very nice lunch.
Two views of the water and shoreline of Cygnette Bay, the site of the first European known to set foot in what was to be known as Australia
At One Arm Point, the start of the Buccaneer Archipelago, we had a brief visit through the local Aboriginal Community then to a fish hatchery to be entertained and educated by its owner. In a number of large tanks he had every thing imaginable from the sea, including huge 35 lb barramundi. His little Nemos” (Clown fish) supply the aquarium trade. From this Point the strong tidal flows of King Sound could be seen rushing out to sea.
Whether it was hand feeding huge barramundi or considering the pencil urchin, our guide had his audience in the palm of his hand
Next was over the sand to Cape Leveque beach for a swim. Perfect – fine white sand, crystal clear blue water and a swell of about six inches. On the other side of this narrow cape were tall red rocky cliffs. Here we waited to see these highlighted by the setting sun.
The amazing different blue and sky of the Buccaneer archipelago
With our backs to the sunset, the amazing colours of the cliffs at West Beach reflect every hue of the end of the day – except for three hours to drive home
After two hours of driving we had a quick stop on the side of the road for afternoon tea under the stars. The last hours of the trip, despite the corrugations, was filled with reflections on the day.