We loved Broome, but it was time to move on. We packed up camp and said farewell to our neighbours before heading out to the highway.
Emma had developed a pain in the ball of her foot, so Craig drove the 80km’s up the dirt road towards Cape Leveque. Although there was notable lean on the road, the road wasn’t in bad condition. After the dirt the road is sealed all the way to the top. We’d not been on the tarmac long when we found the turn off to Middle Lagoon. There was another 50km’s of single lane slow dirt roads before we finally made it to camp.
The campsite seemed poorly organized, but we eventually found a pozzie and got ourselves settled.
The next day we drove the track back out to the blacktop and up to the top of Cape Leveque.
The aboriginal community was closed but a sign directed us to the oyster shed to pay our admission fee. We followed the sign and drove to the oyster shed, which then had a sign out to say they were closed on Saturdays. We shrugged our shoulders and headed to the beaches. Unfortunately Emma’s foot was even worse than the day before and she could barely walk so we jumped back in the car.
Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm
Next stop was the Cygnet Bay pearl farm. This is the longest operational pearl industry in the region. They had some absolutely gorgeous, but extremely expensive, gems for sale. We sat on the balcony and had an over priced lunch and disappointing lunch.
The next day we decided to visit Koolijamen, another aboriginal settlement. This is also the more popular camping resort with a café and various cultural tours departing from here. We had originally planned to join one of the bush tucker tours, unfortunately Emma’s foot had become very painful and she could barely walk so we limited ourselves to a quick look at the beach where the red rock meets the blue waters of the Indian Ocean.
The church at Beagle Bay is decorated with the pearl shells of the area and is quite spectacular, and definitely worth a look.
We had visited the heritage centre while we were in Broome that explained the history of the Sisters of St John of God.
This group of Irish nuns ran an orphanage and was very influential in the district, being the first to provide any kind of health care. Many of the stolen generation of aboriginal children ended up in their care. It was good to see the actual buildings and landscape of the stories that we had learned at the heritage centre.
Unforuntely we weren’t able to enjoy the Dampier Peninsula to its full extent due to Emma’s limited mobility and headed to Derby to get her foot checked out.