I can’t speak for everyone (to the shock and chagrin of many, I’m sure). But I would imagine we all have a place that, despite our open minds and best efforts, just didn’t “wow” us. Somewhere we don’t hate, or associate with a terrible experience, but merely wouldn’t think to recommend to our friends while there are so many other options in the world.
For me, that place was Broome, in northern Western Australia.
There’s a fair bit of hype surrounding Broome in the Australian backpacking community–and they aren’t the only people talking about it. Broome’s population increases threefold every June, when tourists flock to the tropical climate in northern Australia. While places like Melbourne and Sydney experience winter, Broome’s humidity drops to “actually bearable,” making it the perfect escape from snow, ice, and cold winds. It’s considered a top destination by many people, and considering how far out of the way it is, that’s saying something.
And you know what? I’m not going to argue that point. There’s a reason this post isn’t titled “These Are All Of My Problems with Broome.” My experience there was not negative; it was merely lackluster, and no one wants to hear about that.
Instead, I’m going to tell you about the highlight of my days there. A time when, “meh” or not in other ways, Broome became downright magical.
Cable Beach is actually located about seven kilometers from Broome’s town center. It’s named for the underwater telegraph cable that was laid from there to Java in the nineteenth century, and is a long, beautiful stretch of fine pale sand on the edge of the Indian Ocean.
We stayed at Cable Beach Backpackers, located a short walk away (and a quick bus ride into the town of Broome itself). It was 35 degrees C out the whole week, so naturally, we spent a lot of time at the beach, re-applying sunscreen 700 times and generally trying not to fry to a total crisp. (Mission: kinda accomplished.)
But my favorite time at the beach was this sunset.
The tide was low, exposing a wide, flat expanse of sand that seemed to never end. That in combination with your typical gorgeous sunset full of classic hues is good enough. But if you add a risen grassy expanse where one could observe said low tide sunset without having to repeatedly remove sand from, well, everywhere? That’s even better. Maybe the best, actually. I kind of wouldn’t believe it was real if I didn’t have these photos to prove it. (You guys can see these too, right?)
If you’re lucky, maybe you’ll catch some wallabies crossing the road on the walk back to your accommodation. (If you’re really lucky, maybe you’ll catch some wallabies crossing the road when the light is better and you can get a good photo.)
In any case, it just goes to show: even the average places have their moments.