Broome & Derby

Into the Kimberley. There is a definite change to the vegetation (more lush) and coastline (mangroves). We stay at the Roebuck roadhouse, which is handy for Broome, and for departing eastwards. They have a happy well managed group of young staff. At Broome we check out the local history museum, which has lots of info on the town's multicultural history (not always happy). Prior to the development of cultured pearls, the industry relied on Asian divers, even when the white Australia policy discouraged this. The evening is spent watching the famous “staircase to the moon”.

Our final stop on good roads, before the dirt of the Gibb River road, is Birdwood Downs station. It has a real oasis feel after the dryness of the Pilbara, complete with palm trees and wandering peacocks. They sell packs of their own steak, at a good price, very tasty.

We nip back into Derby, to go to the races. This is the local social event of the year. It's real bush racing, on a dirt track. We get some great tips from Dan watching from Freo on Sky, but lose it all on the favorite in the last race. A great day out, with lots of local characters. So much more fun than the big money dressy race days in the big cities.