Saturday, May 26, 2012


Having the weekend off from teaching I headed for Broome and took some of the tourist tours.

Willie Creek Tours have a bus that takes people out to the pearl farm and shop about 40kms from Broome.

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I am very interested in the pearling industry as i use pearls with my silver to make jewellery. The guide showed us from the seeding of an oyster to the harvesting and grading of a pearl and we viewed the extensive display of jewellery in the showroom.

The following day I visited Beagle Bay, Cape Leveque and the Horizontal Falls.

Beagle Bay is a small indigenous community that was founded in 1890 by French Trappist monks. The catholic church was finished in 1918 the first church was a rough shed of iron, which blew away in a cyclone. The Aboriginal community gathered vast amounts of shell from the beaches to help make the bricks and mother of pearl shells were use to decorate the altar.

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Next stop was Cape Leveque, 240kms north of Broome. The colours of red-rock cliffs and bone-white sand meeting clear turquoise water was absolutely breathtaking.

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From One Arm point I flew over the Buccaneer Archipelago to the Horizontal falls. This excerpt from the Kimberley website describes the falls very well.

“One of the most amazing natural features of the Kimberley region is the tidal waterfalls located deep within Talbot Bay in the Buccaneer Archipelago, but unlike any other waterfall, the water passes horizontally. Although they are called waterfalls, this natural phenomenon actually consists of intense tidal currents hurtling through two narrow coastal gorges. Massive tidal movements create a waterfall effect as water banks up against one side of the narrow cliff passage, to be repeated again on the turning tide.

The twin gaps are part of the McLarty Ranges, which have two ridges running parallel approximately 300 metres apart. The first and most seaward gap is about 20 metres wide and the second, most spectacular, gap is about 10 metres wide.

It is possible to drive boats through the two gaps to the bay behind. The tides in this area have a 10 metre variation which occurs over six and a half hours from low tide to high tide and vice versa. The effect of the waterfalls is created by the tide building up in front of the gaps faster than it can flow through them and there can be a four metre high waterfall between the bays.

The waterfall phenomena has been described by David Attenborough as "one of the greatest natural wonders of the world".

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