Broome Story (Part 1) – Camels, Frangipani, Boabs, Night Sky, Blue Sea and Steps leading up to the Moon…

In Broome our feet are dusted with red earth and we wash them in in soft milky blue opalescent waves. Above us an unrelenting stretch of cerulean sky floats day after day. And before us is the Indian Ocean – an endless canvas of wild brush strokes in turquoise, aquamarine, periwinkle and peacock shimmering beneath a crayoned line of indigo.


In Broome the salty air is daubed with the delicate white fragrance of frangipani mingled with a powerful hot animal smell of camels trooping back and forth from Cable Beach.

Dusk after dusk we watch that raspberry ball of fire sink slowly into the cool horizon and melt into a fluorescent puddle of sticky orange slicking the navy line between sky and sea.


In Broome we understand the ancient art of people who have lived in this land for thousands of years. Everywhere we see  Dreamtime shapes – in swollen bellied boabs and strange fruit, in the colour of native blossom and the pattern of leaves and branches, in the burnt orange rocks and rust red soil.


In Broome camels, cars, people, dogs and seagulls leave their prints on the soft sand of Cable Beach.

In Broome we wait under a star sequinned sky for a magical staircase to take us to the moon. An orange stain appears over the mangroves in the deep purple night. And suddenly there it is – a lantern of gold rising over perfect steps of light.


Staircase to the Moon (photo by Angela Beechey)
© Anita Patel, 2015

7 thoughts on “Broome Story (Part 1) – Camels, Frangipani, Boabs, Night Sky, Blue Sea and Steps leading up to the Moon…

  1. Lovely Anita. I just realised this afternoon that we were in Broome 10 years ago today – it’s easy to remember because we were there when the London underground bombing occurred.

    The photos and words here are lovely. I like your description of the sea “the crayoned line of indigo”. And of the Dreamtime shapes.

    Unfortunately we weren’t there at the right time for the staircase, but one day we will go back.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Again thank you for your very kind words. Broome is so different to the rest of Australia. I am going to write a couple more posts about the vibrant and rich community there. Indigenous and Asian stories are palpable and real in this town. We were there for 5 weeks and I learnt so much. I would love to hear about your experiences there.


      1. Five weeks would be wonderful. We were only there for about 10 days, 10 years ago so our experience was pretty touristy really. A friend’s son is a ranger there, and his partner has just won the TA Hungerford Award for her first novel (unpublished) but they are about to leave. I think they’ve had a wonderful 2 years (I think it’s been) there.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Our daughter lives there with her family. Her husband is an environmentalist with Kimberley land Council. So it was really nice to stay with them and really experience the Broome community. She has been working at Cable Beach Primary which has a majority of Indigenous background students and I was able to visit her classroom and give a little lesson. They probably know your friend’s son and daughter in law.


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