13 hours on an overnight Greyhound bus later and we had left Kununurra and arrived in Broome. We'd booked accommodation in the Cable Beach area of Broome so they kindly picked us up from the city, along with a new friend we made on the bus, a French guy called Pierre. Exhausted after our long overnight journey, we spent the day familiarising ourselves with the backpackers and catching up on some sleep. Luckily for us, Wednesday night at Cable Beach Backpackers is Sausage Sizzle night- free sausages on the barbie!!!
When Wardy, our hostel manager, picked us up from the bus stop, he told us that it's always sunny in Broome, even in the wet season (which is now). The next, we woke up - on Australia Day - to torrential rain and a powercut! With nothing much to do at the backpackers in the rain and with no power, Wardy dropped us off in town where we soon discovered, it was the whole town that had a powercut so not a lot was going on! Back at the backpackers, the power was back on by lunchtime and the Australia Day festivities commenced in the shape of free snags on the barbie (snags are sausages)!! Later in the day we headed down to Cable Beach. Cable Beach is regarded as one of the top 5 beaches in the world and we can see why. It stretches for about 22km and is beautiful white sand backed by sand dunes. We've been told that actually, the beach isn't look it's best in the wet season so we can't wait to go back in the dry season and see it in all it's glory! In the evening, we watched the Federer/ Nadal match on tv before calling it a night.
As it's wet season in Broome, it's pretty quiet everywhere, our backpackers included. This was actually good for us, as firstly it meant we had a 4 bed dorm room to ourselves and secondly that there were ony about 15 of us staying in the whole place which meant we were able to get to know everyone and the place had a real homely and friendly feel.
On the Friday night, we were happily watching the tennis, when I received a phone call from Greyhound to tell us that our bus that was scheduled for the next morning was cancelled due to a cyclone warning and bush fires further down the coast. This meant we couldn't get another bus until Tuesday morning so an extra unexpected few days were to be spent in Broome.
Luckily for us, the sun came out the following day so we spent our last few days in Broome, making the most of the beach and the pool at the backpackers and watching the Australian Open final, which was exhausting as a spectator let alone the players!!! It was a great way to round off the tennis for us though, having been at Melbourne Park on day 1 and then watching it live on the final day.
On our last day in Broome, Wardy told us that the Crocodile Park at the end of our road, was closing down that day and they were doing one last entry for $10 (it's normally $35) so along with Pierre, we headed down to take a look. The Crocodile Park was opened by a Broome native by the name of Malcolm Douglas. He was a conservationist and crocodile enthusiast who passed away last year. He also had a larger park on the outskirts of Broome and he had wanted the older, smaller park to be shut down and more to be made of the bigger one. We heard about the history of the park from the keepers and saw all types of crocodile, some small but mostly huge (think at least the length of a car!) and watched the keepers feed the crocs which was pretty scary!!! We also finally learnt the different between a crocodile and an alligator, something that had been puzzling us for a few weeks. There isn't too much difference, other than alligators are only found in America and China, they have a smaller more rounded snout (rather than the long pointy snout of a croc), they are greener than crocs and less vicious than crocs! After our visit to the crocodile park, we headed down to the beach to watch the sunset, which definitely didn't disappoint.
Broome is a fairly small town, which in wet season depletes massively in size and makes it very quiet. We had a great time in the company of our fellow travelers and felt right at home at the backpackers and are already making plans to head back in the dry season to experience a whole other side to Broome.