So, with a bit of regret (as we were about to commence our southward journey), but with great excitement (as the west coast of Australia is the one place we really wanted to check out on our trip), we departed Broome, with the next stop being Port Smith.
Port Smith is on the coast and is approx 160kms south of Broome, but is not on every map. It is one of the 'tips' we have received from other travellers we have meet along the way. By all reports, it is simply a great caravan park, owned by the most friendly and accomodating couple, which just happens to be set on the shores of the most amazing tidal lagoon. Additionally, we were told to make sure we were there for fish and chips night, as for a small donation to the Royal Flying Doctor Service, they will provide the best fish and chips you will ever taste! (big call!)
So we, site unseen, booked in for a week. Well want can I say, would have to be the biggest mistake of our lives.........as we should have booked for longer!! The place is amazing.
Will try to capture a few of the highlights below;
- Firstly, the fish and chips. Best ever we were confidently informed .................... and let me tell you they easily were! Upon speaking to the owners, they have been putting on the fish and chips for over 13 years, and during the peak season, they easily cook over 920 pieces on a night, with 60 kilos of chips to match! The fish is locally caught and ranges from snapper, mackerel, cod to mangrove jack. As part of the night, the park also put on camp fire, some raffles as well as entertainment. The fish (and the night itself) were that good, we booked another night so we could go again before we left!
- Secondly, the tidal lagoon. When we first arrived, we ventured down to the lagoon, and it does look great. Nice white sand and crystal clear waters. But it is when you come back a bit later that you get a greater perpective of the lagoon. The place you were previously standing is now either 100 metres away from the water, or is over 2 metres under the water level depending on the tide!.....And, the fishing was unreal as well. On a single day, Cooper (who quickly became known as the whiting king around the park) caught around 14 massive whitings in a few hours.
- Thirdly, the owners. In a word, some of the best people you will ever meet. For example, every second day, Rob (the owner) will ferry anyone who wants to go across the lagoon in his tinnie, so that you can fish on the incoming tide. And he will also pick you up! He only asks (demands)that it is your shout if you returned empty handed).
- Fourthly, the caravan park. On first impression, Bec and I were not sure what all the fuss was about. There have been other 'prettier' parks we haved stayed in during our stay. But after a few days, happy to say there have not been many better parks. Other activities we could and/or did do during our stay were, tackle any one of the numerous 4WD tracks (recommend going to the cliffs....get view and fishing spot), try your luck mud crabbing, or even have a game of golf on the 9 nine golf course.
In summary, we orignally booked in for a week, subsequently extended but could easily have spent longer. Definitely a gem of a place and will make sure I come back sometime in the future.
PS. On a sadder note, whilst fishing on the cliff face, Bec lost a massive queenfish (estimated to be 120cms) whilst trying to pull it up the face (after fighting for around 10 minutes). Can't repeat want she sad, but haven't heard those type of words since SBW walked out on the Bulldogs!