After arriving in Derby to have the bullbar looked at, it was suggested we go to Broome to the ARB store for assessment and to get it fixed – we have a number of cracks that have developed around our spot lights. So we headed there and made a time to get it fixed but with a few days to spare, decided to head to Cape Leveque.
It was quite late by the time we shopped so we headed up the coast north of Broome and found a lovely free camping spot on the beach just north of Willie Creek. Here we met a lovely family also camped in the dunes. Another car also joined us that night. It seemed the standard thing to do at this spot is to drive until you get bogged and then set up for the night.
The next morning we had a slow start as the kids had a great time playing on the beach with their new found friends.
We stopped in Beagle Bay for lunch and to visit the renowned church here built and decorated with local materials including mother of pearl shells.
We decided to stay at Kooljaman at Cape Leveque as it had a swimming beach and we were hanging to enjoy the beach. The beach really was stunning. The western beach is covered in red sand formations and the eastern beach is white and a great place to find shells and coral.
The beach was a little rocky but once we swam past the rocks the water was beautiful. We also walked along the beach past the point and found some sheltered shallow bays great for spotting fish, including a ray. This place also does fantastic pizza on the weekends.
While up at Cape Leveque we decided to do the Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm tour. It was a really interesting tour about the history of pearl farming in the area. Our tour guide, Terry, was a fourth generation employee at the pearl farm who attended school in the building some of the tour is now held in.
The highlight for Izzy was when Terry demonstrated harvesting a pearl and she got to poke her finger in to suss out if there was a pearl inside and low and behold, out popped a pearl! A lot of work goes into pearl farming and the pearls here were stunning and full of lustre.
The other bonus of our time in Cape Leveque was spending time with another wonderful couple we have met on the road. It was great to spend some evenings playing 500 together.
Then it was back to Broome to get the bullbar repaired. This turned out to be more complicated than we thought – you think we would be used to this by now. Unfortunately the cracks around the spots were not the only cracks in the bar, there were a number of cracks throughout and in more critical spots so it was time to put in a warranty claim … which of course takes time.
Speaking of time, we had a bit on our hands as we were waiting for our new shocks to arrive. Thankfully John and Kaye arrived around this time and arranged for us to have a bit of resort time with them before we continue our camping adventure.
The kids loved the kids’ club activities and pool and we enjoyed some relaxing time waiting for the shocks. This time also involved the ever popular camel ride on Cable Beach and also a bit of fat bike riding when the tide was out.
Matthew spotted some dinosaur footprints when the tide was out and we even tried our hand at fishing for the first time with some hand lines. We had a few nibbles but no bites while the local aboriginal mob next to us added to their haul. Seems squid and mullet is a better bait for these parts.
We also caught up with a few other travellers we have met on the road as our paths continue to criss cross each other as we explore Oz. And just over a week after arriving in Broome after Cape Leveque, we had the new shocks installed and were ready to hit the road again. The new shocks are amazing. We no longer feel like we are riding in the car from the ‘Wheelie’ computer game.