Day 11 – Staircase to the Moon

The Staircase to the Moon is a natural phenomena you can see in Broome on a full moon. It's basically the moon rise over the low tide beach which makes the reflection look like a staircase. And since we're here during the full moon we wanted to check it out. 

But first we had a day to ourselves. We started off with a lazy morning, a quick swim in the pool and then headed to the Broome Museum to learn more about Broome's history. It was interesting, but also awful to hear about how incredibly racist Australia's history is. I mean, I know our history is racist, but it's confronting to read just how bad it was. And while we have improved, I still think we have a ways to go.

We followed the museum with a trip to the Civic Centre which is holding an exhibition of Kimberley art. The pieces inside were wonderful and there were a few I would have liked to have taken home.

After a few days in town, we can now find our way around Broome without the sat nav though we have to keep reminding ourselves which side of the peninsula we're on. One of the interesting things about the town is, the international airport is right in the middle of it. So it's not uncommon to have a plane fly quite low overhead as you're wandering through Chinatown.

After an afternoon of reading, we headed down to Town Beach about 4.30 pm. The Tourist Bureau recommended we get there early even though the moon rise wasn't until 6.40 pm. It was a good suggestion as we had no trouble parking and the markets which were open weren't busy. There was a great selection of food vendors, plus stalls selling artwork, jewellery, clothing, photographs and other things. 

We then found a shaded spot on the terraced grass area and set up our towels. Out of the sun it was extremely pleasant, though I would recommend you take insect repellent and sun cream in case you can't find a shady spot.

Grassed Terrace overlooking Town Beach

There's a fabulous playground to amuse the kids while you stake your spot. By the time the sun goes down, the terrace was full of people. 

And it was dark, really dark. Looking out over the beach, it was pitch black although there were street lights in the park to illuminate where we were sitting. It was hard to believe the moon was going to rise in front of us. But sure enough, right on time there was a reddish glow on the horizon.

The street lights dim as well so you can really enjoy the event.

To be honest, to get the best photos of the moon rise and staircase to the moon, I think you need to have a tall tripod (to see over everyone in front of you) or to be right at the front, on the large boulder retaining wall. We had people moving in front of our shot all the time. But if you don't want to get a photo (and you can buy wonderful prints of it in town) then you can simply sit back and enjoy the show.

Moon Rise

My top tips if you go to the Staircase to the Moon are:

  • Get there early
  • Be prepared to be quick taking your photo
  • Remember there are others behind you who want to take photos too
  • Put down your camera and actually watch the moon rise not through the lens of your camera - it truly is stunning.
Staircase to the Moon