The Snail Trail

Travelling with my home on my back and in no hurry to get anywhere

Staircase to the Moon


Goodbye Broome – Hello Barn Hill

I finally tore myself away from Broome after staying there for 36 days, my longest stop anywhere except for my house sits. When I went to the office to say goodbye they expected I was going to book in for a few more days again, but I assured them I would be back next year. I loved it!

This map shows the first part of the trip to our next major destination, Port Hedland. It’s only about 600 kilometres to Port Hedland so you can see we didn’t get very far on Day 1!

Broome to Barn Hill

Here’s a couple of things I did in Broome that I haven’t shared with you yet ….

I was lucky enough to be taken out to Willie Creek (thanks Geoff Phillips!) on a very rough road that I probably wouldn’t have driven on with Brutus, my trusty campervan. Mick, who I have been camping with also came and on the way there Geoff gave us a Cooks tour of Broome, the port area and Gantheaume Point.

One of the highlights was seeing the famous Staircase to the Moon. A group of us went to the Mangrove Bar, known as one of the better viewing spots, and it didn’t disappoint. Even though we took everyone’s advice and got there early we didn’t get a front position but as the moon rose over the mudflats to create the Staircase effect the crowd made room so that most people had at least a photo opportunity. We may not have had prime position but we did have a table to sit at and enjoyed drinks and nibbles while we waited.

I have seen some beautiful photos of Staircase to the Moon that absolutely kill anything I was able to capture on my iPhone but this is my proof that I was actually there!

The following night we watched this natural phenomenon from the park next door to our camp where the night markets were being held. Another wonderful night, good atmosphere, good company and good fun. (And yummy food from the market stalls, too)

The last weekend I was in Broome there was a writer’s festival called Corrugated Lines. There were so many activities organised but I chose to go to see Di Morrissey, author of many Australian based novels but particularly Tears of the Moon, about the history of Broome and the pearling industry. It was one of my inspirations for wanting to go to Broome. The session she did interviewing Sally Bin Demin, who was raised at Cape Levique and Broome was so relaxed and friendly it was like sitting in a living room listening to two people chatting and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Of course I bought Sally’s book at the end of the session, Once in Broome, and got it signed by Sally, a truly remarkable lady with a great sense of humour ….. so interesting!

While in Broome we had many happy hours together on the beachfront at Roebuck Bay Caravan Park. Could life get any better than this?

I was so lucky to be able to camp in the ‘tent’ area at the Caravan Park. The photos of happy hour show my view each day from my camp site and as a bonus I had red-winged parrots nesting in the hollow tree next to my van and one day a Tawny Frogmouth got disoriented and spent the day beside me too.

Mick and I left Broome on a Friday morning and after some shopping and washing our vans we headed to Barn Hill Station. It was only about 140kms away but after being stationary at Broome for so long that was far enough to drive in one hit.

Barn Hill Station

Everyone I have met talks about Barn Hill and I decided it was a ‘must do’. At $25 a night for an unpowered site it had to be something special, and it didn’t disappoint. The beaches were beautiful and the cliffs on the edge of the beach were quite spectacular.

On one of the walks along the beach we came across this water python that had literally bitten off more than he could chew!

Water Python

Greedy Water Python at Barn Hill

We tried to pull the fish out of his mouth and only got the first few inches out so he was either very hungry or he’d estimated his prowess to be greater than it was in reality!

One of the other highlights was bumping into Joy and her partner Michael, heading north while we were heading south.

Sunday night at Barn Hill is a roast dinner where everyone takes their chairs and tables down to the lawn area and sets them up for a feast. We had a huge crowd on our table as you can see in the photo and Joy and Michael joined us, as well as Peter and Penny who were camped nearby. The more the merrier!

After 3 nights at Barn Hill we were in travelling mode, so set off to our next destination, Cape Keraudren. We’ve got a bit of a tag along going as Dave, Anne, Mel, Nola, Mick and myself all left Broome around the same time, all heading in the same direction. We are all Solo Travellers, each of us with our own van, and it is wonderful to have the company of like minded friends. It certainly makes for some fun happy hours!

Cheers! See you down the track!