Australia Destinations Western Australia

A Photo Story: A Little More Cable Beach Magic

September 23, 2015

In Broome, my life revolves around two things: work, and Cable Beach. I can’t begin to count the number of times I’ve planned to spend my days off writing or researching or doing laundry only to find myself wandering down to the beach instead. Sometimes I’m distracted by friends heading there to relax with some beers or catch the sunset (or both!); just as often, I go by myself, usually on a whim.

What can I say? When Cable Beach calls, I don’t even try to resist.

A couple of days ago, I ended up at the beach on one of those impulses. It was early afternoon and I didn’t have to work until five, so I thought I’d spend a few hours finishing Anna Karenina in the sand. It wasn’t meant to be. Clouds have recently cropped up in Broome’s skies, a welcome change from its usual clear blue expanse. I couldn’t keep my eyes off of them. Too inspired to sit still, I made a quick trip back to the hostel for my camera, set my Spotify to shuffle Flume and went on a walk.

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The tourist season in Broome is quickly winding down, and with it the crowds at the beach have started to dwindle. (Honestly, though, I’ve always been kind of blown away by the relative un-crowdedness of a beach this gorgeous. Back in the States, a beach of equal fame would surely draw hordes of visitors. Then again, Broome is a long way from anywhere else in Australia! That’s WA for you.) Still, there were plenty of people around, from solo stand-up paddle boarders and sunbathers to people playing cricket and backpackers partying. This is why whenever I’m asked for advice about what to do in Broome, I think mostly of Cable Beach — you hardly need to go anywhere else!

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Cable Beach has a lot of things going for it, but surfing is not generally one of them. Lately, though, the ocean’s given way from calm and glassy to some easy-breaking waves. There have even been regular group lessons recently, groups of Skittle-bright kids practicing their paddling and riding in on the baby waves. I hear that the surfing gets a little better around here toward the wet season, but that is also, unfortunately, when poisonous little jellyfish called Irukandji start encroaching on Cable Beach. Right now might just be the sweet spot — beginner-friendly surfing without the risk of painful box jellyfish stings.

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I haven’t given either surfing or stand-up paddle boarding a try here yet. So far, I’ve stuck to saving money on the rentals in favor of walks, runs and lazing in the sand instead. Still, I’ve promised myself a go at both before the Irukandji scare me off! One of these days…

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Cable Beach is famous, too, for another attraction I’ve yet to experience: camels. While they’re most definitely not native to the country, Australia actually has more camels than any other country in the world. They were introduced way back in the 1800s to carry goods across the Outback, but ever since trains replaced the need for them, feral camels have become a something of a pest across Australia. In Broome, though, they’ve found their place. Everyday, the blues, reds and yellows (the three tour groups here) make their way down to the beach for camel rides down the beach at sunrise and sunset. I have one of those “only-in-Broome” moments every time I happen to cross paths with them. This was the first I had my camera on me.

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As much as there is to do around Cable Beach, the truth is that simply being here is usually enough for me. I didn’t grow up by the beach. Living in Thailand last year, I was lucky to be able to escape to Ko Samet in just a couple hours any weekend I wanted. It was the greatest luxury. Back home in the States, the closest I ever lived to the beach was in Chesapeake, Virginia. My family made the most of living by Virginia Beach and the Outer Banks back then, but after a few years, we traded the coast for Indiana, Ohio and a short (but glorious!) week’s vacation at the beach each summer. Even my love for living across from St. Kilda Beach in Melbourne earlier this year pales in comparison to this.

For me, living at Cable Beach is still a novelty and a wonder. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I relish every minute I spend on this beach, and I’m not about to take it for granted. I’m also not sure how I’m ever going to survive not living at an incredible beach for the rest of my life, but hey — we’ll cross that bridge when we get there! For now, I’ll let Broome keep spoiling me.

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12 Comments

  • Reply Chantae September 24, 2015 at 9:39 am

    I LOVE cable beach! It’s gorgeous πŸ™‚ The camels, staircase to the moon, the Kimberleys… it’s crazy beautiful. I’m living in Perth but would love to go back to Broome someday soon!
    Chantae recently posted…Red Bluff Beauty: I’ve Gone Missing in Western AustraliaMy Profile

    • Reply Katie September 25, 2015 at 6:31 am

      It really is crazy beautiful! My decision to move here was kind of random, but I’m so happy I did. Will be making in down to Perth in November or December. Haven’t been yet, but so excited to check it out!

  • Reply Maddy September 24, 2015 at 6:51 pm

    Another lovely post with such stunning photos! I can see why you always end up here than doing the chores and other things you promised yourself you’d do!
    I live about 10 minutes from the beach and always have, and I never take that for granted. There is literally nothing better than heading down to the beach on a sunny day off to curl up with a good book or go for a swim! And with that beautiful blue water, white soft sand, and those red rock formations, why would you want to be anywhere else?!?!
    Maddy recently posted…24 hours in Tallinn, Estonia (Northern Europe’s hidden gem)My Profile

    • Reply Katie September 25, 2015 at 6:33 am

      Thanks, Maddy! I honestly don’t know how I’m ever going to go back to not living at the beach. I love my little adopted hometown back in North Carolina, but two hours from the beach just might not cut it…

  • Reply Amanda | Lesson Plans & Layovers September 25, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    With a beach that beautiful though, I don’t think anyone is going to hold skipped laundry or undone research over your head πŸ™‚
    Amanda | Lesson Plans & Layovers recently posted…Our Last Day in ScotlandMy Profile

    • Reply Katie September 25, 2015 at 3:39 pm

      Haha, I definitely never regret it! The beach always comes out on top.

  • Reply Paul November 13, 2015 at 7:57 pm

    Great description of what looks like a fantastic place to visit, and I love the photos! I’ve never been to Australia, but it’s high on my list, and as things are getting colder here in Canada, Cable Beach looks awfully good right now! I didn’t know about the camels, either – cool and interesting fact. Great post and thanks for sharing!
    Paul recently posted…On Top of the World in TaipeiMy Profile

    • Reply Katie November 14, 2015 at 12:30 am

      Thanks, Paul! Cable Beach really is incredible — and it’s plenty hot here right now! πŸ˜‰

  • Reply Karl Ace January 27, 2016 at 10:42 pm

    Wow! Camels at the beach!

    • Reply Katie January 28, 2016 at 12:46 am

      Awesome, right?! It never got old πŸ™‚

  • Reply Amanda | Chasing My Sunshine January 28, 2016 at 4:11 pm

    Oh my gosh. These pictures are positively GLORIOUS. I’ve seen horses on a beach, but camels? Now that is something pretty fantastic. Thanks for transporting me away from my chilly city and to this beautiful place. πŸ™‚
    Amanda | Chasing My Sunshine recently posted…An Ode to Weekend GetawaysMy Profile

    • Reply Katie January 29, 2016 at 8:58 am

      Thanks, Amanda! Cable Beach was a pretty special place to live — I think it’s one of those places I’ll always long to go back to!

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