This is the Australia I dreamed of finding.
Imagine sheets of rock streaked wildly terra cotta, searing against the sun-flecked azure of the Indian Ocean. The sky is pale, whitewashed by the heat. The stones underwater shimmer gold while, in the distance, the dunes tease green.
At Gantheaume Point, the colors command everything.
These are the shades by which I think I will always remember Broome, in blazing reds, dazzling blues and all of the staggering contrasts in between. If I could encapsulate the aura of Broome in a single image, this would be it.
In Broome, Gantheaume Point is especially popular to visit during the full moon, when the tides are at their highest. Then, the rocks here become a cliff jumping paradise. Even during the full moon, though, the window of time for jumping is fairly slim. Here and throughout the Kimberley region, the tides move quickly. The difference between high and low tides spans up to ten meters, changing dramatically from hour to hour. They are known as the biggest in the southern hemisphere.
At low tide, people visit Gantheaume Point in search of dinosaur footprints. Those pictured below have been moved to the entrance of the rocks. Apparently they were once cut from the stone below and stolen, only to be recovered and put on display again years later. These, at least, are unmissable. I have yet to hunt for the others. They are, by most accounts, difficult to find.
I first visited Gantheaume Point about six weeks ago. The view completely overwhelmed me. I had come prepared for cliff jumping, but somehow, I wasn’t prepared for Gantheaume to be quite so gorgeous. It is jaw-droppingly beautiful, the kind of place that truly stops you in your tracks. At first, we were so content exploring the rocks and admiring the views that we nearly forgot about our limited window to jump.
Luckily, a couple of vans full of backpackers arrived soon afterward and got us back on track. They knew where to jump, and so we followed their lead. The jumps here are easy, all straight shots into the water from modest heights. The highest lies to the right of Gantheaume Point where the rocks look out toward Cable Beach. I missed my chance to take the big jump on our first visit to the rocks, the tides having retreated too quickly for me. We returned a couple of weeks ago, dozens of us on a day trip from the hostel when the tides were at their highest for the year, and spent hours plunging into the cool water. This spot to the right is definitely the best for cliff diving. Still, even if you’re not so into heights, there are plenty of baby jumps all around the rocks. It’s glorious no matter what.
After the tides had gone out too much for jumping and the other backpackers had left, we stayed to bask in sun and continue freaking out over the views. Cliff jumping or not, simply being at Gantheaume Point is incredible. It’s the perfect place to relax, to look out over the horizon and daydream or to have a few beers and chill. I could stay here all day.
Gantheaume Point itself is stunning enough, but it also offers one of my favorite views of Cable Beach. For me, this is home in Broome. I live less than a five-minute walk from the beach and spend most of my free time there. I adore the perspective from the rocks at Gantheaume Point. The dunes seem to stretch forever.
Days like this are what make living in Broome so magical, the days that make me feel infinitely grateful for having ended up here. Years from now, when I think back on living in Broome, these are the days I will remember.
Notes for Visiting
Gantheaume Point is located 6 kilometers outside of Broome. Having your own transport is your best option for visiting, but there’s always a taxi (not too costly if you split it between a group) or a long (but beautiful!) walk down the beach. The town’s bus service runs here only on its first run of the morning. Cable Beach Backpackers (my first home here in Broome) also regularly hosts barbecue and cliff jumping outings here for hostel guests when the tides are high around the full moon.
Use your best judgment when jumping, of course, and know that doing so is safest at high tide and on clear days. While most of the heights are modest, the currents here are often strong around the rocks even on calm days.