From Broome to Cape Leveque
The Dampier Peninsula
The trip from Broome to Cape Leveque traverses the whole Dampier Peninsula north of Broome.
Most people drive straight through to Kooljaman Resort.
However, Kooljaman is not the only place worth stopping at.
The Dampier Peninsula north of Broome is a great destination for people who love the bush, camping, fishing and deserted beaches.
There is nothing much out here other than wilderness, an amazing coastline, no tourism as usual. But there are several Aboriginal communities that welcome interested visitors and offer accommodation and tours.
They are happy to share their knowledge about bush foods and medicines, traditional hunting and fishing techniques and their special relationship with their land and the ocean.
Getting from Broome to Cape Leveque/Kooljaman
The distance from Broome to Cape Leveque—the tip of the Dampier Peninsula—is 206 km. Parts of the Cape Leveque Road are still unsealed, very sandy, and can be badly corrugated.
There is a plan to have the whole road sealed by 2011, it looks as if the work will be completed even sooner, but at this stage you still need a 4WD to make the trip.
The drive from Broome to Cape Leveque takes about two and a half to three hours. The turn-off to the Cape Leveque Road is only a few kilometres out of town, and only the first half can be really rough. Once you reach the Aboriginal owned country further north the roads are excellent.
You will be travelling across Aboriginal land. Respect the culture and privacy of the people that live here. That means observe the no entry signs on private roads! They protect law grounds, burial sites and other areas of traditional significance.
If you don't have a car and don't want to rent one you can join a Cape Leveque tour from Broome.
Cape Leveque also has a small airport and you can get there via a scenic flight from Broome or Derby. Many operators offer packages for day and overnight trips.
Other Places To Visit Between Broome And Kooljaman
If you are self driving and have some time then you can visit some more places.
Beagle Bay is the first Aboriginal community that you will pass. There is no accommodation here but it's worth to call in to have a look at the famous Sacred Heart Church and its beautiful altar decorated with mother-of-pearl shell.
Middle Lagoon is a quiet holiday resort popular with locals. Great fishing, a shallow lagoon safe for swimming, camping, beach shelters, breezy self contained log cabins... It's a gorgeous place. Some travellers even prefer it over Kooljaman.
Lombadina is another well known Aboriginal community further north. This was the first community on the peninsula to venture into tourism, over 10 years ago now. Their acommodation and tours are well established and their beach may be the most stunning on the whole peninsula. The photo to the right shows the church, and ingenious structure built from bush timbers and corrugated iron.
One Arm Point (also known as Ardyaloon) is a few kilometres beyond Kooljaman and is also a great place to stop. You can tour the aquaculture hatchery which is breeding juvenile trochus shells, or you can take part in the boat or fishing tours offered.
There are many more communities that you can visit, provided you arrange your visit beforehand. (Destination Kimberley has more details about everything.)
Keep in mind that many of those are only just starting out in tourism and are not necessarily familiar with the needs of the average tourist. Bring an open mind and be willing to adapt and learn.