Broome is famous for many things and one in particular is its amazing sunsets. Many people visiting Broome will see the sun setting into the Indian Ocean for the first time of their lives. Living in Australia’s big cities on the east coast the usual experience is to see the sun set over suburbia. Some of the more adventurous might make an early morning visit to the beach to watch it rise out of the Pacific Ocean, but nothing compares to the extraordinary sight of the sun sinking slowly into the Indian Ocean bending the light spectrum as it goes down.
This poses a serious dilemma for every visitor; from just where do you take the perfect Instagramable sunset picture? How do you capture the key elements in one frame to post and boast? Everyone needs that image that proves to friends and family stuck in the city, that their experience, their holiday, is #SoBroome.
Do you take the photo from the railing up on the Cable Beach reserve? This is where most visitors head to for their first experience of a west coast Indian Ocean sunset. The view from the railing is an uninterpreted view of the sun as it makes its slow decline. An no other time of the day can you stare directly at the sun and see that it is a huge molten mass of fire and plasma. This is where most of our east cost visitors go to watch the experience.
For many though, the challenge is to get the iconic picture, after all you can see the sun sets into the Indian Ocean from anywhere along the west coast, not just Broome. For many the shot needs the Broome icons to be complete, for these people north of the rocks on Cable Beach is the best place so that they can compose the camel trains into the foreground, contrasted against the setting sun.
Perhaps the sunset is better viewed while sipping a cocktail at the Cable Beach Club’s Sunset Bar and Grill. This is the perfect place to watch the end of day action that unfolds in the Cable Beach precinct. A photo from this location will capture romantic silhouettes of palm trees and people. Then after the sun has gone down and the light diminishes, a particular odour will be on the breeze alerting you to the approaching camel trains making their way home after providing iconic sunset camel rides along Cable Beach. One after another they take turns in using the access way from the beach back up to the carpark and to their agistments, each walking past the Sunset Bar, creating excitement and photo opportunities.
No matter where our visitors choose to watch the setting sun, inevitably most of the them make the same mistake. Too many people think the magic is in watching the sun dip into the ocean and then drop below the horizon. At this point many experience (or at least confess to experience) “the green flash” an unexplained phenomenon that occurs after prolonged staring at the sun. Once the sun is below the horizon most visitors turn from the railing at Cable Beach and return to their accommodation or out to dinner and missing the best part of a Broome sunset. In the hour after the sun has disappeared below the horizon the colours in the Broome sky start to develop richness and depth. It’s like watching a pre-digital colour photo being processed. In the hour after the sun dips below the horizon the sky is engulfed in deep reds and magentas that blend into the darker blues of the night skies behind you. In this secret hour, when the visitors have turned their backs on the sunset, the Broome sky come alive with colour you’ll never experience anywhere else.
When you’re in Broome, don’t turn you’re back on the sunset.