Broome Western Australia

36 posts in this topic

Hi All,

Just spent 4 days up in Broome in the tropical NW of Australia, about the same sort of latitude of mid north Madagascar. It's a town on the sea where the desert meets the sea in the monsoonal tropics. Winters are sunny and hot during the day and cool windy and dry at night. During the summer the humidity is through the roof, and although it doesn't really get much past the mid thirties in summer, the nights can often be around 28C with very high humidity. Thunderstorms are frequent then and cyclones move past the area on occasion.

Here are some pics.

The first ones are from my phone.

Bismarckia nobilis, Nannorhops ritchianna, and Borassus aethiopum with a few shots of the trunk to try and gauge the height. It was huge.

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Sorry the first pic is Carpentaria acuminata. Here is the Bismarckia.

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Cable Beach coconuts

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Boab on Roebuck Bay

Bismarckia avenue in a park near Roebuck Bay

Pandanus spiralis ?

Palm lined suburb of Broome

Japanese cemetery. The Japanese really made the Pearling Industry and many died collecting oysters in archaic suits with hand driven air pumps to depths of 80m. Disasters were common. The deaths were often horrific and the Japanese were the best at it. The cemetery is testament to their great contribution.

Cable Beach

Golden Canes lining a resort wall

Ixora

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Canoeing at Gantheume Point. The tides are huge up there. Around 10m. This was at high tide. If it was low tide our canoes would have been on dry ground in this pic.

The sunsets are spectacular up there.

Going, going, going, gone and that ends another day.

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Dypsis plumosa

Hyophorbe lagenicaulis

Borassus aethiopium at Matso's bar. Matso's was originally a bank in the main street back 100 years ago and then over time became a general store run by one of the second generation Japanese Broome inhabitants called Matsomura I think. Being part of Australia it was abbreviated to Matso's. In 1986 the building was shifted to a new location and took the form of a few different things before becoming a brewery/bar/restaurant and is a must see in Broome. Their mango beer is just awesome, as well as their authentic Indian curries. The place is surrounded by palms. It doesn't get any better than that. The place was packed when we were there. Very popular.

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Thanks for the pics Tyrone, Broome and surrounds is certainly very unique, especially the red desert sands meeting the ocean, and of course a stroll on the beach goes for some 125km. A very unique blend of cultures in Broome as well, thanks to the pearling industry of yesteryear. Broome is booming and so is the price of realestate, city folk looking for a sea change and cashed up miners wanting a home. Any more pics of some of the red meeting blue Tyrone? Thanks again. Stunning Sunset Pics Tyrone,The whole of WA is renowned for amazing sunsets, being an ex West Aussie , I should Know :D All Best Pete

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Pearling luggers

Downtown old Broome

Standing in the Broome sun for too long even tans your clothes, leaves you stiff, and pointing and acting with dramatic poses.

Statue of a pearler.

Fruiting frangipani in the main street.

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Adenum

Foxtails

Pandanus spiralis

Red Pindan soil full of iron.

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P&O Cruise ship in port

Proud spindle palm

Foxtail

Travellers Palm

Private Coconut lined resort on Cable beach

Bismarck Cable Beach

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Boabs in the street.

Sticking ones head where it should never be stuck.

Sunset at the departure lounge.

And that ends our tour.

Best regards

Tyrone

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Great photos Tyrone. The sunsets were magnificent. did you catch up with Steve (FM Wanderinwills) when you were there?

That Borassus looks like flabellifer to me. Are you sure it is aethiopium?

Excellent post BTW!

Daryl

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Thanks for the pics Tyrone, Broome and surrounds is certainly very unique, especially the red desert sands meeting the ocean, and of course a stroll on the beach goes for some 125km. A very unique blend of cultures in Broome as well, thanks to the pearling industry of yesteryear. Broome is booming and so is the price of realestate, city folk looking for a sea change and cashed up miners wanting a home. Any more pics of some of the red meeting blue Tyrone? Thanks again. Stunning Sunset Pics Tyrone,The whole of WA is renowned for amazing sunsets, being an ex West Aussie , I should Know :D All Best Pete

For you Pete. Where did you live in WA?

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Great photos Tyrone. The sunsets were magnificent. did you catch up with Steve (FM Wanderinwills) when you were there?

That Borassus looks like flabellifer to me. Are you sure it is aethiopium?

Excellent post BTW!

Daryl

Glad you like them. Yes, we did catch up with Steve. Had a great time.

Not sure about them being aethiopium either, although Palms of Australia has them listed as that and some listed as B sundaicus whatever that is. Do flabellifer have 3 seeds per fruit?

Best regards

Tyrone

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Thanks for the pics Tyrone, Broome and surrounds is certainly very unique, especially the red desert sands meeting the ocean, and of course a stroll on the beach goes for some 125km. A very unique blend of cultures in Broome as well, thanks to the pearling industry of yesteryear. Broome is booming and so is the price of realestate, city folk looking for a sea change and cashed up miners wanting a home. Any more pics of some of the red meeting blue Tyrone? Thanks again. Stunning Sunset Pics Tyrone,The whole of WA is renowned for amazing sunsets, being an ex West Aussie , I should Know :D All Best Pete

For you Pete. Where did you live in WA?

Thanks Tyrone, additional pics a real treat. Tyrone I was born in Perth and raised on the family farm in the wheatbelt ( near Merredin) half way between Perth and Kalgoorlie. Thanks for great memories of Broome, great fun times spent there. Cheers Pete

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Tyrone, Borassus flabellifer also have three seeds per fruit. Generally, B.aethiopium have darker petiole colouration, larger leaves, and longer petioles. They are also a larger palm overall. The leaves seem flatter on aethiopium as well.

Here is a good photo of B.aethiopium (link to plantsystematics.org)

Borassus_flabellifer.jpg

B.sundaicus is a synonym of B.flabellifer.

How is Steve doing? He must be as happy as a pig in ---- up there!

Daryl

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Tyrone, Borassus flabellifer also have three seeds per fruit. Generally, B.aethiopium have darker petiole colouration, larger leaves, and longer petioles. They are also a larger palm overall. The leaves seem flatter on aethiopium as well.

Here is a good photo of B.aethiopium

Borassus_flabellifer.jpg

B.sundaicus is a synonym of B.flabellifer.

How is Steve doing? He must be as happy as a pig in ---- up there!

Daryl

Daryl, there Massive, wheres this shot taken?

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Pete, apparently this photo was taken in the former Rhodesia, so Zimbabwe or Zambia?

This photo has been seen in palm journals for years and always impresses me.

I have also seen old photos of a stand of the same species that put these to shame. The article was about a variety of the same species that was apparently much larger, and the photos certainly looked like it.

Daryl

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Thanks Daryl for that. After I posted my last post I went and checked and realised it's a synonym of flabellifer. I didn't see anything quite like in your picture you posted with a bulge in the middle of the trunk. They are massive. I would say they are flabellifer then.

Steve is doing very well and very happy up there at his new job. :)

Best regards

Tyrone

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Tyrone, they don't all have the bulge in the trunk for some reason. B.madagascariensis also has the bulge.

B.aethiopium is also known as the elephant palm because the elephants eat the fruit (and can pass the seeds without any issues!)

Daryl

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Thanks for the great photos Tyrone. I just picked up two B. fabellifira in Thailand that were on the ground under the tree. Looking forward to see what luck I will have.

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Glad you liked them Bill. Let us know how you go with your seeds. You should have no trouble growing them I would think.

Daryl, I was thinking about it and it would be logical that B flabellifer would be it due to all the SE Asian influence in Broome especially in the early days. Most of the plants are really old. You can imagine the Indonesians and Koepangers bringing over some bits of pieces that remind them of home, and in SE Asia B flabellifer is second in importance to the coconut itself due to all of it's uses. Have you eaten the seed in syrup that you can get from Asian food stores. I think Thailand produces a lot of it. It's not too bad with icecream.

Best regards

Tyrone

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Hi Tyrone. never tried the syrup, but it sounds good. The ripe fruit have a nice fragrance IMO.

Daryl

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Agree about the ripe fruit fragrance. It's a tropical typically palmy fragrance. The seeds in syrup are normally canned and called Palm Toddy fruit often with Thai writing all over them.

Tyrone

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Great pictues Tyrone . Did you by any chance run into Wander'nwills Steve Bartlett ,up there he is looking after Kerry Stokes garden i believe .

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Makes me want to go to Broome...........

Nice Nannorhops. It's HUGE!

Cheers,

Adam

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Ta Tyrone, Broome is on my hit list..

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Glad you liked the tour Wal, Adam and Troy. It wasn't until we got home and downloaded the pics that I realised that I had not taken one picture of a Hyphaene. Now I must admit that from photos I was not really impressed with this species, but seeing them in person was a different matter. There are just heaps of Hyphaene around the place and some of them are huge. There are plenty at the old courthouse where they have markets on the weekend. The stalls are intermingled amongst the palms and the Hyphaenes that branch everywhere and it is very refreshing to be standing in the shade of a large clump of Hyphaene to get out of the 32C winter sun. I suddenly get all these desert palms. If you were walking through the desert and in the heat shade is a rare thing. To find a big clump of Hyphaene, or Nannorhops, or even a few Borassus in that situation would feel like heaven. That sort of sums up Broome. It's a nice refreshing break from the unrelenting heat of the Great Sandy Desert.

Next time I want to drive it. Would love to see it in the wet. Less people, more mangos. :D

Best regards

Tyrone

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Great photos Tyrone, the closest I have ever gotten to Broome was off the coast in an Australian Navy Warship but we didn't go ashore.......definately want to get there sometime.

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Great photos Tyrone. The sunsets were magnificent. did you catch up with Steve (FM Wanderinwills) when you were there?

That Borassus looks like flabellifer to me. Are you sure it is aethiopium?

Excellent post BTW!

Daryl

Yes Tyrone, I too would agree with Daryl in that the palm pictured is a Borassus flabellifer, not B. aethiopium.

Broome looks to be a nice & interesting place. Is the Broome area subject to dust storms ever when the strong winds blow in off the desert (that's a very big desert)? Any idea what the population is there?

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Great photos Tyrone. The sunsets were magnificent. did you catch up with Steve (FM Wanderinwills) when you were there?

That Borassus looks like flabellifer to me. Are you sure it is aethiopium?

Excellent post BTW!

Daryl

Yes Tyrone, I too would agree with Daryl in that the palm pictured is a Borassus flabellifer, not B. aethiopium.

Broome looks to be a nice & interesting place. Is the Broome area subject to dust storms ever when the strong winds blow in off the desert (that's a very big desert)? Any idea what the population is there?

Al, the permanent population is around 14500, but in the tourist season (dry) the population can swell to 45000. It seemed busy when we were there because it's peak tourism season. Would be nice to be there in off peak time. It must be really laid back then.

I searched on google for Broome dust storms and came up with nothing. I suppose it could happen if a cyclone came through but dropped no rain early in the season and sucked in air off the desert, but that's normally a dry season thing. The wet season brings winds off the ocean and if the desert is wet it wouldn't get dusty anyway. I'd imagine it would get very muddy. The pindan soil up there is meant to turn to muck pretty quickly.

Best regards

Tyrone

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Thanks for posting, Tyrone. I was going to go next year, but a friend is getting married in Cairns next year. So we are doing FNQ and then WA the year after.... With a trip to kimberley of course

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Great photos Tyrone. The sunsets were magnificent. did you catch up with Steve (FM Wanderinwills) when you were there?

That Borassus looks like flabellifer to me. Are you sure it is aethiopium?

Excellent post BTW!

Daryl

Yes Tyrone, I too would agree with Daryl in that the palm pictured is a Borassus flabellifer, not B. aethiopium.

Broome looks to be a nice & interesting place. Is the Broome area subject to dust storms ever when the strong winds blow in off the desert (that's a very big desert)? Any idea what the population is there?

Hi Al,

The population is 15,000 in the wet season and 45,000 in the tourist (winter season). In regards to dust storms I have been in Broome for 8 months and not had any yet, it does get dusty though. The last big dust storms you would have seen on TV were in Sydney, was there when it happened it was really eerie.

Regards

Stephen

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Nice tour Tyrone, I need to take some more time to view.

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Tyrone, did you notice a lot of the coconut palms had a high percentage of dead fronds in Broome?

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There were some I noticed that didn't look 100%.

Best regards

Tyrone

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