Stretching from Broome south towards Cape Villaret past Eco Beach, Roebuck Bay is remarkable for the diversity of its marine and plant life as well as its extremely large tidal range.
It’s also Australia’s newest Marine Park, the Roebuck Bay Marine Park.
The Bay is named after HMS Roebuck, the ship captained by William Dampier when he explored the coast of north-western Australia in 1699. From its use as the home of the North West pearling fleet in the 1880’s until WWII, Roebuck Bay is now an incredible places to view migratory birds and a diverse range of marine life in their natural habitat.
Among the diverse range of marine life is the Australian snubfin dolphin – recognised as a new species in 2005. They can often be found playing, swimming and fishing in Roebuck Bay and along the Dampier Peninsula coast.
Roebuck Bay and further south at Eighty Mile Beach are two of the best places in Australia to view migratory birds. From September to April the vast, nutrient-rich tidal mudflats are visited by half a million wader birds arriving from their breeding grounds in Siberia, North Asia and the Arctic Circle. These tiny birds fly the 11,000 kilometre journey non-stop – taking over four days and losing a third of their body weight in the process.
Roebuck Bay, or Yawuru Sea Country Yawuru Nagulagun is also an important cultural place for local Yawuru people, used for fishing, hunting and gathering of sea foods and with important meeting places along the shoreline.
For a chance to sit and observe the stunning colours of the Bay and the huge tidal variations, Town Beach has views from the Port back towards Broome itself. Join a cultural tour to find out more about the Bay’s heritage and the incredible life within the mangrove system.
See playful dolphins and graceful turtles in their natural habitat on a tour led by knowledgeable local marine life experts. Or join a fishing charter to cast a line in some of the best, marine life-rich waters in Australia. The Broome Bird Observatory is the ideal place for keen ‘twitchers’ or casual bird-watchers to observe the migratory shorebirds.
Information courtesy Australia’s North West