We doubt you needed any more reason to visit the Western Australian coast for a much-needed getaway. Its natural beauty is breathtaking, there are numerous prime lookout spots to view marine life such as whales and dolphins up close and personal, and there’s a seemingly endless number of exciting attractions to visit along the way.
Well, don’t think that’s the end of WA’s tourist drawcards list. If you are lucky enough to be planning a trip to the west coast between March and October of each year, you’ll need to add the Staircase to the Moon to your checklist.
The Indian Ocean is itself stunning, but this natural phenomenon is worth the trip all on its own.
The excitement starts in Broome, 2,000km north of Perth (yes, the state of Western Australia is that big).
It’s easiest to fly into Broome and rent a Thrifty rental car conveniently from our airport location, but if this is a mammoth road trip you are undertaking and have been planning for some time, you can embark on the famous Indian Ocean Drive from Perth.
Once in Broome, the Staircase to the Moon is best viewed from Roebuck Bay, a one-of-a-kind Aussie beach with red sand beaches in the north (where many dinosaur fossils have been discovered), creeks lined by mangrove trees on the eastern shoreline, and spectacular views of the coastline in general.
Choose a time to visit the mudflats at very low tide and during a full moon to see the optical illusion that is the Staircase to the Moon. It is fondly named this after the effect it produces where the mudflats, exposed due to the low tide, appear to be creating a staircase up to the full moon.
This unforgettable sight can also be viewed from various other locations along the northern coastline, including Onslow, Port Hedland and Cossack. Note that the brilliance of the Staircase to the Moon depends largely on weather conditions, the time the sun sets, and the tide, so timing is everything.
The locals have capitalised on the popularity of the natural attraction by setting up local markets at nearby Town Beach where you can satiate your appetite before or after checking out the phenomenon, buy some locally-made handcrafts or simply sit back and enjoy the local entertainment on site.
Broome is a relaxed town, full of friendly locals who will be happy to point you in the right direction to the best lookout spots for the Staircase to the Moon. It’s also a top spot to visit during the cooler months of the year, as it stays fairly warm and enjoyable, making it the perfect getaway. Sun, sea, sand, and a memorable natural phenomenon you can’t see anywhere else in Australia? Sounds perfect.