Staircase to the Moon is a spectacular natural phenomenon that has to be seen to be believed. Occurring for only a few nights a month between March and November, it is a popular tourist attraction for those visiting the Kimberely town of Broome.
As the full moon rises over the exposed tidal flats of Roebuck Bay, the moonlight reflects off the mudflats creating a stunning optical illusion of a staircase reaching towards the moon. This incredible staircase effect looks impressive in photos – but is all the more breathtaking when experienced firsthand.
When to see Staircase to the Moon
Staircase to the Moon occurs on only three nights a month between March and November. Here are the dates and times for Staircase to the Moon remaining for 2021:
|August 2021||September 2021||October 2021||November 2021|
|Monday 23rd August 6.30pm||Tuesday 21st September 6.06pm||Thursday 21st October 6.29pm||Saturday 20th November 6.57pm|
|Tuesday 24th August 7.24pm||Wednesday 22nd September 6.56pm||Friday 22nd October 7.19pm||Sunday 21st November 7.49pm|
|Wednesday 25th August 8.15pm||Thursday 23rd September 7.46pm||Saturday 23rd October 8.10pm||Monday 22nd November 8.41pm|
Best spots to see it
One of the best vantage points for experiencing Staircase to the Moon is from Town Beach, overlooking Roebuck Bay. Town Beach also plays host to the Moon Markets on the first two nights of Staircase to the Moon, so make sure you soak up the festival-like atmosphere and enjoy some local entertainment and food while you wait for the moon to rise.
The Mangrove Hotel also hosts events during Staircase to the Moon, offering excellent viewing from their lawns overlooking Roebuck Bay. Enjoy a drink and some food as you watch the phenomenon unravel before you.
Planning for Staircase to the Moon
Beyond making sure you’re in Broome for the right dates to see Staircase to the Moon, there are some other considerations to make when planning your trip to see the moon rising.
Parking can get a little hectic near Town Beach on Staircase to the Moon nights, so if you are staying nearby, consider walking – the evening weather should be nice and inviting. Otherwise park further away, and enjoy a short stroll in. Special parking arrangements are put into place on Staircase to the Moon evenings, so keep an eye out for parking signs if you’re driving. If you’re staying near Cable Beach (on the other side of town to Roebuck Bay), the Town Bus Service operates a special bus on Staircase to the Moon nights.
The weather is generally warm and balmy, but if you visit between May and July, bring a jacket just in case it gets cool once the sun goes down.
If you plan on taking photos or a time lapse of the moon rising, a tripod is a must – just make sure you are mindful of those around you also wanting to see the spectacle. Be careful with flash photography, it can wash out the scenery. There are stunning professional photos of Staircase to the Moon available for purchase at the Moon Markets, check them out if you want a great keepsake to take home with you.
Make sure you’re in your position with plenty of time to spare – it can get pretty busy at Town Beach and Mangrove Hotel on Staircase to the Moon nights, and you don’t want to miss the spectacle while you’re getting situated!
Planning the rest of your trip
If you’ve selected your holiday dates around Staircase to the Moon, you may be looking at other attractions and tours to enjoy during your stay in Broome. There is no shortage of fascinating sights to see, and activities to keep the whole family entertained.
The turquoise waters off the coast of Broome play host to beautiful wildlife, not the least of which are the majestic Humpback whales. The Humpback whales come to the warm Kimberley waters during their annual migration, and they can be spotted around Broome from June to October each year. Whale watching charters run every day (weather permitting) during whale season. While you’re in Broome for Staircase to the Moon, get out onto the water to see the gentle giants up close as they play, breach and teach their calves to swim.
Whether you’re in Broome for a long stay, or only a couple of days, see if you can coincide your visit with Staircase to the Moon. You will be blown away by the beauty of this natural marvel occurring before your eyes – and vanishing just as quickly as it appeared. Enjoy the buzz and excitement that can be felt around Town Beach and The Mangrove Hotel just before the moon rises – this is living!