Is the road accessible by 2WD?
Most hire companies do not allow their cars to drive on unsealed roads. Crab Creek Road is frequently corrugated but is generally quite firm. It is not maintained by the observatory, but rather by the Shire of Broome and the Department of Parks and Wildlife.
If you are driving your own vehicle and are comfortable on dirt roads, than 2WD should be fine although the observatory takes no responsibility should damage to your vehicle occur. Otherwise, you will need to ensure you hire a 4WD vehicle from a hire company that permits driving on unsealed roads.
Are you coming on one of our tours or staying with us? The observatory can provide transfers! (restrictions apply)
I don't have a suitable car. What options exist for transport?
Unfortunately there are no public transport options available for visiting the observatory. Taxis from Broome are not permitted to drive on unsealed roads.
Fortunately we do offer transfers! All you need to do is book onto one of our amazing tours (half and full day tours only) and we can add a return transfer from anywhere in Broome. These are in addition to the cost of the tour, and are $60 for the first guest, and $15 per additional guest (on the same booking).
We also offer transfers for accommodation bookings of two nights or more.
We do not offer transfers for day visitors.
For guests arriving at the airport, we are happy to take you to the shops before heading out to the observatory. Please let us know in advance should you require this service.
What time of day is best to visit?
Generally speaking, early morning (6 AM - 8:30 AM) for bush birds, and 2 hours on either side of high tide for shorebirds.
What time of year is best to visit?
All of the time. Wet season is hot and steamy, but has incredible diversity and those who brave it are duly rewarded with incredible wildlife encounters, awesome storms, and hundreds of thousands of birds packing the bay, not to mention the species that only visit Australia in the wet season like Oriental Pratincole. The dry season is comfortable with hot, dry days and cool nights. Broome's tourism is in full swing and there are lots of events happening in town. There are still a great diversity of birds to encounter in the dry and even shorebirding is still excellent with a mere 17,000 waders lingering in Roebuck Bay. Our advice? Come anytime. Then come back in a different season for a whole different experience.
Is there food or a cafe at the Observatory?
Currently the only consumables stocked at the observatory are soft drinks and chocolate bars. We do have a fully-equipped camp kitchen (with fridges) for guest use and recommend you purchase any food or other consumables before making the journey out as we are roughly a half-hour from town.
If you are attending one of our courses, these are fully catered. If you want any extras, such as alcohol, you will need to purchase these in town. Please let us know in advance that you will require a stop at the shops.
Can I bring pets to the BBO?
The BBO, like National Parks is a refuge for native animals and birds so pets including dogs are not permitted.
Guide and service dogs are welcome.
Can I participate in research at the BBO?
Yes! Every night, in fact. Guests staying at the observatory have the privilege of being a part of our nightly Bird Log which has been taking place for nearly 30 years. Essentially a role call of the species seen within a 70 km radius of Broome, this data set, while certainly opportunistic and biased towards the observatory, gives us a fantastic indication of what species are present, and when they are present, over time.
Alternatively, we are currently undertaking year-long research with our Shorebird Disturbance Monitoring Project and volunteers are always welcome.
You can also participate in dry season cannon netting run by Global Flyway Network's Chris Hassell.
For those with a keen interest in shorebirds, there is also the annual AWSG expedition.
Are there any volunteer positions?
You bet! See our volunteer page for details. Do you have a specific skill set you'd like to donate to the BBO? (tiling, carpentry, electric, pluming, artist, web design, printing, puppet making... you name it!) If so, we'd love to hear from you and get you involved!
Where does your funding come from?
Well, to be frank, it comes from you! We're entirely self-funded. We make the revenue needed to operate by running tours, providing accommodation, selling items in our shop and running courses. We also receive donations from the public and occasionally will apply for grants to achieve outcomes on specific projects.