The unique natural phenomenon of a full moon rising over the exposed tidal flats of the Kimberley and Pilbara coastline is an unforgettable experience. Known as the ‘Staircase to the Moon’, this optical illusion causes a hush among onlookers as a set of stairs seemingly soars from the horizon and into a star-filled night sky.
One of the most magical places to experience the ‘Staircase to the Moon’ is from the shore of Roebuck Bay in Broome / Rubibi, where night markets add to the atmosphere. To reach Broome / Rubibi, take a two-and-a-half-hour flight from Perth; if you plan to drive, allow at least two days to complete the 2,240-kilometre route .
It’s also possible to see the ‘Staircase to the Moon’ from Settler’s Beach in the beautifully restored ghost town of Cossack, First Avenue in Onslow, Hearsons Cove near Karratha, the western edge of the Dampier Peninsula, and from specially designed viewing platforms at Port Hedland and Point Samson.
As darkness descends on this enchanting stretch of coast and the tide becomes very, very low, locals and visitors alike take up their positions on the exposed mudflats to witness the spectacle. The breathtaking optical illusion needs conditions to be just right – which usually happens between March and November. Only then can nature play her hand.