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Giant Tides at Cygnet Bay

Episode: 2
Title: Giant Tides at Cygnet Bay
Broadcast: 11th February 2018
Presenter: Trevor Cochrane

Broome sees the world’s highest tropical tides so headed over to Cygnet Bay to experience this natural wonder for ourselves.

  • A reliable vehicle is important for beach driving, so we hired a sturdy 4x4 from Broome Broome car rentals, which offers an option to deliver the hire vehicle to you.
  • We made our way to Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm, which is 220km north of Broome, located on the tip of the Dampier Peninsula. It’s accessable via the Cape Leveque road which is a 90km stretch of red dirt road, best driven in a four-wheel drive.
  • Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm is Australia’s oldest pearl farm. In 1946, Dean Brown sailed around Cygnet Bay in an old wooden lugger where he discovered a mother of pearl shell, which set off a successful pearl operation.
  • When the sun and moon align on a spring tide, the ocean is pulled towards the north-west of Australia and Indonesia gathering speed as it reaches the intercontinental shelf and bottle-necking as it passes between Australia and Indonesia creating whirlpools and standing waves.
  • Waterfall Reef really gives you an idea of how much water is displaced by the tides. Tides can rise up to 10 metres in just 2 hours. The reef is over 7000 years old, and is made up of about 7 different types of algae.
  • The water displacement happens everyday, with a 6 hour movement of the tide coming in and another 6 hour movement of the tide going out. At the lowest point, a one metre shelf is formed by the reef, enough to stand under.
  • The Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm Gallery displays certified pearl pieces locally sourced in the bay itself, available for purchase.

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