Roebuck Bay (Yawuru Nagulagun) is in the Kimberley region of Western Australia and stretches from Broome in the north to Bush Point and Sandy Point in the south. The Roebuck Bay Marine Park is recognised for the diversity of its marine life, plant life, and exceptionally large tidal range. Broom (Rubibi) and Roebuck Bay in particular are also acknowledged as having the most significant collection of dinosaur footprints in the world.
On a Roebuck Bay Scenic and Prehistoric Boat Tour, explore the secluded bays of the Kimberley Coastline, meander up the creek inlets, and experience the astonishing tidal range all while taking in the magnificent landscape. You’ll see a wealth of beautiful native flora and fascinating marine and bird life, and of course, walk in the world-renowned 120-million-year-old dinosaur footprints that are fossilised in rock on a secluded beach.
Dinosaur trackways stretch for 80 kilometres along Broome’s sandstone coastline up to the Dampier Peninsula and were made 120 million years ago during the Cretaceous period. There are estimated to be 20 different types of tracks in the area, some playing a significant role in the culture of the local First Nations people.
It wasn’t until the late 1980s that the extent of Broome’s trackways was discovered by a local naturalist and his partner who were working closely with the Aboriginal custodians to identify these and other types of tracks in the area.
Some dinosaur impressions are up to 1.7 metres in diameter, making the animal that left them around 35 metres in length! Some of the sauropod trails can be explored on the Roebuck Bay Scenic and Prehistoric Boat Tour. In 2011 the tracks became protected under the West Kimberley National Heritage List in the hope they will remain for many more years.
Roebuck Marine Park covers 304 square kilometres and is home to a healthy population of dugongs, three species of turtle (green, loggerhead and flatback turtles) the Australian snubfin dolphin, as well as an abundant supply of barramundi and threadfin salmon.
Broome is one of the greatest places in the world to watch the magnificent Humpback whale with the Kimberley region home to around 35,000 of these majestic whales. Humpbacks migrate north every year along the coast, aiming for the warm waters of the Kimberley between June and October.
The marine park is adjacent to one of the most important areas for migratory shorebirds in Australia, the Roebuck Bay Ramsar site. From September to April the tidal mudflats are visited by half a million wader birds arriving from their breeding grounds in North Asia, Siberia, and the Arctic Circle. The bay is also home to osprey (sea hawks) and pelicans.
Roebuck Bay is named in 1699 after HMS Roebuck, the ship captained by William Dampier when he explored the coast of north-western Australia.
Roebuck Bay is Yawuru Nagulagun meaning Yawuru Sea Country. Yawuru Nagulagun is of important cultural significance to the local Yawuru people who maintain traditional cultural practices involving fishing, hunting, and gathering food from the sea and holding meetings along the shoreline.
Fish are a staple food source for the Yawuru, and fishing is a form of cultural expression, connecting the sea people to their country.
You can swim at Roebuck Bay's Town Beach which is the closest swimming area to town. Don’t be surprised if you see dolphins, dugongs, and turtles!
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