Safety and Precautions
From November to April there is a possibility of cyclones off the Kimberley coast. It is important that visitors are aware of the procedures to follow in the event of a cyclone alert. These procedures are provided in all accommodations and are also at the Broome Visitor Centre or the Shire of Broome office. Call 1300/659-210 for cyclone watch and warning messages, or go online at www.bom.gov.au.
November to April is also when mosquitoes are at their most prevalent. To avoid the discomfort of mosquito bites and any risk of infection, it is advisable to cover up at dawn and dusk and apply insect repellent, which is supplied in most hotels. Sandflies become more active in Broome on high tides; use the same prevention methods.
Tropical waters can contain various stingers. The two types of dangerous jellyfish are the chironex box jellyfish (a large but almost transparent jellyfish up to 12 inches across with ribbonlike tentacles from each of the four corners) and Irukandji (a tiny transparent jellyfish less than 1 inch across with four thin tentacles). Both are found during the summer months of November to May. Take care when swimming (wear protective clothing—a wet suit or lycra stinger suit to reduce exposure to potential stings) and obey signs displayed on the beaches at all times. Medical attention (pour vinegar onto the sting and call 000 for an ambulance) should be sought in case someone is stung.
Saltwater crocodiles live in estuaries throughout the Kimberley, and freshwater Johnsons crocodiles hang out in freshwater gorges and lakes. Look for warning signs. Even if not signposted, advice from a reliable local authority should always be sought before swimming in rivers and waterholes.
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