15 Jun 2020
Updated May 2022
Much like the Northern Lights of Scandinavia, Staircase to the Moon is an annual phenomenon worth travelling for.
Only visible in the North West of Western Australia between March and October every year, it’s worth circling some dates to ensure you don’t miss out!
Perhaps most famous in Broome, the phenomenon is possible because of the dramatic tidal changes that happen throughout the day in this part of Australia. Essentially an optical illusion, the ‘staircase’ effect is created when the light of the full moon reflects on water caught in sand ripples created by the journey of the tide on Roebuck Bay.
Viewed on a still evening, the golden staircase image is like a magical real-life painting that can last several hours. Often drawing crowds of picnickers who gather to enjoy the view and soak in the atmosphere, the Staircase to the Moon has become a must-see event for anyone visiting Broome, Onslow, Port Hedland and anywhere in the Pilbara.
Recalling the anticipation of the crowd when the moon is already high and the sky begins to darken, Park Manager Rob from Discovery Parks - Broome, compares the spectacle to an eclipse.
“Before you know it, a burnt orange curve has begun to emerge. It moves quickly and quietly upwards until it reveals a huge perfect circle that gets brighter all the time.
"People begin to point before the whole scene takes on a sombre quiet, and the undulating flats of Roebuck Bay take on the reflections of the moon, highlighting shimmering lines of sand, creating the illusion of a stairway to heaven.”
Don’t miss the dates for this year’s Staircase to the Moon, and be sure to check out Broome’s monthly Staircase Markets held at the Town Beach Precinct on Hammersley Street!
Tuesday 17th at 6.27pm - Market Date
Wednesday 18th at 7.28pm
Thursday 19th at 8.33pm
Wednesday 15th at 6.13pm - Market Date
Thursday 16th at 7.21pm
Friday 17th at 8.29pm
Thursday 14th at 6.07pm - Market Date
Friday 15th at 7.15pm
Saturday 16th at 8.19pm
Friday 12th at 5.58pm - Market Date
Saturday 13th at 7.01pm
Sunday 14th at 8.00pm
Sunday 11th at 6.40pm - Market Date
Monday 12th at 7.36pm
Tuesday 13th at 8.30pm
Monday 10th at 6.17pm - Market Date
Tuesday 11th at 7.11pm
Wednesday 12th at 8.06pm