Barred Creek, Broome; free camping with incredible fishing
There are a lot of amazing creeks in the Broome region, and Barred Creek is well and truly worth a visit. If you like white, sandy beaches, crystal clear water and seeing a tidal creek transform each time the tide comes in, Barred Creek might be the place for you. We were seriously impressed, and loved our time there.
Where is Barred Creek?
You’ll find Barred Creek north of Broome, just off the Cape Leveque Road. The creek is fairly short, and start at the ocean. Barred Creek is about 30km away from James Price Point, and around 20km from Quandong Point. Both are popular free camps, on the same Minala road.
What’s the track in like?
Cape Leveque Road is sealed bitumen, and the drive from Broome to the turn off to Minala Road is perfect. However, from the moment you get onto Minala Road you’ll experience sandy and hard, flat rocky sections along with plenty of corrugations.
The drive from Cape Leveque Road to the turn off at Barred Creek is the better part of the road though, with it deteriorating as you get closer to James Price Point.
The turn off to Barred Creek is well signed, and takes you to a tee section, with a small informational hut. From there, you can either turn right and go to the northern part of the creek (and the beaches), or you can turn left and go to the southern section.
There are a number of places you can cut across on the south to get to the beach, but we went all the way down until we were clear of the tidal flats, as they aren’t much fun when things go wrong.
It’s a short drive, and you’ll eventually pop out onto the beach, or an unmarked track just behind the beach, heading right to the creek itself.
Do you need a 4WD?
A 4WD is absolutely necessary for visiting barred creek. Not only do you need the clearance, but the sand is soft and you would get a 2WD vehicle stuck in no time, and then create a big problem for yourself, and likely others.
Can you take Caravans?
We saw a couple of full size off road vans on the beach and just back from the beach, along with an assortment of smaller caravans, camper trailers, boats and tents.
You most certainly can get a van in, but I would recommend that you take the van off, and go for a drive in with your 4WD to make sure you are happy with it. The track from the tee to the beach doesn’t take more than about 15 minutes, and its fairly tight.
You will get pin strips on a full size van, and we had to wait some time while a couple of caravan owners decided to park up on the track in, and go for a walk to see if it was suitable. There’s no way you can turn around, so they were going in whether they liked it or not.
Barred Creek camping options
A number of people camp on the northern part of the creek area, along the cliffs. There’s a number of bollards that have been put up to stop people from driving into the vegetation and destroying the area. Sarah commented that it looked like the northern area had been fairly hammered by human interaction, and I had to agree, which is pretty sad.
The beaches on the northern section are pretty spectacular, and less people camp there but the access to the creek and the beaches is more difficult.
The southern camping section though, is massive and there is more room to camp than you can poke a stick at. People seem to like to camp right at the northern most part of the beach, where the creek rises as its most picturesque, but there are more sand flies in this area as you are closer to the mangroves.
You can camp right on the beach, or back behind a dune, or well south away from everyone. The actual area reminds me a bit of Lucky Bay near Kalbarri, asides from the creek!
Camping at Barred Creek is free, so look after it, leave no trace and everyone can continue to enjoy it in years to come.
Barred Creek Amenities
Like James Price Point, there are zero amenities here. That means you need to bring your own toilet, water, food, cooking gear and accommodation. Whilst its not remote, its far enough out that getting help would be difficult.
Reception at Barred Creek
For those wondering, we had pretty decent Telstra reception at Barred Creek, unlike James Price Point that had none at all.
Barred Creek Fishing
Fishing is a huge attraction to Barred Creek, either side of the tidal movements, and also for mud crabs. If you have a boat, people do very well trolling off the coast, and often land big mackerel, tuna and cobia. We caught a small queenfish, golden trevally and the biggest Long Tom I’ve ever seen.
Of course, these are full of bones and we released it, but it would have had to be about a metre long, and about the same thickness as my wrist!
Crocodiles at Barred Creek
Anywhere around Broome should be treated with caution in regards to salt water crocodiles, and this is particularly the case around any creeks. Barred Creek is no exception, with a resident salt water crocodile living there. You are careless entering the creek by foot, or swimming in it.
If you want to know more, have a read of Crocodile Safety in Australia.
Some people do swim in the ocean nearby, but you’d want to make sure its crystal clear, and that you keep a keen eye out. As the sign says driving down Minala road; be croc wise. If you are unsure, don’t swim, and this is probably one of the less safe places to swim up at Cape Leveque!
We only spent half a day at Barred Creek, having driven there from James Price Point, but were very glad we visited. It is a spectacular place, and one we’d seriously rate.
We’d be happy to spend a few days camped here when the kids are a bit older (and you can trust them not to go near the water!), but you can’t really go wrong in terms of Broome camping, especially when its completely free.