How do you see Flying Boat Wrecks at Broome, Western Australia?


Broome’s Flying Boat Wrecks are the last physical record of conflict on Australian shores. In addition, we’re told you won’t find this many historical flying boats, anywhere else in the world.

However, you need to time it right. West Australian Kimberley Coast towns, Broome and Derby are famous for their massive tides.

CAMPS Ambassadors, Tracey and Dale followed the tide out across the mud flats of Roebuck Bay to finally see them.

“They are located about 1.7 km out to sea from Town Beach in Broome,” said Dale.

The World War II wrecks are heritage protected, preserved by the mud – and only six are visible. They also stand as a sombre memorial to the estimated 100 lives lost when Broome was attacked.

Dale tells us, “You can only see them when the tides are less than 0.86m and this only happens a few times a year.”

Broome was bombarded by the Japanese on March 3, 1942, and no usable aircraft were left in Broome! The result was a sunken armada of 15 Catalina and Dornier flying boats and war graves for the Australian, American and Dutch servicemen, and refugees from Java. A further six aircraft were bombed at Broome’s airfield.

Flying Boat Wrecks at Broome
Images by Adams Family Travels

These attacks led to the creation of a secret inland location, opening in June, 1942. It too, is well worth a visit at Flying Boat Repair Depot at Lake Boga, Victoria.

You can read more about the attacks by the nine Japanese Zero fighters and local rescues at the Broome Historical Museum.

Also visit the 9 Zeros – 9 Stories at Town Beach. The new artwork was installed 80 years after the Broome Air Raids as a commemoration.


Talk to the Broome Information Centre about tides, and shallow boat tours. They suggest you allow an hour to walk there and back, and wear suitable enclosed shoes for the mud. Also check the sunrise/sunset times.

Flying Boat Wrecks at Broome, WA


Check out your CAMPS, Caravan Parks and CAMPSPendium guides and the FREE updated CAMPS App. You can also read our latest articles on camping and things to see and do in Broome.

Thanks to CAMPS Ambassadors, Adams Family Travels for these photos. 

Find interesting travel destinations like this and more nearby in the CAMPS 12 guide booksCAMPS Pendium boxed set and CAMPS AUSTRALIA WIDE App.


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