Middle Lagoon

Middle Lagoon is a popular place for caravaners and campers in the Broome region. It’s around 140kms north of Broome on the Dampier Peninsula in the Kimberleys (not to be confused with the area around the town of Dampier in the Pilbarra).

To get there one needs to take the road that leads up to Cape Leveque. It’s recommended for 4 x 4 vehicles and off road caravans only. Our caravan isn’t off road, but it does have a reasonably high clearance, and we’ve been told we would have no trouble getting through to Middle Lagoon. Our trip today was to check it out for future trips.

It’s some years since we last took a trip up the Dampier Peninsula, the last time was to camp at Cape Leveque. Read about that tip here: https://lifeofrileyow.com/2018/01/18/cape-leveque/

The main part of the road has improved since we last travelled it, and it looks like there are more improvements going on (possibly the long promised bitumen). We both agreed we’d have no problems towing our New Age Manta Ray up this section of the road. Then we turned off onto the Middle Lagoon Road…….

It’s a very sandy track, and yes we’d be able to tow our caravan through – providing nothing was coming in the opposite direction.

Very narrow with few places to pull off to allow safe passing

The road is narrow, and the sand ruts quite deep. On the way to the lagoon we met a few oncoming vehicles. One of us would find a place to drive out of the sand ruts to the side of the road, and park up letting the other vehicle pass. There are long sections of road with very few places to pull off, but with two cars passing it was relatively easy to manage, even if one of us needed to back up a bit to access a suitable place out of harms way.

The difficulty came when we met a car and caravan. Of course, it was easier for a single car to pull off the road, which we did. We held our breath each time, hoping the caravanner was experienced with soft sand conditions. Those ruts can take a car, or a big caravan somewhere the driver had no intentions of going at times, and an inexperienced driver could easily have slid into us.

A wider section of the road, with deep sand ruts

Middle Lagoon is approximately 40 kms in off the main Cape Leveque Road. We were about 10 kms along the road when we decided we won’t be taking our caravan up there any time soon – I dread to think how the passing would go with two caravans going opposite directions. It’s not for the faint-hearted, and it’s definitely not for us!

Never mind – we could still enjoy the day trip. The dog friendly lagoon is special. The water warm, clear and just gorgeous. Even Mr Tilly who usually only runs in to belly height went for a bit of dog paddle around clearly enjoying the sensation of actually swimming with his feet out of contact with the ground.

We had brought a picnic lunch with us, and there are plenty of picnic tables dotted around to use. Lunch finished, I showered off the salt and sand and we headed back to Broome. (It’s $10 for day entry so showering is allowed with a clear conscience). On the return journey we pulled off road to let two on-coming hired land cruiser troppies pass . These drivers were clearly inexperienced and seemed to think that speed was the way to pass safely, slipping and sliding as they passed us with absolutely no control what so ever. Good luck rather than good management saved us all from colliding. I hoped they didn’t encounter any caravans further along the track.

We enjoyed our day trip, and are happy we’ve seen Middle Lagoon. Driving up there with a caravan in tow though isn’t for us. We’ll leave that to the more experienced…..

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17 thoughts on “Middle Lagoon

  1. It happened way back in the early eighties, Chris. I thought I was going to perish out there. I think we were waiting out there for about two hours – we were lucky as someone was driving through from the Newman mine, a Mum with her kids and she picked us up. Those were the days before mobile phones, and we had very little water etc. We were very very lucky as noone was in need or urgent medical attention. I might even post about it one day as it was an experience. The driver was taking his Dad’s newish car out for the day. It was a rightoff, of course. You can imagine how his Dad felt. For me, it was a big lesson on the vulnerability of people in an unforgiving desert like landscape.

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  2. Oh my goodness. I would have my heart in my mouth driving up there. I have always felt a bit uncomfortable on sandy roads. Did I tell you I was in a serious car accident on the road to Marble Bar?
    But the water looked stunning.

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  3. The photo doesn’t do true justice to the place. The water is so calm and clear and warm. It was a beautiful place for a swim. I believe the fishing’s good there too, but we’ll leave it for others to enjoy. There’s no way we’d risk towing our van in there.

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  4. Middle Lagoon looks beautiful and calm and perfect but the drive down that sandy road must have been a little stressful. especially towing a van. Bet some of the other drivers weren’t that skilled in negotiating the sandy conditions were they?

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  5. Sometimes it seems just like a better idea to park up the van somewhere and head out to these places. Our way of thinking is we’ve spent too much money and have too many other places to see to risk it on iffy journeys with the van, and unfortunately you never know when you’re going to meet cowboys coming in the opposite direction!

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  6. It’s a beautiful place, only problem for some people is that because it’s so beautiful it does attract a good few people. But I always say if you want to be away from the crowds go somewhere in-inviting.

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