Staircase to the Moon

Staircase to the Moon 2017

You have to see it to believe it! This amazing natural phenomenon takes place along the Pilbara and Kimberley Coastline, when the full moon rising across the exposed tidal flats creates the impression of a staircase leading to the moon.

These are the dates and time for Broome for 2017. In the Pilbara, the Staircase appears a few minutes later than Broome, so please check with the local visitor centre for the correct times, or click here for the times from Karratha Visitor Centre. Dates and times have been supplied by Greg Quicke's Astro Tours.  Visibility varies in strength depending on weather, sunset, moonrise and the tides.

March 2017

13 March


14 March


15 March


April 2017

12 April


13 April


14 April


May 2017

11 May


12 May


13 May


June 2017

10 June


11 June


12 June


July 2017

10 July


11 July


12 July


August 2017

8 August


9 August


10 August


September 2017

7 September


8 September


9 September


October 2017

6 October


7 October


8 October


Staircase to the Moon

Best locations to view Staircase to the Moon

The Staircase appears along the shores of Roebuck Bay - Town Beach and the Mangrove Hotel are the most popular spots, with night markets at Town Beach complementing this special event. 

The boardwalk at Onslow and Sunset Beach are beautiful spots for both sunsets and Staircase to the Moon.

Head to the Lookout at Settler's Beach for Staircase to the Moon in this beautifully restored ghost town.

Karratha & Dampier
A half an hour’s drive from Karratha, Hearson’s Cove’s expansive mud flats make it an ideal spot to watch the Staircase.

Port Hedland
A special Staircase to the Moon viewing deck has been erected next to the Cooke Point Caravan Park on Goode Street.

Cape Keraudren Nature Reserve
Campers at Cape Keraudren Nature Reserve have a prime spot for Staircase viewing.


More to explore...

Staircase to the Moon takes place during the spring tides, when the difference between high and low tides is at its greatest. This can be a great time to explore some other tidal attractions.

Horizontal Falls 

Horizontal Falls

The Horizontal Falls are always great to see, but during spring tides the greater volume of water flowing through the falls is truly spectacular. 

Take a scenic flight from Broome to fly over the falls, or join a tour that takes you on an exhilarating trip through the gap!

More about the Horizontal Falls

Dinosaur Footprints Broome Hovercraft  

Dinosaur Footprints

While the (re)discovery of some dinosaur footprints on Cable Beach in 2016 caused great excitement, visitors are still drawn to Gantheaume Point on very low tides to view the dinosaur footprints at the base of the cliffs. Check with Broome Visitor Centre for the dates and times when the footprints are visible. Other footprints are best viewed by hovercraft on a Broome tour.

More about Gantheaume Point


The Catalina Flying Boat Wrecks

The Catalina Flying Boat Wrecks

The wreckage from the Catalina Flying Boats, which were bombed in Roebuck Bay on 3rd March 1945, can be seen at tides below 0.86m. The wrecks can be viewed by walking out from the Catalina's boat ramp - please allow an hour each way to ensure you have plenty of time. 

 Kimberley Tides at Kooljaman Cape Leveque

Kimberley Tides

The ebb and flow of the largest tropical tides in the world form the beating heart of the Kimberley. Find out more and browse some of the tours showcasing tidal experiences at the link below!

More about the Kimberley tides.

Iron Ore carriers at Port Hedland 

Pilbara Ships

If you'd like to see the delicate choreography of the iron ore carriers or the cruise ships making their way in and out of Pilbara, check the tide times first! These huge ships can only manoeuvre during high tides.

 More about Port Hedland and Karratha.

Sunset from Derby Jetty

Derby Jetty 

Seeing the mudflats from the Derby Jetty at low tide it’s hard to imagine the volume of water that the 14m tide carries as it sweeps in and out of the King Sound. Stay just a few more hours and you won’t have to imagine – the Kimberley tides change every 6 hours!

More about Derby.

Photographing Staircase to the Moon


Photographing Staircase to the Moon

When watching Staircase to the Moon the temptation is to take some photos with your phone camera as a memento, but of course the results can be disappointing. Even the most dedicated amateur photographer can have difficulties in taking photos of a rising moon, but there are a couple of things you can do to improve the quality of your image. 

If you are using your phone, you may not have access to the cameras manual settings, but you can download some third party apps which will allow you to adjust the shutter and apeture settings to get the best image you can. A tripod will also help, or try to rest your phone on a surface or brace your arms against your sides to prevent a shaky image. The camera flash won't assist your image, so switch if off beforehand.  

Don't forget to leave your camera down for a few seconds to enjoy the view without the viewfinder, and there are lots of postcards and other souvenirs featuring the Staircase to be found, so it's easy to find the perfect memento!

 Photo of Staircase to the Moon taken on a mobile phone:

Staircase to the Moon by phone

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