With a peak tourist season from late May to early September, Broome has become Western Australia’s premier winter holiday destination.
And rightfully so, with a list of things to see, do, eat and drink around Broome that stretches as long as its sandy beaches. Here’s our definitive guide to enjoying all that Broome has to offer:
SEE & DO
There’s no better way to end the day than watching the sun set over the Indian Ocean, and there’s no better place in Broome to do so than Cable Beach. With 22 kilometres of pristine white sand and turquoise water, it’s perfect for swimming and spending the afternoon on the beach.
Sunset Camel Treks
Cable Beach is also famous for its camel rides which operate daily in the dry season. There are three main operators in the area, and no trip to Broome is complete without jumping on the back of the friendly humpbacked horses of the northwest!
Image Credit: Alex Pantazis
Shinju Matsuri Festival
Shinju Matsuri is an iconic experience on the northwest WA events calendar, a loving celebration Broome’s unique history. In addition to the Sunset Long Table Dinner, Broome’s town beach precinct welcomes locals and visitors alike with live music, food and market stalls, to go with a host of free art workshops and more.
Gantheaume Point’s Dinosaur Footprints
Gantheaume Point is located at the southern end of Cable Beach and is only about 10 minutes from Broome’s town centre. Here the red cliffs meet the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. Not only is it a great spot to explore, but Gantheaume Point is also home to dinosaur footprints. The preserved prints, which are over 130 million years old, are visible at low tide at the base of the cliffs
Sun Pictures Open Air Cinema
Broome is home to Sun Pictures, the world’s longest running open air cinema. First opened in 1916, movies are screened here nightly, where you can watch on canvas deck chair seating, both under the verandah and under the stars, as well as a grassed area close to the screen.
Staircase To The Moon
This natural phenomenon occurs between March and October each year when the full moon rises over the exposed tidal mud flats of Roebuck Bay, creating the rippled impression of stairs leading towards the moon. It’s best viewed from two main vantage points in town – the Mangrove Hotel, or Town Beach where night markets also are held on the first two nights of the full moon.
Discover Broome’s Pearling History
You can learn about Broome’s pearling history at many of the pearl shops in Chinatown, and purchase some for yourself, or take a tour of a pearl farm. The Broome Historical Museum is definitely worth a visit, you can also jump on a tour with Willie Creek Pearl Farm, or learn yourself on the Jetty To Jetty Trail (and App).
Malcolm Douglas Crocodile Park
As far as Aussie conservation heroes go, Malcolm Douglas would be right up there, just behind Steve Irwin, and his Crocodile Park in Roebuck does his legacy justice. Home to colourful birdlife, a cassowary, kangaroos, euros and wallabies, as well as emus, jabirus, snakes and lizards, don’t forget to stop in the shop for a memento or two.
The multicultural heart and soul of Broome since pearling crews set up camp way back in the 1880s, Broome’s Chinatown is now a boutique retail hub that has been revitalised and re-energised in recent years. A celebration of the town’s rich history, you’ll wile the hours away shopping and eating in a very special part of town.
Saturday mornings (and Sundays in April-October) in Broome are best spent at the Courthouse Markets, located on Hamersley Ave on the grounds of the Broome courthouse between 7am and 1pm. Featuring an incredible array of stalls from clothing and jewellery to arts and crafts, as well as music, entertainment, food and drink stalls.
Explore Cape Leveque
“Where the red dirt meets the sea” – Cape Leveque lies on the tip of the Dampier Peninsula to Broome’s north, making it one of the most remote corners of the world. Stunning red cliffs, brilliant turquoise blue waters, the Beagle Bay Aboriginal Community’s historic church… It’s an explorer’s paradise – book a 4wd drive tour from Broome and take it all in.
Broome also serves as the perfect gateway to exploring other areas of the Kimberley, such as the world famous Horizontal Falls, Windjana Gorge and the slightly-further-out Purnululu National Park, home to the iconic Bungle Bungle.
Around Broome you’ll find a variety of Aboriginal experiences and tours via Narlijia Experiences, hosted by Yawuru man Bart Pigram. A natural entertainer, Bart runs a few different, unique tours of Broome and the Bay, allowing you to see the country and lifestyle from his unique perspective.
If you really want to immerse yourself in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, Magabala Books is based in Broome and a must-visit. The not-for-profit publishing house was born in Broome over three decades ago, publishing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander authors, artists and illustrators from all over Australia.
A Taste Of Broome
A Taste of Broome is a multi-arts performance, cuisine and culture-based event focused on the unique Indigenous multiculturalism where you can learn the history of Broome through the songs, stories, pictures and people. Events are monthly so make sure you hit the website to find out when the next one will be.
Jump On A Fishing/Whale Watching Tour
If you’re looking to spend a bit more time off land and in the water, there’s plenty of locally-run charter options to choose from around town, and Absolute Ocean Charters are one of the best operators going around. They offer full and half-day fishing charters on the sea and amongst the local creek systems, or if you’re there around July-September you spend an afternoon watching humpback whales cruise the coast line or searching for unique snubfin dolphins (pictured, below).
Broome Bird Observatory
Because we know there’s plenty of keen birdwatchers out there, there’s a brilliant Bird Observatory on the shores of Roebuck Bay, offering camping, accomodation and tours. The research and education facility is dedicated to shorebird research in the area, and you can help!
EAT & DRINK
Broome is home to Australia’s most remote brewery – Matso’s. With outside seating in the courtyard and verandah offering views over Roebuck Bay, one of the best things to do is grab a tasting paddle board and sample some of the range, including mango, chilli, and ginger beers. You can also go on brewery tours, and its open from 11.30am during the week and 8am on the weekend.
Cable Beach Club
Cable Beach Club Resort & Spa is the only accomodation directly across from the beach, and is kitted out with four different restaurants to tempt any and all palettes. It’s hard to go past sitting around the sunset bar, surrounded by palm trees and overlooking an Indian Ocean sunset, cocktails in hand.
For equally brilliant views, the Mangrove Hotel’s Bay Club is a stylish outdoor restaurant and bar overlooking Roebuck Bay. Sip on cocktails and cold beer with the sounds of live music and the tastes of the finest produce the Kimberley has to offer.
If you’re looking for something a little more rowdy, Diver’s Tavern on Cable Beach is the place to be. Watch the game in the Sports Bar, dine on some top shelf pub grub in the bistro, or have a boogie to live music in the good-times-only Beach Bar, regularly hosting some of WA and Australia’s best musicians
If you’re chasing something slightly more sophisticated, The Aarli is all about delivering a restaurant-quality dining experience from breakfast all the way to dinner. With a menu featuring an excellent Chef’s Feed Me option along with a huge beer, wine and cocktails selection, make sure you set a couple of hours aside!
You’ll find this bustling cafe in the heart of Broome, and won’t leave disappointed with their beautifully fresh breakfast and lunch options. It’s a popular spot, so be patient and be rewarded with a fresh, hearty meal to set you up for a big day of exploring under the northwest sun.
The worst kept secret in Broome would have to be its beloved RSL, offering some of the cheapest food and bev options around town. What it lacks in pizzazz it more than makes up for in charm, friendly locals and ice cold pints of beer, with a kid’s playground, darts and all the good stuff you want in an RSL.
If you consider yourself a gin aficionado then a stop in at Moontide Distillery’s cellar door is an absolute must. Located in ‘Blue Haze’ (“a place, not a state of mind”), they’ve got distinctive native botanical flavours you won’t experience anywhere else in the world, like their White Pearl Gin or Roebuck Bay Bitters.
Good Cartel make some of the best coffee in town, so head straight there in the morning to get your Broome ball rolling. That said they’re also open basically all day, and have an interesting menu full of fresh, healthy options to keep you well-fuelled.
Header Image Credit: Troy Mutton