The trifecta of the best Australia has to offer: red dirt, white sand, blue sea, and it’s all found in one place. A whopping 2389km north of Perth, straddling the peninsula between Cable Beach and the mangrove flats of Roebuck Bay, the 126-year-old town of Broome – where the outback meets the sea – has a past as varied and colourful as the scenery.
The influx of Chinese and Japanese pearl divers in the 1870s are responsible for a thriving China Town that comes to life during the annual September Shinju Matsuri Festival of the Pearl – dragon boat races, fireworks and float parades celebrate the port of pearls. The cemetery where 919 divers are buried showcases the more sombre side to the industry, but retailers on Dampier Lane and Short Street have well and truly put those days behind them. Linneys, Kailis and Paspaley sell pearls of all shapes and sizes, many straight from local farms still operating today.
“It’s impossible to take a bad photograph in Broome; the amazing colours, the scenery and the magical light simply won’t allow it. Nothing compares.” – Ken Boundy
If you’re after a bit of danger, check out the new Wildlife Wilderness Park and Refuge Centre. Crocodile feeding, crocodile breeding and endangered animal regeneration takes place in the large grounds just outside of Broome. You won’t hear a “crikey” here, but Australian bushman Malcolm Douglas has put blood, sweat and tears into giving more than 200 crocodiles a home.
Where? // On the edge of the Kimberley region, 2389km (about 28hrs drive) north of Perth.
Did you know? // From Gantheaume Point, around 6km south of town and at very low tides, dinosaur footprints believed to be from the Cretaceous period around 130 million years ago can be seen preserved in the rock, about 30m out to sea.
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