Sand dunes and camels are not necessarily associated with Australia. Yet, welcome to Broome. With a rich and colourful history, the town has a welcome and laid-back feel, paired with a tropical vibe. It’s at least 2000km from the nearest capital city, and is bordered by the aquamarine waters of the Indian Ocean and the creeks and mangroves of Roebuck Bay. With pristine waters, wide empty beaches, wildlife and breathtaking colours, it’s no wonder that Broome attracts thousands of visitors each year.
With so much to see, do and discover, Broome is truly a once in a lifetime holiday. There’s something for absolutely everyone – from thrill seekers and adventurers to culture buffs and those who simply want to relax.
For those wanting a bit of history, head to the WWII Flying Boat Wrecks. It’s especially good at very low tide as you can walk across to the mudflats right to the wrecks of Catalina and Dornier, which were attached by the Japanese while trying to evacuate refugees from Java. There are six wrecks visible. There’s also Gantheaume Point where one of the most varied collections of dinosaur footprints lie, only visible at very low tides.
Of course, there’s also the shopping to do and Broome is most famous for its pearls. Head to Dampier Terrace which is home to the most luxe pearl brands.
For many, the resorts of Broome are a welcome escape from the southern winter serving as a base to explore the Kimberley on a series of day trips from Broome, here are our selection of the best days trips from Broome.
Closer to the town centre we have also put together our pick of things to do in Broome.
Fishing in Broome is an experience in itself. There’s opportunity to catch tuna, mud crab or even a mighty barramundi. And there are plenty of charters around to take you and options for full-day or half-day tours. There are several places to go, from the ocean to the creeks and options for private charters too. There are even sunset tours for those who want something a bit ‘different’ – watch the sun set and catch some fish. Different species tend to be around as dusk approaches and then again as night falls so it’s really a varied experience.
Fun fact: the world’s largest pod of Humpback Whales both mate and give birth in the Indian Ocean around Broome. There’s around 40,000 of them so there really is no better place to whale watch. You’re most definitely bound to see a couple. Whale sightings are generally guaranteed between July and September and many cruises have a Marine Biologist on board who provides all the facts and information you need about the environment and the whales. Again, there are various options from half-day morning cruises to sunset cruises that commence in the early afternoon.
If there’s something Broome is famous for, it’s camel riding on Cable Beach. At 22km long with white soft sand and warm, flat water it’s easy to see why Cable Beach is so popular. The name actually comes from the telegraph cable that used to run under the sea from northwest Australia to Indonesia. While there is little evidence of it now, it was used for international communication until 1914. While Cable Beach synonymous with camel rides, the sun set is absolutely extraordinary and a definite must-do. For the camel experience, there are options for morning or afternoon tours, including a sunset option which is truly breathtaking.
Don’t miss our choice of the best wildlife experiences in Broome.
Here’s what to look out for in Broome when you want to get really wild. Broome is unlike anywhere else in the world. It’s at ...
With resorts, hotels, B&Bs and motels, there is an accommodation for every budget, find yours with our best places to stay in Broome.
Sitting right across from the ocean and just eight kilometres from central Broome, Cable Beach Club Resort and Spa is the epitome of luxury. While it features Broome architecture, there is a sense of Eastern mysticism around with lush gardens, serene swimming pools, restaurants and of course, an idyllic spa. There’s even a playground, a children’s pool and waterpark for the kids.
The Billi, another option on Cable Beach, is unique and exceptionally private, despite being located in the tourist precinct of the area. The hotel offers villas, studio rooms and ultra-luxurious eco tents for those who want to be a bit closer to nature. But don’t worry, when we say ultra-luxurious, we mean it. Each tent is equipped with kitchenettes and ensuites.
Unplug and reconnect at the Ramada Resort by Wundham Eco Beach. This one is a bit outside Broome, situated around 120 kilometres south but it’s exceptionally peaceful and the leisurely drive takes just an hour, affording you the opportunity to take in all the sites as you drive. With daily yoga, private beach dining, views over the Indian Ocean and solar powered eco villas, you’ll truly feel at one with nature.
Transformed from historic manor to an award-winning resort, Pinctada McAlpine House was previously home to a Master Pearler. Despite its vast space, there’s a sense of intimacy and serenity here, with just eight guest rooms, tropical gardens and a swimming pool. There’s even a relaxing Chinese Tea House and bird aviary on site.
Finally, The Pearle on Cable Beach is a self-contained resort offering rooms and one to three bedroom apartments. There’s a day spa and a glorious main pool, as well as a café and shop on site. Plus, some of the villas have private pools too.
Of course, there are plenty of options that are a bit friendlier to the wallet.
Broome Beach Resort is a fantastic option for families with self-catering apartments located just six kilometres from the centre of town. There are one, two or three bedroom apartments set among the gardens and all feature a full kitchen and laundry facilities.
There’s also the Courthouse Bed and Breakfast in town, just 100 metres away from the Broome Courthouse Markets. Interestingly, while each room is equipped with air conditioning, there is also a natural, energy-saving cooling system that utilises the fresh sea breeze.
The Mercure Broome is walking distance to the heart of Broome and is an excellent option for those looking for a more budget-friendly stay. There are superior rooms and smaller budget rooms, depending on what you’re after and the breakfast is pretty good too.
And don’t forget there are holiday homes like Lagoon Broome.
Whatever meal you’re eating, chances are it’s going to be enjoyed outdoors. Broome has a warm and humid climate which means restaurants have al fresco dining options, most on verandahs, open decks or beneath tropical palms. For a small town, Broome does pretty well on the food front, here are our picks of the best places to eat and drink in Broome.
Zensai, part of the Cable Beach Club Resort and Spa, takes its inspiration from the Japanese. Offering refined share plates, including tempura and chicken karaage, but it’s the sashimi assortment that truly shines. Also on site is Club, the resorts homage to modern European dining. With handmade pasta and fresh seafood, it’s hard to go wrong here. Plus, there’s a thoughtfully stocked cellar to enjoy.
While many of the best restaurants are located within the Cable Beach Club Resort and Spa, there are some excellent options outside too. The Aarli menu is modern Asian-style with plenty of delicious options. The chef has an unbelievable understanding of how spice can work its magic on even the most mundane ingredients.
For those wanting a more casual affair, you can’t go wrong at the Broome Courthouse Markets. It’s a popular option for breakfast with fresh fruit, doughnuts and even Filipino-style empanadas on offer. Also offering consistently good options is Land of Pharaohs. The locals rave about it so you know it must be good. Don’t be fooled by those calling it a kebab shop. While it does serve kebabs, it’s so much more! There’s also Matso’s Broome Brewery which is favoured for its mango craft beer and 18 Degrees which is renowned for its creative share plates and unique cocktails.
How you see Broome is completely up to you. The good news is though, there are plenty of tour and package options to make your decisions much easier. With short-stay packages that include the top spots to visit through to longer tour options, there is something for everyone. There are also, of course, individual attraction tours that you can book yourself on an ad hoc basis.
Many people will tell you that by far, the best tour you can do in the area is cruising the Kimberley. There are plenty of day-trip options from Broome including to Cape Leveque, Windjana Gorge and Tunnel Creek, the Bungle Bungles, Cygnet Bay and Horizontal Falls. But if pearls are the apple of your eye, book a Willie Creek Pearl Farm Tour. You’ll learn about the team’s process of sustainable modern pearl farming and take a boat ride to see live oysters.
Camel rides, cruises, sprawling beaches or exploring the ocean, Broome has it all. Whether you want to relax, be entertained, learn about the culture and the history or simply get lost in the surroundings, you’ll thoroughly enjoy a trip to this gorgeous city.
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