Three colours come to mind when you think of Broome – red, white and blue. Here, the red dirt of the desert meets Cable Beach’s pearl white sand and the sparkling blue water of Roebuck Bay.
Vibrant culture, great food, arts and crafts make Broome an oasis in the Kimberley. It’s the biggest town and the best place to enjoy some luxuries and to stock up on supplies and refuel.
The best time to visit is during the dry season when Broome is buzzing and the town’s population swells. During the wet season the weather gets very hot and humid, the tourists leave and the locals enjoy the quieter pace.
Sights & Activities
One of Broome’s most famous and iconic attractions is Cable Beach. 4km from the town center, Cable Beach is one of Australia’s finest beaches. A wide sweep of white sand extends as far as the eye can see, with calm sparkling blue water. Many people sunbake and relax near the main carpark, but you can also drive along the beach at various access points and claim you own patch of paradise.
Camel tours are a popular activity – every morning and evening camel trains plod along the white sands of Cable Beach.
At the south end of the beach is Gantheaume Point, near the port. At extremely low tides a set of 120 million year old dinosaur footprints are revealed.
At the center of town is Chinatown, although there is little evidence of the Chinese these days. Cafes, boutiques and art galleries line the streets, all housed in charming corrugated iron buildings. of streets. The weekend markets are also lively and very popular.
Pearling tours are available at Pearl Luggers and Willie Creek Pearl Farm, just north of town.
Every full moon, Broome is also home to the Staircase to the Moon. At low tide, the rippled Roebuck Bay mudflats reflect the rising full moon, creating the illusion of a “staircase”. For the few days around each full moon, Broome is buzzing with tourists and locals keen to view the spectacle. There’s lively market at Town Beach and a great atmosphere.
History and Culture
Broome began life as a pearling centre in the 1880s. At it’s peak in the early 1900s, the town’s 400 pearl luggers (pearling boats) supplied 80% of the world’s mother of pearl, which was mainly used for buttons. Japanese, Malay and Chinese pearl divers were attracted to the area and are responsible for the town’s diverse culture.
Nowadays pearl farms have replaced open sea diving and Broome’s pearling industry is run by a handful of successful family-run companies.
Camping and Accommodation
During the dry season, tourists flock to Broome to enjoy the warm weather and escape the winter in the southern parts of Australia. The cost of accommodation rises and places can be booked out months in advance.
The Broome Visitor Center is the best point of contact for advice about accommodation options. There are numerous caravans parks and a huge range of budget, mid-range and luxury accommodation options.
Broome is the start or end point of many trips to the Kimberley. A popular route is to fly into Broome, and then to drive in a loop, taking in the Gibb River Road and the Bungle Bungles. Another option is to combine a Kimberley adventure with the Northern Territory exploration. You could start or end your trip in Broome.
The Broome airport has flights to all Australian capital cities.