The picturesque pearling town of Broome has attracted visitors from all over Australia and the world for a long time. It was Lord McAlpine who fell in love with Broome during his first visit here in 1979, and who introduced tourism to the town with the opening of the innovative and iconic Cable Beach Club in 1988. In its early tourism phase, Broome attracted mainly Chinese visitors who could board direct flights directly to Broome’s small but international airport. With its picture perfect Cable Beach stretching for over 22kms of white sand, its tropical climate and coastal vibe, this vibrant little gem is the ideal destination for relaxation and soaking up the sun. Apart from lazing at the hotel pool or Cable Beach, getting pampered thanks to excellent Spa services and enjoying excellent dining experiences, there is a lot more to do and discover in Broome. Read below about things to do in Broome for any budget and visitor type.
THINGS TO DO IN BROOME
- Of course, Broome is famous for its pearling history, and no one should miss a look around the many pearl shops in Broom’s Chinatown, the main town center. Even if you don’t want to buy anything, the beautiful displays are very impressive and you can actually learn a lot about pearling and the industry from the friendly shop assistants. Many pearl brands have information of their own history available as well.
- Head to the Broome Museum, located at the corner of Hamersley and Saville Streets for more pearling and town history (http://www.broomemuseum.org.au/).
- Have a wander around Chinatown and browse through the many local shops, selling anything from fragrant Sandalwood body products to tropical clothing and indigenous art work. There is also a number of excellent cafes here, our personal favourite is Shady Lane, tucked away in Johnny Chi Lane and accessible via Carnarvon Street. They do excellent coffee and muffins and you can sit away from the main road.
- Once you have had enough Cable Beach time, try Roebuck Bay on the town side of Broome. Town Beach is popular with the locals and a great spot for a picnic overlooking the turquoise waters.
- Roebuck Bay is also where the stunning natural phenomenon of the “Staircase to the Moon” is happening during the dry season. At moon rise, the reflection of the moon on the bay’s mudflats creates the illusion of a staircase of light leading to the moon. For dates visit http://www.australiasnorthwest.com/events/staircase-to-the-moon-2016. The Mangrove Hotel is a great spot to observe this spectacle while enjoying a cool drink from the bar or even a nice meal. Just watch out for the sandflies or”midgys”, you might want to cover up and bring plenty of repellent.
- Broome has a number of excellent dining experiences on offer. While many visitors tend to eat at their hotel, there is a number of great little places in town. The Aarli on Hamsley Street serves excellent modern Australian meals and ranks high on the list of the best restaurant in Western Australia. For Asian food, we think that Som Thai on Napier Terrace is the pick of the bunch. If you are looking for great views with your dinner, there is, of course, the famous Sunset Bar & Grill at Cable Beach, which is part of the Cable Beach Club Resort. Zanders right on Cable Beach also provides great views, although we didn’t find their food and service to be the best choice in Broome, but, hey, try it for yourself, everyone is different!
- The local markets in Broome are a great spot for some great casual food and a bit of retail therapy. The Broome Courthouse Markets at Hamsley Street take place every weekend from 8am- 1pm during the dry season. Every Thursday night, enjoy the Town Beach Markets starting at 5pm. Aligning with the Staircase to the Moon, there are also night markets at Town Beach on every full moon night from April to October.
- Admittedly, if you are looking for nightlife, Broome is not necessarily the most happening place to go. However, there is generally a good atmosphere at the Bars (Sunset Bar, Diver’s Tavern, Roebuck Bay Hotel or Matso’s for a great local Craft Beer). A great evening activity for the whole family is Broome’s outdoor cinema Sun Pictures on Carnarvon Street in Chinatown. This charming outdoor cinema is one of the oldest in Australia and worth a visit even just to check out the historic interior and decorations.
- And these are only some of the great things to do in Broome. Moreover, there are the Dinosaur footprints at Gantheaume Point (today they are only a replica, the originals were stolen), the Chinese and Japanese Cemeteries and of course all the things to do outside of Broome, for example the Horizontal Waterfalls and a visit to one of the Pearl Farms on the Dampier Peninsula. Not to forget the beautiful and unique Kimberley Region with all its treasures waiting to be discovered! Browse our Kimberley Tours below to find out about our small group 4WD Tours, we would love to share our Kimberley experience with you!