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Top Things to Do in Broome

Broome, WA is situated in the Kimberley region in Western Australia. Broome has been known for its unique vibe and character and relaxed atmosphere. It is considered the country’s pearling capital and is surrounded by the Indian Ocean, making it a great destination for those who want to enjoy a local pearl farm tour or day trips.

But before we delve into the best things to do in Broome, here are some unique facts about this place and the Kimberley region. 

Quick Facts About Broome and the Kimberley Region

Lots of Wide and Open Spaces

The Kimberley region boasts wide and open spaces–something that not a lot of other places have. Its expanse of 422,000 square kilometres definitely yells remote isolation; after all, this figure is equivalent to three times the size of England. And with just a population of 35,000, you cannot even begin to imagine how much space there is to enjoy in the region. For context, think about the Wembley Stadium in London, which can accommodate 90,000 people!

Pearling Capital

The pearling industry in Broome has long been here – from the time men and women harvested oysters for mother of pearl to the modern enterprises of cultured pearl farming. There were islanders, Asians, and Japanese pearl divers who risked their lives for the industry. The Japanese cemetery is the resting place of some 919 Japanese pearl divers who died in the industry. 

Amazing Ancient Rock Art

The Kimberley region is home to some of the oldest rock art in all of Australia and the world. It is said to be older than the Colosseum in Rome.

Dinosaur Footprints

Aside from ancient rock art, another ancient marking in the region is the dinosaur footprints. On the Dampier Peninsula and Broome beaches, you can find three types of tracks on the rocks that are 130 billion years old. 

‘Broome Time’

On the lighter side, there is such a thing as ‘Broome Time’, which locals use to refer to the slow pace and laidback atmosphere of the place. You’ll note a lack of traffic lights here! 

Remote Brewery 

If you want to drink traditional beer, then there’s a microbrewery in the town. But more than that, they also serve chilli, ginger, and mango beers.

Top Things to Do in Broome Western Australia 

Now, it’s time to check out the things to do in Broome. I’ll organise them accordingly, so it’ll be easier for you to find and choose the activity you want to do while visiting Broome. 

Broome Beaches

Thanks to the town’s location on the Dampier Peninsula, it is surrounded by water and blessed with fabulous beaches. 

Cable Beach 

This is one of the most famous beaches in Broome, which spans 22 kilometres and was named after the telegraph cable that was laid in 1889 between Java and Broome. 

The beach features a long stretch of white sand beach and magnificent views of the Indian Ocean. It’s the only patrolled area, with lounge chairs and umbrellas for hire as well as cocktails and ice cream to enjoy while admiring the iconic Cable Beach sunset. 

If you’re up for a luxurious experience, stay at the Cable Beach Club. A cheaper option (which suited me just fine), was the Cable Beach Caravan Park.

Beware!! There are crocs in the water!!

Despite this, there were a surprising number of people swimming and surfing when I was there. Hard pass for me though as getting bitten by a crock doesn’t sound like a great way to end my trip.

Riddell Beach

If you want a beach that’s off the beaten path and generally off the tourist radar, then come to Riddell Beach, where you can see stunning red cliffs at James Price Point.

The road to the beach will shake the hell out of your camper, but it’s worth it for the view when you arrive.

Once again, keep an eye out for crocs, or do what I did and avoid going in the water just in case. The beach is not patrolled and there are no facilities in sight.

Town Beach 

Maybe you’re tired of the usual white sand beaches, but Town Beach offers something more unique–pink sand! 

Yep, this marvellous pink sand beautifully contrasts the turquoise waters. It’s a great place for people-watching, lazing on the beach, and enjoying a tasty brunch at the Town Beach Cafe. 

There’s a night market at Town Beach on Thursdays 🙂

Roebuck Bay

If you want to know where the most gorgeous drone shots of Broome are taken from, visit Roebuck Bay. Much like Town Beach, this bay boasts orange sands that slowly meet the blue waters and green mangroves. 

Pearling in Broome

The town was founded in the 1880s as a pearling port and continues to be the producer of the majority of South Sea Pearls with the highest quality in the world. 

To learn more about pearling in Broome, try the following recommendations:

Local Pearl Farm Tour

At the Broome Visitor Centre, you can learn about the different local pearl farm tours. You can also go to Cygnet Bay or Willie Creek to visit a pearl farm by bus, helicopter, or car. And if you go to Broome’s Chinatown, there are also tours that let you learn about the town’s history and pearl culture. 

You can pick up a free copy of the Broome magazine at the Broome Visitor Centre… at least, I hope it was free as I walked out with one 🙂

Diamond and Pearl Jewellery Showrooms

Get lost in the stunning array of diamond and pearl jewellery at the Allure South Sea Pearls shop in Broome’s Chinatown. Located in Dampier Terrace, you can find an extensive array of couture pieces that have been masterfully designed and crafted by master jewellers onsite. They also display their collections at the Lobby Boutique of the Cable Beach Club Resort & Spa. 

Shopping

Top picks for where to spend your money in Broome if you want to take something home from your travels other than amazing memories include:

The Black Stump Gallery

Paintings, prints, jewels, and much more. Visit their website for more info on their latest shows and to learn about their artists.

Definitely worth adding to your list of places to visit in Broome!

Betty Fong Sam

Dressed, tops, pants, Japanese-inspired pleated fabrics and more. They stock the Mela Purdie label and are definitely oriented to middle-age+ woman shoppers with some money to spare.

Shop 14 & 15, Johnny Chi Lane, 22 Dampier Terrace, Broome WA 6725

Check out their Facebook page.

Culture and Heritage 

Broome’s rich history is reflected in many of its tourist attractions, revealing stories about how different cultures, such as Filipino, Malay, Aboriginal, European, Chinese, and Japanese, arrived and turned the town into a pearling capital. 

Broome Historical Society Museum

Located in Town Beach, the Broome Historical Society Museum has been dedicating itself to the preservation and protection of the town’s history and heritage for 45 years. Three buildings, one of them the Sailmaker’s Shed, house extensive collections. 

Going around lets you understand the beginnings of the pearling industry and the Air Raid attack on Broome during the Second World War. Moreover, learn about the stories of shipwrecks and missing diamonds before examining Aboriginal memorabilia and artefacts. Most of all, discover how Broome became Australia’s first true multicultural town. 

SSJG Heritage Centre Broome

Another one of the many Broome attractions is the Sisters of St John of God or SSJG Heritage Centre Broome. This is the perfect place to visit if you want to look at the past of Kimberley as well as the relationships between the European, Asian, and Aboriginal communities. Admire the photographic collection in the ‘Old Convent’ and the ‘Shinkabe’ building.

Sun Pictures 

A major tourist attraction, Sun Pictures is the oldest operating picture garden in the world, located in Chinatown. What makes it attractive to both tourists and locals alike is the fact that it’s open air, and people can sit on the deck chairs and watch the screening under the stars. Though Sun Pictures has undergone several restoration efforts, its tin-like structure remains, reflecting good ol’ Broome. 

Japanese Cemetery

If you want to know and understand the closeness of the ties between Japan and Broome back in the day, you need to visit the Japanese Cemetery. With over 900 Japanese buried here, this is said to be the largest of its kind outside of Japan. Most of those buried were divers from villages in the Wakayama Prefecture and died due to illnesses related to diving such as decompression. 

When I visited, there was a drive-through food truck (rather innovative!) outside.

Other Equally Exciting Tourist Attractions and Things to Do in Broome

Staircase to the Moon

Ask any local for can’t-miss attractions, and they’ll point you towards the Staircase to the Moon. There’s nothing fancy or artificial here–just the magnificent sight of the moon rising across the tidal flats and revealing a staircase-like impression from the water that leads up to the moon. 

This natural phenomenon occurs along the Kimberley and Pilbara Coastline two to three days a month from March to October. It can be best observed from the shores of Town Beach, Roebuck Bay, and the Mangrove Hotel. Staircase to the Moon Markets happens at Town Beach, where you can indulge in some retail therapy after admiring the evening sight. 

Dinosaur Footprints

When you visit Kimberley Coast, you are stepping on the very same ground the dinosaurs once roamed some 130 million years ago. On the Dampier Peninsula, specifically along the Gantheaume Point to James Price Point, you’ll find the tracks of up to seven species of dinosaurs. Among those species that have been verified include stegosaurus, ornithopods, and sauropods. And if you want to really get to learn more details, you can join tours offered in the area. 

Chinatown

Chinatown in Broome is where you could spend a day of exploration for its amazing vibe and offerings. This destination in north-western Australia used to be a hub of billiard saloons and pearls as well as a den of opium and brothels. Today, it is a dining and retail hub as well as a tourist destination, with restaurants, cafes, and pearl showrooms that line the streets. 

Broome Whale Watching

Don’t miss the chance to see humpback whales up close when you go on a Broom whale-watching tour. It’s not just exciting but also educational, as it lets you understand why these whales journey to Broome WA from Antarctica. There are also certain tours that take you to see the rare Snubfin Dolphin! Mind you, this is the only place in the world that lets you see this type of dolphin. 

Tips on the Things to Do in Broome

Make your Broome excursion hassle-free with these tips.

Best time to visit Broome

Anytime is a good time to visit Broome; however, the dry season is the best time for a visit. From May to October, you will enjoy warm days and nights as well as clear skies. For some, the days after the wet season (November to April) are a good time too because the surroundings are green and lush. Also, during this time, there is no influx of tourists yet. 

Staying Safe in Broome

Generally, Broome is safe. You can trust that theft and violent attacks are rare, but it won’t hurt to always be cautious. Do the usual safety protocols, including never leaving your drink unattended at the bar and never walking alone. And if you are driving your campervan, do make sure to park at a designated and well-lighted area. 

Broome Caravan Parks

Broome has caravan parks for those on the #vanlife lifestyle. You can choose from several options including the following:

#1 Cable Beach Caravan Park

  • Located at 8 Millington Road
  • Has a pool but is not pet-friendly

I stayed at Cable Beach Caravan Park and loved it. Check out the facilities on their website.

Cable Beach Caravan Park has lots of trees (i.e. shade to protect you from the sun) and a rather amazing swimming pool. Amenities are clean and the laundry has heaps of machines ($4 for a wash, $4 dryer). Awesome staff, including Tara who looked after me during my stay.

Broome Caravan Park

  • Located at Wattle Drive
  • Has a pool and welcomes pets on certain selected powered sites

Broom Vacation Villages

  • Located at 122 Port Drive
  • Has a pool but is not pet-friendly

There are different camping sites in the Broom Vacation Villages, including shaded campsites for travellers with caravans, tents, camper trailers, and camper vans. 

Tarangau Caravan Park

  • Located at 16 Millington Road
  • Has no pool but is pet-friendly on select sites
  • Can accommodate 5th wheelers and motorhomes

Vehicles and Illegal Parking

If you want to camp in Western Australia, remember that camping is only allowed in caravan parks and camping grounds. You may also camp on private property, provided that you have the owner’s permission. Unauthorised camping is strictly prohibited, and violators will be subject to infringement notices. For more details, check the WA government website.

Public Toilets in Broome

There is one public toilet in Broome, according to the National Public Toilet Map, and it’s located at 108 Guy Street. You may also check out fuel stations, convenience stores, and supermarkets.

Final Thoughts

Broome is known for a lot of things. It may not be the capital of Western Australia, but it definitely is a tourism hub that brims not only with amazing sights and scenery but also with unique culture and heritage. Also, everyone I met was super lovely, which always makes your stay that much more enjoyable. Thanks Broome!

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