Travel

22 Top Things To Do In Broome, Western Australia

This post may contain affiliate links. We may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase. Read Disclosure.

Broome, and the Kimberley region in Western Australia, is a beach town that holds a special place in my heart.

From balmy nights under palm trees watching spectacular sunsets to wildlife watching experiences and days spent playing on the beaches, there are plenty of things to do in Broome to make it a worthy stop.

The colors of Broome!

We first visited Broome back in 2004 when we worked on the PasPaley Pearl Farm at Kuri Bay. It was the most exotic adventure I’d ever experienced.

I still have a deep longing to return. It connects to my soul like no other place does, and there are no adequate words to convey why. It’s not just a place, but a way of life – it’s a spiritual energy, it’s a beauty that’s so ancient and mesmerizing.

It may not be the easiest place to get to, but that’s part of its undiscovered and untarnished charm. Here’s some of my favorite activities and attractions that will help you discover that charm for yourself.

Things To Do In Broome

1. Watch a Sunset from Cable Beach Sunset Bar

flag that says i love broome with beach sunset behind
Broome Sunset

You’ll soon get hooked on the daily 5 pm Cable Beach event – sunset. One of my favourite things to do in Broome (and probably ever) is watch the sunset on the beautiful white sand Cable Beach.

Come 4 pm, the people stream in with chairs, blankets, and picnics to celebrate the end of the day with that giant red orb set over the Indian Ocean.

Sunsets in Broome are some of the best in the world. You can do it yourself, or enjoy the following experiences.

Caz & Craig - with friends for sunset drinks in Broome
Cable Beach Bar sunset drinks

Get to the Cable Beach Sunset Bar early for front row seat. Drinks at the Sunset Bar is an iconic sunset event. Hopefully, you can time it right like we did, with a live acoustic jam session.

The Cable Beach Sunset Bar and Grill is part of the award winning Cable Beach Club Resort and Spa

2. Sunset 4WD on the beach

Susnet over Cable Beach in Broome
Sunset over Cable Beach in Broome

There is a section of Cable Beach that allows 4WDs. It’s down where the camels roam, so take care, and watch out for kids running around.

Pack a picnic, a fishing rod, and a bottle of wine and enjoy this magical event. Don’t go too far north (or maybe do) as it’s a nudist beach!

3. Enjoy a sunset camel ride

people riding camels on the beach
Sunset Camel Ride, Cable Beach Broome

Another iconic thing to do in Broome, and I know you’ve seen the photo a thousand times, is a a sunset camel ride on Cable Beach. We know it’s on your Broome bucket list – it’s worth it.

The shorter 30-minute ride will be adequate and will protect your bum a little more than the longer one.

We rode with Broome Camel Safaris, who are the longest running operator in Broome. Their guides were super friendly – all traveller’s and keen to share their stories and that of the camels they all had an obvious affection for.

After your camel ride, you will get a sheet of discounts at some of the local attractions.

One being two for one cocktails at Zanders – another place with amazing, close-up views of the sunset AND next door to a playground. Take the free drink and enjoy the tail end of the sunset. The colours linger long after the sun’s gone down.

4. Sunset at Gantheaume Point

Gantheaume Point sunset over the ocean
Gantheaume Point sunset

Gantheaume Point is a red rock cliff face overlooking a white sandy beach at the Southern End of Cable Beach.

Especially spectacular at sunset, but any time of day is worth the short drive on the unsealed road, or you can even walk the length of the beach if you’re up for it.

Photographers, this is the place for you.

You can also walk with the dinosaurs at Gantheaume Point. Get there at low tide and you’ll see the 120 million-year-old dinosaur footprints. They’re real. Dinosaurs did roam here.

By the end of this article, you’ll understand that everything in Broome is about timing. The moon controls everything.

5. Friday night sunset at the Broome Surf Club

A sunset over a body of water
Sunset Cable Beach – no filter

Okay, so this was meant to be a secret, but I just can’t keep it. Friday night from 5-7pm was our night to sneak into the local surf club for the cheapest drinks in Broome and the best sunset views.

Perched on top of the dune, it’s the closest you’ll get to the sunset from an establishment. It’s a rustic shed that oozes that old Broome charm.

Get a local to sign you in, pull up a plastic chair, enjoy the $6 drinks, retro tunes, and a chance to hang out with and meet new friends. They also have a food truck come on a Friday night to satisfy the tummy cravings.

Is that enough sunsets for you above? What about Moon rises? (see below)

6. Morning Yoga at Buddha Sanctuary

buddha statue palm open
image: Blue Body Buddha Sanctuary

Broome was where I learned the value of starting your day off right. A 6 am bike ride along the beach road, a cool breeze waking me up and hardly a soul to be seen, followed by a 90-minute yoga session at the Buddha Sanctuary.

Transformation on a physical and spiritual level. Highly recommend and extraordinary value. The best yoga I’ve ever done. I love you, Broome. This much!

It’s $20 for a casual class or $170 for ten classes. Classes are free for those who stay at the Cable Beach Club.

7. Get a massage at Bali Hai

Keep lifting your physical and spiritual Zen with a massage.

I enjoyed a Kimberley Stone therapy massage at the Bali Hai Resort & Spa, said to be the best place in Broome for a massage. It was divine.

The only problem being that I kept drifting off to sleep!!

Other friends dined at the restaurant here and said it was very good.

8. Enjoy Cable Beach

view of Cable Beach, Broome
Cable Beach – one of the best beaches in the world

From sunrise to sunset there is so much to love about a day on Cable Beach.

Consistently ranked as one of Western Australia’s best beaches, it’s 22km wide, flat sweeping beach is perfect for beach cricket, polo, long walks, meditation, building sandcastles, and just chillaxing.

Cable Beach takes its name from the telegraph cable that was installed between Broome and Java in 1889.

Rent a seat and an umbrella (or bring your own) and enjoy a swim. The winter water is stinger free. Our girls loved their days here playing with their friends.

Cable Beach consistently ranks as one of the best beaches in Australia and the world.

9. Visit Broome Deep Water Wharf and Jetty

family on pier looking at water in broome
Port Beach in Broome

Down the end of Port Drive is the Broome Deep Water Wharf and Jetty, a much quieter area visit and highly recommended for photographers.

There’s a beautiful beach here and a cafe and restaurant.

Kayak tours can also be taken around this area.

10. Or walk along Streeter’s Jetty Broome

Another wonderful jetty to walk along is Streeter’s Jetty, a historic boardwalk through the mangroves.

It was first constructed in 1886 but has been reconstructed and renovated several times to replicate its historic design.

Originally it was used by pearl dealers and merchants to connect their small boats and luggers. Today, it’s a popular walking spot and a way for people to connect to Broome’s pearling history.

11. Witness the Staircase to the Moon, Town Beach

moon shining a staircase on the water
staircase to the moon

If you time it right, you may catch the Staircase to the Moon, a natural phenomenon that occurs during a full moon.

As the full moon rises over the exposed tidal mudflats of Roebuck Bay, the moon’s reflection on the water looks like a staircase rising to meet the moon.

Town Beach has Staircase to the Moon markets with international food stalls, hand-made products and local artists.

An alternative is to see the Staircase to the Moon from the Mangrove Hotel. Get there early, grab yourself a seat on the edge of the beer garden and relax until the show. They also have live acoustic music.

This was my favourite way to experience Staircase to the Moon. The didgeridoo playing as the moon rose made it so spiritual and ethereal.

12. Chill out in Chinatown, Broome

couple walking up to chinese style building in Johnny Chi Lane  chinatown broome
Johnny Chi Lane in Chinatown | Deposit Photos

During the heyday of Broome’s pearling industry, the pearlers (many from China, Japan, the Philippines, Indonesia and Europe) would arrive back on shore cashed up and head to the opium dens and billiard halls of Chinatown.

Now, Chinatown is Broome’s main shopping district. It’s a fascinating mix of Colonial and corrugated sheds next to colourful Asian architecture.

There are plenty of stories to tell in each building. Grab a map from the Visitors Centre to help you explore the few streets in Chinatown.

In Chinatown, you can visit the Cygnet Bay Pearls showroom and learn a little more about pearling.

At 11 am on weekdays, a free pearl harvesting demonstration is done, which is interesting to watch if you have no idea about the pearling industry. Broome has a rich pearling history.

While you are here, you might want to pick up some pearl jewellery. I just love pearl shells, maybe because my job on the pearl farm was to lovingly scrape the barnacles off hundreds of pearl shell each day to keep them alive.

Now my pick, which won’t break the bank too much, is a Keshi Pearl or a Pearl shell. They are pretty and an affordable souvenir.

Keshi oyster shells are as close to a natural pearl and don’t have the perfect roundness of the cultivated shells. True beauty lies in authentic and imperfect expression.

13. Check out Broome’s Courthouse Markets

Give me a market and I’m there. The Broome Markets have grown considerably from when we lived there in 04 and are worth a Saturday browse and a wander through the Courthouse grounds.

You must try Kimberleys coffee  – it was one of the best in Broome. There was also a dress shop that sold such beautiful and cheap clothes for girls. The girls each picked out an outfit with their birthday money of only $10 each.

They have live music and food as well as stalls offering sparkling crystals, hand-blown or painted glass, lanterns and plates, clothes, scarves, photos, paintings and ceramics.

The Broome Saturday Courthouse Markets are held from 8 am to 1 pm.

14. Explore Town Beach, Broome

palm tree on town beach Broome
Town Beach, Broome

Don’t let the glamour of Cable Beach distract you from spending time at Town Beach on Roebuck Bay. When those colours come out, it’s more stunning than Cable.

The turquoise sea sparkles at high tide next to the red earth and lushness of the green bush. Wow!

Plenty of people swim here, but I get croc jitters too much. They’re rarely found here, but you just never know, this is mangrove land.

When the tide is low – the change of tides in this area is mind-blowing – you can walk a kilometre out through the squelchy mud to see the wreckage of the World War II flying boats, sunk during the bombing by the Japanese.

There’s also a small cool waterpark for kids here and a great cafe (see below).

15. Check out the Japanese Cemetery

Broome has such a fascinating history. Bombed by the Japanese in World War II, yet they were also an important part of establishing the pearling industry in Broome.

The Japanese Cemetery in Broome is the biggest one outside of Japan, home to more than 900 Japanese pearl divers.

16. Be amazed at Sun Pictures, Broome

Sun Pictures on dusty red street

Sun Pictures is the world’s oldest operating open-air picture gardens. Don’t expect anything glam here, this is total Broome style, sitting on some deck chairs or lying on the grass of the tropical garden gazing up at the big screen.

Just try not to let the stars distract you. And I hope a plane comes into land while you are there. It will freak you out, and you’ll think the Japanese bombers are coming all over again. The plane almost scrapes the top of the roof as it comes to land at the airport behind the cinemas.

The cinemas show two movies every evening and are a must do activity in Broome. It was a Saturday night date with my girls!

17. Malcolm Douglas Crocodile Park

crocodile lying in green pond
Malcolm Douglas Crocodile Park | Credit: Tourism Australia

The Kimberley region is crocodile territory. Anyone visiting Australia from overseas will probably want to spend time learning about and witnessing Aussie’s native animals.

From kangaroos to wallabies to emus, we’ve got some unique species in our lands!

But none are more impressive or important than the crocodile. These jurassic creatures have roamed this world for millenia, and are one of the most important animals for our ecosystem.

The Douglas Family, specifically the late Malcolm Douglas, are legendary crocodile hunters who turned from farmer to protector, dedicating his life to education, preservation and conservation.

Known for his legendary documentary films, the Malcolm Douglas Crocodile Park continues his legacy and conservation efforts. It also has daily feeding shows, where you can watch some of the largest crocodiles in Australia have their meals.

18. Go on a Broome whale watching cruise

people on boat looking for whales at sunset
Whale Watching| Credit: Tourism Australia

If you’re visiting between July and September, you’re in with a good chance of seeing humpback whales on their annual migration, off the coast of Broome.

Whale watching is a ‘must do’ thing to do in Broome, plus it’s one of the only ways to see the extremely rare Australian snubfin dolphin.

Climb aboard a 50 ft catamaran, and set sail at sunset to see these majestic sea creatures in their natural habitat. You check out view whale watching cruises here.

Day Trips from Broome

Another reason Broome is out of this world as a travel destination is its location within the Kimberley Region.

It’s the gateway to discovering this untouched wilderness that is the three times the size of England.

19. The Gibb River Road

car going through water on Gibb river road

The biggest disappointment of our Australian road trip was that we could not take our vehicle along the Gibb River Road to explore the many waterfalls, gorges, and stunning vistas.

Thankfully, back in 04, we spent a week 4×4 driving through here. There’s no place in Australia like it. Our pearl farm was in the middle of the Kimberley, on the coast, and it was so stunning.

Some areas to visit: Windjana Gorge, Tunnel Creek, Lennard Gorge, Galvan’s Gorge, Adcock Gorge, Bell Gorge, and then further afield, Mitchell Falls.

If you can’t get to these areas yourself, do not miss the Gorgeous Gorges tour from Broome or this 9-Day tour from the Kimberley to Darwin. Both will help you see this stunning region. It’s one of the best things to do on the West Coast.

20. Don’t miss the Horizontal Falls Tour

cliffs in the ocean with horizontal falls between them

Flying along the Kimberley coastline above Cape Leveque and the Buccaneer Archipelago to the Horizontal Falls at Talbot Bay is an amazing adventure and way to see this incredible region from the air. The Horizontal Falls are natural phenomena!

They’re created by two narrow openings between two escarpments. The tides in this region are some of the biggest in the world and can reach a difference of up to 12 metres.

As the tides change from low to high (and vice versa) they are sending an immense amount of water from one bay to another. The build up of that water forms a drop of up to four metres, hence creating a horizontal waterfall.

people sitting in front of boat looking at horizontal falls
Getting ready to go through the Falls

Once you arrive, you jump in a jet boat and zoom right through the falls. It’s awesome fun and so cool to see these falls up close. There’s nowhere else in the world like it.

See more of the tour here. It’s one of the best things to do in Broome, and even Australia.

21. Cape Leveque

family  posing infront of red cliffs of Cape Leveque, Western Australia

Wowser! Prepare for a rainbow kaleidoscope explosion! When we did this drive, part of it was on sandy (and corrugated) red dirt. Cape Leveque road is now sealed and 2WD accessible! High clearance, 4×4 vehicles are still needed if you plan to access more remote locations off the Broome-Cape Leveque Road, as side access roads are unsealed.

The two surrounding indigenous communities of Djarindjin and Ardyaloon (One Arm Point) jointly own Kooljaman, making it Proudly 100% Indigenous Owned.

Cape Leveque, Western Australia
View of Cape Leveque from plane

There is plenty to do with unique cultural tours, swimming, snorkelling, mud crabbing and exploring the peninsula. Make sure you visit Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm, the oldest working pearl farm in the region. There is a great cafe here for lunch, and the views are spectacular!

Once again sunsets here sitting down next to the red pindan cliffs on Western Beach are incredible, AND you with a short walk to the other side of the peninsula to Eastern Beach you get pretty sunrises too!

Unfortunately, where we stayed is no longer open. There is no free camping on the Dampier Peninsula, nor any dump stations.

Registered caravan parks located on the Dampier Peninsula

  • Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm: They have en suite safari style tents nes­tled in rem­nant rain­for­est or with views across the man­groves; self-con­tained rus­tic Pearlers Shacks; basic mini-safari tents; and pri­vate car­a­van- & camp-sites with pow­er and water. You can do a tour of the pearl farm while here!
  • Djarindin Roadhouse (campground on the Cape Leveque road catering to large RVs and caravans plus unpowered sites
  • Middle Lagoon Natures Hide­away at Mid­dle Lagoon is a low impact coastal camp offer­ing stun­ning views over two beau­ti­ful Bays. 

We recommend staying out here for at least a couple of days. In case you can’t, this day tour from Broome can get you there.

22. Do the Willie Creek Pearl Farm Tour

aerial of swirling turquoise waters and white sand of willie creek
Willie Creek | Credit: Tourism Australia

Exploring the pearl farm history of the Broome and Kimberley region is fascinating and not to be missed. One of the most accessible farms is located just 38 kilometers north of Broome.

Willie Creek Pearl Farm is perfectly situated on the scenic and protected tidal estuary of Willie Creek. It’s truly stunning and an award winning tour show the process of culturing pearls from ‘seeding’ through to harvesting.

The Best Places to Eat in Broome

The food scene in Broome is on the rise, and we all know how hard it is to find a place to eat when you’re new in town.

You’ll find the better dining experiences are in Broome Town, but there are also excellent places to eat around Cable Beach.

Here are some restaurants we have dined at and can recommend.

Sunset Bar and Grill, Cable Beach

Sunset Bar, Cable Beach, Broome - Western Australia

We did not eat at the restaurant but enjoyed some delicious pizzas from the bar menu for my birthday. There’s a large grassy area out front for the kids to run around on, and the camels will wander by on their way home.

Friends dined at the Sunset Bar & Grill restaurant and said the Surf & Turf was exceptional and big enough to share between two.

Town Beach Cafe, Town Beach

OMG. Have you ever seen more divine breakfast views then this?

Breakfast at Town Beach Cafe, Broome, Western Australia

You cannot even imagine the beauty of it until you’re standing in front of it. Town Beach Cafe is the place to come for breakfast. There is a kids playground here, which will help you to relax while they have fun.

Our must try is the Eggs Florentine

Matso’s Broome Brewery, Roebuck Bay

Matso's Brewery on Roebuck Bay
Matso’s Brewery on Roebuck Bay

Even better, is Matso’s Brewery, in my opinion, the best in the country. This is widely considered Australia’s most remote brewery, but it’s well worth the effort!

With those steamy tropical days, nothing beats sitting under the shady trees in Matso’s garden with an ice cold ginger beer or mango beer. The best.

bottle of ginger beer

They serve pretty good food as well and a few trees for your kids to climb. If you’re there in October, they hold an Oktoberfest event. Their quinoa salad at lunch is exceptional.

Mangrove Hotel, Roebuck Bay

family dining at Mangrove Hotel, Broome,
Broome time at the Mangrove Hotel

The Mangrove Hotel is possibly my favourite place in Broome and cannot be beaten for lunch time views.

You have the deep red earth, the dark green of the mangroves, the sparkling turquoise water of Roebuck Bay.

It’s just CRAZY beautiful.

the colors of broome - red dust, green shrub, turquoise water, blue sky
Broome

They also do incredible food.

Our must try the venison chorizo, slow cooked cherry tomato and goats cheese pizza. The popcorn chicken is another locals pick.

The Good Cartel, Broome Town

The Good Cartel - Broome, Western Australia

Funky, eclectic cafe with the best vegetarian nachos I’ve ever tried. Seating is outside on milk crates with striped and colourful cushions chucked on them and small tables.

Every Sunday The Good Cartel has live acoustic music only enhancing the chill factor. It can get hot as you are outside, but there are big fans to help cool you down.

Their coffee and raw cake is also delicious. They have drive-through as well. Pull up in the car park and the waiter will run out to take your order. Too cool! God, I love this town.

Dragonfly Cafe, Chinatown

exterior of cafe with porch

The Dragonfly Cafe is located in the historic Hashimoto House. They do a great breakfast, and the coffee is good. It’s a good place to watch the slow-paced Broome town life go by

Broome Town vs. Cable Beach

aerial view of Broome, Western Australia
The colors of Broome are like no other

When I first arrived in Broome in 2004, my brother’s welcoming words were,

“Broome is pretty much split in two. There’s Broome Town, and then there’s Cable Beach, a 5km road separates them. Each has its flavour, choose the one that suits you.”

Broome Town, which is comprised of Town Beach and Chinatown, is an eclectic pot of grunge and bohemian with an edge of posh creeping in.

You’ll find great shopping, cafes and restaurants, and the nightlife, which was much wilder when Broome was mostly a pearling town.

The GFC crushed that, and any miners that are left tend to skip on over to Bali during their weeks off.

Cable Beach is where you find the Zen. The chilled zone of summer love – all year round. (Well, check the end of the post to see the best time to visit Broome.)

Cable Beach, Broome  framed by purple wildflowers
Cable Beach, Broome – Western Australia

Where to Stay in Broome

Mantra Frangipani, Cable Beach

outdoor patio

We loved the outdoor shower feature of the Mantra Frangipani, Cable Beach.

The villas have everything you need and is tucked away in a quieter part of Cable Beach, not that it gets very busy or noisy. It’s an easy bike ride or walk to the beach.

You’ve also got a swimming pool. Check rates and availability here.

RAC Cable Beach Holiday Park

caravan at Cable Beach Caravan park
CAble Beach Broome

RAC Cable Beach Holiday Park was our home for nearly a month. This Broome campground is only a block back from Cable beach and a short walk, or bike ride to the surf club.

There’s a small pool, which we got a lot of use out of, and is family friendly. We loved our shady possy right next to the pool!

This is a great place to stay if you are camping. See rates and availability here and book in advance!

Cable Beach Club Resort and Spa

The Cable Beach Club Resort and Spa is your resort option, with prime position on Cable Beach.

It’s also where you’ll find the Sunset Bar and Grill, plus your free yoga lessons and plenty of other facilities like a pool and mini-golf.

Best Time to Visit Broome

red dirt and blue waters of broome as viewed through jetty pylons

Broome sits on the western top end of Australia. It’s tropical and one of the hottest places I’ve ever been. Prepare to sweat and spend the entire day in the pool, if you time your visit wrong.

The humid, wet season runs from November to April. You can visit during this time, and although it will be much quieter and perhaps cheaper, the heat will be intense. But, those tropical showers will cool you down.

The winter is the dry – perfect, summer-like days. Be prepared for cool evenings, but the days are magnificent. It’s going to bring the crowds though as this is the best time to visit and the town is small. Book your accommodation in advance, particularly if you are camping.

Tours in the Kimberley Region

If you’d like to join some day tours or multi-day tours that explore the nearby Kimberley region, check out the following tours.

More West Australia Travel Tips

Are you thinking of visiting other parts of Western Aus? Then the following guides may be useful to you…

Pin To Save On Pinterest

Have you been to Broome? What are you most excited to do on this list? Let us know in the comments.


Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button