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Things to do in Broome
Sunset Camel Safari
There’s a reason why camels at sunset have have become synonymous with Broome. A dusk ride on Cable Beach is the quintessential experience when exploring the capital of the Kimberley. For $85 you can join Broome’s self-proclaimed ‘camel lady’ for a one-hour sunset tour, which includes a pair of pearl earrings for the ladies. Morning and late afternoon tours are also available, but nothing beats a sunset ride.
The Horizontal Falls north-east of Broome challenge everything you thought you knew about water and gravity. A natural phenomenon caused by the close alignment of two narrow gorges, the falls occur when massive volumes of water are pushed through the cliff passage on the back of monster tides. The passage can’t accommodate the surging current, and water builds on one side of the gorge creating a waterfall up to four metres high. Various tour operators run seaplane trips to Talbot Bay with speedboat adventures through the falls. Try Horizontal Falls Adventures.
Explore Broome’s rich pearling heritage and discover how the gems of the sea lured fortune-seekers from around the globe. Broome was once the largest pearling centre in the world and the tradition is still alive and well today. Start at Pearl Luggers museum where you can view the last two surviving pearling luggers and learn about the perils faced by early divers. Visit one of the handful of pearl farms and discover how the industry has evolved, hear the stories of pearling families, view the spoils of their trade, and be sure to buy yourself a timeless souvenir.
Enjoy a front-row seat to the largest humpback whale show in the world. Each year Between June and November an estimated 40,000 whales mate and calve in the Indian Ocean around Broome. Join a cruise and see these majestic mammals in action as they frolic off the coast during their annual migration, breaching and tail-slapping the water in a once-in-a-lifetime spectacle. Broome Whale Watching is one of a number of operators that can get you out on the water.
Revel in the sensation of walking on water when you join a hovercraft trip across Roebuck Bay. Broome Hovercraft offers a number of tours in their unique blower-propelled craft, which will have you floating across the shallows, tidal flats and sand bars to areas otherwise inaccessible. Marvel at 120-million-year-old dinosaur footprints exposed at low tide, see World War II flying boat wrecks, and pad across the tidal flats with a glass of champagne in hand at sunset and enjoy the illusion of walking in the middle of the ocean.
Broome: Where Natural Wonders Met Human Capital
Broome, close to the northernmost tip of Western Australia, has a lengthy human and natural history. Once a hub for the pearling industry, the Broome of today is a resort town but its mystique remains, enhanced by the natural wonders surrounding it.
While in Broome, walk along the pure white sands of Cable Beach, see dinosaur prints engraved in 130-million year-old rocks and hover above oceanfront gorges in a helicopter and watch them fill up violently at high tide. To find out about the humans that made Broome what it is today, take part walking tours or visiting the city’s historical museums.
Travellers to the “Pearl of Australia” can rent holiday homes that range from mansions by the water to modern apartments close to Chinatown and the city centre.
Broome’s Beach Scene
Broome’s Cable Beach is a hub for activities of all sorts. Some sections of the beach are safe for swimming, while others are great for surfing. If you’d rather stay on shore, you can stroll along the 22km stretch of white sand or set up a picnic facing the crystal clear water.
Visitors to Cable Beach can also opt for camel rides along the shore. These tours take place throughout the day and into the evening.
Cable Beach is a popular spot for watching the sunset, so bring your camera and linger on the sand as evening sets in. If you’re visiting between March and October, you might be able to see the Staircase to the Moon after dark.
Beyond Cable Beach, Broome is home to quieter beaches, including Reddell and Town. Here, families tend to unwind away from the crowds as children splash in the calmer waters.
Broome’s Natural Attractions
Broome and the surrounding area are rife with natural attractions, attesting to the region’s prehistoric heritage. Start off at Gantheaume Point, along the coast, to view or climb giant reddish rock formations.
At low tide, you’ll be able to walk around the rocks’ base and spot 130 million-year-old dinosaur prints encased on the ocean floor. To see the footprints from up high, hovercraft tours are available.
Broome’s Horizontal Falls are another one of the area’s scenic highlights. For the best, safest vista, participate in a seaplane tour. Snap some shots of these gorges, which get filled by seawater to about 10 metres high and then are emptied by rapidly moving tides.
Broome’ Human Heritage
To find out about the humans who have dwelled in the Broome area over the years, visit the Broome Historical Museum. You will be able to learn all all about the first pearl divers, view an extensive seashell collection and even see how humans have coped with the region’s devastating cyclones.
For a closer look at Broome’s past inhabitants, head to the SSJG Heritage Centre, which tells the story of the Sisters of St John of God and of the area’s Indigenous people. While here, you will be able to enter the Old Convent, now hosting exhibits.
The world’s oldest operating outdoor cinema can also be found in Broome. Make sure you check the timetable for movies under the stars during your visit. The outdoor cinema is so popular with the locals that most nights have several different screenings.
Broome’s residents are proud of their varied, rich heritage. Visitors can learn about the many cultures that helped shape Broome as it is known today. To get oriented, sign up for various walking tours of the city. Tours are also offered of the Japanese Cemetery. Visitors will leave with in depth knowledge of Broome’s pearling industry and the role of the Japanese in shaping it.
Broome also houses a dynamic Chinatown, where the pearling industry is still very much alive. You will be able to purchase pearls that were picked locally or even try pearl meat. Wander through Chinatown’s streets for a variety of formal restaurants, casual eateries and shops of all kinds.
Getting to Broome
Travellers to Broome can access the city thanks to its international airport. Once you’ve landed, take a shuttle bus to the CBD or rent a car.