First of all, remember you are 2,400 kilometres away from Western Australia's capital city Perth, or 27 hours solid driving time, so Broome is a relatively small country town and everything is done in tropical "Broome time". Chances are you are on holidays, so just go with it and enjoy.  Take the time to look around at the brilliant red colour of the ground and the lush tropical greenery and flowers. On your first day there it might seem small and slow, on your second day there it all feels normal, and after that you wonder why the rest of the world is rushing around so much - now you are on "Broome Time".

The striking colours of the red earth, turquoise sea and blue sky are a major drawcard for artists and photographers.

Best time to visit

Best time to come is June to October, when all the peak season tourist attractions are operating in full swing. (Swimming in the ocean is not recommended in Summer - December to February - due to some tiny but dangerous stinging jellyfish, unless you wear a special full body lycra swimsuit, but most resorts have lovely swimming pools.)

Broome has a small modern airport and there are plenty of Australian and overseas visitors particularly in the peak season, when the population usually triples.  Visitors who come in summer (Dec to Feb) are likely to find it swelteringly hot and humid, and it's also the cyclone season (translated as hurricane season for those of you from USA!)

Things to do

Some Natural/Free Attractions:

Cable Beach is the really big attraction in Broome, with kilometres and kilometres of clean white sand and ridiculously turquoise ocean water as far as the eye can see, in both directions. In peak season you can hire loungers and umbrellas from a beach van, as well as surf boards, boogie boards and assorted other beach gear. Camel rides are a popular attraction for visitors and photographers at sunset. It is recommended to use sunscreen protection because the tropical UV can be very damaging at just 17 degrees south of the Equator.

Gantheaume Point has brightly coloured rocky outcrops that make a great visual contrast with the colour of the tropical ocean. If you know where to look, fossilised dinosaur imprints can be found but only at low tide. The Broome Visitor Centre can advise good times for that. There is also a steel-framed lighthouse where a large sea osprey nest can be seen high up. Anastasia's Pool is another interesting story associated with the original lighthouse family.

Town Beach on the east side of Broome peninsula has grassy playgrounds near a sheltered beach, with a cafe as well. Its also near the historical cemetery, where you will find the headstones of Chinese and 900 Japanese pearl divers who died in the early days of the pearling industry.

The Courthouse Weekend Markets are held in the grounds of the historic Broome Courthouse on weekends. Here you will find local industry stands selling locally grown fruit and vegetables in season, handmade soap, mango products, jewellery and beachwear/casual clothing. Also musicians and food stands reflecting cultural diversity of the area.

Pearl shops - Broome is the pearl capital of Australia and has many jewellery shops in and around the town centre specialising in pearls. It is famous for its huge pearls, reputedly the largest in the world from the large Pinctada pearl shell. It's free to look in the windows!

Broome Jetty and Deepwater Point - cruise ships dock here from time to time. Popular with fishing and it's interesting just to walk out and enjoy the view.

Some Commercial/Tour Attractions (some of these may not operate in the low "Wet" season)

Willie Creek Pearl Farm - (approx 3 hrs) You can also drive 30 kilometres and join the tour there at reduced cost of you have a hire car, or do a half day tour of the pearl farm, including a short boat tour on a pearling boat and listen to the sales pitch to buy a souvenir Broome pearl!

Horizontal Falls - (approx 4 hrs) several seaplane flights leave from Broome airport most days, landing in one of the ocean inlets near the Buccaneer Archipelago such as Cyclone Creek. Once landed, the tour transfers you to a large inflatable high powered boat, which travels the amazing the 9 metre tidal cascade during the full tide change. Best time to go is when the tide change is most evident.

Hovercraft Tour (approx 1.5 hrs) around Roebuck Bay to see fossilised dinosaur footprints and the remains of wrecked flying boats from the 1942 air raid on Broome during WW2.

Crocodile Farm/Wilderness Wildlife Park - 15 minutes drive from Broome, open afternoons. Crocodile feeding tour is at 3pm - apart from saltwater crocodiles, other animals include dingoes, kangaroos, lizards, wallabies, emus. Maybe buy a Malcolm Douglas video, or even crocodile-skin wallet or handbag as a souvenir! 

Sunsets  - eat fresh seafood and drink cocktails or a cold beer as the sun sets over Cable Beach.

Matso's Brewery - the original boutique beer brewery in Broome with a restaurant overlooking Roebuck Bay. For a change, try the mango beer.

Seasonal Attractions 

Stairway to the Moon - peak viewing times are after sunset as the full moon rises in July, August and September. Best vantage points are on the shore looking east over Roebuck Bay, special dinner events at selected venues.

Opera Under the Stars - annual open air opera gala experience presented at the end of August each year. (link to website)

Shinju Matsuri Festival -  Festival of the Pearl - held late Aug/Sept for the last 40+ years, inc lots of free/artistic events. Events over 10 days  include the Waking the Dragon Opening Ceremony, Fireworks, Mardi Gras, Art Festival and awards, Floating Lanterns remembrance ceremony and much more.    (http://www.shinjumatsuri.com.au/)

Accommodation

There is a wide range of accommodation, mainly grouped on the two sides of the Broome peninsula:

  • Broome town side (east side on Roebuck Bay, main street is Carnarvon St.) This side has the hospital and government offices, with pubs, most of the Broome restaurants, shopping centre with Coles supermarket, tourism/visitors centre, Sun outdoor theatre etc.  
  • Cable Beach side (west side on Cable Beach, main street is Cable Beach Rd.) This side has the best beaches, major resorts, a selection of bars, restaurants and cafes.
Enjoy!