See it all in Broome, the remote, romantic pearling port in the north-west corner of the Kimberley. Purchase a pearl in Chinatown, where many of the buildings were built in the exciting early pearling days. Continue the nostalgia in the pearling museum or on an old pearl lugger. Hop on a camel and watch the famous, fiery sunset over Cable Beach. Catch the natural magic trick of Staircase to the Moon, bird spot in Roebuck Bay and see prehistoric dinosaur prints at Gantheaume Point. Devote your final day to a 4WD adventure along the magical Dampier Penisula, where you can extend your stay in traditional Aboriginal communities.
Pearl Luggers, Chinatown, Broome, WA
Begin your Broome adventure in the fascinating Chinatown district. Breakfast or brunch beneath the multilingual signs, shop for a coveted South Sea pearl in the showrooms and wander past the old billiard saloons. Learn more about the Japanese migrants lured here by Broome’s lucrative pearling industry in the Japanese cemetery, which dates back to 1896. The 707 graves have headstones fashioned from colourful beach rocks. Afterwards, see pearls being cultured on a tour of the pearl museum or cruise Roebuck Bay on an old pearl lugger. During the dry season, from May to October, you can swim safely from the soft, white sand of Town or Cable Beach. Whatever season you visit, make sure you finish the day with an iconic sunset camel trek along Cable Beach. Watch the sun blaze a trail into the Indian Ocean, then dine beneath the balmy, star-filled sky at a café or restaurant near the beach.
Walk or do the five minute drive to Gantheaume Point, where deep red cliffs plunge dramatically to the turquoise water of Indian Ocean. At low tide you can see dinosaur footprints more than130 million years old in the rocky reef. If it’s high tide, check out the plaster cast of the tracks in the cliff top. Afterwards, visit the Broome Bird Observatory in Roebuck Bay, home to the world’s greatest diversity of shorebird species. Or head to the aquaculture centre in Manaba, where you can explore the connection between the area’s traditional Aboriginal owners and the sea. If you’re here between March and October, head to Town Beach to watch the ‘Staircase to the Moon’, a visual illusion created by the reflections of a rising full moon off the tidal flats of Roebuck Bay. At any time of year, Town Beach is a bustling place to grab a bite to eat.
Join a 4WD tour along the Dampier Peninsula - a rugged, spectacular coastal stretch dotted with small Aboriginal communities. Head north on Cape Leveque Road, stopping in Beagle Bay to visit the small Sacred Heart Church. The lovely mother-of-pearl altar here was built by the Aboriginal community and Pallottine monks in 1917. Further north, on lighthouse-tipped Cape Leveque, you can stay in an Aboriginal-owned wilderness camp, a remote natural paradise where you can swim, snorkel and fish. Learn to catch mud crabs on an Aboriginal cultural tour and see multi-coloured marine life from a glass-bottomed boat. Fly over the Buccaneer Archipelago and its breathtaking horizontal waterfalls in a helicopter. Hire a dinghy or just enjoy walking the tranquil, white beaches past craggy red cliffs. Camp in the campground, beneath a beach shelter or stay in a log cabin or deluxe safari tent.