Built on the pearling trade, these days Broome is a popular holiday hub and gateway to the wild Kimberley region.
By Fleur Bainger
Broome’s rich and colourful history has created a multicultural melting pot that is reflected in the town’s welcoming and laid-back feel. Warm temperatures and palms deliver a tropical vibe that fits perfectly with the many holiday resorts and the stretch of white sand known as Cable Beach.
HOW TO GET THERE
Virgin Australia and Qantas fly to Broome and it is serviced by most Australian capital cities. Otherwise, it’s a 2226 kilometre (1383 mile) drive from Perth, the capital city of Western Australia.
- Watching the sunset on the endless sandy stretch of Cable Beach
- Trying on the perfect white orbs of cultured Broome pearls
- The trip of a lifetime – cruising the Kimberley, departing from Broome
TOP THINGS TO DO IN BROOME
See extraordinary Cable Beach
With its 22 kilometres (14 miles) of more soft white sand than you can imagine, Cable Beach is, for many, the main reason they’re drawn to Broome. The water is warm and flat, with gentle, ankle-height waves the only disturbance to the expanse of horizon-hugging blue. Its name harks back to 1889, when a long undersea telegraph cable connected northwest Australia to Indonesia, opening up communication to the world. These days it’s synonymous with sunset camel rides. Watching the sun descend over the water is a must-have experience.
Lay your head in style
Broome is blessed with a wide range of resorts, hotels, B&Bs (bed and breakfasts) and budget stays. Cable Beach Club Resort and Spa is the only accommodation that sits right across from the ocean, eight kilometres (five miles) from central Broome. The luxe resort grounds are filled with fragrant frangipani trees, pandanus palms and boabs, linking several casual-to-chic restaurants, bars and cafés, two huge pools, a L’Occitane-partnered spa and an impressive collection of art. The Billi mixes safari tents with white-on-white apartment-style villas, Pinctada McAlpine House is a secluded, private residence and the family and budget-friendly Broome Beach Resort is a comfortable option.
Sample local cuisine
Given Broome’s warm and often humid climate, the locals are regularly seen eating alfresco beneath wide verandahs, on open decks or beneath tropical palms. Matso’s Broome Brewery is a favourite, as much for its mango craft beer as its smoked barramundi. Meanwhile 18 Degrees specialises in creative share plates and excellent cocktails. Zensai at Cable Beach Club is the place for a special night out, or for a casual café lunch with a mango smoothie, go to the Green Mango Café.
Stroll around Broome town (and shop its pearls)
A jaunt into Broome reveals pearl boutiques, galleries, pubs, cafés and colourful, multicultural Saturday, Sunday and full moon night markets at Broome Courthouse. The pearl strip on Dampier Terrace is home to some of the world’s most luxe pearl brands – all sourcing South Sea pearls from Broome. Pop in and try on a string of white or gold-hued spheres at Kailis, Allure, Willie Creek, Jewels of the Kimberley and Cygnet Bay Pearls showrooms. Nearby, find out the story behind the historic pearling industry at Pearl Luggers.
Embark on an epic Kimberley cruising adventure
Cruising the Kimberley’s mottled red cliffs and stretching out your arms under a splintering waterfall is something only the lucky few get to do. All the luxury cruise boats to tour the coastline depart from Broome, making it a popular place for the cruise set to relax pre and post trip (and purchase last minute bottles of Champagne). After pulling away from the town's proud white jetty, the boats pass thousands of islands before reaching ochre cliffs and lonely beaches. Passengers visit breathtaking rock art, spot giant boab trees and learn about the region’s amazing geology, returning with a new sense of calm mixed with wonder.
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