We recently travelled to Broome which is in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. During that week, we managed to see a lot of this beautiful coastal town and do a couple of tours. There are plenty of things to do in Broome which will keep you occupied during your stay here.

I would like to respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Owners, and First People of these lands. I would like to pay my respect to the Elders past, present, and future, for they hold the memories, the traditions, the culture, and hopes of their people.

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camels on the beach at sunset

The Best Things To Do in Broome

Horizontal Falls

You can see the spectacular Horizontal Falls on this half-day tour from Broome. A scenic seaplane flight takes you to Talbot Bay then a fast boat ride through the falls and the Kimberley scenery before your return flight back to Broome.

Alternatively this full-day tour from Broome includes spectacular aerial views of the falls and the Buccaneer Archipelago from a scenic flight, a thrilling boat ride through Horizontal Falls and a 4×4 tour along the Dampier Peninsular, including the Pearl Shell Church at Beagle Bay.

You can even tie it in with a visit to Cape Leveque.

cape leveque from above
Cape Leveque on the Dampier Peninsular,

Cable Beach

After lunch, we walked to Cable Beach (well crossed the road). Cable Beach is 22km of white sand on the Indian Ocean. It got its name from the submarine telegraph cable that was laid between Broome and Java in 1889.

wide sandy beach with sun loungers and umbrellas plus people in the ocean

Swimming at Cable Beach

Surf Lifesavers patrol the beach daily during the dry season but did we swim there? No. Despite reading reports that it is ok to swim and coming from Perth, where we have Great Whites, I still didn’t feel comfortable allowing our children to go swimming there. It could have had something to do with a crocodile that had to be shot last year as it was spotted at Cable Beach and had been close to swimmers at Town Beach.

caution sign on cable beach broome warning of crocodiles and marine stingers
Would this put you off?

Stingers are also present throughout the year but more prevalent during the wet season when the water is warmer. Irrikanji jellyfish inflict a severe sting that requires immediate hospital treatment. Surf Lifeguards drag the water twice a day during the dry season to check for the jellyfish and the beach will get closed if any are found.

broome surf life savers on the beach with their tent and car.
Cable Beach Surf Patrol

It is still a beautiful beach to walk along or you can sit down and watch the hive of activity. There are sun loungers available to hire if you want to spend longer there.

Broome Tides

Broome and the rest of the Kimberley coast have the biggest tides in the southern hemisphere. There is about a 10-metre difference between high and low tides so make sure to check out the times. It can be a long walk to the ocean at low tide.

sandy beach at low tide so ocean is a long way away
Cable Beach at low tide

The kids enjoyed a walk along the beach at low tide to check out the rock pools that had formed.

rocks and rock pools on sandy cable beach with the sun rising above

Scenic flight over the Buccaneer Archipelago

This Buccaneer Explorer flies over Horizontal Falls before heading to the Buccaneer Archipelago, home to 1,000 islands made of Precambrian sandstone over 2 billion years old. You then get to explore Kooljaman at Cape Leveque with refreshments and a swim before the coastal return flight along the bays and beaches of the Dampier Peninsula. Enjoy the spectacular with views of Beagle Bay, James Price Point, Willie Creek Pearl Farm and Broome’s world-famous Cable Beach.

horizontal falls between rocks
Photo by Tourism Western Australia

Whale Watching

If you are visiting Broome between June and September, then I would recommend doing a sunset whale-watching cruise. You can read more about the one we did in our Broome Whale Watching Tour post.

If you’re here outside of whale watching season, this Snubfin Dolphin Eco Cruise is run by the same company and gets excellent reviews.

humpback whale in broome

Try Matso’s Mango Beer

The first thing we did after checking into our accommodation, was to head down the road to Divers Tavern for lunch. Whilst there, we had our first Matso’s Mango Beer of the holiday. It’s fruity, as you would expect, and quite sweet but not overly. I find it easy drinking and fits well with the vibe of Broome. It’s also made with Australian Mangoes so supporting the local economy.

a bottle matso's mango beer sitting on a wooden table in a tavern
Try Matso’s Mango Beer

Broome Town

One of our days was spent exploring Broome town.

If you are staying in Cable Beach, catch the Broome Explorer Bus into town. You can buy a pack of 10 passes (these work out cheaper) if you plan to use the bus more often and they don’t have to all be used by the same person.

Courthouse Markets

The Courthouse Markets are open Saturday 8 am – 1 pm all year round and Sunday 8 am – 1 pm April to October. There are a variety of stalls selling local produce, crafts plus food vans. It wasn’t the best market I’ve been to but worth having a look if it’s open when you’re in town.

broome markets with lots of stalls selling local produce

Broome Courthouse was the old Cable Station and restoration works finished in 1998. This building was one of the first pre-fabricated buildings in Australia’s North West. It was constructed in 1889 for the Eastern Extension Australasia and China Telegraph Company who was granted permission to lay the submarine cable. The ironwork was designed and made in England and the teak was imported from Singapore.

In 1914, EET took up the cable and closed the cable station. The WA Government bought the building in 1921 for 3000 pounds and spent another 1100 pounds converting it into a courthouse.

broome courthouse is one of the things to do in broome

Movies at Sun Pictures

Sun Pictures cinema holds the record for The World’s Oldest Outdoor Picture Garden. It was built in 1903 and owned by the Yamasaki family as an Asian store. They loved theatre and used part of it as a Japanese playhouse where traditional Noh theatre was performed. 

It was bought by Ted Hunter, a pearler, in 1913 who turned it into a picture theatre that could seat 500 people. Sun Pictures opened in December 1916 and attracted people from all around.

The full history can be found on Sun Pictures website.

Watching a movie at this historic site is a much-loved activity for locals and holidaymakers alike.

Sun Pictures Broome one of the best things to do in broome

Streeters Jetty

Streeters Jetty was built around 1890 to service the pearl industry. Pearl luggers dropped off their shells to the sorting sheds and a trolley rail line ran the length of the jetty for easy offloading of the shells. The Indigenous and Asian locals used the jetty for swimming and fishing as this was the only place to do so.

The government took ownership of the 69m long jetty in 1998 and carried out much-needed conservation work.

wooden jetty surrounded by mangroves in broome

Dampier Creek is surrounded by mangroves and is still a great fishing, crabbing, and bird-watching spot. Bats also live in the mangroves and you can watch them fly out to find food just after the sun sets.

The jetty is subject to great variations in the tide. If you want to see the crabs, head here in low tide but if you want to see the emerald green water then choose high tide.

streeters jetty at high tide with emerald green water and mangroves

Chinatown

Chinatown is the main shopping area in Broome. It differs from most other cities’ Chinatowns as it only contains 3 Chinese restaurants but has numerous retail shops.

In the early days, it was full of pearling sheds, opium dens, and noodle houses. You can find some of the original buildings down Carnarvon Street.

Johnny Chi Lane is a historical lane with storyboards along the walls. They describe and tell stories of when the first ships landed in Broome, through the whole history of pearling, WWII up to the present day.

The lane is named after Johnny Chi who worked in the pearling industry and invested in property in Broome and Chinatown.

A lane with red tiles and buildings along one side with a sign reading johnny chi lane

Roebuck Bay Lookout

Located at the top end of Dampier Terrace, this lookout provides sweeping views of Roebuck Bay. It is part of the Jetty to Jetty walk.

the view from the lookout of the blue waters of roebuck bay

Sunset at Cable Beach

After a busy day walking around Broome town, it was nice to head back to Cable Beach for some dinner and watch the captivating sunset. There was a friendly atmosphere as a lot of people gathered on the grass to watch the sun slowly fade into the ocean.

sunset over the ocean in cable beach

We liked to take a couple of beers down onto the beach each night and watch the famous Cable Beach sunset while the children played on the sand. If you’d rather take in the view from a restaurant or bar, Zanders or Cable Beach Club are popular choices.

matso's angry ranga chili beer on the sand at sunset

The red ochre cliffs look incredible with the sunset glow shining on them.

red ochre cliffs bathed in red from sunset on cable beach

Sunset Cruise

To really enjoy the Broome sunset, take this 3-hour cruise aboard a catamaran. You can relax on board and enjoy the views or cool off with a swim in the boom net while sailing along the coast. Snacks are provided canapes and you can enjoy a drink, either from the bar or BYO. Make sure to look out for dolphins and turtles on the way.

Camel Ride along Cable Beach

Sunset camel rides along Cable Beach are one of the most popular things to do in Broome. There are 3 companies that run the camel trains which we have detailed in our blog post Camel Ride in Broome.

Along with the Whale Watching tour, it was the highlight of our week in Broome and would thoroughly recommend it.

camels on the beach at sunset

Dinosaur Footprints & Gantheaume Point

Do you know that Broome is the only place in Australia where you can currently see Sauropod tracks?

There are a few places in Broome where dinosaur tracks can be found:

  • Entrance Point 
  • Maralagun 
  • Yinara – Reddell Point and Reddell Beach south
  • Gulbanwila 
  • Gantheaume Point

Gantheaume Point is the most popular place to see them but it is dangerous. They can only be seen at extremely low tides and climbing on the slippery rocks is risky.

More information on the history of these tracks and where to find them can be found on the Dinosaurcoast website.

It is a beautiful spot to explore and especially spectacular at sunrise or sunset. The tones of the light bring out the beauty of the red rocks.

A safer way to see the dinosaur footprints is on this Scenic and Prehistoric Boat Tour, where you get to explore 120 Million year old dinosaur footprints, secluded bays and meander up the creek inlets on a purpose-built shallow landing vessel.

red and black rocks on a sandy beach at gantheaume point in broome

On our walk back along the beach, we stopped to take photos of this picturesque area and investigate the rock pools.

low tide at cable beach

Lunch at Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm

On this Cygnet Bay Explorer tour, you fly over the Horizontal Falls, the Buccaneer Archipelago then have morning tea and a swim at Kooljaman Cape Leveque. On your sea safari, explore the giant tides and enjoy a Pearl Discovery Tour in Cygnet Bay. Here you will learn about the cultivation of some of the most sought-after and beautiful pearls in the world before lunch at Cygnet Bay Pearl Farms on-site restaurant.

Broome Museum

The Broome Historical Museum is on Robinson Street, opposite Seaview Shopping Centre. The Broome Explorer Bus stops close by or you can walk there, as we did, from the town centre.

It is $12 per adult but children are free and provides a fascinating look at the history of Broome.

an historical building that houses the broome museum

The museum is housed in three heritage buildings that contain exhibits, videos, and photographs. Learn all about the settlement of Broome along with the pearling industry, wartime, and transport.

The Sailmakers Exhibition displays the tools and techniques of a sailmaker in Broome in the early 1900s.

broome museum exhibition of making sails

If you don’t get to find the dinosaur footprints, you can see some here.

dinosaur footprint set in rock in broome

You can combine your visit with a visit to Matso’s Brewery, 12 Mile Bird Park and Malcolm Douglas Crocodile Park on this 3 in 1 Tour.

Flying Boat Wrecks

Nine Japenese aircraft attacked 15 flying boats that were refueling in Roebuck Bay on the 3rd March 1942. They were in the process of transporting refugees (mainly women and children) from Java to the southern states of Australia. It’s not really known how many died in this attack but it is thought to be around 80.

This Broome attraction is only visible on a low tide of one metre or less. Unfortunately, the tide wasn’t low enough when we there to see them.

If you are lucky enough to time it right, please be respectful and not get too close to these living graves.

wreckage of a flying boat shot down in Roebuck Bay in 1942

Cemeteries

There are 3 cemeteries to visit while in Broome.

The Japanese and Chinese Cemetery are where you will find Obelisks marking the graves of over 900 Japanese pearlers and the final resting place of Broome’s Chinese Community.

Broome Cemetery has many historical graves including that of the Flying Nurse known as the Sugar Bird Lady.

We took a look at the Pioneer Cemetery which overlooks Roebuck Bay. It contains the graves of many pioneers and explorers of Broome’s past.

grave in broome pioneer cemetery overlooking roebuck bay

Beer Tasting at Matso’s

One of our favourite parts of travelling is trying out new foods and drinks. Broome was no exception. Although Matso’s ginger beer and mango beer are readily available in Perth, some of their more unique ones aren’t. So we decided to pop into their brewery to sample their beers.

The tasing paddle comes with 5 beers which you can choose. I decided on Mango Beer, Ginger Beer, Pearler’s Pale Ale, Chango (a mix between chili and mango beer) and Angry Ranga (chili ginger beer). My favourite was the Chango.

tasting paddle of 5 matso beers on a wooden table

The history of this iconic Broome brewery and the Matso’s store building is quite fascinating and can be read on the Matso’s Brewery site.

Willie Creek Pearl Farm Tour

Pearls are such a big part of Broome’s history that we felt we had to find out more about the pearling industry. What a better way than to do a Willie Creek Pearl Farm Tour.

The Best Things To Do in Broome - Broome Travel Guide

4WD along Cable Beach

If you are in Broome with your own 4wd, join in with the locals and drive along Cable Beach. As you enter the beach, turn right past the rocks. Be aware of the tides as people have lost their vehicles when the tide comes in!

During October and February, turtles nest on Cable Beach and may mean restrictions are put on beach driving during that time.

Just be warned this area is a nudist beach so you may see more than you bargained for!

cable beach with 4wd all along the beach with the sun setting over the ocean

Windjana Gorge and Tunnel Creek 4WD Tour

 Explore two of the Kimberley region’s most popular attractions, Windjana Gorge and Tunnel Creek, on this 4WD tour. Stop for morning tea at a roadhouse along the Fitzroy River, see the historical Boab Prison Tree in Derby, then travel along the Gibb River Road to Windjana Gorge National Park. Here you can search for fossils in the ancient reef and look for freshwater crocodiles before lunch. Your guide will take you through underground at Tunnel Creek and you ‘ll have the option to swim in the watering hole.

It’s a long day with a lot of driving, but an incredible chance to see the Kimberley region.

underground tunnel creek and cave
Tunnel Creek Kimberley – photo by Tourism Western Australia

12 Mile Bird Park

Located 20 minutes from Broome on three acres, 12 Mile Bird Park has a wonderful collection of native and exotic birds. There are over 600 birds from more than 80 species from around the world. Some of them had huge personalities but I will it up to you to find out what ones.

If you go on a Saturday or Sunday, public holiday or during the WA school holidays, the Animal Farm will be open. The miniature horses, alpacas, and sheep were very cute!

miniture horse

The bird park is open every day from 10 am to 4 pm.

The cost to enter is Adults $20, Children & Pensioners $15
Family Pass (2 adults & up to 3 children) $50
Children under 2 free

We spent a couple of hours here and thought that it was good value.

golden pheasant
Golden Pheasant

Malcolm Douglas Crocodile Park

Visit Malcolm Douglas Crocodile Park for the daily feeding tour, which showcases some of the largest crocodiles on display in Australia. The park is also home to colourful birdlife, Cassowary, kangaroos, emus, camels, dingoes, and perenties.

Staircase to the Moon

The staircase to the moon in Broome is caused by the rising of a full moon reflecting off the exposed mudflats in Roebuck Bay. It can only be seen at extremely low tide and creates the stunning optical illusion of a stairway to the moon. This amazing sight occurs from March through to November and you can find out what dates on Broome’s Visitor Centre website.

Tours from Broome

If you would prefer to have something organised, then I recommend Viator due to their free cancellation on most activities, their wide range of tours plus ease of use.

On this personalised Broome Panoramic Town Tour you’ll learn about the unique history, extraordinary stories and magnificent sights of Broome. Some of the things you will see is Cable Beach, Gantheaume Point, Broome Jetty, Town Beach and the WWII attack site of the flying boats. Find out about the town’s pearling history and stories of Chinatown and see Broome’s oldest buildings and Sun Pictures, the world’s oldest operating open-air picture garden.

Perth to Broome

Broome is over 2,200 km from Perth and will take 24 hours of driving to get you there by the most direct route.

If this doesn’t take your fancy (I’m not a big lover of long road trips) then the alternative is to fly. Our flight was with Virgin Australia for the two and a half hour flight from Perth to Broome.

If you are lucky enough to fly business class with Virgin, you will have access to the Virgin Australia Business Lounge.

The plane was a Fokker F-100 and in a 2 + 3 configuration. I think I spent most of the flight gazing out of the window at the amazing landscape below us.

view of red baron landscape from an aeroplane
View from the plane flying from Perth to Broome

As we got close to Broome, we could see the coast and the brilliance of the white sand. The turquoise of the ocean was mesmerising.

Kimberley coastline with white beach and turquoise ocean from above
The Kimberley Coast

Broome International Airport

Broome only has one airport so even if you are flying domestic, you will still land at Broome International Airport.

It’s a small airport and as we came into land, we saw the Virgin Australia crew waiting for us on the tarmac.

2 virgin Australia crew members with fluro jackets waiting at broome airport

Despite being small, there are ATMs located in the Arrivals Terminal and Departure Terminal, showers in the Departure Lounge toilets, free Wi-Fi and a bar/ cafe.

Broome Airport to Cable Beach

There’s a company that offers a shuttle service from the airport into Cable Beach but it was cheaper for us to get a taxi. The taxi rank is just outside the exit and we didn’t have to wait long for one to turn up.

If you don’t have much luggage, the Broome Explorer Bus stops in Frederick Street close to the airport and stops in several places in Cable Beach.

a white bus with broome explorer written on the side

Our Budget

We both had an ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures Credit Card so used our free flights. We booked our daughters’ flights using Velocity points but paid the taxes of $106.

Our accommodation for 8 nights was $1750 which is good for the peak season (July school holidays).

The whale watching cruise was $430, camel rides $170, Willie Creek Pearl Farm tour $310 and 12 Mile Bird Park $50 making a total for attractions $960 for our family of four.

We spent another $900 on eating and drinking out, transport and other incidentals.

The total cost ended up being just under $4,000 for 9 days.

Broome Weather & Best Time to Visit

Broome is made up of two distinct seasons; wet and dry. The dry season is from around April to September when it will be warm days and blue skies. The wet season will see the humidity rise with the odd thunderstorm and downpours. Monsoon is usually between January and March when you might experience a cyclone and flooding.

My recommendation would be to visit in the dry season but try to avoid the school holidays if you can when Broome is at its busiest and prices soar. Also, you won’t be able to swim in the ocean during the wet season due to the jellyfish.

rocks on the beach

How Long to Stay in Broome

We stayed in Broome for 8 nights and I think that was about the right amount of time. It will depend on how many tours you want to do and whether you decided to hire a car. Most of our days were spent out and about but if you like to take things easy, then you may need a bit longer.

Broome Accommodation

We stayed at Broome Beach Resort and found it to be great for families and good value.

Or look at other popular places to stay in Broome. There are plenty of options from backpackers to luxury resorts like Cable Beach Resort.

Caravan Parks are quite often booked out during peak times so make sure you book well in advance if you plan on camping there.

Where to Eat in Broome

You can check Tripadvisor for the latest top places to eat in Broome but these were our favourites:

Dragonfly Cafe

The Broome breakfast was delicious and very filling. The coffee was also great as were the mango smoothies. It gets pretty busy here but the service is still excellent. I would definitely recommend having breakfast or lunch here if you are in Broome town.

broome breakfast consisting of sausage bacon two poachewd eggs tomato mushrooms and toast

Cairo Cafe

Our daughters said these were the best kebabs they have ever had and I think I can agree. The kebab was huge, very filling and great value.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get a photo (I think we were all too hungry!). We will always remember our lunch here though as the earth literally moved. We were sitting outside, eating our kebabs, and then it felt as if someone was shaking our chairs violently. All the shop owners came running out and said it was an earthquake. It seemed to go on forever and was pretty frightening as we didn’t know if it would get worse or how long it would go on for.

We later found out it was a magnitude 6.6 earthquake that occurred 210 km off the coast of  Broome and was equal to the largest recorded in Australia.

Divers Tavern Beach Bar

Divers Tavern is a great Aussie pub in Cable Beach. It has 3 main areas; a sports bar, the beach bar, and the bistro.

This is a very popular place for dinner and catching up with friends so make sure to book ahead. We ate here 3 times as the food was great and provided good value for money.

I can recommend the calamari which costs $24 and our girls enjoyed their beef burgers ($20).

a plate of calamari chips and salad

Fresco Hut

If you want a delicious mango smoothie, try the Fresco Hut located in Paspaley Plaza. These were the best we have had for ages. They also do freshly squeezed juices, gelato, vegan cakes, and bliss balls.



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red ochre rock and the ocean and words ultimate guide to broome

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28 Comments

  1. I’m so surprised by how much there is to do there. You’ve definitely opened our eyes to visiting. It has the perfect mix of nature, beach, great food and fun activities 🙂

    1. Thank you, Christie. I’m sure you all would have a lot of fun there.

  2. Broome looks like a great place to visit, I’d love to be there now instead of a grey and dreary England haha. I’d happily go for a few of those Matso’s beers too!

    1. It’s heading into their dry season now so the perfect time to go. Just so sad that we’re not allowed to travel.

  3. Wow, this is such a fantastic post! I lived in Perth for two years but didn’t do as much traveling around as I would have liked. But I have every plan to move back there eventually at least for another year, and I will definitely put Broome on my list after reading this! Thanks so much for sharing so many details and beautiful pictures 🙂

    1. Thank you so much Holly. I have lived here for nearly 20 years and have only recently visited Broome. So glad we did though. Hope you make it back here.

  4. Broome looks like an incredible vacation spot! Hopefully I’ll make it out to Australia one day. Until then I’ll be traveling vicariously through your posts!

    1. Thank you Anna! Hope you make it out here to see us one day 🙂

  5. I seriously cant wait to get to Broome one day! Love the detail in this post and all your recommendations! We will be researching your website for our WA travels we will go on one day! Bucket list – road trip Margaret river to Broome!

    1. Thank you! I’m working on more WA content so will hopefully have more for you by the time you make it over 🙂

  6. I think I’ve fallen in love with Broome! History, camels, whales, pearls, staircase to the moon, nudist beach…okay, maybe give that last one a miss! So much to see here. Definitely on my must visit list when I next visit “down under”.

    1. We actually didn’t see any nudists, thankfully 🙂

  7. This is indeed the ultimate guide to Broome! You packed a lot in to your stay. Really helpful to have the cost breakdown along with all the great sightseeing tips. I always appreciate your restaurant recommendations! 🙂

    1. Thank you very much Cynthia 🙂

  8. This sounds like a fun place with lots of activities to try. I’ve never heard of anywhere with camel rides along the beach before.

    1. The camel rides are one of the most popular attractions there 🙂

  9. Broome sounds like an interesting place! I’d definitely try the Mango beer, though it’d probably be too sweet for me too 🙂 And of course, there is a Chinatown! we are everywhere 🙂

    I’d love to visit Broome sometime!

    1. One Mango Beer is refreshing but then it becomes a bit sweet. The Chinatown in Broome was a lot different to most I have been to but an interesting history.

  10. Sounds like a great place with heaps to do. Really enjoyed reading about the history, and the links with Asia. Fascinating! Could just eat a plate of those calamari too 🙂

    1. Thank you for reading Carole. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  11. Well I definitely wasn’t expecting to see a Chinatown here! Broome looks so lovely, and what I wouldn’t give to be on Cable Beach right now… I’ve still not made it to that side of the world, but I’m glad I can enjoy it vicariously through your post. And a big fat yes to trying that mango beer!

    1. If you make it to Perth, Lisa, I will buy you a mango beer

  12. What helpful and detailed guide Wendy! I’m ready to go! Broome looks like absolute paradise and the perfect place to relax. I would love having a mango beer which is my favorite fruit. Oh and taking a camel safari would be fun too on the beach! 😁

    1. Thank you Vanessa. We all love mangoes too.

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