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I have a serious love affair going on with Broome. It started with a plan to stay for 2 or 3 days. 2 weeks later, it honestly pained me to leave.
Having road-tripped all through the Northern Territory and crossed over the border via Lake Argyl, it was great to see the ocean again. There are so many fantastic things to do in Broome but at the same time, it’s where you’re going to want to do absolutely nothing. Sweet, sweet nothing but watching the world go by. Bliss!
I don’t know anyone who’s visited Broome and just thought it was ‘ok’. For such a small, isolated part of the Kimberly region, it draws everyone right in. If you’ve ever seen photos of Western Australia with the incredible red sand, white sand, mangrove trees and insanely blue water, it’s probably a photo of Broome. It’s THAT. FREAKIN’. BEAUTIFUL!
Broome undeniably has some of the best beaches I’ve ever seen and is also one of the most chilled out places I’ve visited. So if you’re a bonafide beach bum, food addict, people-watcher and nature lover, Broome is exactly where you need to visit.
If you’re travelling Australia on a budget, Broome can be a bit of a tricky one. There are plenty of free things to do in Broome but it’s definitely not the cheapest place to stay. But will you regret your time here? I’ll bet my right arm that you won’t.
So after spending an accidental but blissful 2 weeks in Broome, I managed to dive into what this town has to offer and want to share 24 of the best things to do in Broome.
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Want to see more of Broome? Watch my vlog here!
Broome Travel Guide
Where is Broome?
Broome sits on a peninsula within the Kimberly Region in the Northern part of Western Australia. With a stretch of 1800 km of road to Darwin or 2300 km to Perth, this little town is beautifully isolated. It’s the perfect location to access the more adventurous drives WA has to offer, as well as being the gateway to even more incredible coastline.
When is the best time to visit Broome
As Broome is so far north, like Darwin, it has a dry and a rainy season. The rainy season lasts from October-March and can have torrential rain, cyclones and seriously high humidity. The dry season from April-September has beautifully warm weather still which makes it the most popular time of year to visit.
Tom and I arrived in Broome in June and the weather was perfect. It was beautiful in the day but cool enough to sleep in the van at night.
Where to stay in Broome
There are a number of caravan parks in Broome and they are all fairly pricey. In the peak season, Broome can get really busy and some overflow campsites might open which can be a little bit cheaper. Tom and I spent a couple of nights at the Broome Vacation Village which was simple but had all the facilities we needed. in hindsight, it would have been awesome to stay at the Cable Beach Caravan Park, just for the views.
Another great budget alternative is to stay in one of the hostels in Broome that has parking available. I highly recommend booking your stay in advance. I use Hostel World as it lists all the facilities available (including parking) and you can also read reviews.
For the rest of the time we were in Broome, we were lucky enough to stay with an awesome Couchsurfing host a few kilometres out of town. Couchsurfing is a fantastic way to meet people, get a local’s insight into a place and also stay for free. I highly recommend joining the Couchsurfing community!
How many days do you need in Broome?
How long is a piece of string? Ok, let me be more realistic here. If you’re on a tighter time schedule, I recommend 5 days in Broome. This gives you time to see some of Broome’s highlights and explore some of the Kimberly region around it.
The top things to do in Broome
Things to do in Cable Beach
1. Relax at Cable Beach
Cable Beach is the iconic beach in Broome. It’s a 22km stretch of white sand and turquoise water that you cannot miss. The size of this beach means there’s no need to battle for space. There is a section watched by lifeguards for swimming and it’s also a popular surfing beach. There’s a free car park at the beach and showers for the end of the day.
2. Soak in a Cable Beach Sunset
The best free thing to do in Broome? Watch the sunset over the ocean! Every evening people flock to Cable Beach with blankets, chairs and beers to enjoy the beautiful sunset over the Indian Ocean. If you want to enhance your evening, grab a seat and a cocktail at the Cable Beach Sunset Bar.
3. Do a famous camel ride on Cable Beach
Along with pictures of the vibrant Broome coastline, you’ll probably have seen pictures of the famous camel rides. Tours run every day at various times leading up to sunset. Morning, pre-sunset and sunset tours are the most popular and scenic times of the day and it’s definitely one of the top things to do in Broome
For a bonus Broome-only experience, head to the road after sunset and you’ll see the camels being walked back for the night – a rather unusual sight!
4. Take your 4WD onto Cable Beach
There is a section of Cable Beach where you can take your 4WD, which again, is a popular choice for sunset. Take your fishing rods, some snacks and something to drink and create the perfect evening.
Take care when you’re driving down onto Cable Beach as you’ll need to go over a rocky patch and this part of the beach is also where the camel tours take place.
5. Explore Gantheaume Point
A short drive down an unsealed road at the southern end of Cable Beach ends at the beautiful Gantheaume Point. The red cliffs here are a fantastic viewpoint over Cable Beach and a beautiful contrast against the white sand and blue ocean. There are a few different levels you can climb up or down to and at the right tide, you might find some rock pools to dip into.
6. Walk with dinosaurs at Gantheaume Point
At really low tides you have the chance to find dinosaur footprints. These date back 120 million years ago which is incredible to think about! You will need to look at the bottom of the cliffs at low tide to find them. If you’re not there at the right time, there is a replica footprint on the clifftop to take a look at.
7. Hit the water in a Kayak
If you’re looking for an activity that will get you out and about on the water, then taking a kayak tour is perfect for you. Tours start at Gantheaume Point and last about 3 hours. It’s a chance to see Broome from a different perspective and hopefully see some sealife as you go.
8. Take your 2WD onto Cable Beach
Whilst you might not be allowed to take a 2WD onto Cable Beach where the camels are, you can take it onto the Southern end. Right next to Gantheauem Point is a beautiful solid section of beach that is easily accessible to cars and vans. Being able to drive down onto the beach in our van was an absolute dream of mine and it was the perfect way to spend the day. The waves here are also nice and calm making it great for swimming. For me, this was the absolute best free thing to do in Broome.
Things to do in Broome Town
9. Visit Town Beach
Whilst Town Beach might be overshadowed by Cable Beach, it’s well worth visiting here. This is the place where you’ll start to see the red and white sand meeting and the bright green mangroves in the water. It’s a popular spot for kite surfers as well. Unfortunately, you can’t swim here because of the crocodiles but the beach is a beautiful spot to relax on.
10. Take a walk down Deep Water Jetty
Whilst the jetty is not the prettiest thing in Broome, it’s a lovely, quiet spot to escape to. You can soak in the panoramic views down the coast and try your luck at spotting some sealife (turtles especially). You’ll find it by following the path around from Town Beach.
11. Find Broome’s mini ‘Nature’s Window’
Ok, so I’ve given this spot this nickname, but I think it’s rather fitting. Nature’s Window is a famous rock formation in Kalbarri National Park, but it turns out that Broome has its own version, too. At the end of the lovely little beach next to Deep Water Jetty, you’ll find a rock formation that is perfect for climbing. A large hole has formed in one of the top ones, creating a natural window to look through.
12. Check out the weekly Courthouse Markets
Every Saturday Broome holds a fantastic market at the old Courthouse. The market is packed full of food stalls, art work, photography, jewellery, books and food to name a few. They also have live music going on and it has such a great atmosphere. You might have a little difficulty parking nearby but it’s worth it.
13. Catch the Staircase to the Moon
This natural phenomenon happens just once a month so if you’re visiting at the right time, you won’t want to miss it! It happens when the moon rises up over the water at very low tide. The moonlight reflecting on the mudflats gives the illusion of a staircase leading up to the moon.
To see the staircase to the moon in Broome, you need to join the crowds at Town Beach. Be sure to bring a blanket or chair to sit one and some snacks to watch the show. They also hold a market there full of great food and handicrafts.
14. Walk around Chinatown
I was not expecting a Chinatown in such a small place but it’s the historic heart of Broome. The buildings here are the iconic red colour that you often see and it’s full of boutiques and cafes to enjoy as well as pearl shops showcasing the products that Broome is famous for.
15. Watch a movie in the World’s oldest outdoor cinema
As you walk along Broome’s historic town centre, you won’t be able to miss Sun Pictures Cinema. The facade looks like it hasn’t changed since the day it was built back in 1906, which is pretty much the case thanks to restorations over the years. Today you still have the chance to watch a film on their open-air screen, just as it always has been. Take a look on the Sun Pictures website for viewing times and ticket prices.
Best places to eat in Broome
As I was travelling on a budget, I didn’t eat out a lot in Broome, but here are a few places I recommend for a great bite to eat.
16. Matsos Brewery
If you love a craft beer and some delicious pub grub, Matsos is perfect for you. Tom and I went here a couple of times and swigged down a tasting paddle of some of their incredible beers along with some fresh seafood and snacks. Matsos is famous for its mango beer and fiery ginger beer so don’t pass on the chance to try these.
As it’s the central hub of Broome, it’s no surprise that there are a number of restaurants and cafes to choose from. Despite its name, there’s a wide range of cuisines to choose from and plenty of great places for brunch as well.
18. Courthouse Markets
I know I’ve just mentioned the Courthouse Markets, but markets are a great place to get a fresh and tasty meal. You’ll find a range of cuisines and sweet treats to choose from here so make sure you bring some money with you.
19. Picnic on the beach
With the beaches being so accessible, especially if you’re in a campervan, having a picnic on the beach is an easy and fantastic way to enjoy a meal.
The best things to do around Broome
21. Visit the Willie Creek Pearl Farm
The pearling industry is a huge part of Broome’s history. As you walk around Chinatown you’ll see plenty of pearl jewellers and there’s even a shop in the visitor information centre. Today, Willie Creek farms Australian South Sea Cultured Pearls and has done so for over 30 years. If you want to learn more you can make a trip out to their pearl farm and take a tour to find out how they farm the oysters and pearls. You’ll need a 4wd to get there or you you can book a tour through their website.
22. Venture out to Cape Leveque
If you’re looking for the ultimate remote place to visit around Broome, Cape Leveque is it. Located on the northern tip of the Dampier Peninsula, its contrasting landscape of red cliffs, white sand and bright blue waters makes it one of the best road trips you can do from Broome.
it’s a 206km drive to get from Broome to Cape Leveque and you’ll need a 4wd to get there as you’ll be hitting corrugated dirt roads. Cape Leveque has a strong Aboriginal heritage and you have the opportunity to learn more about their culture and way of life. It’s also a fantastic area for fishing or mud crabbing. I recommend visiting Beagle Bay on the way and going all the way up to One Arm Point.
20. Swim in a natural pool at Coconut Wells
Depending on the tide (can you tell just how much of Broome depends on the tides yet?), this area of Broome fills up with water, creating a natural pool to swim in. It’s absolutely fantastic to see, especially if you’ve seen it empty just the day before as well. They’re around a 20 minutes drive north of Cable beach.
23. Drive the Gibb River Road
Driving the Gibb River Road is definitely up there as one of the best road trips you can do in Australia. It’s the ultimate outback driving experience. This remote dirt road cuts right across the Kimberly region for 660km and crosses through numerous rivers (hence the name). In the wet season, a lot of the road can be unpassable, but no matter what time of year you tackle it, you’ve got to have a 4wd – there are actual signs at the start of the Gibb telling you this!
We did a 3 night road trip from Broome and drove half the Gibb River Road and it was incredible. Make sure you take your swimmers as there are plenty of gorges to swim in. I recommend Bell Gorge, Manning Gorge, Adcock Gorge and Emma Gorge for fantastic swimming spots. Don’t go past Windjana Gorge for the chance to see loads of crocodiles sunbathing too.
24. Take a drive to James Price Point
If you’re looking for a shorter road trip from Broome that you can do in a day, I highly recommend James Price Point. Again, you’ll need a 4wd to get there as it’s all unsealed roads but it’s so, so beautiful out there. You’ll drive on top of tall red cliffs before driving down onto the beach. You can camp down here too if you want. It’s pristine, beautiful and far away from crowds.