Broome, primarily known as beach resort town in Western Australia, also represents multiculturalism and history. Broome is situated on the traditional lands of the Yawuru people and sits along the Indian Ocean coastline. The mangroves, crocodiles, pearling history and dinosaur footprints give a vast arrangement of things to see and do. So why not do as the locals do and enjoy the slower pace of Broome, or as the popular tourism marketing slogan states, are you ready to “Slip into Broome Time”?
WHAT TO SEE AND DO
Pearl Luggers Museum – This fantastic museum gives you an insight into the Pearling history. The history includes some dark past as well as a huge mix of multiculturalism. Learn about what made a pearl diver’s life so hazardous and who took on this job and why. There are daily tours which are highly recommended to make the most of your visits here. We suggest visiting the museum early in the trip as the history of the past gives a really good understanding of how Broome became the city it is today.
(Pearl Luggers Museum – Credit: Derwyn Berwick.) (Pearl Luggers Museum – Credit: Australia’s North West)
Cable Beach - is often associated with sunset camel rides, is an almost perfectly flat beach, 22km in length and named in honour of the Java to Australia undersea telegraph cable. There you can choose between the Red Sun Camels or Broome Camel Safaris and between a morning tour, pre-sunset tour or the sunset tour. Whether you go on a camel ride or not, the sunsets from the beach are beautiful and a walk along the shores is a relaxing way to enjoy the view.
(Cable Beach- Credit: Derwyn Berwick. Cable Beach at Sunset - Credit: Shutterstock Camel Rides on Cable Beach – Credit: Judy Purkiss)
Dinosaur Footprints – Head out to Gantheaume Point to check out the dinosaur footprints. You can catch the Broome Explorer Bus. The dinosaur footprints are over 130 million years old. There is information and a copy of some prints at the point, however you can wander the rocks and to find the actual prints yourself, just check with the Broome Visitor Centre as to when the low tide is, so you can safely take a look. Do not put your hands or feet in the little rock pools as the deadly blue ringed octopus live in these pools.
(Dinosaur Footprints – Credit: Australia’s North West Blue Ringed Octopus – Credit: Judy Purkiss)
Willie Creek Pearl Farm – See a pearling farm in operation, learn about collection and spawning, seeding and finally harvesting of the pearl on a cruise of the Willie Creek waters. Their coach will pick you up from and drop you back to your Broome accommodation, giving you the opportunity to view the amazing country on the way. And if you get the opportunity, then have a taste of their amazing damper!
(Willie Creek Pearl Farm – Credit: Derwyn Berwick.) (Pearl Shell and Pearls – Credit: Australia’s North West)
Broome Hovercraft – This is a very different way to see Broome, take a hovercraft over Roebuck Bay and land on the Roebuck Bay tidal flat for any other opportunity to discover dinosaur footprints and view the wildlife. At very low tides you may also view the wrecks of the WWII Flying boats or you may prefer a glass of bubbly at sunset tour. Suit the tour that suits you.
(Broome Hovercraft on mudflats – Credit: Judy Purkiss)
Cultural Tours – To learn more about the indigenous culture of the area, you may wish to consider one of the variety of tours available by Narlijia Experiences. They have Beach to Bay tours which visit the dinosaur prints and learn about the dreaming stories, visit ancient shell middens created by the Djugun-Yawuru people and learn about the flora and fauna of the area.
(Dinosaur footprint – Credit: Australia’s North West)
Staircase to the Moon – In Broome the Staircase to the Moon can be seen between March and November. It is an illusion created by a full moon reflecting off the waters, in Broome the moon reflects of the exposed mudflats at low tide. To catch this, ensure you check the dates and time it is expected to occur here. Head down to Town Beach to watch the sight, depending on your itinerary you may also be able to visit the Staircase to the Moon markets. Alternatively you may like to view the Staircase to the Moon from The Mangrove Hotel who also provide live entertainment.
(Staircase to the Moon – Credit: Australia’s North West)
Chinatown – The perfect place for a stroll and to grab a bite to eat or take in a bit of shopping. Chinatown shows the multiculturalism of Broome with several Asian and European cultures alongside the Aboriginal traditional owners. This area of Broome is currently undergoing some “revitalisation” to ensure the historical importance of the area is protected. Sun Pictures, the oldest operation cinema still stands in this area, even if you don’t catch a film, it’s worth taking a look inside. While here check out Streeter’s Jetty.
(China Town and Streeter’s Jetty – Credit: Australia’s North West)
Japanese & Chinese Cemeteries – The cemeteries are a lasting memory of the extent of tragedy in the pearling industry of the past when many divers lost their lives while undertaking this dangerous work. You will discover row upon row of headstones inscribed in Japanese and Chinese, a sad reminder of the dangers of the time.
(Japanese and Chinese Cemetery Broome – Credit: Judy Purkiss)
Broome History Museum – The history of the town is laid out, showing the Aboriginal history and then how the pearling industry saw the area transform into a town. This is a unique town and the museum shows you many aspects has made the town what it is today.
Indigenous Art Galleries – Many of the galleries are free to enter and artworks can often be purchased.
WHERE TO STAY
There are many options in Broome, to suit a variety of budgets, a couple we suggest are:
Kimberly Klub YHA – ideal for backpackers
Broome-Time Accommodation – self-contained rooms with a kitchen area and ensuite.
HOW TO GET AROUND IN THE TOWN
Broome Explorer Bus – At just $15 a day of $35 for five days, this bus operates 7 days a week and goes to all the main tourist destinations making it good value if you wish to see several of them in one day.
Cable Beach to Broome – The Broome Explorer Bus also take one way fares ie: you can go Cable Beach to Broome or Broome to Cable beach for $4.00 one way. Click here to view their timetable and all available destinations and pick up points.
HOW TO GET THERE AND BACK
If coming from Western Australia ie: from Perth to Broome, then express tickets can be purchased for those that wish to do point to point travel ie: direct from one destination to another and Hop on Hop off passes are ideal for travellers who wish to stop here as one of many destinations or for workers who wish to bus in and bus out between home and their workplace.
Perth to Broome or anywhere in between to Broome
Integrity Coach Lines have two services a week travelling into Broome. However if you are leaving from Perth using a Hop on Hop off pass then you have three services a week for the route between Perth and Hedland and then two services between Hedland and Broome.
Broome to Perth or Broome to other destinations in between
Integrity Coach Lines have two services a week leaving Broome and then once you reach Hedland there are three services a week making it easy to Hop on and Hop off as you travel down the coast to Exmouth of Perth or go straight through to Perth if you wish.
Pick Up and Set Down point in Broome
Integrity Coach Lines pick up and set down at the Broome Visitor Centre at 1 Hamersley Street, Broome.
WHAT TO EXPECT ON AN INTEGRITY COACH LINES JOURNEY
- Short comfort stops approx. every three hours. This allows you to stretch your legs, use facilities at the roadhouses (there is also a toilet on the coach) and purchase food and drinks if you wish. You may also wish to bring dry snacks or meals that do not have distinctive odours such as eggs or tuna onto the coach. And, of course, your water bottle is most welcome.
- Capture glimpses of various towns along the way if you are using an Express ticket (point to point ticket). If you are using a Hop on Hop off pass then you may wish to stop and enjoy other towns for a couple of days rather than just pass through. The choice is yours!
- Friendly, Personable and Knowledgeable Drivers. Drivers are knowledgeable on all locations and can provide tips and hints as needed. Two professional drivers per trip ensures, they are well rested to get you to your destination safely. Best of all, they are a friendly crew that are very approachable.
So, why not catch a bus from Perth to Broome or Broome to Perth. Broome is a unique multicultural town due to it’s indigenous heritage and the pearling history bringing many cultures to the town. The natural wonders are a bonus, so sit back, relax and “Slip into Broome-Time”. Call Integrity Coach Lines now on 08 9274 7464.
Courtesy of Judy Purkiss