Broome

Cable Beach, Broome, ©iStockphoto.com

Population 11547

Broome is distinguished by its pearling history, cosmopolitan character and startling natural assets including white sandy beaches, turquoise water and red soils. The discovery of pearling grounds off the coast in the 1880s led to the foundation of the Broome township in 1883. A melting pot of nationalities flocked to its shores in the hope of making a fortune. Japanese, Malays and Koepangers joined the Aboriginal pearl divers, while the Chinese became the shopkeepers in town. By 1910 Broome was the world's leading pearling centre. In those early, heady days, over 400 pearling luggers operated out of Broome. The industry suffered when world markets collapsed in 1914, but stabilised in the 1970s as cultured-pearl farming developed. Today remnants of Broome's exotic past are everywhere, with the town's multicultural society ensuring a dynamic array of cultural influences. Broome's beaches are ideal for swimming and there is good fishing year-round.

Visitor Information

1 Hamersley St; (08) 9195 2200

www.broomevisitorcentre.com.au

Nearby towns

  • Derby

    It is said that Derby, known as the 'Gateway to the Gorges', is where the real Kimberley region begins. The first town settled in the...more

In Town

Pearl Luggers Experience Broome's pearling heritage by visiting 2 restored pearling luggers in Chinatown. Tours daily. Dampier Tce; (08) 9192 2059.

Japanese Cemetery The largest Japanese cemetery in Australia contains the graves of over 900 Japanese pearl divers, dating back to 1896. This is a sobering reminder of the perils of the early pearling days when the bends, cyclones and sharks claimed many lives. Cnr Port Dr and Savannah Way.

Staircase to the Moon This beautiful optical illusion is caused by a full moon reflecting off the exposed mudflats of Roebuck Bay at extremely low tides. Town Beach; 3 nights monthly from Mar–Oct; check dates and times at visitor centre.

Chinatown: an extraordinary mix of colonial and Asian influences, Chinatown was once the bustling hub of Broome where pearl sheds, billiard saloons and Chinese eateries flourished; now it is home to some of the world's finest pearl showrooms.

Buildings on Hamersley St: distinctive Broome-style architecture including the courthouse, made of teak inside and corrugated iron outside; Captain Gregory's House, a classic old pearling master's house, built in 1915, now an art gallery; and Matso's Cafe, once the Union Bank Building.

Historical Museum: pearling display and collection of photographs and literature on Broome's past; Robinson St.

Bedford Park: war memorial, replica of explorer William Dampier's sea chest and an old train coach; Hamersley St.

Shell House: one of the largest shell collections in Australia; Dampier Tce.

Sun Pictures: the world's oldest operating outdoor cinema, opened in 1916; Carnarvon St.

Sisters of St John of God Convent: built in 1926 by a Japanese shipbuilder using traditional methods that emphasise the external framing of the building; Cnr Barker and Weld sts.

Deep Water Jetty: good for fishing; Port Dr.

Heritage trail: 2 km walk introduces places of interest; contact visitor centre for self-guide pamphlet.

Nearby

Cable Beach With its 22 km of pristine white sands fringing the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean, Cable Beach is one of the most stunning beaches in the world. Every day the beach is washed clean by high tides ranging from 4 m to 10 m. It takes its name from the telegraph cable laid between Broome and Java in 1889. The $55 million Cable Beach Resort, which fronts onto the beach, is a popular tourist destination. While you're here, why not do that quintessential Broome activity and ride a camel along this famous beach? Contact visitor centre for details. 7 km NW.

Gantheaume Point Dinosaur footprints believed to be 130 million years old can be seen at very low tide. Read More

Crocodile Park: home to some of Australia's biggest crocodiles; Cable Beach Rd; 7 km NW.

Reddell Beach: enjoy the dramatic sight of Broome's distinctive red soils, known as 'pindan', meeting white sands and brilliant blue water; 7 km SW.

Buccaneer Rock: at entrance to Dampier Creek, this landmark commemorates Captain William Dampier and HMAS Roebuck; 15 km E.

Broome Bird Observatory: see some of the 310 species of migratory wader birds that arrive each year from Siberia; 17 km E.

Willie Creek Pearl Farm: the Kimberley's only pearl farm open to the public, with daily tours; (08) 9192 0000; 35 km N.

Dampier Peninsula: this remote area north of Broome boasts unspoiled coastline (4WD access only). Record-breaking game fish have been caught in the surrounding waters. Charters and tours leave from Dampier. The Sacred Heart Church at Beagle Bay (118 km NE) was built by Pallotine monks in 1917 and boasts a magnificent pearl-shell altar. Lombadina (200 km NE) is a former mission now home to an Aboriginal community that offers sightseeing, fishing and mudcrabbing tours; contact (08) 9192 4936. On the eastern side of the peninsula is Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm, the oldest Australian and family-owned pearl farm, which offers 1-hr and 1-day tours; contact (08) 9192 4283. Cape Leveque, at the north of the peninsula, is well known for its pristine beaches and rugged pindan cliffs (220 km NE). 

Buccaneer Archipelago: in Broome you can arrange scenic flights over this magnificent landscape that stretches north-east of the Dampier Peninsula. Also known as the Thousand Islands, this is a dramatic coastal area of rugged red cliffs, spectacular waterfalls and secluded white sandy beaches. Here you’ll find whirlpools created by massive 11 m tides and the amazing horizontal 2-way waterfall of Talbot Bay.

Hovercraft Spirit of Broome: tours of Roebuck Bay; details from visitor centre.

Fishing spots near town

Broome 1 km

While pearling in Broome is pushed for its tourism merits, the serious attraction at Broome, at least for anglers, is its fishing. The city sits on Roebuck Bay and has become the hub in the wheel of angler tourism in... Find out more


Eco Beach - Fishing Sub-region 44 km

Cyclone Rosita wiped out Eco Beach resort, about 130 km south of Broome, several years ago. It reopened for business in 2009. I fished here before the cyclone with guides Dan O’Sullivan and Greg... Find out more


Eco-friendly activities around town

Indigenous tours - Dampier Peninsula 187 km

Swan Point Tag-Along Tours offers half-day tours departing from Kooljaman through spectacular scenic areas off-limits to the general public. The guides provide information about plants, animals and local history, and... Find out more


Cafes & restaurants around town

Club Restaurant

The Club at Cable Beach Club Resort is Broome’s premier restaurant, with a smart dress code. It’s simply a must, if only to try pearl meat prepared as a ceviche and the fresh seafood, in particular the... Find out more


Matso’s Broome Brewery

Matso’s is practically an institution in Broome, with its corrugated walls and languid fans. The building was erected in 1900, originally as a bank, and operated in amongst opium dens and brothels, until a fire... Find out more


The Old Zoo Cafe

Although housed in the original feeding house of the Pearl Coast Zoological Gardens, you won’t find animal feed on the menu here. Instead, you’ll enjoy well-prepared tasty dishes to accompany the alfresco... Find out more


Wharf Restaurant

The Asian-inspired seafood menu is the perfect accompaniment to the azure sea you’ll be dining beside. Fans claim The Wharf serves the best seafood in town, and the chilli mud crab is a local favourite. Dine... Find out more


Nearby breweries

Matso's Broome Brewery 1 km

They’ve been brewing at Matso’s since 1997, but the plant has been substantially upgraded in recent times and now includes a bottling line. And while it might qualify as the country’s most farflung... Find out more


Campsites around town

Cable Beach Caravan Park 4 km

Cable Beach caravan park is located in Millington Road, close to the world famous beach that entices so many to the Broome region every year. Visitors will find a good range of facilities here is a shady setting within... Find out more


Willie Creek camping area 22 km

Bring drinking water and a gas/fuel stove to this small area on the beach north of Broome. It is a good spot for boating and fishing but has no facilities, so is better suited to self-sufficient campers. The camping area... Find out more


Barred Creek camping area 33 km

This is a good spot for self-sufficient campers who enjoy a bit of fishing. There are no facilities, so bring firewood or, preferably, a gas/fuel stove, as well as drinking water. The camping area is 9.2 km north of... Find out more


Quondong Point camping area 42 km

A good spot for self-sufficient campers who enjoy fishing, the track to this camping area is 7.6 km north of Barred Creek. You need to come equipped with drinking water and firewood, or preferably a gas/fuel stove, as... Find out more


Barn Hill Beachside Station Stay 50 km

Barn Hill is located 120 km south of Broome (95 km south of Roebuck Plains Roadhouse) and 9 km off the Great Northern Hwy. The park faces the sea and has become very popular with anglers – and others who just want... Find out more


Prices Point camping area 53 km

No facilities are provided here, so self-sufficient campers might find a secluded spot for a bit of fishing. A gas/fuel stove is preferred and you need to bring drinking water. The camping area is 13.4 km north of the... Find out more


Middle Lagoon Natures Hideaway camping area 136 km

This camping area is 32 km west of the Cape Leveque Rd, sited in shady native scrub near the foreshore. It has basic facilities and is a good spot for fishing, swimming or just relaxing on the beach. Bring your own... Find out more


La Djardarr Bay Community camping area 153 km

With basic facilities for campers who enjoy solitude and fishing, La Djardarr Bay Community camping area is 42 km east of the Broome–Cape Leveque Rd. The small camping area is under the shade of some gum trees near... Find out more


Birdwood Downs Station 176 km

Birdwood Downs Station is north of the Gibb River Rd and 17.6 km east of Derby. The camping area, which is frequented by numerous bird species and other wildlife, is situated in a nature park setting near the homestead.... Find out more


Kooljaman camping area 187 km

Kooljaman camping area at Cape Leveque is part of an award-winning Aboriginal-owned wilderness camp, 208 km north of Broome. A beautiful and remote paradise, it offers visitors a quiet place to get away... Find out more


Caravan parks around town

Broome Vacation Village 3 km

This park is located between the town centre and the port, and is near the golf club. Bookings are required in peak periods. The park will take reservations for ensuite sites but not for normal powered sites.... Find out more


Cable Beach Caravan Park 4 km

This is a very large park, two blocks from the beach. Our experience is that the park has a disastrous reservation system. They do not take bookings in busy times, as they know the park will fill. Unfortunately, this... Find out more


Barn Hill Station Stay 50 km

Located 95 km south of Roebuck Plains Roadhouse and facing the sea, this park has become very popular with anglers and dog owners. It has some special features including a lawn bowling green. There is limited power to... Find out more


Hotels, motels & B&Bs around town

Cable Beach Club Resort & Spa

From humble beginnings as a few beachside bungalows, the Cable Beach Resort has grown into the integral Broome fixture it is today. The resort is situated minutes from the town centre, and is across the road from Cable... Find out more


Kimberley Klub Broome

In the middle of town and close to all the action, the Kimberley Klub has all the creature comforts in a relaxed and fun environment. Features include a poolside bar/cafe, book exchange, guest kitchen, laundry, games... Find out more


McAlpine House

Surrounded by lush tropical gardens, the beautifully restored McAlpine House boutique hotel was originally a pearler’s home built in 1910. Personalised service is offered to each of its nine rooms, which can be... Find out more


The Bungalow-Broome

The Bungalow-Broome is a romantic one-bedroom hideaway in Cable Beach’s residential area. Surrounded by tropical gardens, the air-conditioned bungalow has private decking where you can enjoy the complimentary wine... Find out more


The Courthouse B&B

Located in town and designed with family living in mind, the luxurious two-storey, three-bedroom Courthouse B&B offers a choice of indoor and outdoor areas to relax, socialise and work. The hosts’ love of... Find out more


Kooljaman at Cape Leveque

Kooljaman at Cape Leveque is the epitome of paradise. Located 220 kilometres north of Broome on the Dampier Peninsula, access is only available by four-wheel drive or by air. A scenic flight to your remote beach safari... Find out more


Eco-friendly places to stay around town

Kooljaman at Cape Leveque 188 km

Aboriginal owned, this resort sits in a sensational spot on the tip of the Dampier Peninsula, 220 kilometres from Broome. It offers accommodation from beach shelters with sand floors, to comfortable safari tents with... Find out more


Rest areas around town

Goldwire rest area 77 km

166km NE of Sandfire (L) or 120km SW of Roebuck (R)

Secluded area surrounded by scrub well off the highway.


Nillbubbica rest area 100 km

72km E of Roebuck (L) or 60km W of Willare Bridge (R)

Secluded area surrounded by scrub just off the highway.


Stanley rest area 135 km

107km NE of Sandfire (R) or 179km SW of Roebuck (L)

Secluded area in scrub well off the highway.


What's on around town

Courthouse Markets: Hamersley St; Sat and Sun mornings Apr–Oct, Sat only Nov–Mar.

Town Beach Markets: Robinson St; 1st 2 nights of the Staircase to the Moon; check with visitor centre for dates and times.

Race Round: horseracing; June–Aug.

Opera Under the Stars: Aug.

Shinju Matsuri: Festival of the Pearl, recalls Broome's heyday and includes Dragon Boat Regatta; Aug/Sept.

Mango Festival: Nov.

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