Nine epic things to do in Broome that doesn’t involve the iconic camel ride.
Ah, Broome, the place that eternally shines and where summer vibes reign supreme in winter. It’s also easy to pigeonhole Broome as that place for picturesque camel rides along Cable Beach with a golden sunset backdrop. Yes, the sight is spectacular, and arguably just as iconic as Sydney’s famous duo, the Harbour Bridge and Opera House in embodying the essence of the city. But pardon the pun, there is more to Broome than just seeing a camel’s backside at sundown.
Here we go beyond the camel’s two-humps to give you this bumper list of things to do in Broome.
1. Discover a galaxy of stars with Space Gandalf
There’s a Gandalf for Middle Earth, and then there’s a Gandalf for the Galaxy – and isn’t Broome lucky to have him.
Self-taught outback astronomer and natural showman Greg Quickie is a wizard when it comes to understanding our universe with great wit. His hugely popular Astro Tours have been running over two decades and offer a mindful journey into how we on Earth position ourselves in the universe: are we standing still or hurtling through space?
Broome has some of the best sky-gazing skies in the world, and with Quickie’s guidance, you can gain insight on the movement of the Earth, view constellations and learn where to find planets and stars.
The wow factor is turned up to infinity with its fleet of high-powered telescopes allowing you to have an unbelievable view of Saturn’s rings, Jupiter’s four moons, epic star clusters and more. This incredible astronomy experience is every bit out of this world and will leave you in a state of amazement for some time. Above anything else, the tour will make you see your relationship with Earth and space in a new light.
Book: Astro Tours
2. Walk in the footsteps of dinosaurs
Were you a kid fascinated with cutesy dino flick, The Land Before Time or obsessed with one of the many Jurassic Park films pumped out over the last three decades? The common theme here is dinosaurs, and in Broome, you can get closer to our dinosaur past with walking in their footsteps. Pretty surreal right, matching foot sizes with a dinosaur!
Broome is one of the best places in the world to see dinosaur footprints with the perfectly preserved prints dating back between 127 to 140 million years ago during the Cretaceous period. Up to 21 different dinosaur footprints can be found along the Broome’s ‘Dinosaur Coast’, stretching 150km from Dampier Peninsula in the north and Roebuck Bay in the south.
To get up close and personal to our long-lost dino friends, take part in a guided tour with Broome Hovercraft and Broome Dinosaur Adventures. Tours operate onboard colourfully-named Tutti Frutti vessel include a visit to a secluded beach to view fossilised footprints of all different shapes and sizes on a variety of surfaces.
The tour continues with a picturesque cruise down the labyrinth of bright green mangroves in Dampier Creek. It’s just not just about sightseeing too as you feast on grazing boards and sip on bubbly. It seriously is one morning tea time for the ages.
3. Eat, drink Broome on foot
Time to discover what has been slow-cooking in Broome’s cultural melting pot with a lively evening walking tour around Chinatown.
Join husband and wife guiding duo Chris and Robyn on a small group tour to visit three of Broome’s top bars for a merry ol’ time. It’s not all about digesting what’s good on Broome’s food and drinks scene on a balmy night; it’s also grasping Broome’s rich history with informative stops. Here, historical tales are told with the innovative use of projections on heritage buildings to reimagine the pearling town’s past while on foot.
The tour is the perfect Broome holiday starter, allowing you to get your bearings around town and uncover what deserves an extended visit – especially when it comes devouring its tantalising food scene by the forkful.
4. Visit Willie Creek
Unearth the ocean riches with visiting one of Broome’s most famous pearl farms, Willie Creek, a 30-minute drive from Broome. It is an azure oasis caught between burnt red roads and silvery salt flats and very much easy on the eye. It’s stunning scenery, and understated natural bling is enough to make long-time pearl necklace ambassador Marge Simpson blush with envy.
But to go beyond the jewellery counter, discover how pearls came to be. The pearling farm’s flagship tour is an eye-opener, taking you on a step by step journey of the pearling process, from the collection of oysters to harvesting the natural treasure troves to spawn the creation of the ocean’s gold – pearls. It also includes a scenic cruise along Willie Creek’s indigo waters to see the oyster farms in practice and to admire the local wildlife. Back on land, the tour concludes with a peculiar live demonstration of an oyster carefully dissected for a pearl.
After the tour, take in the blissful scenery with lunch at the farm’s restaurant. If game enough, you can even try a taste of highly-sought pearl meat, a true speciality of the region.
5. Witness the Staircase to the Moon
Imagine climbing a Staircase to the Moon – just with your eyes only. Both optical illusion and natural phenomenon, the Staircase to the Moon occurs when a full moon rises over Roebuck Bay’s exposed tidal flats. As the Moon rises from the horizon, its golden light reflects on Earth, with steps to the Moon slowly being revealed to give you Broome’s famed sky show.
This incredible show of nature occurs two to three days a month between March to October. Watching it all unfold is even better when joining the crowd along the Town Beach foreshore: it’s a chilled affair, with people feasting on a night picnic with their close ones to catch a glimpse of the postcard moment.
The first two days of the moonlit spectacle usually has the Staircase to the Moon markets in full swing at Town Beach from 4pm. The markets are the place to purchase locally produced items, visit street food vendors, admire the talents of local artists and get into the community spirit.
If wanting an intimate viewing, head to The Mangrove Hotel Resort for a night show.
See the Staircase to the Moon dates
6. Have a stroll around the Broome Courthouse Markets
What better way to capture the ultimate feel-good vibes of Broome than heading to the Broome Courthouse Markets? Taking place every Saturday morning from 8am – 1pm, the markets are a buzzing, colourful affair with vendors selling trinkets, locally made artworks, tours and of course, the town’s most famous souvenir, pearls.
It is also one to go on an empty stomach with plenty of street food trucks on-site selling a mix of South East Asian cuisines and beyond. Let’s admit it; no one likes queuing up however something that deserves your time in line is a deliciously tangy mango smoothie or mango ice cream from the Juice Bar. It’s some serious liquid gold in a paper cup!
The relaxed atmosphere is further heightened with buskers performing in the grassed area, making your Saturday in Broome unapologetically lazy to sit around and kickback to the beats.
Broome Courthouse Markets, corner of Frederick and Hamersley Street in the Broome Courthouse Gardens.
7. Go wild in the Kimberley
Broome is the perfect starting block to go wild with adventure in the Kimberley. If limited on time and budget, take part in an epic one-day tour with adventure tour operator, Kimberley Wild, to see the best of the top end wilderness.
If you are an adventure seeker, a visit to Windjuna Gorge National Park and Tunnel Creek is just the ticket to get your muscles moving and adrenaline pumping. Tunnel Creek is a thrilling cave experience not for the faint-hearted. With head torch in tow, discover the ancient cave system while carefully treading the cave’s waters – just watch out for the salt crocs!
In the afternoon, take a stroll between the towering 300m red-rusted cliffs of Windjana Gorge and see rock carvings dating back thousands of years. It really feels as though you are caught up in a lost world and you will be only too happy to keep losing track of time exploring it.
Book: Kimberley Wild
8. Have the ride of your life through Horizontal Falls
Sir David Attenborough labelled Horizontal Falls “most usual”, and they most certainly are.
It is the world’s only waterfall that gushes horizontally, living up to its truthful name. The natural phenomenon is a genuine diamond in the rough, located along the Kimberley coast, buried within the rugged landscapes of the Buccaneer Archipelago, squeezed through two narrow gaps of McLarty Range and surrounded by the indigo waters of Talbot Bay. The only means visit the one-of-a-kind falls is by joy flight followed by a boat ride.
The waterfalls’ rare flow-on effect is a result of fast-moving tidal movements, forcing water into rapid-like torrents through the twin gaps. Second to the Bay of Fundy, Canada, the Kimberley experiences one of the world’s most powerful tidal movements. The west’s greatest whirlpool can reach above 10 metres, and the direction of flow reserves twice daily.
If you like travelling on planes and like travelling via sea, a logical choice is to have the best of both worlds – well, transport modes – and travel via seaplane to Horizontal Falls. Tour operator, Horizontal Falls Seaplane Adventures, departs ex Broome and Derby – depending on tidal movements – for a double-dip adventure ride to the falls.
9. Watch a sunset at Cable Beach
Ok, this list may be omitting Broome’s most famous to-do activity, but how could we not include the blissfully beautiful scene of it all, Cable Beach?
Enjoy a low-key sunset affair with making your way to Cable Beach. If you are the owner or caretaker of a four-wheel drive, even better as you can drive your way along the beach’s designated area and find your own spot to experience Broome’s sunset magic.
RAC Cable Beach Holiday Park – This is a holiday park for all with camping, caravan and modern cabin options to suit all budgets and creature comforts. Guests can soak up the park’s relaxed vibes at its resort-style swimming pool complete with sun lounges and surrounded with lush verdant gardens.
The holiday park is conveniently located a short 10-minute stroll to Broome’s iconic Cable Beach and stone’s throw away from local nighttime favourite, Divers Tavern.
Spend less on accommodation and more on adventures as RAC members can save up to 20%* on their Broome stay. Conditions apply.
All bookings are flexible up to 72 hours prior to arrival.
Address: 1 Murray Rd, Cable Beach WA 6726
Julia was a guest of Tourism WA and RAC Cable Beach Holiday Park, and all thoughts and opinions are that of her own.
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Feature image: Tourism Western Australia
See more: Western Australia travel