- Coastline Red earth, white sand and wide blue sky
- Coast life Cocktails, cruises and camel rides
Rugged, remote and rich with history and culture, coast-hugging Broome offers a unique mix of world-class natural beauty and small-town charm.
An exotic outpost in the isolated Kimberley region of north-west Australia, few places in the world are blessed with Broome’s trifecta of wildly beautiful beaches, cultural diversity and fascinating heritage. Broome’s wealth was built on mother-of-pearl, when the shell of the pearl oyster, Pinctada maxima, was used to make buttons. At the industry's peak in 1912, more than 2,000 Japanese, Chinese, Malay, Indonesian, Koepanger (Timorese) and Pacific Islanders worked here. Two world wars, followed by the introduction of plastic buttons in the Fifties, brought the local pearl-shell trade to an end, but the rise of cultured pearling (in which pearls are grown artificially within farmed oysters) has breathed fresh life into the town's love affair with luxury. Believe the Brumours and add this romantic getaway to your wish-list.
Do go/Don’t go
Peak season is during the dry season from May to October, when days are fine and temperatures range from the high 20s to low 30s (Celsius). Fewer tourists visit Broome during the wet (November to April) when it’s hot and humid, but storm chasers and wildlife watchers will be delighted by this fertile tropical time.
Planes Qantas (www.qantas.com.au) flies direct to Broome International Aiport (www.broomeair.com) from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. Virgin Australia (www.virginaustralia.com.au) flies direct from Adelaide and has connecting flights from other cities. Skywest (www.skywest.com.au) and Airnorth also fly to Broome from regional Australia, including links from Perth, Darwin, Kununnura and Learmonth (Exmouth). Overseas travellers should fly to Perth, then get a connecting flight to Broome. The airport is within walking distance of the town centre, or grab a cab or hire-car.
Boats Boatie types can join a lengthy cruise that either starts or ends in Broome, and enjoy a rare glimpse of the Top End’s hidden bays, cascades and islands.
Automobiles Broome’s attractions are spread between the town centre and Cable Beach, seven kilometres apart, so it’s advisable to hire a car (even for part of your stay). You'll find hire-car firms at the airport, including Avis and local operators. If you'd rather tootle around town on a scooter, you can hire a 50cc scooter if you have a regular car licence. Try Broome Scooter Hire, Mobility Scooters, BroomeBroome, Bolwell Scooters or Red Devil Scooters. (Note: you cannot drive rental vehicles onto the beach). Experienced four-wheel drivers may want to venture further afield along the scenic Gibb River Road (closed from December to April, depending on conditions – call 1800 013 314).
- Taxis Your chances of flagging a ride down are slim, so book in advance with Broome Taxis (www.broometaxis.com.au; 131 008), Chinatown Taxis (1800 811 772) or Pearl Town Taxis (1800 622 433).