From cliff jumping and paddle boarding to marvelling at the beautiful Cable Beach sunsets, these are just some of the best things to do in Broome, Western Australia
Not all that many people visit the west when they’re travelling in Australia and even fewer venture all the way up north to the Kimberley region, where Broome is located.
Broome is isolated, that’s for sure – it’s closest towns are Derby, a three-hour drive to the east, and Port Hedland, six hours to the west.
However, the township of Broome has heaps of great things to offer, from unique cultural experiences to show stopping natural beauty, and is a great spot to visit; whether you’re backpacking Australia or just seeking for a unique place to get some winter sun!
The Top Things to Do in Broome
There are dozens of things to do in Broome, and chances are you’ll need more than one visit to do them all. But to get you started on the right track, these are the best activities in Broome for you to choose from.
Staircase To The Moon
This marvel happens only on full moon, and only at certain parts of the year – as the moon ‘rises’, it creates a ‘staircase’ like effect over the waters below. It’s a real spectacle, that really has to be seen to be witnessed.
The first two days host the markets at Town Beach, which offer local produce, entertainment, souvenirs and delicious dinners from all corners of the globe.
Broome is a town rich in history, which can be experienced on a walk around Chinatown. The town’s popularity rose as it was discovered to be a prominent destination for pearling.
In the first days of the industry, many migrants from Asia came to work on the pearling boats, which gives Broome its diverse society that it has retained to this day, and thus has named this area of the town ‘Chinatown’.
The area contains many pearling shops, Aboriginal art galleries, cafes and restaurants, and the unique architecture is truly one of a kind.
The pearling industry was not without its horrors; in fact, while 80% of the world’s mother of pearl was found in Broome before WWI, many divers met tragedy under the water.
The Japanese Cemetery demonstrates the extraordinary scale of this, as it shows row upon row of tombstones, inscribed with Japanese writing.
Broome History Museum
The Broome History Museum discusses this entire history in further detail; its exhibitions mention the rich Aboriginal history in the area, how the pearling industry saw the founding of the isolated town, and the future of the pearling industry in north western Australia.
It’s a great place to go to learn the background of this incredibly unique town.
Aboriginal Art Galleries
The north west of Australia is an area rich in Aboriginal heritage, so there are lots of art galleries to admire in Broome.
Some of these are from local communities, and some further afield; displaying some of the best Aboriginal artwork from Central Australia and the southern part of the country.
Most of these art galleries are free to enter, and the artwork can often be purchased.
Head down to Matso’s to sample some local Broome beer and locally sourced food. If you’re feeling adventurous, opt to try some of the flavoured beers; they sell them in full or half pints or a sample tray with try flavours such as ginger, lemon or even chilli!
Sun Pictures Cinema
The world’s longest running open air cinema, Sun Pictures is a novelty spot to visit and plays several movies every evening.
The interior is decorated with quirky decor and memorabilia, so even if you can’t make it to watch a film, it’s worth a quick visit!
Things To Do In Cable Beach
About a ten minute drive from Broome (also accessible by bus); Cable Beach is a popular beach stretch with bars, restaurants and accommodation. It’s long too – 22km long to be precise!
Cable Beach Sunsets
Cable Beach sunsets are world renowned, and for great reason; experiencing the sun set over the Indian Ocean from a tropical beach is a spectacular experience.
Enjoy a sunset with your favourite Western Australia brew while sitting on the beach, or if you have a 4WD car, take it past the rocks and drive it down the beach on the hunt for your own private sunset spot.
Stand Up Paddleboarding
You can rent out SUPs from various companies around Cable Beach and take them out into the calm, clear waters around the area.
If you’ve never tried it before, stand up paddleboarding is a lot of fun, and good for you as well! Definitely give it a go when looking for what to do in Broome.
Hang Out At The Bars And Restaurants
With a collection of bars and restaurants in the Cable Beach area, you won’t have to go too far to find a great feed.
Popular options include the Zookeepers Café for breakfast, Zanders and Sunset Bar and Grill for amazing views of Cable Beach and Divers for drinks until 1am.
Willie Creek Pearl Farm
Easily drivable from Broome, the Willie Creek Pearl Farm offers tours which demonstrate exactly how a pearl is farmed in this part of the world.
As well as learning everything you could ever want to know about the pearling industry, you can get right in the action; cruising on the waters of Willie Greek, or take a scenic helicopter flight over the area.
About half an hour from Broome is Coconut Wells, a beach area where, at high tide, one of the dips fills up with water.
It’s a great spot for swimming, four-wheel driving, and marveling at the astonishing coastal beauty of the Kimberley.
It’s a rugged ride to Cape Leveque, which is about 3 hours from Broome via 4WD tracks.
A great destination for those who want to really get off the beaten track, Cape Leveque offers isolated beaches and wild camping opportunities.
Must have – a reliable car and a sense of adventure!
Not one for the budget travellers, but definitely something to put on your bucket list which shows you the very best of coastal Kimberley.
The Horizontal Falls is a spectacle consisting of two gorges facing each other; and at high tide, the water creates a waterfall effect as it passes through the gap.
Horizontal Falls day trips show the Kimberley region at its finest, where red rock meets blue waters, using seaplanes and boats to help you experience the magic of this part of Australia.
The Gibb River Road
A little further out – on the other side of Derby – is the almighty Gibb River Road, one of the most jaw-droppingly beautiful places in Australia.
Here the Kimberley region is in its element, with dramatic gorges, seemingly enchanted waterfalls and rugged 4WD tracks.
From Broome, it’s easy to reach Windjana Gorge – which is one of the best places in the country to see freshwater crocodiles – and Tunnel Creek, which is a network of underwater caves, with Aboriginal art and unique wildlife.
From these points of interest, you can loop back onto the highway to return to Broome.
If your travels are taking you west, there’s plenty more highlights further up the Gibb River Road, such as Bell Gorge, Galvan’s Gorge and El Questro Park.
The Gibb River Road ends near the Northern Territory border; where you can reward yourself with a dip in an infinity pool overlooking Lake Argyle – Australia’s second largest lake!
A popular spot for cliff jumping, Gantheaume Point juts out into the ocean at the height of around eight metres. Also in the area are ancient dinosaur footprints!
How To Get To Broome
Many people visit Broome on a west coast road trip; sometimes it is the start or end of the trip, others it is a key stop on the way from Perth to Darwin.
No matter how you choose to visit Broome, you’re just about guaranteed to fall in love with it once you arrive.
Where To Stay In Broome
The Kimberley Klub
Part of the popular and reliable YHA brand, Kimberley Klub features a games room, pool table and BBQ area, as well as a poolside bar which serves drinks and snacks.
The rooms are spacious and clean, and the hostel offers a complimentary bus service to Cable Beach.
A great option if you’re after some privacy on your trip to Broome, Breezes Apartments offers one or two bedroom apartments with flat screen TVs with DVD players, outdoor dining areas, kitchen and private bathroom facilities. Each apartment is clean, airy and spacious.
The Kimberley Sands Resort and Spa
One of Broome’s most popular hotels, the 5-star Kimberley Sands Resort offers deluxe pool facilities in a gorgeous setting, idyllic rooms all with a private balcony, and fantastic extras such as a great restaurant and free breakfast.
Where To Stay In Cable Beach
Cable Beach Backpackers
A fun hostel with a lively atmosphere, Cable Beach Backpackers is great if you’re looking to meet some fellow travellers over a few drinks.
Set in an outdoors environment, with dorms opening out onto a large common area and pool, this spacious hostel also offers a roomy kitchen and BBQ facilities.
Beaches of Broome
Offering both private rooms and dorms, Beaches of Broome is located a five minute walk from Cable Beach in a serene setting.
Guests can make use of great common spaces, including a pool, kitchen and lounge area and provides free continental breakfast.
Oaks Cable Beach Sanctuary
Located close to Cable Beach, this sanctuary style accommodation offers studios and apartments set around gorgeous lagoon style pools.
Each apartment has its own kitchenette, luxury bathroom, and clean and modern bedroom with all the necessary amenities for a comfortable stay.
Have you been to this iconic Australian town? Let us know in the comments what your favourite things to do in Broome are!