Broome Western Australia
Broome is a small town in Western Australia, famous for its pearling history and indigenous heritage. William Dampier was the first European to visit the shores of Roebuck Bay in 1688 aboard his ship the H.M.S Roebuck and the town was officially gazetted in November 1883. 1861 was the defining year in Broome's history - A new species, the pearl oyster Pinctada maxima was discovered in Roebuck Bay and turned out to be the largest pearl shell in the world.
Broome is somewhere I've always wanted to visit but just never seem to have gotten there, despite it being a 2.5hour flight from Perth. My sister and I decided to book a scoopon deal which made it a cheap weekend - as for some reason visiting your own state and country from Perth seems to be ridiculously expensive!
The scoopon was for 3 nights in a 2 bedroom apartment at Seashells Resort. The resort was in a great spot with a five minute walk to the world famous Cable Beach, and across the road from a fantastic tapas bar. There were 2 spacious bedrooms, bathroom, living area, kitchen, and a lovely little porch with a daybed. We paid $300 all up, so $150 each for 3 nights was a great deal!
We had friends who live up there who were generous enough to lend us their car - which makes life a bit easier as you definitely need one to get around unless you plan on spending your days at the resort. Broome has a tropical climate, with a wet and dry season. The dry season runs from around April until October and is characterised by warm days, balmy nights and blue skies. The wet season starts around October until March / April and brings with it stinking hot days, thunderstorms and sometimes torrential rain (although all the locals I spoke to said they very very rarely get rain in Broome !). The weather when we went in April was absolutely perfect, although very very muggy.
Favourite places to eat and drink:
When its your first time in Broome, Matso's Brewery will always be one of the first places you visit , the ginger beer is a must try for every tourist ! The food their is also delicious, they had a little Curry Hut out the back on the night I went which was a tray of 3 different curries with rice, and pappadums and was really nice.
The Mango Place
This place is incredible ! http://www.mangowine.com.au/ We paid $5 for some wine tasting which included around 6 different ports and wines. Absolutely beautiful ! We also indulged in the trio of dips with breads, a mango cheesecake and a mango slushie :There was so much to choose from on the menu, and the place has a beautiful tropical setting. Highly recommended for a place to stop for some lunch.
The Mangrove Hotel
The Mangrove must be one of the most beautiful locations I have ever eaten at, and I have eaten at some very cool places all over the world. The hotel is in Roebuck Bay and boats the most incredible views over the Mangroves - the shade of the water was like nothing I have ever seen (besides Lake Tekapo). So aqua, and with the red pindan dirt it makes it even more striking! We came here for both drinks at night, ($10 cocktails were delicious!) and for lunch. The pizzas are amazing, and I'm told by my friends who live up there that they have a kids bouncy castle every Sunday afternoon for a Sunday session. The hotel itself I didn't get much of a look at, but an absolute must to come here and have a drink or some lunch - and watch the tides come into the mangroves. (I'm also told this is the best spot to watch the Stairway to the Moon when its happening - but get there early as it gets packed).
Sunset Bar at Cable Beach Resort
The Sunset Bar & Grill is part of the Cable Beach Resort, and is situated at the top of Cable Beach. It's a great place to come and watch the sunset with a drink and some dinner. We also came here for a buffet breakfast which was $30 and well worth it - lots and lots to choose from, aswell as an amazing view.
Zeebar had recently had a makeover when we were in town - It has a tapas style menu and was absolutely beautiful. The Arancini balls and the new style ribs were my favourites. Definitely recommend this place if you enjoy a tapas menu!
Things to see and do:
I would definitely recommend hiring a car for your time in Broome - most resorts etc have shuttle buses which take you into the town but a hire car would make life much easier.
Willie Creek Pearl Farm
If you are like me and love your pearls, this is a fantastic tour to do. We were able to take the self drive option as we had a car, otherwise there is coach tours that will pick you up from your accommodation and take you out there - It just makes it a little bit pricier. Make sure you call ahead and book your tour, we did the 2pm time slot as the tide was in at that time. The tour takes around 1.5hours all up and includes an educational talk on the history of pearling, and the process of cultured pearls. Then you go off onto the boat where you will take a trip around the creek and hopefully spot some of the resident crocodiles. Lastly you will go into the showroom and take a look at all the beautiful pearl jewellery so make sure you take your credit card 🙂 The roads out there are partly unsealed roads so lots of red dirt, but the trip is easily marked so you shouldn't get lost.
Cable Beach is famous for its 22kms of pure white sand and of course, the camels. We didn't take a camel tour but went down for a drive on the beach at sunset to get some shots of the camels in front of the sunset. The tours are either morning, or pre sunset or sunset tours. All the info you can find here
Turtle Kayak Tour
We decided to book a kayak tour, as I am a huge kayaking lover and I desperately wanted to spot some turtles. The tour started at 9am at Entrance Point, and finished up at 12. We kayaked in pairs around Roebuck Bay, and spotted not only turtles but sea snakes and even a hammerhead shark (which the guide didnt tell me until later ! ) We held some crazy crab races on the beach and stopped for some snacks before kayaking back. The guides were fab and I recommend this tour for those that enjoy the water. The cost was $75 including some snacks and refreshments. You can book and find more information here.
Gantheaume Point is around 10mins from town and hosts castings of dinosaur footprints in the rocks. The real dinosaur footprints preserved in reef rock can be seen at very low tide at the bottom of the cliff. You would have to check on tidal movements to find out what time is best to view them. There is also a hovercraft tour that takes you to the footprints but it can be quite pricey. The point is a popular spot for cliff jumping also. Very picturesque spot !
There are plenty of other activities like pearl lugger tours, fishing, horizontal falls but these were the main things we did, besides shopping, eating and hanging at the beach and pool .
PLEASE NOTE: Broome has microscopic jellyfish called Irukandji which are the smallest and deadliest jellyfish in the world. They are normally seen in tropical waters between November and April and their stings produce severe and sometimes lethal stings so please check for signs before swimming between these months.
Broome is everything and more than I pictured and I cannot wait to go back and explore some more of the area, especially Horizontal falls.