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  • Things to do in Broome: Where to Dine, Stay and Play in the Pearl of the Kimberley

Things to do in Broome: Where to Dine, Stay and Play in the Pearl of the Kimberley

With an enchanting mix of multicultural spots to dine, stay and play, here is our round-up of things to do in Broome.

The Mangrove Hotel
The Mangrove Hotel

Once upon a time, the pearling industry put this remote coastal town on the map. Today, Broome's multiculturalism connects with its Asian neighbours, which is evident through its rich history and contemporary cuisine.

Ruled by its tropical climate and tides, many of Broome's attractions adhere to the gravitational pull, drawing visitors far and wide, not to mention the short flight from Perth, which keeps it a local favourite. The landscape always thrills no matter what time of the year you visit.

Here is our round-up of the best things to do in Broome and the lowdown on where to dine, stay, and play in this iconic coastal town in the Kimberley.

Things to do in Broome: Play

Shinju Matsuri – Festival of the Pearl
Shinju Matsuri – Festival of the Pearl

Shinju Matsuri – Festival of the Pearl

2023 saw the biggest Shinju Matsuri festival yet, with a fortnight of culinary and cultural events celebrating the exquisite pearls of the region, so we can only imagine what the 2024 event will be like. The Dahlia Designs Shinju Opening Ball held in the new Shinju Matsuri Festival Hub by Spinifex Brewing Co. set the tone for the festivities.

The Sunset Long Table Dinner is one of the most epic long table events in the state, where diners are treated to a specially curated menu designed by chef Khanh Ong beneath the stars on Cable Beach. Make sure you add the Chinatown Fest, Jetty Gala and Floating Lantern events to your dance card.

August 17 - September 2024

Visit a Pearl Farm
Visit a Pearl Farm

Visit a Pearl Farm

As far back as the early 1900s, legends about Broome's lustrous pearls spread to the Far East, attracting pearl farmers from as far away as Japan, even though they already had a thriving pearling industry. With annual temperatures and sheltered bays attributing to the quality of the precious South Sea Pearls of the region, visitors are welcome to delve into the industry with a visit to a pearl farm or jewellery showrooms glittering with precious keepsakes in Chinatown.

One of the best things to do in Broome is to visit a pearl farm, where you'll gain an insight into the workings of pearling industry and discover the five virtues of a pearl: size, shape, colour, surface and lastly, lustre, which many believe is the most important.

Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm is located on the Dampier Peninsula, approximately 200km from Broome, and a visit here is one of our favourite things to do in Broome. What sets Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm apart is its research and development into cutting-edge science at a genetic level. Owned and run by the Brown Family, with over 70 years of pearling experience, they're considered the pioneers of pearling. While here, take a pearl farm tour, sea safari, or cultural tour, sample pearl meat at the restaurant, stay overnight and indulge at their showroom. To reach Cygnet Bay, take the sealed Cape Leveque Road or a flight with Air Kimberley.

Willie Creek Pearl Farm is 38km from Broome and well worth a visit to delve into the pearling industry with a tour of the farm, pearl experiences (such as harvesting your own pearl), or a scenic helicopter tour. Their showroom has a wide range of pearls and jewellery for sale.

Cygnet Bay and Willie Creek also have showrooms in Broome and Perth, and you can purchase their pearls in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland.

Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm Sea Safaris
Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm Sea Safaris

Cygnet Bay Giant Tides Sea Safaris

The Kimberley Coast is home to the world's largest tropical tides, and Cygnet Bay's Giant Tides Sea Safaris take passengers on a thrilling boat ride to experience the standing waves and whirlpools, or to see a waterfall emerge from the sea. One of the many wonders of Broome that has to be seen to be believed. 

Salty Plum Social Small Bar Walking Tour
Salty Plum Social Small Bar Walking Tour

Salty Plum Social Small Bar Walking Tour

Husband and wife Chris and Robyn Maher are the dynamic duo behind Salty Plum Social Small Bar Walking Tour (from $65), which is one of the best things to do in Broome. By drawing on their experiences of living in Broome for decades and sharing quirky anecdotes along the way, visitors gain a local perspective. Expect bar and art tours in the historic part of Chinatown and on the Wayfarers Gourmet Experience in the Town Beach precinct.

The Pearling Master's Trek delves into Broome's pearling industry, while the Pearl Showroom Walking Tour is perfect for anyone keen to invest in the finest pearls in the world under the expertise of your hosts.

Mud-Crabbing
Mud-Crabbing

Go Mud-Crabbing

Looking for a flavour-filled morning adventure during your time in Broome? Look no further than this mud-crabbing expedition by Broome Tours (from $265). It's all in search of the prized Kimberley Mud Crab, where, over five hours, you can learn how Broomies navigate the creek systems and tidal movements to catch these tasty morsels. You'll also get to enjoy a scenic morning cruise through Roebuck Bay on their 42ft catamaran Ballena.

From $265

Visit Broome's Markets
Visit Broome's Markets

Visit Broome's Markets

Every weekend from April until October, the Broome Courthouse Markets offer over 100 stalls selling locally-produced art, fashion, jewellery and food. With stalls interspersed between boab trees, the markets have been operating for over 25 years and have grown into a major tourist attraction during Broome's dry season. The Staircase to the Moon Night Markets are rapidly becoming just as famous and run from April to November on full moon nights and Thursday nights at the Town Beach precinct from June to September, showcasing local products, crafts and food.

Mabu Buru Tours
Mabu Buru Tours

Mabu Buru Tours 

Discover things hidden in plain sight throughout Broome and its surrounding landscape, taste seasonal fruits, encounter local wildlife, and hear ancient creation stories and traditional songs.

Conducting unique wildlife experiences and meaningful cultural experiences since 2019, Mabu Buru Tours is a go-to in Broome for providing an Indigenous perspective to the landscape in and around this beautiful part of the Australian landscape. It's an excellent way to introduce visitors to the ancient cultural practices of the West Kimberley region, making this one of the most essential things to do in Broome. 

Join a Cable Beach cultural tour to learn about Yawuru culture and country before tracking down ancient dinosaur footprints. Or embrace Wakaj (meaning 'the coming together of family'), an authentic cultural gathering experience where you'll be introduced to the Karajarri culture using damper making, camp-style billy boiling, and a traditional dance performance that will take you into the sunset, with the songs of the Karajarri people echoing throughout the surrounding bushland. 

From $75

Willie Cruises
Willie Cruises

Take a Sunset Cruise

For a spectacular perspective of Broome, a cruise at sunset bathes the coast in gold and captures all the romance of a bygone era aboard a pearl lugger with Willie Pearl Cruises. Sea West has partnered with Cygnet Bay Pearls, where you'll experience a first-hand pearl harvest and sea-to-plate epicurean feast. Broome Cruises also offers a Sunset, Seafood and Pearling Cruise with a seven-course menu showcasing the region's seafood and produce, compliments of the executive chef Tony Howell. When it comes to romance, this is one of our favourite things to do in Broome.

Broome Astro
Broome Astro

Broome Astro Tours

known as Australia's Space Gandalf, Glenn Quickie delivers intensely practical astronomy guidance in the heart of the Kimberley. His popular Astro Tours are a joyful experience, offering a two 1/2-hour educational and entertaining mind-bender involving giant telescopes, lasers, and fun under some of the best stargazing skies on the planet. It's one of the most incredible things to do in Broome.  

Greg runs star shows for the public from April/May to October/November at the Astro Tours dark site, an easy 20-minute drive out of Broome, Western Australia.

From $75 

Find out more here

Roebuck Bay (Photo credit: Salty Wings)
Roebuck Bay (Photo credit: Salty Wings)

Explore Broome's Spectacular Beaches

Broome is famous for its beaches; you can't miss Cable Beach at sunset. It's one of the few beaches patrolled by surf lifesavers and is safe for swimming – unless the beach is closed due to a rare crocodile sighting. While here, partake in one of the best things to do in Broome with a camel ride, ideally at sunset.

Town Beach is also safe for swimming in the vibrant turquoise water that pops against the pink sand in true Kimberley fashion. If you're wondering where much of that drone footage with the orange sand is shot, it's probably over Roebuck Bay, where you'll see turtles, dolphins, and dinosaur footprints, especially if you take a boat tour with Dinosaur Adventures (from $96).

The unusual rock formations at Entrance Point have created one of the most spectacular beaches, and it's easy to see why this spot is so famous for photography and weddings. Reddell Beach and James Price Point are other pristine, vibrant beaches to add to your Broome bucket list because, as far as sightseeing goes, a visit to the beach is one of the best things to do in Broome.

Horizontal Falls
Horizontal Falls

Horizontal Falls

Located within 1000 islands of the Buccaneer Archipelago in Talbot Bay, the Horizontal Falls are best viewed from above on a scenic flight. But then you'd miss feeling the wild spray on your face as you speed through the twin peaks on a cruise between the McLarty Ranges. This natural wonder causes seawater to build up faster on one side of the channel, and as it becomes trapped, it's pushed out horizontally into a waterfall.

As the tide changes, so does the direction, causing a whirlpool effect. It's another example of Broome living by its tides and the 10-metre differences between low and high tides. Several tour operators offer a range of ways to enjoy the Hairy Horries, the affectionate nickname for this natural phenomenon, including Horizontal Falls Seaplane Adventures and Kimberley Boat Cruises.

Gantheaume Point. Image credit: Western Australia
Gantheaume Point. Image credit: Western Australia

Gantheaume Point

Turquoise and red pindan hues are ever present in the Kimberley, often inspiring works of art depicting the landscape. Gantheaume Point is a prime example of this colour palette and is also the site of Broome's first spa named Anastasia's Pool, where the high tides create a whirlpool effect in the carved-out rock.

If you visit during low tide, check out the ancient dinosaur footprint, one of the many scattered along Broome's 80 km coastline visible from Gantheaume Point's red cliffs, including the iconic Cable Beach.

Sun Pictures, Chinatown (Photo Credit: Abby Murray)
Sun Pictures, Chinatown (Photo Credit: Abby Murray)

Chinatown

Remnants of Broome's colourful past are still evident in Chinatown, particularly with its original tin buildings, a material favoured for its availability, cyclone rating and ease of transportation in the late 1880s. One prime example is the iconic Sun Pictures building on Carnarvon Street, constructed at the turn of the century. Originally owned by the Yamasaki family, it was a Japanese emporium and then a playhouse before it was sold and converted into an outdoor theatre.

In keeping with its heritage, the red carpet on opening nights is often replaced with the red soil of Kimberley. Today, Chinatown's streets are lined with pearl and jewellery showrooms, boutiques, galleries and cafes. While in town, stroll along the revamped Streeter's Jetty, once lined with wooden pearling luggers bobbing among the mangroves for two kilometres to Town Beach.

Photo Credit: Visit Broome - Staircase to the Moon
Photo Credit: Visit Broome - Staircase to the Moon

Staircase to the Moon

Witnessing the Staircase to the Moon is an unforgettable natural marvel worth making the journey to Broome alone. The full moon rises over the exposed tidal flats of Roebuck Bay two to three days a month between March and October and is best witnessed from Town Beach or the Mangrove Hotel Resort, where you can enjoy the spectacle over dinner and a bevy or two. For 2024 Staircase to the Moon dates, check the website.

Malcolm Douglas Crocodile Park
Malcolm Douglas Crocodile Park

Malcolm Douglas Crocodile Park

Enter another world through the jaws of a giant saltwater crocodile. Welcome to Malcolm Douglas Crocodile Park; you're here for one reason: the famous daily feeding tour. It showcases some of the most giant crocodiles on display in Australia - and it's a jaw-dropping sight! A wee bit chicken? The park is also home to breathtakingly colourful birdlife, a cassowary, kangaroos, euros, wallabies, emus, jabirus, snakes, and lizards.

The shop museum is another highlight, showcasing an extraordinary display of Malcolm Douglas's forty years spent producing his famous adventure films. 

From $80

Broome Road, Roebuck

Things to do in Broome: Dine

The Wharf Restaurant Broome
The Wharf Restaurant Broome

The Wharf Restaurant Broome

Less is always more when it comes to seafood, and The Wharf Restaurant Broome understands this well by allowing the ingredients to shine. This contemporary restaurant is famed for its Japanese-inspired dishes, particularly the kingfish sashimi, izakaya plates, and sake-grilled scampi. They also have gourmet takeaway options perfect for seaside sunsets. 

4 Sanctuary Road, Broome

Moontide Distillery
Moontide Distillery

Moontide Distillery

As Broome's only distillery, Moontide Distillery proudly incorporates native and local botanicals into its gins and spirits. Kakadu plum (gubinge) and native lemon myrtle are just some of the unique flavours of the Kimberley used combined with the purity of the monsoonal rain to create a refreshing backdrop to the tropical climate. While here, enjoy a tour of the distillery, a gin tasting, browse their store, and devour a cheeseboard with a gin paddle.

17 Gwendoline Crossing, Billinngurr

the aarli broome restaurant australia
The Aarli

The Aarli

For one of the most innovative menus in town, The Aarli embodies Broome's Asian heritage with dishes like the pork belly with pineapple caramel, prawn wontons, jungle curry, sweet and sour lamb ribs, and pork banh mi.

The menu is designed to be shared, meaning you and your dining companions can indulge in as many dishes as humanly possible. Situated in Chinatown, it's also an excellent spot to chat with the locals over cocktails. Eating your way through the local produce is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Broome,

6 Hamersley Street, Broome

Matso's Brewery
Matso's Brewery

Matso's

As Matso's is the only brewery in town and the most remote one in Australia, this mash brewery is a must on any trip to Broome. Famed for its alcoholic ginger beer and award-winning craft beer, including mango beer, few things are as iconic as sitting on the deck with a brew in hand overlooking Roebuck Bay.

And what could be more Australian than enjoying such moments with a steak sandwich, sharing plates, or grilled barramundi, right? Well, perhaps a stay across the road at the Moonlight Bay Suites (from $265 per night) in a self-contained apartment might top it.

60 Hamersley Street, Broome

The Bay Club
The Bay Club

The Mangrove Hotel – The Bay Club and Johnny Sausage

If you've timed your trip to coincide with the Staircase to the Moon, the Mangrove Hotel (from $199 per night) is one of the best spots to witness this spectacular phenomenon. As you can imagine, the hotel gets pretty busy on those nights, so luckily, there are two fantastic restaurants to choose from – The Bay Club and Johnny Sausage.

Leaning into Broome's Bali-esque vibes thanks to the tropical and laid-back pace, The Bay Club invites lengthy lingers over grazing plates, preferably with some horizontal time in one of the cabanas overlooking Roebuck Bay. Those cabanas will also be helpful after indulging in the Italian menu at Johnny Sausage over duck ravioletti, porchetta and bistecca alla Fiorentina.   

47 Carnarvon Street, Broome

papa fuego broome restaurant australia
Papa Fuego

Papa Fuego

There are two main seasons in Broome – hot and humid – with variations in intensity depending on the time of year you visit. Since Papa Fuego opened, the dining scene has become even hotter. The clue is in the name with "fuego," bringing the "fire" to its Argentinian menu where meaty dishes, aka parrilla, are flame grilled over Western Australian hardwoods.

We're drooling over the Tira de Asada (Argentinian-style crosscut beef short rib) and the Cuadril de Cordero (lamb rump marinated in garlic, chipotle, and cilantro). Begin with empanadas or ceviche and end with the churros or crème caramel flan. Unless you go all out with the Feed Me Fuego menu for $99 per person – and cue the meat coma.

2 Louis Street, Broome

Roebuck Hotel
Roebuck Hotel

Roebuck Bay Hotel

Like a bit of live music and nightlife on your itinerary? You'll love the historic Roebuck Bay Hotel, where you can experience a slice of authentic Broome life in a fun and affordable fashion. Broome's longest-standing hotel can be found nestled in the centre of the original Chinatown, right in the heart of the city, and its passion for entertaining locals and tourists alike is what gives the Roey that special kind of atmosphere inherent to a winning night out.

Not just for drinking and boogying on into the early hours, The Roey is an extensive complex with good quality accommodation, a relaxed bar and bistro, and a sports bar. But for the more lively crowds, the outdoor music venue Oasis Bar and late-night club Skylla Lounge are where you need to gravitate. 

26 Dampier Terrace, Broome

zanders broome restaurant
Zanders

Zanders 

This beachfront gem is all about those relaxed, tropical holiday vibes. With refreshing cocktails, a casual, modern Australian menu, and the pristine sands of Cable Beach steps away, the award-winning Zanders effortlessly captures the essence of Broome's laid-back lifestyle. Come for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and you'll definitely be back again.  

Cable Beach Road West, Cable Beach

Things to do in Broome: Stay

Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm
Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm

Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm

Since the road 200 kilometres north of Broome along the Cape Leveque Road was sealed, Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm is an easy drive during the dry season or a short flight with Air Kimberley - and has truly become an essential Broome activity. But did you know that it also hosts an array of gorgeous accommodation options?

Stay in the original pearling shacks, cottages, private retreats or safari tents in air-conditioned comfort with ensuites. Pearling experiences, sea safaris, a visit to Shell Island, fishing adventures or an indigenous cultural tour keep visitors enthralled, plus the infinity pool is a refreshing end to a tropical day. 

From $265 per night

Cygnet Bay, Cape Leveque Road, Broome

Kimberley Quest
Kimberley Quest

Kimberley Quest

Cruising through the Kimberley on a luxury yacht is the ultimate bucket list item and one of our favourite things to do in Broome. The sleek Kimberley Quest is one of the most idyllic ways (and often the only way) to explore the region's rugged cliffs, hidden river systems, wildlife, caves, rainforests, waterfalls, and idyllic beaches. Itineraries run from February to October, and serving seafood that may have been recently swimming by to a select few guests, there is no better way to sail off into the sunset. 

From $4500 per person

14 Tanami Drive, Broome

The Billi Resort
The Billi Resort

The Billi Resort

Step into paradise at the luxurious Billi Resort. Just ten minutes away from Broome and moments from Cable Beach, this secluded escape is surrounded by lush, tropical gardens, raised timber walkways, and tranquil surroundings. The Billi Resort offers premium holiday villas with fully equipped kitchens, outdoor showers, and a private patio with a barbecue. All rooms have access to the gardens and swimming pool.

From $286 per night

97 Oryx Road (Lullfitz Drive), Cable Beach

Cable Beach Club Resort & Spa
Cable Beach Club Resort & Spa

Cable Beach Club Resort & Spa

As the name suggests and situated opposite Broome's most famous beach, Cable Beach Club offers studios, bungalows, villas and suites designed with a mix of colonial and Asian charm with corrugated iron, natural timbers and a rich colour palette typical of the Kimberley. There are several excellent dining options, with the Sunset Bar and Grill providing iconic sunsets as camels sway by every evening. The day spa, pools, a range of facilities and the Buddha Sanctuary ornamental garden ensure this resort maintains its international status.

From $399 per night 

Cable Beach Road, Broome

Oaks Broome Hotel
Oaks Broome Hotel

Oaks Broome Hotel

Situated in Roebuck Bay, the Oaks Broome Hotel combines style and affordability with its self-contained one and two-bedroom studios. 1861 Restaurant and bar, named after the year when pearls were discovered in Broome, serves breakfast and dinner in tropical surroundings. With two swimming pools and the beach across the street, you're in a prime position for a stroll to witness the Staircase to the Moon.

From $199 per night

99 Robinson Street, Broome

Bali Hai Resort and Spa from above.
Bali Hai Resort and Spa from above.

Bali Hai Resort and Spa

Drawing on its proximity to Indonesia, the Bali Hai Resort and Spa exudes Balinese style in each of its studios and villas with private courtyards and stone and timber details - some even have outdoor bathrooms for tropical bathing. The onsite Bali Hai Café serves up Asian-inspired fare, and if you don't already feel like you had been transported to Bali, the day spa will complete the journey. 

From $283 per night

6 Murray Road, Cable Beach

Seashells Broome
Seashells Broome

Seashells Broome

Just entering the tropical grounds of the Seashells Broome instantly infiltrates your being with holiday vibes. The self-contained one, two and three-bedroom apartments invite you and your entourage to make yourselves at home before hitting the pool or strolling to the Wharf Restaurant and Cable Beach. With properties across the state, the Seashells group regularly has special offers, especially if you sign up for their rewards program and mobile app.

From $252 per night

4-6 Challenor Drive, Cable Beach

The Bay Club at Mangrove Hotel
The Bay Club at Mangrove Hotel

Mangrove Hotel

Overlooking Roebuck Bay, the Mangrove Hotel has one of the most idyllic views in Broome and a front-row seat to the Staircase to the Moon a couple of times a month. Plenty of other activities, like live music on Friday nights, yoga on Saturday mornings and culinary adventures at Johnny Sausage and the Bay Club while keep you entertained when venturing out from your stylish room or suite overlooking the bay.

From $198.55 per night

47 Carnarvon Street, Broome

Eco Beach Wilderness Retreat
Eco Beach Wilderness Retreat

Eco Beach Wilderness Retreat

Imagine waking up to the sound of waves lapping metres away while cocooned in luxury in the Kimberley? About 130 kilometres south of Broome and on the pristine coastline of Cape Villaret, lies oceanfront eco tents, villas and beach houses at the Eco Beach Wilderness Retreat.

Energy and water-saving appliances and fittings are part of the clever design ensuring sustainability within this virtually untouched environment, where guests are encouraged to literally immerse themselves in by taking a mud bath in the mangroves... accompanied by Australian bubbles, of course. Fishing, kayaking, paddle boarding, yoga, caving and helicopter flights are also on offer. 

From $1208 per night

323 Thangoo Station, Great Northern Highway, Broome

Things to do in Broome: Transport

Sundowner Camel Tours
Sundowner Camel Tours

Hiring a car from the airport when you first arrive is the best way to get around as taxis and Ubers are scarce, and the public bus can be limiting. Refer to the Road Safety Commission for more information about driving in this sometimes challenging terrain, thanks to monsoon season.

There are plenty of fun ways to explore the region with local tour operators. InStyle Adventures will take you on the road less travelled in style throughout the Kimberley. For a heart-racing experience, Broome Trike Tours will whizz passengers around on their Harley, custom trike bikes and hybrid limousines through town for bushtucker tours, mango wine tasting, crocodile feeding, or at sunset. But one of the most iconic Broome experiences is to ride a camel on Cable Beach, and there are three operators to choose from: Broome Camel Safaris and Red Sun Camels and Cable Beach Camels.

Horizontal Falls Seaplanes
Horizontal Falls Seaplanes

Only a two-and-a-half hour flight from Perth, Qantas and Virgin Australia also run flights from other major capital cities and internationally. If you're up for the challenge of driving over 2,000 kilometres from Perth to Broome, give yourself between five to seven days and stop off along the way at the Pinnacles, Kalbarri, Coral Bay, Exmouth, Karijini National Park and Eighty Mile Beach.

It's best to attempt the road trip during the dry season between May and October to avoid road closures and flooding. Most roads are sealed, but a 4WD will allow you to go off-road. Visiting Broome during the wet season from November to March rewards with spectacular thunderstorms and dramatic skyscapes, not to mention incredible photo opportunities.

Did you love our roundup of the best things to do in Broome? Keep exploring WA and pay a visit to the wine region of Margaret River, take a day trip from Perth, or discover the best of port city Bunbury.

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