Broome, Western Australia is a tropical paradise of unbearably blue ocean, stark red dirt and lush tropical vegetation. If you think of the bright primary colours of blue, red and green placed one on top of the other, then you have the incredible colour contrast of Broome exactly.. with no editing or Photoshopping whatsoever.
Broome was settled originally for its abundance of mother of pearl shell (the biggest found anywhere in the world), and is now famous for its quality of pearls, tropical beaches and amazing sunsets.
We spent four days exploring in this paradise and fell in love. Here are six things to do in Broome that made us love it so much:
1. Enjoy free tastings of mango everything at The Mango Place
The Mango Place is a restaurant and mango farm that produces a range of scrumptious jams, chutneys, sauces and condiments from local ingredients. Its located about 15 minutes drive out of town but is well worth the trip and an amazing experience in itself.
The shop boasts a whole range of free tastings such as mango kasundi and chilli mango jam. If you get the chance, make sure to try the iced mango and ginger spritzer that’ll leave you refreshed and all zingy. The mango cheesecake, a decadently creamy mango concoction on top of a crumbly base and drizzled with mango sauce, is also a must try!
On Friday nights and Sundays they also cook up delicious wood fired pizzas (try the chicken, mango and honey mustard pizza) that can be eaten while relaxing in the cool, lush garden under twinkling lights.
2. Find the dinosaur footprints fossilised at Gantheaume Point
Broome is one of the only places in the world where a range of different dinosaur footprints have been found fossilised in rocks that were once mud flats. These rocks can be seen at low tide extremely close to town at Gantheaume Point.
Make sure you check the tidal charts and visit Gantheaume Point at the lowest tide possible for the best chance to see up to nine different sets of footprints. If you can’t make it at low tide, don’t worry – you’ll find an exact plaster cast mould of some of the footprints on top of the point too.
3. Catch a movie at the world’s oldest outdoor cinemas
The Sun Pictures is the world’s oldest functioning open air cinema and is famous Australia-wide for its deckchairs, starry skies and the daily 7pm aeroplane that flies straight overhead on its way to Perth.
Movies run every night and are $17 for adults. If you don’t get to see a film you can always visit the front room to see some old movie artefacts and souvenirs.
4. Watch the sunset from Cable Beach
We arrived late in the afternoon after a scorching hot day in the car and decided to go straight to the beach to have a quick dip.
As soon as we parked the car we were taken aback by the incredible sunset blazing pinks, oranges and yellows across the sky and the abundance of people surfing, playing volleyball and picnic-ing in the fading light. How picturesque!
The array of activities on Cable Beach are endless. If you want to do the really touristic thing then jump on a camel and take a walk up the beach as the sun sets. Prices are $30-$80 depending on what time of day and the length of the ride.
If you want to sit back and relax in comfort to watch the amazing show of light at sunset, then grab a table at Zanders or Sunset Bar and Grill to have a fresh mango cocktail or a beer and some nibbles with an amazing view.
Many backpackers and locals also take their dinner to the beach and have a picnic on the grass overlooking the wide sandy shore. If you’re looking for some action then ask to join one of the many beach volleyball games or jump in the water for a swim or a surf.
Cable Beach is the northern most point in Western Australia you can swim in the ocean without fear of crocodiles, so if you’re heading further north make sure you take this last opportunity to cool off in the warm salty water. For surfers, check the tidal charts before you jump in as these can change dramatically from day to day and effect the quality of the waves.
5. Try the mango, lychee, chilli or ginger beer at Matso’s Brewery
An institution of Broome, Matso’s Brewery serves up a range of unique beers made from tropical and native bush produce.
Try a tasting paddle that gives you a sip each of five different beers or buy a pint of ginger, chilli, lychee or mango beer or a refreshing mango and wild lime cider.
Sit in the shady garden overlooking Broome’s town beach and enjoy good food and live music most days of the week. On the weekends the Curry Shack is also open in the garden for some scrumptious Asian inspired meals.
6. Be intrigued by Broome’s multicultural history at the Broome Museum
The Broome Museum is a small yet interesting display of Broome’s incredible history. Well organised exhibitions showcase Aboriginal, Malay, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic and European Australian’s attempts at pearl diving and later, pear cultivation. A whole wing of the museum also displays artefacts and a documentary of when Broome was bombed by the Japanese during World War Two.
In the garden out the back you’ll find everything from Japanese fighter jet wrecks to an aboriginal dug-out canoe and a massive Boab tree sporting a pair of sunnies. You can make use of the shade here and enjoy a picnic lunch surrounded by interesting bits and bobs.
For those with more time and money, here’s two more reasons to fall in love with Broome:
If you have more time and money to spend in Broome, there are many more delights to be found. Amazing jewelry shops line the centre of town where you can try on and buy some impressive local pearls. Paspaley Pearls also boasts a little theatre where a Nat Geo documentary plays on loop explaining the incredible two year long process to find, cultivate and harvest pearls (well worth watching).
Broome is perfectly located in the Kimberly region of WA to offer amazing helicopter and water-plane flights up to Cape Leveque and over the famous horizontal waterfalls. We’ve heard its an incredible experience, but opted out due to the hefty price tag. For those with spare money however, it should definitely be on your list of things to do while in Broome.