Gloriously isolated, surrounded only by the aquamarine waters of the Indian Ocean and lush mangroves, Broome is not a very well-trodden stop on the Aussie tourist circuit but it is a real treasure. Its popularity amongst native Australians is testament to the laid-back charm of this region that clings to a peninsula jutting out into the Indian Ocean on the western side of the continent.
As the sun sets towards Madagascar in the balmy evenings, it’s clear why Cable Beach in particular is held highly as one of the very best beaches around. Visits are usually more popular in the dry season between April to October, where the beaches are at their best and the town is at its most lively.
But Broome is not just a beachside resort: it also has an interesting history based on the pearling industry, when divers would go in search of mother pearls in oysters.
Cable Beach, Broome
The beach which takes its name from an undersea telegraph cable that came ashore in 1899 is perhaps Western Australia’s most iconic landmark. Looking out on the Indian Ocean, this a glorious stretch of sand. South of the rocks, walking trails snake through the red dunes of the Minyirr Park, a coastal reserve which is held in high spiritual regard by the Yawuru people. Back on the beach, an evening camel ride is one of the main attractions for many, as are the sunsets enjoyed from one of the restaurants on the esplanade.
It may not be the considered the most rock and roll of pursuits, but birdwatching in Broome is absolutely fascinating because of the sheer number of different species that live in and around the area: there are around 300 different birds here, and one of the best places to see them in action is the Broome Bird Observatory. For the most dedicated, there are camping spots available at the location as well, so you can fling open the tent entrance in the morning and watch the birds over the bay as the sun rises.
Staircase to the Moon
Between March and October, a string of food and market stalls set up at Town Beach for three nights each month to celebrate the Staircase to the Moon, a natural phenomenon which takes place when a full moon rises over the exposed tidal flats of Roebuck Bay, revealing what looks like a ladder of light leading up to the moon.