Broome is the perfect spot to thaw out this winter.
With the borders relatively stable, visitors from other states are arriving to soak up Broome’s special brand of holiday.
Here’s eight reasons why Broome remains one of the hottest spots to go this winter.
Let’s get the obvious out of the way. Located more than 2,000 km north of Perth, Broome is blessed with clear blue skies and temperatures in the low 30s, even in the dead of winter. The payoff for the tropical climate is the wet season. It occours from October through to March, but the locals will tell you when the dragonflies appear, the dry season is officially on its way. Dry, warm and sunny through winter, Broome is the perfect mid-year reprieve from the cold.
Staircase to the Moon
Also seasonal, Broome’s famous Staircase to the Moon sightings are fleetingly spectacular. It’s not quite blink and you’ll miss it, but three days a month from March until November the full moon rises up over Roebuck Bay and casts a glow so strong onto the mudflats below that a pillar of light forms a ‘path’ to shore.
Find a spot on the sand down at Town Beach or arrive early at The Mangrove Hotel to get a front row seat and a feed. The hotel’s beer garden has 180 degree views out over Roebuck Bay, live music and a well-stocked bar. Tuck into grilled king threadfin and Vietnamese salads while one of Broome’s famous sunsets unfolds. When it’s go time, staff cover the lights, everyone moves up to the balcony edge and the show begins. There’s a gasp from the crowd as we get our first glimpse of the moon’s globe. Then cheers when it rises above the clouds and the light cuts down onto the mudflats.
A melting pot of cusine
Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, Egyptian, Greek, the list goes on. Whether it’s at accommodation like Cable Beach Club and Bali Hai Resort and Spa, or tucked into Broome’s small downtown, Broome’s dining scene will get your taste buds dancing. The Aarli has awards to prove its popularity, serving up modern Australian with heavy Asian influences. Head to Ginreab Thai for cheap and cheerful curries and stir fries. Or go all out at Cable Beach Club’s Cichetti Club, where the handmade pasta has a local following. Make sure you save room for ice cream sundaes at Zanders.
Up close animal encounters are just part of the package when you head to Malcolm Douglas Crocodile Park. It’s one of the most popular things to do in Broome, especially at 3pm when the feeding kicks off. Watch crocodiles chomping down right up against the fence, while you learn about the conservation and animal refuge work taking place.
Thousands of crocodiles have been rehomed at the sprawling park, which is 15 minutes drive from Broome. For tourists without a car, hop aboard a Broome and Around bus tour. You’ll arrive at the park just in time for the feeding tour, with the guides pointing out the best spots to stand for all the action. Then you can tick off the 12 Mile Bird Park where black cockatoos will put on their own show.
A quirky icon
It’s not a proper happy hour in Broome if there’s not a Matsos beer involved. The boutique brewery’s ginger beer has made it a household name, at least in Western Australia. And its mango beer isn’t too far behind. Starting life as a bank back in 1910, before a stint as a general store, the Matsos Broome Brewery has character in spades and is a must when you visit Broome. Drop by for a cold beer on tap while you peruse the black and white pictures of past days.
Cable Beach sunsets
Not all sunsets are created equal, and Cable Beach is home to the most famous Broome sunset for a reason. As the sun dips over the Indian Ocean, the sand and the sea turn brilliant shades of purple and pink. The extreme low tides pull the water back, giving the camels, the four wheel drives and locals and tourists alike plenty of space to spread out and enjoy the show.
Got a soft spot for pearls? Put Broome on your list and bring your spending money. Broome was built on buttons, so the saying goes. Back in the late 1800s precious mother of pearl harvested from the Pinctada maxima oyster secured top dollar.
These days the button demand is gone, but the pristine, well-filtered waters of this part of the Kimberley produce some of the world’s most sought after pearls. The Brown family pioneered pearl harvesting from a floating makeshift laboratory at their remote Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm in the 1960s. These days, it’s a much slicker operation but there’s still the same passion and perfectionism that put them on the map.
On a day trip with Air Kimberley, we soar over the stunning swirls of turquoise water and blindingly white sand of the Dampier Peninsula before touching down on Cygnet Bay’s red dirt runway. The day is spent out on the ocean, riding the powerful tidal waves, learning about pearl grading, and importantly, pearl shopping.
Visit Broome as a gateway to the Kimberley
For many travellers, Broome is the first stop on a once in a lifetime trip north to the Kimberley region. You can drive, sail or fly from Broome to major landmarks like the Horizontal Falls, the Bungle Bungles and Cape Leveque.
While you’re at Cygnet Bay, join one of the farm’s Sea Safaris and zip around the islands of the Buccaneer Archipelago in a 12 seater boat designed to navigate the famously high tides. The Great Tides tour takes you into the eddies and whirlpools of spring tides of up to 12 metres. The tides push down past the islands with incredible force twice a day when the sun and moon align, so check the schedule before you arrive. Halfway between a cruise and a jet boat ride, the two hour tour will blast the wind through your hair. You’ll leave filled with awe for the power of nature in its element.
Whether you want to soak up some warm weather or venture out into the wild, Broome is waiting for you.
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