For such a small town Broome has a lot of distractions to bide your time. If you plan 3 days in Broome, expect to extend your time to 5 days. If you plan one week there, it will become 3 weeks. This has been the hardest place to walk away from in Australia.
The Broome history tour is a great and affordable way to acquaint yourself with the pearling mecca. You can also learn more about the city at the Luggers, located right near the main area, Chinatown.
After spending time and money in Chinatown, you can catch the sunset at Cable Beach. Having a drink at one of the restaurants along the water will make you think damn, the Indian Ocean never looked so good.
Tours are tops in Broome, with the most popular being the Cable Beach sunset camel ride. Photos of the camel train walking down the beach during sunset have found there way to every souvenir postcard and stubby holder in town. If you don't care to ride the camels, then show up at Cable Beach, near the Sunset Bar & Grill an hour or so before sunset to get that same photograph. The other popular tour option is the pearl farming tour and the Luggers Tour, which will introduce you to the pearling history that has helped define Broome over the last 100+ years.
The Dragon Boat Races on Town Beach in Broome, during the biggest festival of the year, known as Shinju Matsuri Festival of The Pearl. Shinju celebrates all of the cultural significance in Broome, including the Aboriginal, Japanese, Malay, Chinese and Filipino. They are the influences who have made Broome this eclectic place that so many call home. You see it in the architecture around town and its influence in the food that gets served up nightly at any of the restaurants in town.
Cable Beach, on the Indian Ocean, which was named that after the telegraph cable was laid through here heading to Java, is a most unique beach. The sand is hard, flat and wide. Very, wide like several mall parking lots as cars drive down to launch a canoe, fish or just watch the sunset over the Indian Ocean.
The area from Cape Leveque to Broome is also unique in the sense that you can see actual dinosaur footprints, which were made millions of years ago and held solid as they formed in the rock. This is actually the best area in the world to look at dinosaur footprints, with the area having nine different types that have been identified and confirmed, thus far.
The dinosaur footprints seen in the photo above aren't actual prints, rather it is a cement cast of the actual prints located only a few hundred feet from the lighthouse on Gantheaume Point. The real prints are only visible during very low tide and even then it is a somewhat dangerous walk down the jagged rocks, but if Jurassic Park is your thing, then it may be worth the risk.
Broome also is home to a once in a lifetime opportunity which appears in the form of a a rare phenom known as the staircase to the moon. This is caused by the moon rising over the mud flats of Town Beach, causing a staircase like reflection, leading to the moon.
Fortunately this once in a lifetime opportunity happens three nights in a row, as the moon is large enough to create this effect. Additionally, it only happens during full moons, or every 4 weeks. This rare event occurs every four weeks for 6 months at a time... every year. Even still many come to Broome and, somehow manage to miss out on this once in a lifetime opportunity. Luckily for them, photos can be found in every art gallery and souvenir shop in town and you can also purchase prints of it online. Even if you miss it, you can't miss it.
Matso's Broome Brewery is my highlight of the bar scene in Broome. This craft beer brewer has some pricey yet delicious meals and great local musicians that play during busier nights The highlight of Matso's is obviously the craft brews. Pricing out at $8.50 for a schooner, it can be hard to spend all night here, but one must come here to try the homemade beer in Broome. The Brewer Master at Matso's can also be found enjoying the fruits of his labor at the bar and after a short conversation you will see he is passionate about his work.
While choosing a favorite beer is a bit like picking a favorite child, I would still say mine was a tie for first between Mango and Pale Ale.
Sun Pictures also plays many Australian movies as well as the big hits of the time. According to the sign, this is the world's oldest operating garden cinema. Part of the experience of an outdoor cinema is getting bitten by mossies and watching the bats fly in front of the projection. If that doesn't excite you, bring bug spray.
The worst part of Broome being so far from Cable Beach is that the buses only run until 7pm, so if you want to spend the night drinking $10 drinks and staring at the Indian Ocean, then you have to fork out for a cab to drive you home. Good for taxi cabs, bad for the budget traveler. Zanders and the Sunset Bar & Grill are the two choices that make for a fancy evening out. Want to see what you're missing? Check out Sunset Bar & Grill and Zanders webcams.
In the week I spent drinking and staring at the Ocean I was only able to see a section of what Broome has to offer. Check out the tours if you're only there for a short amount of time and be sure to take a Camel Pearling Tour. That's the tour where the camels a don traditional copper helmet SCUBA suits and take you pearling in the Ocean.
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