Best of Broome

by Sunday, May 26, 2019

Catriona Rowntree shares the best of Broome in this week’s Catriona’s Check-in.

I get almost teary over the beauty of Broome. I can’t return enough and every time I return I meet people who’ve popped over for a holiday and decided to stay for a lifetime.

However, when I was flying over recently, I met a lady in the airport lounge who said she was going to Broome for a holiday but was worried she’d get bored. Well, I nearly fell off my barstool and declared I would put a list together of some of the many activities to get up to. Enjoy our ‘Best of Broome’ and buy a pearl for me while you’re at it…kidding…not really.

Before we embark on the full list, I wanted to share a few of my top tips on where to eat, where to shop and where to explore the most divine art!

  • Eat: Broome has the most wonderful fresh and diverse food. But if you’d like to try pearl meat in a beautiful environment, I’d suggest La Perle at Kimberley Sands resort. So yummy!
  • Art: My top shops are Sobrani (behind Matsos), James Down at Broome Gallery (love his quirky dog, Iscar) and Emily at Short Street (Indigenous Art).
  • Shop: Hats by Felicity, found at the markets are for the super chic and Ozbrero’s stock my pick for the all-time best designed kids and fisherman’s hat. So good.

There’s literally a never-ending list of things to do in and around Broome and thanks to our friends at Kimberley Sands Resort & Spa in Broome, we can share this list of well-known activities, as well as some lesser known ones and the iconic things to do.

  1. Pack a cheese platter and head for the sunset on the sand at Cable Beach. Go north of the rocks to take your 4WD and see (or ride) the camels. Or go the whole hog and do a ‘lock-in’ as the locals call it. Make your way north of the rocks (earlier in the day) while the tide is low enough and then enjoy the beach with just a limited few as the tide comes in and prevents others from driving on for a couple of hours, until the tide recedes again. This is living by the tides!
  2. Watch a big (spring) tide roll in at Town Beach on Roebuck Bay – the colours are truly magnificent!
  3. Head to the Courthouse markets on Saturday mornings or the Town Beach markets every Thursday night during the season to get a feel for life in Broome.
  4. Try to time your stay with a staircase to the moon event if you can! Watching the moon rise over the low tide exposed mud flats of Roebuck Bay is a sight to behold.
  5. Indulge in a half or full day fishing charter or whale watching cruise off Broome – such fun to be had either in the bay or off the coast of Cable Beach.
  6. Head to Gantheaume Point in search of the famous dinosaur footprints (on low tide only).
  7. Book an evening star-gazing extravaganza with Mr Space Gandalf himself, aka local icon Greg Quicke.
  8. Join local Yawuru man Bart Pigram for a walking tour of Broome like no other!
  9. When there’s a nice big spring tide, head to Coconut Wells where the natural forming lagoon fills with turquoise water. Take your picnic lunch and floating lilo for a day of relaxation!
  10. Hire a car and drive to Reddell Beach on the southern tip of the Broome peninsula. You’ll see stunning red cliffs bordering a pristine stretch of beautiful beach and rocky coves.
  11. Get stuck into a bowl of chilli mudcrab or barra wings at The Wharf Restaurant. Yummo!
  12. In fact, make sure you eat out at lots of fantastic places around town – there’s a heap of hidden gems when you take a closer look. And have a beer at Matso’s Broome Brewery of course!
  13. Wander the historic streets of Chinatown, shop for pearls and diamonds perhaps, and gather a feel for the old pearling days when the luggers used to dock at Streeters Jetty.
  14. Attend an iconic Broome event such as the Races at the Broome Turf Club, the Cable Beach Polo (of course), or Shinju Matsuri (Festival of the Pearl).
  15. If you have more time, grab a 4WD and venture up the Dampier Peninsula in search of more spectacular coastline and unique places to stay. Middle Lagoon, Kooljaman Cape Leveque and Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm offer brilliant experiences on the remote north coast.
  16. A bit closer to Broome, take a short day trip to James Price Point. Make sure a stop-in (and maybe lunch or coffee) at Willie Creek Pearl Farm is on the agenda. The pindan coast comes alive!
  17. Take a scenic flight or three! Seriously – the best way to get a real perspective of this land is from the air. No need to say anymore.
  18. Check out a movie at the oldest outdoor picture theatre in the world – Sun Pictures! And duck for cover when a plane comes into land over Chinatown mid-film!
  19. Grab a group of friends or acquaintances and some small leisure boats and head out for an afternoon of fun. Find a calm, protected location along the coast or in the bay and ‘raft-up’. Join all the boats together with ropes and literally form your own floating lounge room for the day. Bliss!
  20. We could continue on about the historical museum, the Japanese cemetery, the hovercraft base and tours, the Mango Place at 12 Mile, etc. But in essence, no one ever fits in everything on their first visit to Broome – it typically gets under your skin and you just ‘need’ to come back for more, and more, and more!
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