Broome is a wonderful and distinctive place. If you haven’t visited previously then a stay of at least two nights is well worth it. Every one of our Kimberley cruise passengers will have a complimentary Broome sights tour that will include Town Beach, Cable Beach, Ganutheme Point and the famous Japanese cemetery amongst others. This tour will give you a great insight into Broome and its history and might be enough for you; along with pearl shopping and hanging by the hotel pool of course.
But if you are after something more then here are a few of my favourite day trips, half day trips and nights out in Broome.
Broome is insanely busy between May and September in particular. If you want a specific experience (camels and Willie Creek Pearls tour for example) then pre-booking is vital.
Take a sunset camel ride on Cable Beach
Possibly the most iconic image people have of Broome is the camel rides along Cable Beach. This has been an institution for over 40 years and is a fun way to experience the sunset on Cable Beach (before heading up to the Sunset Bar at the Cable Beach Club for a drink perhaps?)
I suppose this one is a bit daggy nowadays. And tourist activities involving animals have become less popular in recent years, especially with younger generations. In deference to my daughters I won’t include a link to any of the camel operators. But a quick Google search of “cable beach camels’ should get you there if this is on your bucket list!
Lots of people have asked for specific information about the camels so here are the links (just don’t tell my daughters I told you!)
Watch a Movie at the historic Sun Pictures
A very enjoyable experience in Broome is watching a film at its cinema – Sun Pictures – ‘the world’s oldest Outdoor Picture Garden’. The original building dates back to 1903 with the first film shown in 1913! It’s a really laid back experience. People will often go and get fish and chips or some sort of takeaway food and go into the cinema and sit back and watch the movie while they have their dinner. The seating is essentially deck chair style or, if you want, you can even lie on the grass just in front of the screen! Just be aware that Sun Pictures is directly under the Broome airport flight path so occasionally you do lose some dialogue to aircraft noise!
To check the film schedule at the cinema click here
Learn the art of Pearl farming at Willie Creek Pearls.
The history of Broome over the last 150 years has been dominated by the pearling industry. The Willie Creek Pearl Farm half day tour has become the most popular tour in Broome and we always get very positive feedback. You will learn all about the modern farming process on the tour, watch a live pearl harvest and then enjoy a short cruise (with commentary) through the beautiful surroundings of Willie Creek. This is a thoroughly recommended trip for all visitors to Broome.
For bookings, see this link.
Or if you have a car then the self drive option starts at $89 per person.
See Windjana Gorge and Tunnel Creek
My personal favourite day excursion from Broome is the Windjana Gorge and Tunnel Creek tour operated by 4WD. If you haven’t cruised the Kimberley yet then this day trip will give you a taste of the wondrous scenery that that region is famous for. As well as a guided walk through the gorge and Tunnel Creek you will see the Fitzroy River (one of the Kimberley’s most important and iconic rivers), usually get an opportunity for a swim in a natural waterhole, see an array of birdlife, fruit bats plus the occasional freshwater crocodile (not on your swim!) and view the infamous Prison Boah tree once used as a temporary jail for Indigenous people.
Note you do need to be quite steady on your feet for this one as Tunnel Creek can be quite dark
Pricing for the Windjana Gorge and Tunnel Creek Tour starts at $299 per person and includes picnic lunch, morning & afternoon tea and park permit fees. It is a very full day departing around 7am and returning around 10pm. They pick up and drop off at all the main hotels.
Day trip to the Dampier Peninsula
Another great day trip from Broome is this 4WD trip up to Dampier Peninsula starting at $289 per person.
It’s another long day but well worth the effort and takes in Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm, Beagle Bay aboriginal community and my personal favourite, the “Mother of Pearl’ church.
Both day tours listed above include Broome hotel pick up/drop off.
Look at the stars
Broome is the perfect base for stargazing. Within a few km out of town you are clear of virtually all light pollution. Self-taught local astronomer Greg Quicke, offers informative and fun practical astronomy sessions at various locations just outside Broome. All equipment is provided.
Enjoy a mango (or chilli) beer at Matsos
You will probably visit Matsos (‘the most remote brewery in Australia”) on your day tour. It has become one of the most popular hangouts in Broome. It is a great location for a drink and to enjoy the live music they often have in the gardens on an afternoon.
The Horizontal Waterfalls
The Horizontal Waterfalls are the most famous natural phenomenon in the Kimberley. Tides of up to 12 metres create a horizontal waterfall that flows between two cliffs. The Kimberley is famous for its rugged coastline and the Horizontal Waterfalls are one of its most spectacular features.
These waterfalls are not your typical cascading type. The term ‘horizontal’ is quite accurate as the waterfalls flow horizontally for some 100 metres or so. As the tides change, so does the direction of the waterfall flow. At high tide, when the sea is at its highest point, the water flows towards the coastline. As the tide starts to recede, the waterfalls reverse and flow out to sea.
The falls are the number one ‘must see’ mentioned by people when we start discussing their Kimberley cruise. Don’t worry; any Kimberley cruise that starts or finishes in Broome will include a stop at the falls.
That being said the falls do look magnificent from the air so if you are really keen you can take this day trip by light aircraft from Broome
One important question I am regularly asked is: do you need a car? Despite its small population Broome sprawls and is essentially divided into two areas – Broome town and Cable Beach. In a vehicle it takes about 5-7 minutes to get between the two – it is too far to walk. There is a regular and very reliable bus service in operation that works for most people but sometimes people like the freedom that a car can give you.
My personal view is that if you are staying more than two nights in Broome then consider getting a car for more extensive travel from Broome or just to give a bit more freedom to go locally.
One of my favourite day trips from Broome is to hire a car and drive south down to the Eco Beach resort. It is about a 90 minute drive, mainly on the highway with the last part on a farm track. Your journey is rewarded by a beautiful resort set around an outdoor restaurant with stunning views of the Indian Ocean. On the way back to Broome there are options to stop at a mango farm and a privately owned bird sanctuary.
I’m an expert in small ship cruising in the Kimberley and have completed four cruises on different vessels along this spectacular coastline. With a family I now work part-time so if you would like to have a chat with me about Kimberley cruising at a time that suits you book in a call here and I will call you then.
Cruises in the Kimberley are not ‘one size fits all’ scenario; there are different ships and itineraries each offering their own special elements. If you would like some general information to start your research then download my free guide to Kimberley cruising here. I have also written some really interesting blogs (if I do say so myself) click here to have read.
Here are a few of the most popular ones.
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