There’s nothing as quintessentially Australian as a family holiday in stunning Broome. Referred to as the ‘pearl’ of the north west, it is also the location of the ‘staircase to the moon.’ We can’t think of a destination more magical or mysterious than this salt water Gurlarrabulu country of the Yawuru people, rich as it is in culture, storytelling and unparalleled landscapes.
Broome may be relatively small, but it packs a whole lot of punch. It is both the gateway to the Kimberley, one of the world’s most remote and epic wilderness areas, and to oceans that are bluer than blue. It blends both unique Japanese and Chinese architecture. Broome is also home to a variety of art galleries and museums as well as its startling waterways and beaches.
But the most iconic of its beaches is surely Cable Beach, a 22-kilometre stretch of sun-kissed sand. It is also here that you can climb atop a rolling and rollicking camel for a sunset ride on the sand.
If your family is seeking other adventures, take a kayak tour, cruise to see the unique horizontal waterfall, or even explore the mudflats at Roebuck Bay by hovercraft. This is in fact a fantastic way for the kids to see the famous 120 million-year-old dinosaur footprints imprinted in the rocks and the wrecks of WWII flying boats.
Head further afield to explore the outback on a Kimberley tour. Find yourselves cruising sprawling Lake Argyle, camping on enormous cattle stations, swimming and fishing in gorges and rivers, hiking over surreal landscapes such as the weird and wacky Bungle Bungles, or immersing yourselves in the fascinating local Indigenous culture. A walk through the dramatic Windjana Gorge should definitely be added to your itinerary. With walls as high as 100 metres, the gorge is transformed into the Lennard River in the wet and crocodile-dense pools in the dry.
Little ones will love digging in the sand and dipping their toes in the water in beautiful Broome. While the white sands and turquoise waters of Cable Beach are a must, we also recommend a visit to Town Beach on Broome’s Roebuck Bay side. This is one of the best spots for younger children because of its well-shaded playground. It also boasts a water park to keep the kids amused between building sandcastles and paddling. At low tide, young explorers can spot the wrecks of two flying boats that were downed during WWII. Wade out along the mudflats to check out this slice of history.
The region does get very hot, so we’d also recommend that families with younger children book into a resort. At Cable Beach Club Resort and Spa, there is a play area, mini golf, a huge swimming pool and a water playground.
There are only two seasons in this magnificent part of Western Australia; the wet and the dry.
Peak tourist season is during the dry season from May to August, when clear blue skies are all but guaranteed every day. For great deals, look at the shoulder-season when many tourist operations are still open but there are fewer visitors.
Coming out of the wet, the land is lush and green and the waterfalls are all usually flowing, which can make May a great time for a visit. Broome, and unfortunately Cable Beach, are harangued by stingers. The risk of being stung by a box jellyfish or Irukandji increases in the wet season, so if you intend to swim it is best to do so well after May.
September sees the temperatures and humidity start to climb but it’s an ideal month as many tourists are now leaving. While the landscape is browner, you may experience a brilliant tropical storm as the monsoon season builds up.
If you want to witness the Staircase to the Moon in Broome, when the full moon rises over the exposed tidal flats of Roebuck Bay, we recommend planning your trip in the months between March and October, when there is less chance of clouds to obscure your view.
The pristine waters to the west provide delicious seafood while the surrounding mainland region supplies succulent fresh fruit and vegetables.
There are so many cafes and restaurants that cater to every taste. Zanders on Cable Beach is the spot for an awesome view, while Zensai offers sophisticated Japanese dining. For pizza and Italian try Café d’Amore, while Cable Beach Club Resort & Spa has a variety of dining options available – though you may need to pre-book, especially if you are visiting in peak season.
One of the best spots for a taste of the region is at the Broome Courthouse Markets. At this impressive spread, held every Saturday, you will find more than 115 stalls selling fabulous local produce. Another great option for families is to join an Indigenous cooking tour and learn how to create delicious meals from ingredients sourced from the Australian bush. Why not try Bundy’s Cultural Tours in the Dampier region of the Kimberley.
March – Ocean Film Festival
A festival of the world’s best ocean films, featuring life in and out of the water.
May – Gibb River Road Mountain Bike Challenge
A fun long-distance team relay challenge by pushbike that is worthy of a family day out.
August – Shinju Matsuri Festival of the Pearl
Featuring a large line-up of events, the festival showcases the multi-culturalism of this region. Witness a smoking ceremony, light and release a lantern, learn to play mah jong, hear taiko drumming and much more.
August – Opera under the Stars
Enjoy the Opera with the Kimberley’s as your backdrop and a million stars as your roof.
August – Corrugated Lines: A Festival of Words
At this casual and relaxed community event, visitors can meet authors, poets and mingle with others that love to read and hear the written word.
November – Broome Mango Festival
Enjoy three days of fun and fruity madness at this celebration dedicated to Kimberley mangoes.
Hit the road with your family to explore the best Aussie road trips across desert, rainforest, mountain range, coast and island.
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