Ultimate guide to things to do in Broome with kids
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.
Top 10 things to do in Broome
Things to do in Broome with…
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.
Snap happy kids will love the Malcolm Douglas Crocodile Park. The 30-hectare animal refuge is accessed through a set of enormous fiberglass crocodile jaws! Home to a huge number of crocs, the park also houses an assortment of other native wildlife such as kangaroos, wallabies, emus and dingoes. Be sure to hang around for feeding time to watch the crocs in action.
If your kids are more into feathered than furry friends, then head out to Broome Bird Observatory on the flats of Roebuck Bay. Here, you can observe the spectacle of thousands of migratory birds in their natural habitat. Time your visit between August and October, when the shorebirds arrive after a continuous journey of 10,000 kilometres.
These aren’t the only creatures on show in Broome. Many visitors who have caught the contagious ‘dinomania’ flock to the region to see animals from bygone millennia. Stomp and roar your way to Gantheaume Point, a short drive from Broome’s city centre. Make like a mini archaeologist and stumble on the impressive collection of ancient Dinosaur Prints, which you can spot at low tide when the reef rock is exposed. Some of the remains on display actually predate the Australian continent.
Come forward in time to Broome’s more recent history. Famous for its pearling past, Broome holds particular shine for curious primary schoolers in search of a hands-on educational experience.
Visit Willie Creek Pearl Farm for a fascinating lesson in how pearls are cultivated, from seeding to grading. Take a tour to hear fascinating tales about the history of hard-hat diving during Broome’s early settlement. Broome’s Japanese Cemetery is another serene slice of local history and an indication of the relationship between Broome and Japan through the 1900s.
Further afield, take a break at El Questro Wilderness Park for Kimberley adventures. The former cattle station sprawls over an area of 700,000 acres. It offers a multitude of kid-friendly activities including guided walking, hiking, cruises, fishing, wildlife spotting, horse-riding and more.
To get a true sense of the majesty and richness of the Kimberley region, seek out Indigenous-led experiences in the area. Uptuyu Aboriginal Adventures run intimate tours to special and remote sites.
Adventurous teens will love Broome and the Kimberley. Water lovers can hone their surf skills with lessons at one of the surf schools. Or head underwater on a diving or snorkelling adventure in the incredible Rowley Shoals Marine Park. The park encompasses three coral reefs, containing a kaleidoscope of coral gardens and lagoons. Mermaid Reef, Clerke Reef and Imperieuse Reef are each worth exploring and are filled with manta rays, reef sharks, turtles and dolphins.
For those seeking the ultimate high, experience the majesty of Kimberley’s and the Bungle Bungle range by fixed-wing aircraft or take a scenic flight to see some of the most iconic regional landmarks, including Cape Leveque on the Dampier Peninsula. Enjoy the adrenalin rush of speeding through the water in a high-powered jet boat through the Horizontal Falls. Located in the Kimberley’s McLarty Range, these falls form whirlpools as the tides go in and out and appear to flow horizontally. Research the tides and try to arrive early so that you are one of the first groups to go out by boat or sea plane.
For the ultimate in sky high thrills, take the leap on a tandem skydive over stunning Cable Beach.
After something a tad more laid-back? Catch a flick at the oldest operational outdoor cinema. Built in the early 20th century, Sun Pictures hosts multiple screenings each evening, complete with old-school deck chairs spread out under the night sky.
Best time to visit Broome
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.
Broome family-friendly places to eat
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.
Free fun in Broome
- There are plenty of things to do in Broome that won’t cost you a penny (or a pearl!). Exploring Cable Beach should be high on the list and if you stay for sunset and moonrise, you will often see a line of camels strolling the length of the beach.
- You will also find many other stunning beaches and bays to explore including Town Beach, Reddell Beach and Roebuck Bay. Head to Gantheaume Point to search for dinosaur footprints at low tide. Then keep your eyes peeled for whales migrating past from Gantheaume Point Lighthouse, which makes for an ideal vantage point. Whale-watching season in Broome is from July to September.
- Visit Broome’s Chinatown, with pearl and jewellery stores, cafes, restaurants and art galleries. There are public playgrounds at Town Beach that are perfect for a family outing, as are the markets. Or you can take a scenic drive to discover more about the pearling industry at Cygnet Bay Pearls on the Dampier Peninsula.
- Entry is free at many of the local galleries featuring contemporary and Indigenous artworks. Entry won’t cost you at The Shell House either, a museum housing a collection of more than 5,000 shells, preserved fish and fossils.
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Janeece Keller is the founder and editor of Family Travel. She mostly travels with her husband and two young kids. She has a large blended family that lives in Australia and Europe. She has visited 52 countries and lived on 3 continents. From camping to luxury resorts Janeece tries to make sure her family has diverse holiday experiences each year. She is an avid hiker and ocean swimmer who loves good food, margaritas and heading off the beaten path.