4 Things To Do In Broome On Your Next Trip To Western Australia

As of this writing, Americans are unable to visit Australia due to Covid-19 travel restrictions, so consider this story as a way to plan for future trips.

With Western Australia’s borders currently closed to help prevent the spread of Covid-19—only essential travelers are allowed into the state with a permit while a mandatory 14-day quarantine is being enforced for Australian citizens returning from overseas—it’s been a good excuse for WA residents to book a staycation and explore their own backyards. As a result, Broome, a small beachside town situated on the Australia’s northwest coast, has become the country’s number one domestic tourism destination.

Just a short flight from Darwin, Broome has long been a popular destination among Aussies and international travelers, since it’s a great base whether you’re flying up for a long weekend in Cable Beach, passing through as part of a longer road trip or want to do some sightseeing in the nearby Kimberley region. I was lucky enough to visit Broome twice during my Australian Working Holiday Visa year, once at the start of a 10-day hiking and adventure tour along the Gibb River Road with Kimberley Wild, the other during a two-month solo road trip through the Australian Outback and remote Western Australia. Here’s my go-to list of things to do if you’ve only got a few days to spend in this beautiful part of the country.

See Dinosaur Fossils At Gantheaume Point

The Dinosaur Coast, from Broome and Roebuck Bay up through the Dampier Peninsula to Cape Leveque, is a great place to spot fossilized Sauropod tracks. When the tide is low enough, you’ll be able to see footprints made by dinosaurs more than 130 million years ago at scenic Gantheaume Point, about a 10-minute drive from Downtown Broome. You can still view a plaster cast example on display at the trailhead if the tide is too high when you’re there.

Learn All About The Area’s Pearling History

Since the 1880s, Broome has been known for its rich pearling tradition. For a closer look at how pearls are grown, picked and turned into beautiful pieces of jewelry, Willie Creek Pearls runs tours of its facilities, with self-driving and guided options including lunch and transportation from Broome. Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm also offers guided tours—you’ll need to drive to its Dampier Peninsula location—as well as onsite cultural, camping and glamping experiences. If you’re short on time, visit Pearl Luggers in Broome’s Chinatown to learn more about the area’s pearling history.

Visit The World’s Oldest Outdoor Movie Theater

If you’ve got some down time after a long day of sightseeing, head to Sun Pictures in Broome’s Chinatown, where you can sit in cozy canvas deck chairs and watch a movie in the world’s oldest outdoor theater. Originally called The Sun Picture Gardens, the cinema opened in 1916, was listed on the State Register of Heritage Places in 1995 and today, shows a wide selection of contemporary films.

See The Sunset Camel Train On Cable Beach

Camels have been a part of the Australian story since they were brought in from the Middle East, India and Afghanistan in the 1800s to help transport people and goods to remote parts of the country. Nowadays, there are over one million camels in Australia, largely due to the fact that they have no natural predators. Get to know these magnificent creatures up close on a safari tour on Cable Beach, or if you’re not looking to ride one, watch for the Sunset Camel Train, when the camels finish up their daily tours and are brought back to their home near Cable Beach Club Resort & Spa.

Getting There And Where To Stay

While things might vary now because of Covid-19 travel restrictions, flights are normally available from Darwin and Kununurra via Airnorth; Perth via Qantas and Virgin Australia; and seasonally from Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney via Qantas. If you’re going to be driving, remember to check the road conditions before you go in case there are bush fires or flash floods along the way. Once you get to Broome and Cable Beach, you’ll find heaps of accommodation options—from hostels and boutique hotels to apartment-style motels and beachside resorts—depending on your budget.

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