The pearling port of Broome once used to supply 80% of the world’s mother-of-pearl and was a Mecca for Malays, Japanese and Philippines willing to risk the sharks and the bends in the hope of getting rich quick. As the industry began to stutter, Broome was hit hard, however the town has increasingly become a popular tourist venue. People visit Broome to appreciate its lingering oriental airs and its good access to the Kimberley region, a wild expanse of sparse land three times the size of Britain, thought to have up to half the world’s supply of diamonds below ground and, above ground, its fair share of cattle. It is best to visit Broome during the dry season which goes from May to September.


Broome has many attractions dedicated to its pearling history. The collection at the Broome Historical Society Museum gives you a good idea of the town in its heyday, while the Japanese Cemetery, home to 900 Japanese divers, is moving reminder of the industry’s dangers. For modern day pearling, the Willie Creek Pearl Farm, 35km North of Broome, is informative and makes for a good outing.

Broome’s Chinatown is now back to its former bustling self, with a curious mix of Asian and Colonial architecture. Head to the small mall, Johnny Chi Lane, for an idea of how the area’s developed over the years and evocations of its various personalities. From here, on a Sunday take in the lively Chinese market and the town’s elegant Courthouse and gardens, then back to the waterfront for the excellently restored Old Pearling Quarters and the chance to visit some old Pearl Luggers, the old pearling boats complete with pearl meat dégustations and antique diving kits.

But Broome has more to offer than just pearls. Just out of town, Cable beach stretches 22km along the coast and has the not insignificant asset of being amongst the world’s top five beaches! Wide, for the most part deserted, with white, powdery sand giving onto the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean this beach is simply spectacular. Other activities in and around Broome, apart from sunbathing, include deep sea fishing, golf, camel rides, off-roading and bushwalking or going to Australia’s oldest open air cinema, Sun Pictures. Otherwise, become acquainted with some Aussie crocs at the Broome Crocodile Park. Beyond Broome, Kimberley’s various National Parks make for an impressive, but time consuming journey. The best way to visit them is by air – book yourself on one of the incredible scenic flights which take in their various wonders. Otherwise, trek up the coast to Cape Leveque where the stunning beaches must be some of the world’s most remote.


No trip to Broome would be complete without coming back with a few locally farmed pearls on your fingers. Best head to Chinatown which, amongst all the hawkers and souvenir shops, also boasts some of the finest pearl showrooms in the world. Otherwise, for some more modest art and craft and aboriginal workmanship head to the colourful Courthouse markets, held every Saturday.

Nightlife and Eating Out

Broome has a mix of cuisines on offer. Asian themes restaurants vie with Australian steakhouses, recommended for those with a healthy appetite. Ingredients are fresh and plentiful, with massive cuts of meat and superb locally caught seafood and, fortunately, all budgets are well catered for. After supper head to one of the many beachside bars, great for the sunset, and carry the night on either dancing with the locals or having a quiet drink or two on the beach.

Tourist Information

  • Broome Visitor Centre, Corner of Broome Highway and Bagot Street, Broome, PO Box 352 Broome Western Australia 6725
  • Telephone: +61 8 9192 2222


Flights leave from [ Broome’s International Airport] every day to Perth and Darwin and on a less frequent basis to Melbourne and Sydney. The airport is well served by buses and taxis which can be caught from the centre of Broome.

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