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48 Hours in Broome

More than just a sun-kissed beach locale, Broome is a gateway to some of the most dramatic outdoor adventures in Australia.

WORDS Fleur Bainger

Broome is a place of intense colour. The turquoise ocean lapping Cable Beach is as rich as the red pindan soils that flare across Roebuck Bay. The community is equally as vibrant. Home to 26 nationalities, locals find their family origins in Japan, China, Malaysia, Europe and beyond; the frenzied pearling trade drew their predecessors to the frontier town from the 1880s onwards. Indigenous culture deepens Broome’s soul; you’ll see ancient cultural sites, relish modern art and hear generational storytelling. Meanwhile, Outback characters move between vast Kimberley stations and the town’s multicultural precincts, adding to the destination’s welcoming vibe.

Broome is governed by the region’s dramatic seasons. April to October marks the dry, when days are warm and skies are blue, while the wet – also known as the waterfall season – attracts purple clouds, heavy downpours and humidity. The tropical climate makes Broome an up-and-at-’em kind of place. Locals beat the heat with early morning activities, knocking off a nudge before 5pm to watch the sun set over the ocean; in peak season, it melts into the horizon by 5.30pm. It pays to be across low and high tide times, too; more than one unlucky visitor has been caught with their axles deep in sand as the water rises up the tyres.

Hero

DAY ONE

8AM: GOOD CARTEL
Kick off your day with the best coffee in town. Oozing atmosphere, this open air cafe is hidden down a dusty, streetart-
splashed alley. Cars roll through the drive-through lane – locals joke it creates the only traffic jam in Broome – while diners perch on stools and milk crates, devouring maple bacon bagels, granola berry bowls and brekky burgers. For those who’ve ditched caffeine, GC’s frozen juices are perfect

10AM: PEARL BOUTIQUES
Wander through a clutch of glitzy pearl boutiques which celebrate the organic gem that put the remote community on the map. At Paspaley, there’s a good chance you’ll be invited
to try on stunning pieces worth tens of thousands of dollars (and counting), while at Cygnet Bay you can gaze at one of the world’s largest, fine-quality
cultured pearls, as part of the familyowned pearl farm’s history display. As you stroll along Dampier Terrace, look down: the footpath is inlaid with brass history plaques, detailing 200 years of Broome’s pearling fortunes.

11.30AM: HORIZONTAL FALLS SEAPLANE ADVENTURES TOUR
The extremes of Mother Nature are revealed in fierce clarity at Horizontal Falls, a curious, seemingly flat pair of churning waterfalls that are hidden deep within the Kimberley. Accessed via an incredibly scenic float-plane flight over the vast Outback, the half-day Horizontal Falls Seaplane Adventures tour sees you circle the falls from above before landing on water in a nearby Talbot Bay. The frothing rapids are created by the region’s powerful tides – recognised as some of the biggest in the world. Water rushes through in one direction before turning and sucking back later in the day. Strap in for a white-knuckle boat ride between the narrow ranges that the falls squeeze through. It’s extraordinary to witness as you zoom over the top and get bounced and jolted by the falls’ breathtaking force.

5.30PM: CABLE BEACH CLUB
Time will be tight but try to scoot to the club’s Sunset Bar and Grill in the fading peach light to watch camel trains ribbon up the beach after
finishing their sunset tours. If not, check into this sprawling, tropical property festooned with frangipanis and stone sculptures. Freshen up with a dip in the adults-only pool (there’s also one dedicated to families), then head into low-lit, atmospheric Cichetti Club for multiple courses of artfully  presented Italian fare. It’s one of the few restaurants to serve the local speciality, rare pearl meat.

Camels

DAY TWO

6.50AM: SALTY PLUM SOCIAL BIG ART BREAKFAST WALKING TOUR
Two of Broome’s best-known locals, Chris and Robyn Maher, run this entertaining tour through the historic Chinatown district, sharing the stories behind public artworks as they go. Between them, they know everything there is to know about Broome – past and present. They also point out must-see spots, such as Sun Pictures, the world’s oldest operating open-air cinema. A one-hour amble is chased with breakfast at a surprise location.

10AM: CABLE BEACH
Broome’s famous 22km of pancakeflat, cream-coloured sand beckons. Hire sun loungers and a colourful umbrella from Beach Hut Broome and settle in for some well-deserved
relaxation, broken up only by paddles in the highlighter-blue ocean. Once revived, pad slowly up the sand for 500m, reaching Sydney Cove Oyster Bar in time for lunch. The restaurant swapped its position on the edge of Circular Quay for Broome during the pandemic. Ambitiously, it brought all staff along and has proven to be a huge hit, awarded Best Seafood Restaurant in WA in 2021.

4PM: MANGROVE DISCOVERY EXPERIENCE
Pull on a pair of (supplied) boots and join local Yawuru man Bart Pigram as he leads you on an adventure through Roebuck Bay’s mangrove ecosystem. Hear about the tidal area’s culture, ecology and history – all delivered while exploring a 2km stretch. The leader of Narlijia Experiences has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the region’s Indigenous history, frontier pearling days, early settlement and marine life, making for an enriching two-hour experience.

7PM: BALI HAI
This is one of Broome’s best food experiences – one you need to book well ahead. Part of Bali Hai Resort & Spa, this eatery expertly combines fresh local produce into flavour-driven
expressions of Broome. Given that the town is a multicultural hotbed, expect everything from snapper in parsley broth to Yorkshire pudding. There’s a kids’ menu, too.

Bali Hai

 

Explore more stories like this one in our Beyond Magazine. Download or request your copy today at www.journeybeyond.com/inspiration/journey-beyond-magazines/ 

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