If you’re searching for beautiful beaches, pristine waters, incredible weather and a rich history, Broome is the perfect holiday destination. Broome’s Cable Beach is world-famous, and it’s no mystery as to why – you’re likely familiar with iconic sunset photos of camel rides on this stunning, flat beach (you have to check it out from a Broome sunset cruise!).
There is so much on offer in this fantastic town for singles, couples and families alike, from tours out on the water, adventures inland to the Kimberley region, and five-star resorts encouraging a relaxing and restorative holiday. Here’s a few things to know about Broome while you’re planning your trip:
A Brief History
The area we now know as Broome in the Kimberley region has been home to Indigenous people for more than thirty thousand years prior to the arrival of Europeans. The traditional owners of the land identify 6 seasons around the Broome region, which are still celebrated by the Indigenous population today.
Originally founded in 1883, the town of Broome was built as a port for the pearling industry of WA. Thanks to the rich coastal waters off Broome, the pearling industry soared well into the 20th century, only starting to slow as a result of WWI – but by then, Broome was the second largest cargo port in WA, second only to Fremantle.
The pearling industry was again interrupted during WWII. Broome came under attack four times during the Second World War, and an air raid on 3rd March 1942 led to the death of at least 86 people. Some wreckage from the destroyed aircraft can still be seen at Roebuck Bay during low tide.
After the war, Broome was rebuilt, the pearling industry recovered and remains prosperous to this day. In addition, Broome is now an extremely popular Australian tourist destination.
People and Culture
The pearling industry, in its early days, required many workers. Indigenous people and workers from across the globe (including Japan, Malaysia and China) were often forced into labour. Due to so many different languages being spoken in Broome in the early days, signs were displayed in the main street in various languages.
It is perhaps because of this chequered past that Broome today boasts such a multicultural population, with great diversity among its residents. Broome’s traditional owners, the Yawuru people aim to share their vibrant culture through Yawuru Cultural Programs.
Broome is located in the north of Western Australia on a north/south peninsula. This means there is water on both sides of town, with the world-famous Cable Beach on the western side, and Roebuck Bay and Town Beach on the eastern side. The largest town in the Kimberley region, Broome is a historical destination, and gateway to the wild, rich region beyond. Broome also has paleontological significance, and the fossilised dinosaur footprints at Gantheaume Point are a popular tourist attraction today.
Broome enjoys a tropical climate, so rather than a clear summer and winter, the climate is defined by a wet season and a dry season.
Wet season (November-April)
This is generally classified as the ‘off’ season – but more and more tourists are taking advantage of the quieter months to visit Broome and avoid the crowds!
Broome’s wet season sees rain, hot weather, humidity, and in the later months (typically Jan-March), monsoonal weather including possible flooding and cyclones. In general, there is little to no rain before mid-December, and then heavy, short downpours make up the rainfall for the remainder of the wet season. Sunsets at this time of year are particularly beautiful as a result of humidity and lightning shows. Most tours run year-round, but it’s worth checking before you book your holiday, if there is a tour you really want to do.
Dry season (May-October)
The dry season is the busiest tourist season. The days are warm, nights are balmy, and you will (generally) experience blue skies and perfect holiday weather. Those from cooler parts of Australia flock to Broome during their winter, and experience lovely warm weather, ranging from the 20’s to low 30’s, with little to no rainfall. Low humidity during this time of year is another benefit, and as this is the most popular time for tourists, most tours and attractions will be open and operating. The population of Broome triples during the peak season!
What to do in Broome
There’s no shortage of things to do in Broome. With five-star resorts and endless accommodation options, you will be spoilt for choice as you plan your getaway. With the attractive appeal of a warm climate during those cooler winter months in southern parts of Australia, it’s no wonder Broome is such a favoured holiday destination. Have a dip in the ocean, get out onto the water for fishing or Broome whale watching, or enjoy learning more about the local culture and events.
With a tropical climate, a deep history, and truly magnificent beaches and natural features, once just a pearling town, today Broome is one of the most popular tourist spots in Western Australia.