Broome is the furthest removed township from any capital city in the world. The closest capital, Darwin, is 1,162 miles away! In spite of, or perhaps because of, its remoteness Broome has developed quite a few unique opportunities for tourists. It’s a lovely resort town and you could spend the entire trip sipping cocktails on the beach or zenning out at the spa… but why waste a chance to try these 9 things to do in Broome that you can only do here.
Astro Tour with Greg Quicke
Get a little starry eyed with Greg Quicke. Space Gandalf has been studying the sky for years and he’s developed a unique evening to make astronomy accessible for even the most earth-bound among us. With several telescopes and a super-powered laser, he’ll trace the constellations, introduce you to clouds of 10 million stars and may even get you away from the flat earth terminology that has plagued us for the last 600 years. Anyone want to go and watch the earth turn away from the place in the sky where the sun is with me this evening?
Greg’s laid back presentation style, penchant for storytelling and wealth of knowledge makes him a star-whisperer you need to meet. Since Broome is located only 18° south of the equator, it’s in a unique position to see all the stars in the southern hemisphere and most of the stars in the northern hemisphere, too.
Check out his appearance on Brian Cox’s show, and book your ticket to the Astro Tour, which runs from April to October.
Take a spin on the southern hemisphere’s only commercial hovercraft. This vessel flies low, at only 3 feet above the ground, as you whiz over rock, sand and sea. This family-owned operation does tourism right, from June’s funny and informative bus ride to Myles’ expert piloting and entertaining hovercraft experience.
For those of you with former paleontological aspirations, Broome is the best place in the world to see dinosaur footprints. With over 150 footprints found so far, this was a literal stomping ground for dinosaurs 130 million years ago. The hovercraft tour takes passengers to the beach at low tide to see sauropod tracks. Nine adult footprints are clearly visible and it’s easy to imagine the trek the dinosaurs were making as they crossed what was once a forest. A few juvenile footprints were found among the adult footprints. No matter the era or species, a child’s favorite place to be is right under their parents’ feet.
Matso’s is Broome’s very own brewing company, and is more than just the ginger beer you may be familiar with. I took a brewery tour to learn more about the operation. My favorite part, though, was the tasting at the end, which anyone can get for just $13. For 5 tastes of awesome beer, this might just be the best deal in town!
Fancy yourself a bit of a tough guy (or girl)? Attempt to finish a pint of Chilli Beer, thought to be the spiciest beer in the world! If you like a bit of spice, try a mango and chilli blend. Or taste my personal favorite, the Angry Ranga, which is a mix of ginger and chilli.
Sunset camel ride on the beach
The sunsets from Cable Beach are spectacular on their own, but are even better with an ice-cold Matso’s Ginger Beer. If you’re traveling solo, be sure to bring a tripod and a healthy dose of confidence for a sunset photoshoot. I promise the results will be worth it.
If you’re keen to kick the ‘unique-factor’ up a notch, though, climb on board a camel for a sunset ride on the beach. Several companies offer the rides, and from what I can tell, they all offer different incentives. Want a pair of pearl earrings at the end of your trip? Or how about discount vouchers for other tours? Be sure to find a company that offers the incentive you’re most interested in receiving.
Malcolm Douglas Crocodile Park
This is perhaps the most Australian thing I’ve ever done. (And that’s saying something because in the past year, I’ve cuddled koalas and joeys, been attacked by a kangaroo, and learned to surf.) At Malcolm Douglas’ Crocodile Park, you can get up close and personal with the fearsome saltwater crocodile. Unchanged since the time of dinosaurs, this living fossil is tough and few humans have survived to tell the tale of a salty attack. Test your fate (and the strength of the chainlink fence) as you stand just inches from a crocodile’s jaw as they approach for a feed.
The tour guide throws raw chicken to the prehistoric beasts as he explains behavior and tells stories about the salties in residence. A few of them are known as the rogues, crocodiles too dangerous to be left in the wild. One of them was found with a woman in its mouth… and she survived! Getting up close to these Australian animals was a WILD experience!
Malcolm Douglas Crocodile Park is also home to freshwater crocodiles, alligators, a dingo, bats and birds- including a cassowary! We had lots of fun walking in front of the cassowary’s pen as it played follow the leader… much less scary with a fence in between us.
Snubfin Dolphin Tour
Humpback whale tours are neat, but you can see humpbacks in several cities. Heck… you can even swim with them in Exmouth! Only in Broome, though, can you take a cruise into Roebuck Bay to catch a glimpse of snubfin dolphins. This group of 160+ dolphins in the bay are the largest known resident population of snubfin dolphins in the world. Until 2005, snubfin dolphins were not recognized as its own species, so you’ll be in the minority if you spot one of these cuties. They swim a bit like humpbacks, with their arched backs and tails visible as they slowly swim through the water. If you’re lucky, you may even see dugongs and turtles on this trip, too.
Pearl Farm Tour
If you’ve been in Broome for more than 20 minutes, you’ll pick up on the fact that pearls are an important part of this city’s history and culture. Take a trip to a pearl farm to learn about Broome’s pearl farming history or join a pearl luggers tour in town. Learn about the rich history and incredible technological advances that enable Broome to remain a thriving hub in the pearl industry.
At the world’s oldest outdoor cinema, be entertained by the latest movies while planes fly low overhead. Patrons have been visiting Sun Cinemas for over 100 years, beginning with its first silent film on December 9, 1916. Want to save a bit of money? Go on a Tuesday for a discounted ticket price.
Thursday Night Market
Head on down to Town Beach for the Thursday Night Market, on each week from June through September. Try some octopus dumplings or crepes from a food truck and sit on the lawn as you listen to live music.
Then, order a mango thingy (that’s actually what they’re called!) and eat the sweet treat as you peruse the stalls of local and handcrafted goods.
How many of these unique things to do in Broome have you tried? Which would you like to try?
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Tuesday 12th of December 2017
Thanks for the tips Brittany. Ive spent 17 years in Australia but havent had a chance yet to venture to Broome - i think after reading this i might have to give it a go!
Wednesday 13th of December 2017
I hope you make it there soon! Such a cool town with a remarkable history :)
Monday 30th of October 2017
Looks incredible! I love seeing dolphins in their natural environment, I was lucky enough to see some in the Bay of Islands in NZ. Swimming with them was an unforgettable experience and definitely a highlight of my trip!
Monday 2nd of October 2017
Broome looks so cool.
I'd love checking out those handsome crocs. Even if they tried to make a woman a tasty little snack, these prehistoric guys are really amazing and a testament to natural selection.
Long after we are gone, and forgotten, methinks crocs, skeeters and a few other ancient creatures will be surviving and thriving. All are adaptable, naturally patient and just so darn good at doing the things we humans cannot seem to get through our thick skulls.
Loving this place. Added to our trip to Australia. When we plan that sucker.
Thanks for sharing Brittany.