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Explore Town

Broome

Visitor Centre:
Broome Visitor Centre
Corner Broome Highway and Bagot Street
General:
Broome is situated at the southernmost tip of the rugged Kimberley region of Western Australia, 18 degrees south of the equator. An ideal climate from April to September makes it an attractive holiday spot for visitors in search of the sun.

October through to March is the monsoon season with spectacular tropical storms and balmy nights. Some of the more remote areas may be inaccessible at this time of the year due to rain.

Broome boasts a multicultural population, made up of many people who flocked to the shores of Roebuck Bay in the hope of making their fortunes from the pearling industry.

Broome’s Cable Beach is one of the most famous beaches in the world, and the pindan cliffs, stark white sands and turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean are part of this exotic town’s appeal.
Chinatown boasts an unusual style of Colonial/Asian archit-ecture, developed from the early days, boasting a wonderful array of pearling outlets and other speciality shops.

Broome is renowned for being a fishing person’s paradise, whether fishing from the jetty or at one of the spectacular tidal creeks. King tides play an important part with Broome’s anglers.
History:
The Yawuru people have had traditional links with Roebuck Bay for many hundreds of years and there is evidence that Malays also visited in search of turtles, dugongs and pearls.
William Dampier was the first European to visit this shore in 1688 and Roebuck Bay was named after his ship, H.M.S. Roebuck. However, it wasn’t until the 21st November 1883, almost 200 years later, that Broome was gazetted as a town and named in honour of the then Governor of Western Australia, Sir Frederick Napier Broome.
The discovery of the ‘Pinctada maxima’, the largest pearl shell in the world, in the waters off Roebuck Bay, led to the establishment of Broome’s pearling industry.
In the first decade of the twentieth century, Broome produced 80% of the world’s Mother of Pearl shell. The lugger fleet peaked in 1913 with 403 registered vessels.
While pearling was prosperous for the pearling master, it was often fatal for the many divers who were subject to the ‘bends’, drowning, shark attack and cyclones.
A deep water jetty was built in 1897 and at this time, Broome also boasted a customs house, (present day museum) bond store, hospital, police station and gaol.
The development of the plastic button in the 1950s sealed the fate of the Mother of Pearl shell industry. The industry was revitalised however in the late 1950s with the advent of the cultured pearl and by the 1970s, Broome was producing 60% to 70% of the world’s large cultured pearls.
The 1980s brought a new industry to Broome - tourism, which saw the rebuilding of hotels and resorts and the sealing of the gravel road to the south to Port Hedland.
Today Broome has an influx of over 100,000 tourists a year.
Attractions:
Activities
Bushwalks, aerial flights,
four-wheel drive tours, cultural tours, historical tours, bicycle hire, aerobics, surfcats, star gazing, camel treks, fishing charters, sunset lugger cruises, extended Kimberley boat charters, lawn bowls, bird watching, crabbing or just relaxing!
Anastasia’s Pool
Located at Gantheaume Point, built in Sandstone by a former lighthouse keeper for his arthritic wife, Anastasia.
Broome Historical Society Museum
Located in the old Customs House, Robinson Street, Broome.
Boat Charters
A number of companies offer sunset cruises on a daily basis and extended cruises to the Dampier Peninsula, Buccaneer Archipelago and along the Kimberley coast to Wyndham. Contact the Broome Visitor Centre for a list of boat charters in the area.
Cable Beach
Cable Beach is named after the communications cable which linked Broome with Indonesia and is situated 6km from the town centre.
Cable Beach, named as one of the top five beaches in the world, stretches for 22 kms — the sand is pristine and the Indian Ocean a clear turquoise.
It is a safe swimming beach with a variety of watersport activities, including parasailing and surfcats. Beach equipment hire is available and there are kiosk facilities.
Caution: From November to April precautions should be taken due to the possible presence of box jellyfish and stingers in the tropical waters.
Bureau of Meteorology
Discover the interesting weather patterns of Broome and witness a data collecting balloon being released. Tel: 9192 1211 (Monday to Friday).
Broome Bird Observatory
Located 25 km east of Broome (15km of unsealed road). The Broome Bird Observatory is recognised as one of the five top wader bird locations in the world.
Camel Rides
Take a ride on a camel along Cable Beach either in the morning, afternoon or
at sunset.
Captain Gregory’s House
Located on the corner of Hamersley and Carnarvon Streets.
The house was built in 1917 for Captain A. Gregory,
the operator of one of
Broome’s most successful pearling businesses.
Chinatown
Stroll through this delightful reminder of the early
multi-cultural mix of the town’s people.
Chinatown was the original commercial and industrial centre of Broome. It was once a bustling hub of pearl sheds, billiard saloons, entertainment houses and Chinese eateries.
Bedford Park
Bedford Park, located in Hamersley Street, overlooks spectacular Roebuck Bay.
Features of this park include memorabilia such as a replica of a chest belonging to explorer William Dampier, a war memorial and boab trees.
A new War Memorial has been erected honouring the names of Dutch, British and U.S. servicemen and Dutch civilians who lost their lives during the World War II Japanese air-raid.
Chinese Cemetery
Located on Port Drive. The resting place for members of Broome’s Chinese community.
Dinosaur Footprints
Located at Gantheaume Point, these prehistoric foot-prints are only visible at very low tide (1.3m or lower). A cast has been placed at the top of the cliffs. Take care while exploring as the reef area is fragile. See the Broome Visitor Centre for more information.
Hard Hat Diver
This life size statue of the Hard Hat Pearl Diver was erected to pay tribute to the role the hard hat diver played in establishing Broome as the centre of the world’s pearling industry in the early 1900’s.
Courthouse
Built in distinctive ‘Broome-style’ architecture, the court-house was the original Cable House. Browse through the attractive gardens when you visit the Courthouse.
Courthouse Markets
The largest art and craft
markets in the Kimberley.
The Markets are held every Saturday morning on the corner of Frederick and Hamersley Streets between 8am-1pm.
A great selection of arts/crafts, food and music as well as a great atmosphere.
Deep Water Point
Provides anchorage for visiting ships. Situated at the foot of the Port is a small beach used for swimming and picnics. The jetty is also a popular fishing spot. Kiosk and restaurant facilities are available.
Cultured Pearling Monument
Mr Tokuichi Kuribayashi, originally from the Nippon Pearl Co. Tokyo, Mr Hiroshi Iwaki and Mr Keith Francis Dureau, from Pearls Prop. Ltd, were pioneers in the cultured pearling industry in Broome.
Three life-like statues are now on display on the grassed area in Chinatown, opposite the Roebuck Hotel.
Flying Boat Wrecks
These wrecks remain as evidence of the Flying Boats sunk by the Japanese in WWII. Located approximately 1km offshore from Town Beach and only visible when there is a very low tide. Contact the Visitor Centre for tide times.
Gantheaume Point
Located approximately 8 km from the town centre, this is a scenic area of red, craggy cliffs, providing a stark contrast to the beautiful waters of the Indian Ocean.
Staircase to the Moon
One of Broome’s most beautiful natural sights, seen across Roebuck Bay during a full moon and caused by the moon’s reflection on the mud flats, creating an illusion of a staircase. Occurs March to October.
Shinju Matsuri
The ‘Festival of the Pearl’ is held in August/September each year. It celebrates the pearl harvest and pays tribute to Broome’s pearling industry and the town’s multicultural heritage.
Japanese Cemetery
Testimony to the perils of the early pearling days, this cemetery is the final resting place for over 900 Japanese divers who lost their lives. Large sandstone rocks have been hewn into headstones and inscribed in Japanese.