A Broome Solo Travel Guide with Best Things To Do
If there is a place that exceeded my expectations in Australia, this is Broome, a unique Outback town serving as the getaway to the Kimberley Region in North Western Australia. It used to be a quiet pearling town in West Australia, but nowadays is the hub for tourists offering many interesting places and things to see. It is indeed no. 1 winter escape for South Western Australians who flock here between May and August.
This tropical paradise boasts many spectacular beaches, a variety of bird species, that are unique to this region, massive remarkable cliff jumps, and a host of cultural experiences that you won’t get anywhere else in Australia. I first visited in 2008, and then returned in May 2015 when I went on a Kimberley 4WD adventure. I love Broome and could go back over and over again, there is no shortage of fun things to do and stunning places to discover nearby. The only drawback is so far away from anything else, and a flight to Broome isn’t cheap either.
As a solo traveller to Australia, make sure you have plenty of time to explore, who knows maybe you’ll find some of Broome’s secret beaches during your stay. Plan your solo trip with enough time to spend in this fascinating town, because it is an experience like no other.
Where is Broome and why visit?
The coastal town of Broome Australia is a 2,365 km drive from Perth if you take Highway One and 2,239 km by the inland route. It has an interesting history of pearling and a lot for you to learn about Aboriginal cultural traditions.
Broome has always been a multicultural town with tremendous natural beauty. Its magnificent white beaches, calming ocean hideaways, stunning red coloured earth, and dusky sands will ensure that you never take a dull picture. If you are planning to travel to Broome, make sure you plan a good time ahead, it’s quite popular and to secure a cheap flight you must book months ahead.
Check our tips below about the best time to visit and how to make the most of your trip.
Best time to visit Broome
This tropical Outback location has two main seasons; the wet season and the dry season. The best time to visit Broome is in the dry season, in the months from April through September, when you can enjoy the warm days and cooler nights.
None of Broome attractions is off-limits in the summer, and this makes it a busy time for tourists. If you plan your trip during the wet months (November through March), you will not be able to swim in the Indian Ocean because of the nasty stingers. Also, the Broome climate is unpredictable in the wet season with tropical cyclones and thunderstorms. It’s best to plan your trip keeping that in mind because you don’t want it to dampen your entire trip.
The first time I visited Broome was in February, and the hot humidity was really unbearable, so I spent my time in my hostel, having a shower every hour or two. I highly recommend to plan your trip between May and August, during the cooler months, to be able to have pleasant holiday time.
Best Things To Do in Broome
Before you begin your exploration of its rich pearling history, its exquisite beaches, and shopping districts, take a trip down to the Visitor Centre and check out all the maps, information, guides and pamphlets they have available. There’s a lot that you can do in this town and here are some of the best Broome activities:
Relax at one of the beautiful Broome beaches
Broome is a coastal town surrounded by water on all sides, which means there is an abundance of beaches where to sit and relax. The beaches are great spots for swimming, fishing, and taking long walks and taking in the marvellous sunsets. These are however things you can do between May and August, in the cooler winter months. In summertime in Broome, there isn’t much to do at the beach and the high humidity will not allow any outdoor activities either. So make sure to travel at the right time of year.
Cable Beach is the most popular among all Broome’s beaches. It stretches for almost 22km and has pristine white sand that will dazzle your eyes. You can also see dinosaur prints here, and it is one of the only beaches in the world where polo on horses is played.
Town Beach is a unique spot where you will get a chance to see a natural phenomenon called the Staircase to the Moon. The reflection of light causes it on Roebuck bay during a full moon. The Staircase Markets are also held monthly to commemorate this spectacular event.
At the Willie Creek Beach, you can see one of Broome’s pearl farms and take in its incredible pearling history. Another beautiful beach is the Riddell Beach that lies 8km away from town between Riddell Point and Gautnheam Point. This is a lovely rocky place for picnics, and when the tides are low, you can find dinosaur footprints preserved there.
Go on a Broome Pearl Farms Tour
One of the rewarding things to do when visiting Broome Australia is to unravel the mysteries of the different pearling industry that makes up Broome’s history.
The Pearl Luggers
Here you can see two restored pearl boats and learn about the interesting pearl industries that used to flourish. You will also be guided about the diving gear that was used as well as view the pearl collection they have.
The Willie Creek Pearl Farm
This is just outside Broome, the Willie Creek Pearl Farm is a must-see. It will give you insights into the modern pearling industry. This guided experience starts at the museum and ends with a sailing cruise on a pearl lugger. I went on this tour and liked a lot. It’s very educational and after that, I went shopping in town and bought myself a beautiful pearl.
The Cygnet Bay Pearls
The Cygnet Bay Pearls are located four hours away from Broome, and you can choose to take an overnight stay to see it. Cygnet Bay Pearls harvested the largest and most beautiful pearl, and it is on display in this museum. Going on a pearl farm tour is an unmeasurable authentic experience that you must have at least once.
Special Things To See in Broome
Broome has many charming and unique attractions that you can see. Here are a few places for you to take your pick from:
Broome Shopping Delights
If you like arts and jewellery, Broome is a paradise for shopping. In town, there is a shopping area at Chinatown. It has some of the most beautiful pearl showrooms and many other speciality shops. Nearby that shopping district is the Courthouse Market which has many local art and crafts stalls. This is a place to immerse yourself in great music and good food. The Chinatown markets usually take place on Sunday whereas the Courthouse Markets are held on Saturdays.
One of the most interesting places to see in Broome is Gantheaume Point, with its unusual red rock formations. It’s best to get there early in the morning at low tide and also explore its colossal lighthouse. From there you can take a relaxing walk to Cable beach. Make sure you get there early morning if you can before sunrise.
Broome’s Bird Observatory
Broome also has a Bird Observatory located on the shore of Roebuck Bay. It is a world-famous birding location and great for bird watchers to spend their time. In March and April, one can see immense flocks of migratory waders departing for the Northern Hemisphere. It also has excellent accommodation options, tours, and courses for visitors. You can reach there with the help of a 4WD.
Stroll through The Japanese Cemetery
One of the other historic places to check out is the Japanese Cemetery located on Port Drive near Cable Beach. It dates back to Broome’s early pearling days, and it has 707 graves. Most of the headstones are unusual and are made from coloured beach rocks. It is a peaceful place to go during your trip and the good thing: entry is entirely free. Many sightseeing tours make a stop at the Japanese Cemetery, and guides are on hand to give you information about its history.
Enjoy a Broome Sunset
One of the highlights of Broome is watching the sunset at Cable Beach or any beach. This is a sort of ritual. Many holiday-makers and locals alike flock here to enjoy this special moment of the day. And everyone has a proper way of experiencing sunset in Broome. Either by sitting on the beach, or walking along the 8km sandy beach, or taking a camel ride, which is a scenic and quite a touristy thing to do in Broome. Or why not driving onto the beach with your 4WD vehicle, find a good stop far away and set up your picnic table.
You will see more sophisticated ways of enjoying the sunset at the beach, such as sitting on the grass while having a yoga class or sipping your favourite drink at one of the terraces of the cafes overlooking the beach. No matter how you decide to spend your time there, every evening it’s a new experience worth your time. And I can tell you every evening sunset is an entirely new experience.
The Staircase to the Moon
This is an extraordinary phenomenon that takes place on a full moon night. The shimmering moonlight creates a stunning reflection on the water, that looks like a golden staircase rising to the dark sky. I was lucky enough to witness the Moonlight Staircase live on my last trip but was not prepared for it, and I didn’t have any tripod with me, so all my pics are no good and blurred. So make sure you pack your camera tripod. This amazing thing happens once a month and there is a staircase calendar date time that you can check online, or get from the visitor centre. If you can try to match your trip with it, it’s really worth seeing it.
Take Side Trips From Broome
You can make the most of your trip to Broome and also head on down to other amazing Outback destinations. Equip yourself with a 4WD since it is the best way to explore all the attractions with ease. You head to Cable Beach and enjoy swimming in the ocean as well as plan a fun picnic.
Self-Drive To Cape Leveque
The more interesting Broome beaches are situated around Cape Leveque, and you can see them by going on a 4WD trip for easy access to all of them. Or if you can join a sightseeing tour and explore them on a day-tour from town. Some tours also offer the option of a scenic return flight which is a great thing to do if you want to see the colour contrast of deep blue, red cliffs, and white sands from the air.
See crocs at Malcolm Douglas Park
Just out of town, about fifteen minutes away is the Malcolm Douglas Crocodile Park. It is a hotspot for saltwater crocodiles that you must see.
Walk around Gantheaume Point
And see turtles swimming around in the gorgeous turquoise water. At low tide, the 130-million-year-old dinosaur footprints can be seen pressed into the rock. You can Broome beach resort at Cable Beach after your adventurous day.
Visit Broome Heritage sites at Kooljaman Camp
Next, you can take a trip to Kooljaman camp in the Dampier Peninsula. It is an Aboriginal owned camp where you can chat with the Aboriginal staff and learn a lot. You could also visit the Beagle Bay church and see its beautiful walls that are inset with pearl.
Go on a 4WD Adventure on the Gibb River Road
As you move further on, you must take a trip to the Gibb River Road, in the Kimberley, which is 660 kilometres long. This is quite an adventurous experience that you can make in a 4WD, and you must plan it beforehand. It will take 4-6 days to travel the entire stretch. For an easy day-trip, you can go to Windjana Gorge and explore its walking trails, and eventually, you can also spend your night at the camping spots and return back to Broome the following day.
And if you are more adventurous, you can drive further to the Bungle Bungle Ranges of Purnululu National Park. With a scenic flight to top off your trip, you can see the fantastic tiger-striped domes and ancient rock formations.
How to get to Broome from Perth
There are many means of transport that you can take to get to this beautiful Outback destination. If you are looking for an adventure then going on a road trip to Broome might be the most enjoyable experience. But it’s a long way from Perth. You can also choose to take a comfortable flight right to your destination. For the hardier solo travellers taking a trip by bus is an exciting option.
Taking a flight
You can take a domestic flight to this town from any part of Australia. A Perth to Broome flight will take you approximately two and a half hours. But it’s not a cheap flight. The Broome Airport has two daily direct flights from Perth and seasonal direct flights from cities like Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane. Travelling by plane is a speedy option which will allow you to reach well-rested and ready for adventure. Domestic flights to Broome are not cheap. The average airfare is around 250-300 dollars one way, and it is advisable to book at least 3 or 4 months ahead.
A Road Trip from Perth
Driving is one of the most fun ways to get to Broome. You can either take the North West Coastal Highway or the Inland Highway to get here. There is also so much to see on a Perth to Broome road trip. The trip on the Coastal Highways will take you through several national parks, rugged landscapes, and beaches. You can rent a car or choose to stay in a campervan, which will give you more time to spend on these remote and beautiful places. If you decide on a road trip, it’s best to be prepared with all the travel essentials keeping in mind the long distance that you will have to cover. Approx 3.000 kilometres north of Perth. Maybe not something if you travelling solo to Australia, for the first time. In that case, I’d recommend flying into Broome and hire a car there.
The journey by a Perth to Broome bus will take close to three days to complete. The primary bus service operates twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays. You need to plan your travel so that you don’t miss out and have to wait for a long time. Going by bus ensures that you will have multiple stops at many of the main spots along the way. It allows you to access beautiful areas and is also an economical option for solo travellers on a budget.
For those solo travellers who don’t have their transport, there are also private guided Perth to Broome tours. These are of great value to travellers who want to hit all the best sightseeing spots in the Outback. The packages range from basic backpacker tours to more luxurious options. Depending on the time you have to spend, you can take a guided excursion that lasts a few days to even two weeks. Some of the trips also carry on past Broome to the Kimberley and further to Darwin.
How to get around Broome
Once in Broome, getting around the place is safe and comfortable. The Broome Visitor Centre has a lot of information that you can use for your travel needs. They can assist you with quotes and bookings for scooters, and bicycle hires, taxis, city tours and more.
- Hiring A Car
A convenient option for getting around Broome is to hire a car. It will allow you to explore everything at your leisure and in comfort. A four-wheel drive is essential to reach some of Broome’s best beaches or its rugged attractions.
- Bicycle Riders
Broome’s flat terrain and open roads make an ideal place to walk or cycle around. You can hire bikes and travel by the cycleways present alongside just about every main street. The wide roads, kilometres of the footpath, and a flat landscape will make your cycling excursion around the town exciting and safe.
- Hop-on a Bus
The local bus service runs seven days a week all year round except Christmas Day. Travelling on the Broome Explorer Bus is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to see it. That is why most of the local Broome population travels by bus. There are bus stops close to all accommodations near Town Beach, Chinatown, Boulevard Shops, and Cable Beach.
Where To Stay In Broome
You can find several accommodation options in this fascinating town. Take your pick from resorts, luxury hotels, backpacker hostels, a Broome Airbnb, or beach houses. On your solo travel to Broome, you can choose from so many options that suit your budget and have all the facilities that you need. Even though there are a lot of places for you to stay, you will need to make your booking well in advance.
The peak tourist season is from June to August, and most of the Broome accommodation options get snatched up pretty quickly. So here below are our recommendations from all possibilities:
Budget Stay in Broome for Solos
If you want to stay in a resort-like hostel, at reasonable prices, I recommend this hostel in Broome
I stayed there a few years ago and loved it. There are many types of budget and shared rooms and if you can spend a little bit more, book yourself into a private room. There is a fantastic pool, and the place is well-kept and only 5 min away on foot to the Cable Beach.
For Hotels in Broome, I know that there are hotels downtown, but the Mantra Hotel is a good one, close to the beach, offering excellent facilities at lower prices than resorts.
The best Broome Resorts
If you are looking for a retreat, Broome has got many, but they are pricey, especially if you travel solo. The SeaShell Broome Resort has got great bungalows and serviced apartment at reasonable prices too.
If you instead really want an exclusive luxury resort, overlooking Cable Beach, with top spa facilities, then you must book yourself into the Cable Beach Club Resort spa.
Or click on the link below for more hotel deals in Broome.
More Trips in North Western Australia
This beautiful town is a tropical paradise for all travellers. Broome’s lively beach life, untouched Outback wilderness, and impressive history make it a tantalising holiday hotspot. So before you get to Broome make sure you do your research well so that you can have a fabulous trip and make the best memories.
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Last updated in May 2020