There is a common misconception about the best time to visit Broome. Truth is, the town is ready for you all year round – both the wet and dry seasons have plenty on offer. Broome is known for its tropical climate, from the warm winters to the lightning storms. Its peak is between June to August, with many Aussies travelling north to escape winter. Off-peak season runs from January to March due to a lot of rain during the monsoon season.
When it comes to warm weather, Broome does things a little differently. The dry season lasts from May to October. The humidity is low and there is little to no rain. The skies are blue and the nights are balmy. Temperatures average between 20 degrees to low 30s. So if you love to swim, this is the perfect time to go, with the colder water deterring the box jellyfish.
Heading into the wet season between the months of November to April, the heat begins to pick up, with temperatures climbing into the mid-30s during the day. The rain is mostly heavy, with short downpours in the afternoon or evening, and, while the humidity may be too much for some, it’s responsible for the tropical storms that result in some spectacular flashes of lightning and breathtakingly beautiful sunsets, which locals say are not to be missed.
The perfect time to relax, surrender to the hot weather and enjoy slow-paced living. Matso’s is Australia’s most remote brewery and is open seven days a week. Sit back on the brewery's large verandah overlooking Roebuck Bay with a refreshing ginger beer in hand or match the midday heat with Matso’s chilli beer, claimed to be the hottest beer in the world. Wash the beers down with lunch and opt for the prize-winning steak sandwich, prize-winner of ‘best steak sanga’ at the AHA Steak Sandwich Awards in 2014.
The animals thrive in Broome’s heat and it is the perfect time to join crocodile wrangler and cultural tour guide, Johani, on his cultural and crocodile feeding tour. Mabu Baru Tours will take you around Broome, teaching about the Yawuru culture and transporting you through Dreamtime stories. Later, head into Malcolm Douglas Crocodile Park, where you can hold a baby crocodile or watch their parents – the five-metre saltwater crocodiles – being hand fed.
The Cable Peach Polo is held each year in May. Part of the international beach polo circuit, it attracts leading players from around the world. Hosted on Cable Beach, guests can choose to watch the game from the sand or arrive in style at the VIP marquee. The beach plays host to Dinner Under the Stars on Saturday evening, with 200 seated guests indulging in the Kimberley region's fresh produce and seafood.
Between the months of May and June the Broome Fringe Festival takes over the town. The creative community puts on a number of events showcasing the town's homegrown talent. Be transported by artists, musicians and performers through a series of workshops, gigs and exhibitions. A highlight is the annual Art Trail, where artists open their doors to the public to sell their art.
Shinju Matsuri is held from 20 August through to 4 September. The festival celebrates the Japanese, Malaysian, Chinese and Indigenous Australian cultures who have been brought together by the pearl industry in Broome. To celebrate the heritage and history of the town there is everything from cultural tours to art exhibitions, performances and gourmet dining. The Chinatown Feast is always a hit, with lantern-lit hawker-style markets running along Carnarvon Street.
The Staircase to the Moon is a natural phenomenon occurring between April and October when the full moon rises and reflects on the exposed mudflats during low tide, creating the illusion of a staircase. Markets are held once a month between 4-8pm in the Town Beach precinct on these evenings. Night markets are also held at the Town Beach every Thursday from June to September. Local stalls line the streets with food, live music, fashion and homewares.
The Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm holds its Pearl Harvest Festival each year in September, signifying the end of the year’s harvest. The festival gives people the chance to go behind the scenes of a working pearl farm and this year there are events such as live music planned for the weekend of 16-18 September. Stranded in Style is a ticketed event where guests are transported by boat to a deserted beach to watch the sun go down with champagne around a fire pit.
Get the most out of the balmy evenings in September and October with a camel ride. Red Sun Camels offers an hour-long trip at sunset. The company operates seven days a week and owns more than 40 camels. Six of them have earned celebrity status, after being featured in the movie, Australia.