Heading to Australia’s glorious north-west? Pack your walking shoes as well as your bathers for these 10 unforgettable journeys on foot.
With a view that stretches out to the Indian Ocean, Cable Beach offers 22 kilometres of powder-soft white sands lapped by mesmerising turquoise waters. Don’t worry if you’re not up for the entire epic walk: the seven-kilometre stretch along the firm tidal sand from the Broome Surf Lifesaving Club to the beach at Gantheaume Point is the best part. Time your saunter for sunset and pack a bottle of bubbly to sit and enjoy the spectacular display of gold, orange and purple hues lighting up the horizon as the sun dips into the Indian Ocean.
Tucked behind Cable Beach, the conservation area of Minyirr Park has a network of well-marked walking trails winding through its striking red sand dunes. The 500-metre one-way Nagula Walk Trail winds through dunes to reach a more isolated section of Cable Beach and is perfect for those looking for a route away from the crowds. More experienced walkers will love the Minyirr Park Trail, a 10.8-kilometre return trip with stunning views of sea and land. Keep your eyes peeled for native flora and fauna including the red-winged parrot, lizards, snakes and ghost crabs and the spectacular green bird flower.
Jetty to Jetty Trail
Broome’s pearling history springs to life on the Jetty to Jetty Trail. Devised by Broome’s traditional owners, the Yawuru, the award-winning self-guided heritage walk traverses the foreshore of Roebuck Bay from Streeter’s Jetty in Chinatown, the original jetty for the pearling luggers, to Town Beach. Along the way, signs detail the stories of the Aboriginal and Asian pearl divers whose dangerous work helped create modern-day Broome. Make sure you download the free mobile app and pack your headphones for an extra-special deep dive. At 2.5 kilometres long, you can consider this an illuminating journey into the past.
Broome Food and Heritage Trail
Food and history collide on the Broome Food and Heritage Trail. A 4.4-kilometre self-guided amble through the Chinatown precinct, this loop takes in refreshing pit stops at key historic locations including the Roebuck Bay Hotel, which opened in 1890 to cater for the pearling crews and other regional pioneers, and the Courthouse Markets (every Saturday and Sunday during the dry season). Make sure you bring an appetite for this DIY taste of the town’s melting pot of cuisines including Chinese, Filipino, Indigenous and more. Some venues might require bookings, so it’s best to check ahead of time.
SEE ALSO: The Best Things to Do in Broome
Reddell Beach Walk
Hang with the locals on the Reddell Beach Walk. Less well known than Cable Beach, this 1.7-kilometre stretch located between Gantheaume Point and Broome Port on the end of the Broome peninsula is accessed via an unsealed road and feels a bit like Mars with its red pindan cliffs and rocky shoreline (and yes, you’ll have to scramble down, so wear some sturdy shoes). Take your time walking among the red rock formations that have been eroded into striking sentinels overlooking the white sand beach and explore the endless rockpools. Another reason locals love this stretch is because its vivid blue water is perfect for swimming, so don’t forget your bathers and a towel.
Bagul Bagul Mangroves Tour
Explore Broome’s mangroves and learn about its Indigenous culture on the Bagul Bagul Mangroves Tour from Narlijia Tours. Heading out to Buccaneer Rock, the two-hour walk led by Yawuru guide Bart Pigram is rich with Dreaming stories and insight into the delicate ecosystem. Along the way you’ll meet the creatures that call it home, including mudskippers, mud crabs and crustaceans. You can eat fresh oysters plucked straight from the rock and if you’re lucky you might even see a shy dugong. Bring insect repellent, reef shoes, a sunhat and water bottle – and, says Bart, a sense of adventure.
Broome Bird Observatory
One for committed twitchers as well as novice bird watchers, the Broome Bird Observatory’s trails are a fascinating introduction to some of the 330 different bird species that have been recorded around Broome. On the north shore of Roebuck Bay, 10 kilometres from Broome, the Observatory’s self-guided walks include the Pindan Trail, a flat and easy 1.2-kilometre loop encompassing woodland and a lookout over Roebuck Bay, while the Spinifex Trail is a relaxed stroll over 1.7 kilometres that offers the chance to see woodswallows, martins, red-backed fairy-wrens and cuckoos depending on the time of the year. Make sure to take your own drinking water.
A great way to get your Broome bearings, the Heritag Trail explores Chinatown, the site of the town’s original settlement and commercial centre. Starting on Short Street, 250 metres from the Visitor Information Centre, the 1.2-kilometre loop passes several heritage-protected buildings, including the 1916 Sun Picture Gardens (the world’s oldest still-operating outdoor cinema), the original police lock-up and an historic boab tree, as well as cottages and shops built in a distinct Broome style. It ends at Johnny Chi Lane, where the architecture brings to life the frontier town of the early 1900s with the help of information boards.
Here's one walk the kids are bound to love. At Gantheaume Point, a promontory adjoining Cable Beach, you can time travel back to the prehistoric era thanks to the epic sight of 130-million -year-old dinosaur footprints preserved in the reef rock. Around 10 minutes’ drive from the centre of Broome, the Gantheaume Point cliffs and lighthouse have a short track from the carpark with interpretive signage to casts of the dinosaur footprints. Prefer to leave the car at the resort? There’s one public bus per day out to the point during dry season; once you’ve had your dino fix, you can walk the seven kilometres back to town along Cable Beach.