Western Australia’s most exotic town has more to offer than sunsets viewed from perfect beaches, camel rides and South Sea pearls. Situated between the outback and the ocean, Broome is the gateway to the wider Kimberley region. Some of these experiences are close at hand, such as the milky sands of Cable Beach and the tides that peel back to reveal dinosaur footprints beneath the ochre cliffs of Gantheaume Point, while others, such as Talbot Bay’s spectacular Horizontal Falls, require a plane ride. Prefer more leisurely pursuits? Stay in town and pamper yourself at a world-class day spa or catch a movie at the oldest outdoor cinema on Earth – you’re on tropics time, after all.
Discover a new beach
Cable Beach deservedly gets a lot of attention – and no trip to Broome is complete without a sunset trip across it on the back of a camel – but don’t miss its quieter counterpart, Town Beach. The stunning scene created by the pink coastline and milky-turquoise waters, punctuated by palms and mangroves, is reason enough but Roebuck Bay is also home to rare snubfin dolphins. Hop on a tour with Broome Whale Watching to see these bizarre creatures that have domed heads and the ability to bend their necks. Here, you’ll also find the charming Town Beach Cafe (Robinson Street; 08 9193 5585), which serves breakfast and lunch – we recommend the date scones that are baked fresh each day.
Fly over ancient landscapes
Visiting the Bungle Bungle Range is a mandatory bucket-list entry but getting to remote Purnululu National Park is no easy feat, as it’s more than 300 kilometres from the gateway town of Kununurra. But King Leopold Air offers a solution for the time-strapped. A six-seater Cessna not only wings its way from Broome over the tiger-striped domes of the Bungle Bungle Range but also lands for a 4WD tour of the park and a hike into ethereal Cathedral Gorge. The flight back takes in Windjana Gorge and the Devonian Reef Conservation Park, the fossilised remains of the reef that existed when the sea covered this region 350 million years ago.
Escape to the cape
At the end of the red dirt road leading to the tip of the Dampier Peninsula lies a landscape of dense coastal scrub dotted with pindan wattle, spectacular red cliffs skirted by white beaches and blue waters that hover around an eminently swimmable 23°C year round. This serene finger of land is home to some 1300 people, descendants of Indigenous groups and the whalers who would chase humpbacks along the coast. InStyle Adventures offers several tours from Broome that explore this culturally rich area. Activities include the chance to hook mud crabs out of the tidal flats with an elder, seeing the pretty shell-decorated church at Beagle Bay, exploring the cape’s trochus shell and pearl farms and rolling out a towel on beaches with no-one else in sight. For those staying overnight, there are the safari-style tents in the wilderness camp Kooljaman at Cape Leveque just metres from the beach.