Some destinations leave a lasting impression. The majestic Kimberley region of Western Australian is one of them.
Flame-red rocks spilling into a turquoise sea, camels silhouetted against the sunset over the beach, and a colourful history of surprising depth and diversity… it’s a one-of-a-kind destination with plenty of surprises in store for those who make the long trip. Could you be one of them?
If you’re lucky enough to visit Broome and the Kimberley, here are five essential things to do.
1. Go camel riding on Cable Beach
It would be remiss to visit Broome without ticking off its most iconic experience – trekking along the white sands of Cable Beach in a camel caravan at sunset. Sure, it is a little random but, the moment you climb aboard one of these ambling ships of the desert, it just feels right. Broome Camel Safaris have been taking visitors for rides along the beach for over 25 years.
2. Grab a drink or two at Matso’s Brewery
Australia’s most remote brewery, Matso’s is a local institution known for its delicious ginger, mango and chilli beers. Walking into the rustic, old building, seeing where it all started back in 2000, is a pilgrimage for every serious Matso’s fan. Make an occasion of it by stopping by the restaurant (open for breakfast, lunch and dinner) and trying a few of the delicious brews.
Image credit: Matso’s Broome Brewery
3. Search for dinosaur footprints at Gantheaume Point
‘Welcome to Jurassic Pa…’ Oh wait. Well, in a way Gantheaume Point is the Jurassic Park of Broome, without all the rampaging dinosaurs and such. Dinosaur footprints dating from the Early Cretaceous period, about 130 million years ago, can be seen on rocky ledges at the point.
Note, reasonable fitness levels are required, as the ledges that feature the prints are only accessible at very low tide and can be slippery. Even if dinosaur print hunting isn’t your thing, the other-worldly landscape of Gantheaume Point is still a great reason to visit.
4. Catch an outdoor movie at the iconic Sun Pictures
The stars of the screen beneath the stars in the clear night sky. What’s not to love? Sun Pictures is believed to be the world’s oldest operating picture gardens, screening current release and classic movies among the elements. The cinema is positioned directly beneath the flight path, and mosquitos and flies can be a bit of an issue if you’re not dressed appropriately (and smelling of citronella), but it’s an unforgettable experience and absolute must-do!
Image credit: Tourism Western Australia
5. Delve into the region’s pearling history
Long before the pearl farm industry there was pearl hunting. Even if you’re not particularly interested in wearing them, the story of Broome and the pearl industry is worth exploring. Broome Historical Society & Museum houses a fascinating exhibit about industry from days gone by, or you could stop by the Willie Creek or Cygnet Bay Pearl Farms to see the current process for yourself.
Beyond the above, there’s a lot to love and learn about Broome. Take time to meet the locals, to walk in the footsteps of the indigenous people who have called this region home for over 30,000 years, and you’ll find a rich and varied town with plenty to see and do.
The colour, the culture, and the quirkiness of the Kimberley will stay with you forever.