Travelling to the Kimberley for a holiday can be an experience of a lifetime. Here you will find a melting pot of cultures, a rich history and breath-taking landscape and that is just the first day.
In addition to the magnificent coastal wilderness, it is worth experiencing the diversity of each town that makes up this vast region. Did you know that the Kimberley is three times the size of the UK? But has an estimated population of just 41,200 (2008) (Kimberley Development Commission) compared to over 60 million in the UK (The World Fact Book) Having grown up in the UK, the Kimberley is definitely a breath of fresh air!!
So I thought I would take you on a mini tour of the region to introduce you to its towns and whet your appetite for your adventures to follow….
Being located in Broome, it seems natural to start right here. It has the largest population centre in the Kimberley region. The resident population remains approximately 14,000 but swells to approximately 45,000 in the peak tourist months of June to August (Broome Visitor Centre). For those booked on a cruise, it is understandable you would be focused on your ocean adventure, but there are also lots to do for a few days either side of your cruise that will assist the R&R.
First stop Cable Beach, an icon in Broome. 22 kilometres of award-winning (West Australia’s Favourite Beach 2004) pure white sands, edged by pristine turquoise waters – it is just as beautiful as the brochure images!! There is nothing more relaxing than taking a stroll along the water’s edge or throwing down a blanket, cracking a cold drink and watching the kaleidoscopic, mango sunsets for which this slice of paradise is renowned. In fact, why not check out the sunset for yourself at Cable Beach Broome Cam.
The history and culture of the town is truly fascinating and the Broome Historical Society showcase facets of the town’s past at the Museum. Open 7 days a week, a couple of hours out of your day will provide you with a greater appreciation of the town’s struggles and glory days. Then grab a cushion and some popcorn and settle into a movie at the Sun Pictures, the world’s oldest outdoor cinemas found in Chinatown.
Pearls are indeed synonymous with Broome. Strolling through Chinatown, you will find yourself ooh-ing and arh-ing at all the array of award-winning pearl jewellery designs. You will be spoilt for choice and there is something for all budgets.
Another unique attraction of Broome is the Staircase to the Moon. It is a natural and quite incredible phenomenon when the full moon rises over Roebuck Bay mudflats thus creating an illusion of a stairway to the moon. It occurs over 3 consecutive evenings between March and October. Follow the link to find out the exact dates Broome Visitor Centre. Wander through the Moon Markets at Town Beach or relax and enjoy the ambience at the Mangrove Resort where musicians entertain with a didgeridoo interlude to accompany the mystic moon rising.
There are of course many other tourist attractions in Broome and her surrounds; Willie Creek Pearl Farm, Scenic Flights, Cable Beach Camel Rides, Broome Town Tours, the Japanese Cemetery, Hovercraft Flights, Weekly Courthouse Markets not forgetting the annual Shinju Matsuri – Festival of the Pearl (September), Spring Carnival Race Round (June-Aug) and Mango Festival (Nov) to name but a few.
Okay we’ve hit the highway, next stop Derby, but for the moment, Broome – Let yourself go!