Broome was once a booming pearling port with over 400 pearl luggers in Roebuck Bay. But when pearl plastic buttons fell out of favour, it brought about Broome’s pearling demise. Almost overnight, Broome became a sleepy country town and its importance long forgotten. But fast-forward to today, and Broome still has lots to offer and scores of visitors’ flock to the area to sample it all. The permanent population of Broome is only around 15,000 but this can triple to over 45,000 during peak holiday seasons. Just as well there is plenty of Broome accommodation to cater for singles, couples, groups of friends and families.
Beyond the beaches and luxurious resorts, there is ample to do in Broome with kids including day trips, breath-taking landscapes to admire and a rich history to explore. With direct flights from the East Coast, it’s easy for families to get to. Broome-Time Accommodation, who offer budget Broome accommodation, have put together the below guide when visiting the area with children.
Cable Beach with kids
Sand dunes hug Cable Beaches’ 22.5km stretch of super soft white sand, creating natural viewing platforms of the vast blue waters of the Indian Ocean. It’s no wonder that it draws large groups of admirers to its shores. When the tide is out, the lovely wide stretch of white sandy beach is fully exposed. But there is no need to worry about the crowds, as there is plenty of beach to share. Simply travel along the beach, either by 4WD or by foot, until you find a private oasis all to yourselves. Kids are well catered for at Cable Beach with lots of activities to get involved in. The Broome Surf Life Saving Club also hire beach lounges and umbrellas allowing for a comfortable day as the kids enjoy the sea, sand and a shaded sandy playground.
Camel ride on Cable Beach at sunset
Not to be missed is the magical Cable Beach sunset – and it’s even better experienced on top of a camel. Some fob it off as a tourist trap, but the kids will love it. It’s a unique and iconic experience of Broome for children and an unforgettable family experience. But those of a nervous disposition can always enjoy the stunning sunset while sipping on a cocktail from a nearby bar while taking a photo of the procession of camels as they walk past.
Spot dinosaur tracks at Gantheaume Point
Gantheaume Point is perched high atop vivid red cliffs set against the striking blue of the ocean, with Cable Beach in the background. At low tide (where the tide is 1.7 meters or less), resting in the intertidal area are 130-million-year-old dinosaur footprints. It’s been reported that 20 species of dinosaur have been identified in the Broome area. With no indicators of what are and aren’t actual dinosaur tracks, kids can have a great time trying to spot them, as well as enjoy the rock pools and scrambling along the cliff face. It’s a bit of a hike for those with small legs and a tad slippery so take care. It’s advisable to take smaller tots in a carrier.
Take the Staircase to the Moon
When there is a full moon rising over the tidal flats of Roebuck Bay, the rippled mud flats make it appear as though there is a staircase you could climb until it’s touching the moon – hence its name. It is truly sensational to watch, and it’s no wonder literally every tourist turns out to watch this phenomenon of nature. You will be competing with selfie-sticks and everyone wanting the perfect shot so be sure to turn up early to bag the best spot. You will still enjoy the experience regardless and to be honest it’s better to watch it with your eyes rather than through a camera lens. There are also night markets held at Town Beach on the Staircase to the Moon nights, making it a fun hub of activity with the kids.
The Shell House
Located on Guy Street, this private collection of over 5000 shells is open to the public to view the shells for free. They also sell jewellery here suitable for adults and children. So, leave the shells on the beach and come here to marvel at their finds.
Take a trip to the deep sea harbour
Keeping children amused for hours on end can be a challenge at the best of times. But kids can have hours of fun here at the deep sea harbour watching the ships load and offload from this busy working pier. Pedestrians can walk along the footbridge to the end to see giant cargo ships loading and unloading. It’s also a popular spot for fisherman. You can get children involved by encouraging them to ask them questions like what the fisherman have caught. Better still, if you have your own line with you, why not throw it in?
Broome’s Streeters Jetty with kids
To this day, there are still glimpses of the pearling history. Streeters Jetty is a semi-restored jetty, which was used during the pearling era in the 1880s. Tracks used to be on the jetty that pushed carts or pearl shells collected by the luggers and taken to the streets. Kids can have fun on the jetty travelling the short distance over the mangroves to the blue waters of the bay at high tide.
Free Cygnet Bay Pearl demonstration
Each week day at 11am, Cygnet Bay Pearls holds a free pearl demonstration to showcase their South Sea Pearls, which are farmed in Cygnet Bay on the Dampier Peninsula approximately 200km from Broome. Here, kids and adults alike can discover how they harvest an oyster and see the largest South Sea Pearl.
Take a ride with Broome Cycles
Broome is fairly flat, therefore an ideal place for cycling for all the family. Bikes for both kids and adults can be hired from Broome Cycles in Hammersley Street. You can also get a fat tire beach bike from Cable Beach. It’s a great way of exploring the huge area of Broome as well as getting in some exercise. Not only will you and the kids work up an appetite, but you will also get a good night’s rest when you head back to your Broome accommodation.
Malcolm Douglas Wilderness Wildlife Park
Located some 16kms north of Broome, you can head here to capture crocodiles and other Australian birds and wildlife. Children love animals and getting up close and personal with them and a visit here will encourage them to learn more. The Malcolm Douglas Wilderness Wildlife Park is only open in the afternoons to the public, with daily feeding tours starting at 3pm. The money from the tour goes back to the wildlife park so you can be sure that it’s money well spent.
Broome’s Chinatown with Kids
Broome’s Chinatown was once a bustling Mecca for the peal industry. It’s where the Japanese did the diving, and the pearlers, shopkeepers and cooks were the Chinese. Pearl divers would spend their evenings in this area, after having spent six months at sea. And although Broome’s Chinatown retains its name, it’s not a traditional Chinatown as most of us know it. Today it’s the tourist hub of Broome where there is a selection of restaurants, eateries, cafes, art galleries, pearl and jewelry shops to explore.
Head to the Courthouse Markets
You can find all the charm and character of a country Australian market in the lush tropical gardens of the old courthouse. And you can have fun hunting out a genuine, handcrafted Australian souvenir as well as enjoying local delicacies and entertainment. It’s held Saturday mornings throughout the year and Sunday mornings during dry season.
Eye-popping concoctions at Matso’s Brewery
So, this may not be the first place you would think of taking the kids but bear with us, because there is fun to be had here for both adults and kids alike. One of the better boutique breweries in Australia, it specialises in the unusual combination of Indian food and mango and chilli beer. It may not to be to everyone’s taste but it’s most definitely innovative. And while you sample the variety of food and drinks on offer, kids can have fun running around in the lush grounds on site, as well as being entertained with a number of arcade games available. Both adults and children will no doubt be grateful to take the weight off their feet when they return to their accommodation in Broome.
Budget Broome accommodation specialists Broome-Time Accommodation, offer clean, comfortable and affordable rooms to rent suiting parties of all sizes. Whether you are coming to Broome for business or pleasure, you will find rooms are conveniently located that represent excellent value for money. Their resort accommodation features economy rooms, family rooms, deluxe Queen & deluxe King rooms. All rooms are comfortable and include all the amenities you would expect from a good hotel. For more information or to book a stay email [email protected] or call now on +61 (0) 8 9194 1700.