Broome - what we did

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Welcome to part 2 of my Broome posts, if you haven’t read part 1, click here to read about where we stayed and why. With this post, I’ll be running through some of the tours my hubby and I went on and, some of the local landmarks we saw. Hopefully for those of you thinking about heading up to Broome for the first time, it will help you with your research!

 

Tours

We basically spent most of our time at the resort lazing by the pool but we did do some paid tours to explore some of the local attractions!


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Snubfin Dolphin Eco Tour (sunset)
Broome Whale Watching

So snubfin dolphins are a rare breed and they don’t look like your typical dolphin (which are usually the bottlenoses). There is a high density population in Roebuck Bay which is where the tour takes you. According to Cam (owner and ship captain), the dolphins had been acting a little funny in the few weeks leading up to our tour, perhaps because some of them just had calves so they were a bit protective of their newborns. The dolphins normally don’t mind the boat and play, but on the day we went, they were a bit skittish and disappeared as soon as we approached. Cam was very respectful though and didn’t push too close, it would’ve been terrible for the dolphins to feel duress for entertainment’s sake. I was happy enough with the boat ride, there’s something so relaxing and beautiful being on the water on a stunning day. We got served canapes and drinks by the lovely second in command, Lauren (she is like pure sunshine in human form) and got to watch the sunset at the end of the day, glorious!

Pearl Farm Tour
Willie Creek

Pearling is a big industry in Broome so of course we had to go on a tour for it. The Willie Creek Pearl Farm is about 45 minutes away from Broome, it was definitely a bumpy shuttle bus ride on unsealed road - the ‘Broome massage’ as the driver called it. You can also do a self-drive to get there if you have a car. When we got to the farm, we had a bit of a sit-down, touch-and-feel interactive presentation to begin with where we learned about culturing pearls, the five virtues of the pearl, oyster anatomy and more. The dude passed around a pearl worth $8000, good thing we were a trustworthy bunch! Afterwards, we were treated to afternoon tea of yummy homemade iced tea and lemonade and; damper and fruitcakes. Then we hopped on a boat where we were shown around Willie Creek and the process of checking the lines of oysters. This was also fun because we saw heaps of locals fishing and just hanging out! After the boat ride, the last stop was the showroom (of course!) where we were shown exquisite pieces. I TRIED on a pearl necklace worth about $21,000 … I. CAN'T. EVEN. 

3 in 1 Tour (The Mango Place, 12 Mile Bird Park, Malcolm Douglas Crocodile Park)
Broome and Around

We kicked off the tour at The Mango Place where we had port tasting and we ended up buying a few jams, chutneys and ports - it’s amazing to see how huge the mango trees are and the sheer amount of them! This was followed by the 12 Mile Bird Park, it’s a little place but I always find birds fascinating so the time went by so quickly, they have different birds ranging from galahs, finches to parrots - some of them talk and do tricks, that was fun! The highlight of the tour was the Crocodile Park, I got to hold a baby croc… which pooped on me (good thing it was cute lol). They have some pretty huge rogue crocs at the park so it was an incredible sight to see them being fed. At about 3pm, one of the keepers started the round of feeding which guests can watch, we followed him around as he fed each croc. The guy made a statement about not holding onto the fence or have anything dangling over the fence, especially during the feeding because the crocodiles can’t differentiate between you or your camera and a piece of raw chicken. Yet during the feeding, so many people (and lots of littlies…) were right up against the fence… with a croc just a few feet away!! It freaked me out.

Sunset Camel Ride
Broome Camel Safaris

This is a quintessential Broome experience and it is lovely to be on Cable Beach at sunset, the sky was a beautiful blue with candy pink hues the day we went. We were given the alpha male of the pack, it was a strange feeling as he got up from kneeling to standing -  it’s a lot higher up than you think! And when the camel starts walking, it’s a weird rolling motion, probably would feel less weird if you’re used to horse riding. Most of the camels have been saved from going to the slaughterhouse so you can appreciate Alison's (the camel lady) efforts in saving them and giving them a home. 

 

One thing that we did want to do was a scenic helicopter ride but just had no luck with the companies. One was having their helicopters serviced, one wasn’t running at all till peak season and a couple just didn’t get back to me! I think it would’ve been worth doing some sort of flight, I think it would be a beautiful region to see from above. Specially maybe some of the waterfalls would’ve been nice to fly to!

 

Other sights and landmarks

If you’re a tourist up in Broome - you’ll soon pick up the importance of low and high tide readings. A lot of sights you’ll see will be dependent on this! There’s local magazines you can pick up which will have them and of course, if you're techmanological, you can just google the times!


Staircase To the Moon

If you can time your visit to Broome with this natural phenomenon, I would highly recommend it. It’s where the full moon comes up over Roebuck Bay at low tide and the light reflects off the mud flats creating a ‘staircase’ leading to the moon. Photos definitely don’t do it justice, it is larger in real life and there’s something really spiritual as the red full moon rises from the horizon. We were there for 2 staircase nights so the first night, we watched it from Town Beach, we sat at the lookout ledge near the beach (not the most comfortable to be honest). At the beach, they have night markets with food vans and local arts and crafts. The second night, we watched it from The Mangrove Hotel which we found a lot better for comfort! Get there early to score a seat right at the very edge. They had live music while the moon came up, a guy playing the didgeridoo, which made it even more special. The only thing is, everyone will be trying to take a gazillion photos so be prepared for a paparazzi-like frenzy while it’s happening.

Gantheaume Point

This is another place that is very much dependent on the tide, visit at low tide (below 2m or something like that) and you’ll be able to see dinosaur footprints if you climb down the rocks. Make sure to go at least half an hour earlier than the time listed just to make sure you don’t miss it! We were a little bit late and we had to walk through knee deep water to get to the dinosaur footprint rock. If you don’t manage to find the real footprints, there is a cast of the footprints at the top. It’s also worth a look at this place at high tide just to see the difference in water level! There is apparently 3 sites (check out the Broome Visitor’s Guide magazine for a map) but we only saw one set while we were there. If you’re going to walk around on the rocks, you’ll probably want decent footwear since some of the rocks can be sharp!

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Some Cable Beach side places we checked out:

Sunset at the beach
Buddha Sanctuary

Some Town/Mangrove side places we checked out:

Town Beach
Town Centre / Johnny Chi Lane / Chinatown
Sun Pictures
Streeter’s Jetty
Courthouse Markets
Historical Museum

As mentioned in my first post, there is a local bus that loops around from Cable Beach to the Town side with lots of stops in between. We used this to get around town along with a couple of taxis here and there. Most of the tours picked us up from our hotel room and dropped us back!

 

Hopefully this has been a worth a read, I'll be posting about some of the food places soon :)  
Any excuse to do a new illustration and get my writing on! 
Have you been to Broome? What was your experience like?

Broome -where we stayed

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My hubby and I recently had the urge to escape the daily grind - I’m sure you know what I’m talking about, that annoying itch only a holiday can soothe. Seeing it was a last minute (a lot of genius ideas are born this way right?) we wanted something that didn’t involve an incredible amount of planning. Basically, I was envisioning us relaxing by the pool, reading a book, maybe enjoying a cheeky cocktail or two (oh holidays, where drinking during the day isn’t considered a problem) and sunning it up. We could have gone to Bali, god knows it would’ve been cheaper, but that meant going through the fuss of passports and exchanging currencies blah blah blah… which we just didn’t want to deal with.  Exploring our own Australian backyard has always been something we’ve been meaning to do, this seemed like the golden opportunity.

One of our priorities was going somewhere hotter, so somewhere like Tasmania, even though it’s on our list, was a no-go zone. I had seen a few Broome photos on Instagram earlier which called out to me and, looking up their weather report, it was bright skies all week with no hint of rain. Sold. Plus it’s only a short 2 hour flight away from Perth, that’s quicker than driving down south to Margs! We knew we had definitely booked the right spot when a couple of days before we were heading out, my husband was on the train coming home from a sh*tty day at work and a woman sat directly opposite him, wearing a hat with the word “Broome” emblazoned on the front… it was like a big thumbs up from the Universe. This was going to be an awesome getaway!

 
Broome - Kimberley Sands

Where we stayed

Kimberley Sands Resort and Spa

Cable Beach // Studio apartment

What i liked about the resort

The room was neat and tidy - had the basics we needed. The most important thing was air-conditioning, something you’ll definitely appreciate in 30-something degree heat! They give you bottled water every day when your room is cleaned, it seems like such a minor thing to point out but trust me, you’ll smash that little bottle of water down like your life depended on it, every time. The resort has a large open pool with lots of deck chairs - we stayed during off-peak so we pretty much had the pool to ourselves!  The grounds has a lush and tropical feel, step outside of this and it’s more like your Aussie outback country town. The resort restaurant, The Deck is seriously THE BEST. We went there for breakfasts, lunches and dinners… all fabulous! The resort is only about a 10 minute walk to the beach, there's a general store about 5 minutes down the road (this was handy for restocking on sunscreen, mozzie spray and snacks), there’s a small selection of cafes and restaurants within 10-15 minutes walk from the resort.

 

Cable Beach vs. Town area...

Honestly, I really liked where we stayed. The resorts on the Cable Beach side seemed more appealing to me - however, if you stay on this side, visiting spots like Johnny Chi Lane, Matso’s Brewery or Town Beach which are on the town/mangrove side will need hiring a car, taking the bus or grabbing a taxi. The local Broome bus loops around Cable Beach to the town, every hour during the wet season, more often during dry season. It kind of covers most of the touristy areas but you are restricted by the start and final times, the last bus was about 6pm which isn’t very late if you’re going out for dinner in town! My hubby and I both hate driving so we did a combination of the local bus and taxis - it worked out a lot cheaper for us than hiring a car.

On an end  note ... you can’t survive Broome without … sunscreen and mozzie spray!
 

Stay tuned for the next Broome post which will be about the tours we did and some of the local attractions we visited!