We’ve learned a lot of things on our travels, but one thing that keeps popping up is that we just haven’t explored enough of our home state, Western Australia. So now that we’ve got a toddler in tow, we thought what better time to add some local trips to the mix, starting with stunning Broome.
A quick 2.5 hour plane ride from Perth lies this country town, synonymous with gorgeous sunsets, camel rides, never ending beaches, and of course mango beer. For somewhere that supposedly has a population of 10,000 people (and planes full of tourists coming in and out each day) Broome certainly didn’t feel busy. Maybe everyone just stays at Cable Beach Resort? With multiple internationally renowned restaurants and beautiful grounds just a stones throw from Cable Beach, who could blame them. Needless to say, we didn’t stay there. We opted to spend a week chilling out at various spots. Here’s what we got up to:
Palm Grove Holiday Park
A more budget-friendly option on the Cable Beach side of Broome is Palm Grove. We stayed in a self-contained cabin with AC and TV, not that you need either! There’s a swimming pool for guests and across the road is the Divers Tavern where you can bet on crazy crab races every Sunday night.
Ramada Eco Beach Resort
Guys, this place is awesome. If you’re heading to Broome make sure you spending a night here, preferably longer. Located an hour and a half drive south of Broome, down a 10km unsealed driveway you immediately feel isolated from the world, in a good way. There are different accommodation options but we opted for 3 nights in a beautiful glamping tent. As the name suggests the resort is located on a stretch of beach and is eco-friendly. We enjoyed visiting the organic garden and chickens onsite.
There was also lots of wildlife to spot, from wallabies and birds,to geckos and frogs. All of which little miss was stoked to see, well, with the exception of the three frogs that popped out of the drain while she was in the shower! I wasn’t super thrilled about the one in the toilet either. Each day we explored the beach and rockpools at low tide, spotting lots of crabs and a few octopuses (or octopi if you prefer- fun fact, both are correct). There’s a day spa on site which we can both vouch for as well as plenty of activities to keep you busy like fishing, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, and bush walking. Or you can just laze by the beautiful infinity pool or start the day with some free yoga. Don’t let yoga be the selling point for you though, we must admit we were a little disappointed by the half-assed half hour session offered, although the yoga room which overlooks the ocean is spectacular. Hopefully the yoga is better during peak periods? Phone coverage and internet is almost non-existent but this is actually a huge blessing, providing an opportunity to fully relax and disconnect.
If you decide to visit, be sure to check for specials, we got our accommodation half price by going midweek.
This stock standard hotel is walking distance from Town Beach and Matsos Brewery. A good spot to stay if you’re looking for a pretty pool area during Stairway to the Moon time, without the price tag of The Mangrove.
See & Do.
No visit to Broome is complete without enjoying a sunset at this world famous beach. Grab yourself a patch of sand and soak up the last of the day’s rays while throwing back a tasty beverage and some pre-dinner snacks. You can set up on the right or left side of the rocks. The right side is where most people who have a 4WD head to witness the iconic camel rides that everyone knows and loves. We did both and actually preferred the left hand side which felt less crowded and more serene without cars everywhere.
An alternative spot to watch the sun dip into the Indian Ocean is this beautiful point, which the French mistook for an island when they arrived back in the early 1800’s. At high tide its easy to see how they made such a mistake. The colours here are simply phenomenal. The red pindan dirt set against a backdrop of turquoise ocean and bright blue skies is just delightful. G Point, as I like to call it (because let’s face it Gantheaume is a mouthful), is also the location of some 130 million year old dinosaur footprints. They can only be seen a few times a month when the tide is below 2.16m. You need to climb down some pretty slippery rocks to view them so best not to lug a toddler down there with you. If you’re not in town at the right time or are unable to climb down the rocks, there are some replica footprints set in plaster for you to check out.
Just around the corner (well in Aussie terms) lies this deserted beach. Again, not the best option for families with young children due to rocks but worth checking out otherwise.
Sticking with beaches, we decided to check out Entrance Point after hearing it was fast becoming a favourite wedding spot- generally a pretty good indication of picturesqueness. Just past the port, where the boats launch (hence the name), this beach probably isn’t somewhere we’d bother swimming but was nice for a walk and to teach little miss the art of shell collecting.
Our most visited place in Broome. No, not because it’s a gorgeous beach, but it does have a pretty fantastic playground, with a view to match. Oh how times have changed. Anyway, little miss loved it! There’s also a cafe next door and a water playground that operates from 9-5 everyday except Tuesdays.
Held from 8am-1pm every Saturday (and Sunday from Easter til October) these markets are worth a stroll through. There’s your pretty standard stuff like art and clothes, as well as cheap massages, hair braiding, food trucks and decent coffee. Just don’t go expecting to buy all your fresh fruit and veg for the week like we did, unfortunately given Broome’s location there wasn’t much of a selection.
After the markets we took a stroll around Chinatown which is probably unlike any other Chinatown in the world due to its distinctive Aussie vibe. There are plenty of cafes to check out, as well as the worlds oldest outdoor cinema, Sun Pictures.
Another of Broome’s gorgeous photo ops. The Streeter Jetty is not only a nice way to see the mangroves at high tide but is rich in local history. Make sure you take the time to read the signs and learn more about Broome’s famous pearling culture and the impact that World War II had on the local communities.
There’s always one place we visit twice and this was it. It was relaxed but refined, with views overlooking the mangroves and delicious food! Our top pick is the prawn tacos- so good. Next time we visit Broome we’ll probably splurge and just stay here.
The Good Cartel
This unassuming cafe is tucked away in a car park between Weld St and Nappier Tce. It has a nice casual vibe, probably owing to the fact that it’s completely outdoors. Don’t worry there’s shade and fans to keep you cool. The food here was delicious! Not to mention nutritious, with good vegetarian options and fresh juices to choose from. After overhearing a local strongly recommend the sushi bowl to someone else, Niall ordered one and wasn’t disappointed. I ordered the chilli bowl which was also very satisfying. Oh, and little miss had some of the quite generously sized savoury veggie muffin- yum all round.
Jack’s @ Eco Beach Resort
Even if you don’t want to stay, you should take a day trip out to Eco Beach and eat at Jack’s Restaurant which overlooks the ocean. Most of the menu has Asian influences, which suited us to a tee. In fact, this subtle influence was apparent everywhere in Broome. The pork belly paw paw salad was incredible as was one of the daily specials, the grilled barramundi in a Thai curry sauce- if it’s offered, get it.
Matsos Brewery & Curry Hut
An institution in Broome, Matsos was recommended by virtually everyone before we arrived. I’m a fan of their bottled mango beer and well, Nialls just a fan of breweries in general, so we took zero convincing. We were lucky enough to nab the last table at lunch and munched away on some fairly typical (but still tasty) pub food while enjoying a beer (or two) and the live music playing in the garden. If you’re around at 11 am on a Wednesday or Friday you can also take a tour of the microbrewery for $35 ea.
We’re lovers of Indian food, particularly North Indian, so we were a bit disappointed to find out that the Curry Hut is only open for dinner. On our last night we swung by to grab some takeaway curry. Now, we were told by one waitstaff that they don’t do takeaway and by the Curry Hut guy that they do. So we’re not entirely sure if they actually do or not, but hey they gave it to us anyway so if you can’t dine in its worth asking. And it was scrumptious. I personally loved the the veggie curry while Niall preferred the fish curry. It comes complete with rice, papadums, raita and a spicy beetroot chutney.
That’s it. Now the countdown starts again. Two and a half months til we’re off to Yogyakarta and Bali.. unless we win the lotto this weekend… Just putting it out there universe..