Broome In­tel

Marlin - - FEATURES -

WHEN TO GO

Broome is sit­u­ated on the trop­i­cal north­west­ern coast­line of Aus­tralia and has two ma­jor sea­sons a year. The wet sea­son ex­tends from Novem­ber through April; the weather can get pretty warm and sticky, with fre­quent storms bring­ing show­ers and even tor­ren­tial rain — usu­ally the rain clouds and storms dis­ap­pear just as quickly as they ar­rive. The rest of the year — from late May to Oc­to­ber — is the dry sea­son, and there can be mag­nif­i­cent warm days with cloudless skies ac­com­pa­nied by cooler nights. This is the time of year when sail­fish­ing and other game fish­ing is at its best.

HOW TO GET THERE

Fly­ing is by far the best way to Broome be­cause it’s a long and dusty drive from Dar­win and Perth, the clos­est ma­jor cities. In­ter­na­tional flights ar­rive into ei­ther of these two cities, and con­nect­ing flights with ei­ther Qan­tas or Vir­gin Aus­tralia to Broome take a lit­tle over two hours.

It’s a good idea when ar­riv­ing in Broome to grab a handy book­let called Uniquely Broome, which is avail­able for just a cou­ple of bucks at the air­port and about every shop around town. The book con­tains maps, tour info, and other in­tel on where to stay and eat, as well as a host of valu­able lo­cal in­for­ma­tion about Broome and the whole Dampier Penin­sula.

WHERE TO STAY

Tourism is a huge part of the econ­omy of Broome, and there are all kinds of ac­com­mo­da­tions to suit ev­ery­one’s bud­get, from camp­ing and RV parks to ba­sic con­dos, mo­tels and ho­tels (lo­cals call them pubs), right up to lux­ury five-star re­sorts. The top of my list is the mag­nif­i­cent Ca­ble Beach Re­sort sit­u­ated right on the edge of the world-fa­mous beach for which it’s named. The other im­pres­sive place I looked at is the new five-star Pearle Re­sort, just a short walk from Ca­ble Beach.

LO­CAL FLA­VOR

The one thing Broome is not short of is top-class eater­ies, and the lo­cal seafood in par­tic­u­lar is phe­nom­e­nal. Fresh de­lec­ta­ble mud crabs, salt­wa­ter bar­ra­mundi fil­lets and the ex­otic pearl meat from the huge pearl oys­ters are all hard to pass up. If you’re into big, suc­cu­lent steaks, the lo­cal beef or wa­ter buf­falo meat is also ex­cel­lent. There are also lots of lo­cally grown trop­i­cal fruits and some of the juici­est pineap­ples and man­goes you have ever tasted. Of course you’ll need to en­joy a su­perb red or white wine with all this great ta­ble fare: The

West­ern Aus­tralian wines from the Mar­garet River re­gion are some of Aus­tralia’s best and are be­com­ing pop­u­lar all over the world.

WHERE TO EAT

The two restau­rants at the Ca­ble Beach Re­sort are first-class, along with 18 De­grees in the town cen­ter. The Wharf Seafood Restau­rant near the Port of Broome is also a stand­out. All through­out the town, and par­tic­u­larly in the Chi­na­town area, are a host of great restau­rants, first-class cof­fee shops and cafes. The one thing I can rec­om­mend for a tasty lunch is the bar­ra­mundi burger, which is loaded with a big, fresh fil­let, ac­com­pa­nied by a salad with a tangy dress­ing. You won’t go hun­gry in this town — I can guar­an­tee that.

TOURS

The Broome re­gion is also packed full of his­tory, par­tic­u­larly with the pearling in­dus­try. There are ex­ten­sive tours that are well worth the time and dol­lars to ex­pe­ri­ence while you are there. With­out a doubt, one of the best tours we ex­pe­ri­enced was the five-hour tour to the Wil­lie Creek Pearl Farm to see how these mas­sive pearl oys­ters are cul­ti­vated to pro­duce some of the world’s finest Moon Bright pearls — an ab­so­lutely fas­ci­nat­ing process to wit­ness. These pearls can be pur­chased on-site at the farm’s jew­elry shop as well as at sev­eral of the jew­elry shops around town.

Broome is the only place in Aus­tralia to have hov­er­craft tours op­er­at­ing, and just the ride — let alone the en­tire tour — is worth the ex­pense. They pro­vide two dif­fer­ent kinds of tours: The short­est takes you over the vast tidal flats and sand­banks of Roe­buck Bay to an area al­most in­ac­ces­si­ble by any other means, where you can view 120-mil­lion-year-old di­nosaur foot­prints. The sec­ond tour is a lit­tle longer and con­tin­ues on from the di­nosaur foot­prints to other in­ter­est­ing sights along the Broome coast­line, lead­ing to a se­cluded point on the tidal flats where hors d’oeu­vres and wine or cham­pagne are served as you marvel over the spec­tac­u­lar Broome sun­set.

THE MAG­NIF­I­CENT KIM­BER­LEY’S

Not many vis­i­tors ven­ture all the way to Broome with­out also tak­ing in the won­ders of the vast, rugged Kim­ber­ley re­gion. This sa­cred Abo­rig­i­nal land cov­ers an area of more than 164,000 square miles and boasts eight na­tional parks. The pop­u­lar tourist ar­eas are ex­ten­sive and in­clude Bun­gle Bun­gle, Gibb River Road, Lake Argyle, Elque­stro Sta­tion, Morn­ing­ton Sanc­tu­ary, Cape Leveque and the amaz­ing Hor­i­zon­tal Wa­ter­falls. A boat ride over these falls is an un­for­get­table ex­pe­ri­ence.

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