Broome and Dampier Peninsular: Top 10 tips
Our time in the Kimberley has been fantastic and we ended up staying a while in Broome and on the Dampier Peninsular. We did need to get our back windscreen repaired after it cracked before even starting the Gibb River Road, but its a beautiful town and coastline that draws you in and you don’t want to leave. We spent the first two nights at James Price Point, before heading into Broome for three nights. It was then back up the Dampier peninsula to Kooljaman at Cape Leveque for three nights and we finished our time in the area with 4 nights again in Broome for the staircase to the moon.
Here are our top 10 tips for Broome
- Staircase to the Moon
On certain days between April and October Broome provides an amazing spot to witness the staircase to the moon.
We stayed at the Roebuck Caravan park for this phenomena as its right on town beach. The campsite has incredible views across the bay.
The sunrise from the waterfront campsite was also amazing, but the staircase to the moon is incredible. We headed first to the night markets for dinner and then sat on the grassy bank overlooking the mud flat’s with our friends Rob, Michelle and Matt (Drifta DOT 7 owners). You see the moon just starting to appear on the horizon as a huge glowing orange ball, before it illuminates the the mud flats and slowly becomes a big ball of white light.
The staircase was performing for three nights and on the second night we went with a big gang of other families we had met, to the Mangrove hotel and had dinner and cocktails before the event. We all agreed the view wasn’t as good as Town Beach, but the atmosphere was fantastic with didgeridoos playing.
- Sunset Camel Ride
No trip to Broome is complete without a camel ride. There are three companies and we just picked at random the red camel tour. We set off on our camel Chris, who was a cheeky 11 year old, he enjoyed nibbling the toes of the couple in front and ensuring he wasn’t in line with the rest of the camel train. We headed up the beach with views of the sandiness to our right, before heading back down as the sun was setting nearer the waters edge. It is a busy beach with lots of cars and also I hadn’t realised a nudist beach too. The difference between the tours is very little, on the red tour we mounted our camel from a platform while the yellow and blue companies you get to experience the camel standing up. Some also offer feedings and free pearl earrings.
- China Town
The shops in China Town are worth a wander around. I love the old tin buildings and there are lots of pearl shops to have a peek in. We went into Cygnet Bay Pearls to see one of the worlds largest perfect white/pink pearls. There is a huge visitors centre and lots of nice cafes.
- The Dampier Peninsular: James Price Point
After Derby we headed straight up to James Price Point for two nights free camping. Its an easy 35km sandy 4WD track to get up there, with a maximum 3 night stay. We picked a site on the cliffs with stunning views over the ocean. You can also drive onto the beach down an easy track and camp on the beach, but the sites were full of toilet paper which was sad. At the end of the campsite there is a sandy track, we are not sure where it went, having got bogged with the trailer, until we let our tyre pressures down further. We spent our time walking for miles on the beautiful beaches, seeing Hooded Plovers and a beautiful White-Bellied Sea Eagle. The sand turns from white to pink to red and there are stunning sunsets each night.
The Dampier Peninsular: Kooljaman at Cape Leveque
Its was another easy sandy 4WD track for 86km, then just over 100km on the bitumen to reach Cape Leveque. On the way up we called into the beautiful Beagle Church, with its stunning mother of pearl alter.
This resort is perfectly perched on the peninsula and is split into two areas. The Western beach where we camped on the cliff tops and the Eastern side with its gorgeous swimming beach. We were tempted to book one of the beach huts, but they are very expensive for two people. They would be perfect for families or a special treat as they are right on the beach. This beach is a picture postcard of paradise. With turquoise flat waters and pure white sandy beaches, where we swam and snorkelled.
There was a beach cafe and an award winning restaurant. We didn’t try the restaurant but would have loved too. Instead we enjoyed coffee at both and their amazing banana bread. There are a few tours you can join here, which are geared to fishing and 4WD sand driving. We heard great things from other travellers who did the 4×4 tag along tour. We spent our time relaxing, swimming and walking on the Western Beach. While out walking we spotted whales in the distance which was wonderful to see. One Arm Point is just up the road, but with another access fee to pay, we decided against it and headed instead to the cafe at the Cignet pearl farm. There are tours which run form here, but having visited a few pearl farms in the past. We opted for enjoying their cafe and pool instead.
- Cable Beach
Over the days we have been in Broome we have ran, walked, cycled and driven along this beautiful wide sandy white beach, as well as swim in the gorgeous ocean, between the flags. We stayed at the Palm Grove campsite for 3 nights which was walking distance to cable beach. Its a great campsite with a really nice pool.
- Eating out
Breakfast at the Zookeepers is a must, we had our final breakfast with Ashley here, who had been traveling the Kimberley with us. The food is incredible and it was so hard to choose what to eat. I would love to try lunch and dinner here too.
We did lunch at the Green Mango, which was also fabulous . Their salads are so fresh and tasty.
Dinner at Matso’s was unexpectedly amazing, Ashley and Rich are still raving about the steaks they had. I opted for the curry buffet, which was authentic and tasty, but could have done with a little more meat.
We have also had coffees at the Wharf, which was a hidden gem of an oasis at the end of an industrial area. I got chatting to some of the local fisherman, who had just come off the boat. They serve up fresh seafood as well as a Korean banquet.
For free WifI the best cafe is The The Good Cartel, its very rustic, but their menu is good and I really enjoyed my breakfast chilli bowl.
Coffee and smoothies at the Dragonfly cafe were okay. The coffee was very strong for us and the service a little poor.
We loved the runway cafe for its location and the coffee is pretty good too. Its not called the runway cafe for any reason. You are literally right under the flight path and get to see the planes land. Plus its right next to a Telstra Air box for free Wifi (If you’re on a Telstra Plan)
The one we also wanted to try: 18 degrees looked a great view for diner….maybe next time.
- Sun Cinema’s
This is the worlds oldest operating cinema. The place is brilliant, full of old cinematic memorabilia. Its open to the public for a wonder around, even if you don’t want to see a film. Nothing took our fancy that was playing.
Matso’s is another Broome icon and you have to try the tasting paddle, with the chilli beer if you dare, it does blow your taste buds. Its a beautiful old building and has great atmosphere. As I mentioned earlier the food is awesome too.
The Mangrove Hotel is a funky chilled out beach bar and restaurant. It has great sun loungers and views of the oceans and mangroves. This is also the place to be for the staircase to the moon, turn up early to get a great seat.
- Gantheaume Point
We came to Gantheaume Point twice first with Ashley and then again on our second visit to Broome as the tides were perfect to see the Dinosaurs prints in the rock. Its amazing to think these huge creatures roamed this area. The rocks down to the prints are pretty slippy and we saw a few people with cut legs.
- Other tours
There are so many to choose from and we would have loved to have gone out with Broome Whale Watching on their the Snubnose dolphins tour, Broome Adventures do the Sea Turtle Kayak and Broome Hovercrafts to visit the dinosaur prints and watch the sunset.