Has Anyone Visited Broome, Western Australia?

I was looking at places on the map of Australia, and it looks like Broome is pretty far from anything on the map. Turns out Broome is a popular vacation destination.

So I thought I’d ask if anyone on these boards has ever visited there. If so, what was it like?

Nope, never been there, but we’re going. My wife’s best friend married a cool fellow from there who does nature documentaries. That’s where they have settled.

I think Richard Pearse (formerly 1920s Style “Death Ray”) used to live in Broome.

Yep, I lived in Broome for about 4 years and still come up here to work for 16 days in every 28 (I’m in Broome at the moment.) What would you like to know?

Er, rather than just leaving you with that, I’ll tell you a bit and that might prompt further questions.

Broome is supposed to be tropical but doesn’t really get a lot of rain even in the wet season. The dry season (southern hemisphere winter) temperatures are around 28C during the day and sometimes, but not often, below 10C at night. More typical night temps are around 15C. In the wet (southern hemisphere summer) the temps are in the mid to high 30s and early 40s. The temps stay high at night, often remaining at around 30C.

High temperatures are sometimes relieved by thunderstorms and the odd tropical cyclone (hurricane) but Broome doesn’t get the true monsoonal wet that places like Darwin get.

In short, the dry season is just perfect, blue skies every day for six months and very nice temperatures. In the wet season you make your way from aircon to aircon as well as you can.

The landscape is flat with hardy scrub type vegetation growing in red sandy pindan soil. The roads and footpaths are all stained by the red dust. When I first got here I thought it was ugly but it has grown on me. It is rare to see a nice lawn out the front of someone’s house as keeping a lawn growing takes a lot of care.

Someone (I don’t know the details), nearly 100 years ago, thought it would be neat to build a house with corrugated iron cladding, somehow this has become a tradition, and nearly all new houses have corrugated cladding. Example.

Touristy things to do include visiting a pearl farm, buying pearls, going for a flight or boat trip (or both) out to the King Sound, fishing, lazing around, and so on. People who like big city life with a wide range of arts and shopping probably wouldn’t like Broome as a place to live, but the outdoorsy type who’s keen to go on a 4WD expedition with friends would do well here.

The main reason my wife and I left was because it was too remote and the expense and logistics involved in getting ourselves and our two daughters to a city meant we never went away on holidays. After a while you feel guilty when friends and family visit you but you never make a return visit.

There are some ok restaurants but a lot of the workforce are transient backpacker types so it is rare to find a place that gives consistently good food and good service.

The beach is fantastic, but there are jellyfish in the wet season and crocodiles sometimes too. People still swim all year round, just more frequently in the dry which is also the tourist season.

The cultured pearling industry was originally dominated by the Japanese and there is a big Japanese and Chinese influence in the town. There is also a strong Australian Aboriginal presence. To that end it is a good place to visit if you’re interested in Aboriginal culture. There are numerous places where you can view and purchase Aboriginal art. There are also some places in the area that are relatively untouched by people where you can find authentic Aboriginal cave and rock paintings. You might need a boat to get there though.

Google has done their street view thing, have a look around. That’s the main street.

Edit, as an indication of how remote it is, the nearest real city is Perth which is 1000 miles away in a straight line. The nearest town that likes to call itself a city is Darwin which is about 700 miles in a straight line.

Sorry for the triple post, some more stats. The area of Western Australia is about one million square miles or almost four times the size of Texas, but the population is only 2.2 million, most of whom live in the south western corner.

Thanks for the info.

I was just looking at maps of Australia and it seemed like Broome was a very remote place compared to most of Australia. I was a bit surprised to see how “modern” it actually is.

I was also lookin at Port Hedland which is a bit to the south and it seems that is a real old fashioned mining town.

I’ve known people from Australia but always Sydney or Melbourne.

Port Hedland is a dump with no redeeming features IMO. Everything gets stained in the red bauxite that gets mined (to a much greater extent than the red dust stains Broome.) Karratha is not too bad on the other hand. A lot of the mine workers in these towns are “fly in/fly out” (FIFO), they fly in to do their week or two of work and then fly back home to wherever they live for their days off. This is apparently causing some problems with the locals who see the miners as not treating the townships with any respect and they’re embracing one of FIFO’s other meanings, “fit in or fuck off.”

I’m also a FIFO worker but I’m one of the good ones (of course) and I’m not a miner.

I grew up in Darwin, and still consider it my spiritual home. If you have any questions… :slight_smile: Always happy to talk Top End.

My bags went to Broome once instead of Brisbane if that helps.

Not uncommon. BME and BNE look very similar on baggage tags.

I have some question but you should start an “Ask the guy who lived in Darwin, Northern Territory Thread.”

Actually I have a ton of questions about Aussie, which is odd, when you stop to think I’ve seen all 692 episodes of Prisoner (Prisoner: Cell Block H), you think that would cover all of it, wouldn’t you? :slight_smile:

There’s one for you. Did they get Prisoner: Cell Block H in Darwin? :smiley:

Oh, there’s no need for an “ask the…” surely.

I am vaguely aware of the existence of said show, but it is long before my time, and not rerun; we had two TV channels growing up.

How can you call yourself an Aussie and never watch “Prisoner” :slight_smile: Bea Smith would thump you good.

Do you get Rove? The funniest Australian ever to live? And why is it I can’t find an Samantha Jade CD anywhere, yet evertime I listen to an Internet broadcast of an Aussie radio station she is singing? :slight_smile:

I’ve never been to Broome, but my husband’s cousin owns the Eagle Boys Pizza there. So, if you go, stop by and say hi!

You should ask him what they charge for a pizza. :frowning:

The little sign I can see on Google street view says $10.95 for something. That’s not so bad, is it? :slight_smile:

Google street view is not up to date. it was something like $27 for a delivered pizza midway through last year. It’s not a problem with Eagle Boys, it’s Broome, it’s very expensive.

After reading Bill Bryson’s Australia book and having examined a map of Australia numerous times I’m overwhelmed by the scale of the country. This post on strangemaps nicely illustrates that.