Broome is the type of place you go to visit but instead of leaving you just keep staying. There is a lot to love about Broome. It's a place that knows it's far from the "civilized world" and doesn't care. Life is easy, people are friendly and the weather is great. I could get very comfortable in a place like Broome.
In total I spent almost a week, and that was enough time to forget that I was travelling and start actually living in a place. Right from the start, we got off the bus with a confused faces trying to understand how the bus system worked. It took only minutes before a complete stranger offered much needed assistance.
For the record, there is only one bus in town, but 12 hours on an overnight Greyhound makes comprehension of that simple fact seem like the greatest of hurdles.
Broome's history lies in its pearls. The city was created by the Japanese in the late 1800's as a pearling playground and at one time supplied 80% of the worlds pearls. This history is evident throughout the city as pearl jewelry can be found in any of the handful of shops. If the pearling history is what you're after, check out the Luggers, including two restored pearllng vessels and other hardware used to acquire pearls in the traditional way.
Another sign of Broome's ties with its Japanese roots is in the Japanese Cemetery, where over 700 Japanese people rest. Many were pearlers and became victims in pearling accidents. Men from Japan started moving over to Broome in the mid 1800's to work in this bustling pearling industry. They were the best in the business and this is also recognized around town.
Most pearls today are cultured, but even still they are a hot item when shopping in Broome. At the Luggers, you can even hold a cultured pearl worth an estimated $100,000.
The sunsets on Cable Beach are the nightly attraction. Have a drink at Zander's or the Sunset Bar & Grill. Not that you'll ever be bored in Broome with all the activities, festivals, markets and live music nights happening around town. Even The Beer and Satay Hut doesn't have to beg for a good time. They make entertainment by holding regular crab races. To call it exciting would be an understatement.
Another sign of Broome's Asian influence while also being in the center of the tourist action is Chinatown. These days Broome's Chinatown houses the tourist shops, bars and café's. Back in the good ol' days however, it was where you could go for a good time that included brothels, opium dens and gambling.
The perfect place to stay in Broome is the Roebuck Bay Caravan Park, which rests right on the turquoise waters of Town Beach. So much of a destination has to do with where you stay and this place was key in my experience. Town Beach is the place where many events happen throughout the year including the staircase to the moon and Shinju Matsuri. At Roebuck Bay you can have a self contained van site for the price of a double room in a hostel or less than a hotel room. You're on the beach and walking distance to town. If both your legs are broken, then get on the bus, only a few blocks away.
While Broome has a somewhat jaded past, it has also got the most personality when compared to similarly sized towns. Bars restaurants, tours and festivals are going to be where you have the most fun.
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