Travel Guide: Broome & Cable Beach (Western Australia)

{{lls}} I visited Broome for a week in late October and stayed at a backpackers hostel. Although it wasn’t summer yet temperatures were mid 30’s to 40 degrees celsius.

Sun Pictures Broome

Broome is a pearling and tourist town in the Kimberley in the far north of Western Australia. The year round population is approximately 14,000, but that grows to around 30,000 during the tourist season.

Broome is famous for its beautiful Indian Ocean beaches and wonderful dry season climate. Being in the tropics, it has two seasons. The wet season extends from October to March and has hot and humid weather with tropical downpours.

I spent my first evening in Broome at Sun Pictures, the oldest open air cinema in the world which officially opened on December 9th 1916 with a silent movie, English Racing Drama ‘Kissing Cup’. Nowadays it’s still going strong and I really enjoyed sitting in a deck chair in the open air where the evening breeze could cool me down.

ships of the desert camel ride broome

The next attraction was Broome’s world famous Cable Beach and a 1hr 40min sunset camel ride arranged by “Ships of The Desert” which was Broome’s first camel tour operator offering camel rides back in 1981. “Ships of The Desert” offered a much better experience than its competitors Cable Beach Camel Safaris, Red Sun Camels or Broome Camel Safaris.

malcolm douglas crocodile farm

The Malcolm Douglas Crocodile Farm on Cable Beach Road is very popular judging by the number of people who were there at feeding time. Malcolm Douglas is “the original crocodile hunter” and has been creating documentaries about Australian wild life since 1964.

broome town centre.jpg

These are shown on Channel 7 in Australia and he also has lots of German fans because his documentaries are shown on German cable TV. The farm is dual purpose: offering tourists a look at some really large crocs and also commercially farming crocodiles for their meat and skins.

Broome town centre offers tourists many ways to while away a few hours including:

  • Various cafes, pubs and resturants
  • Shops & Art Galleries
  • Various Pearl Showrooms such as Paspaley Pearls, Willie Creek Pearl Farm Tour & the Shell House of Guy Street which has a great collection of shells on display
  • Walking around and looking at the historical buildings, Japanese Cemetery or Broome Historical Museum

virgin blue plane

When you reach Broome, make sure your first stop after unpacking at your accommodation is to go to Broome Visitor Centre where you can find out what events are on during your stay and book any day trips you’re interested in.

While travelling through Western Australia (including Broome), I found my “Footprint Guide to West Coast Australia” was an indispensable reference.

I flew out from Broome on Virgin Blue, and because I booked my ticket well in advance I paid much less for it than most of my fellow passengers 🙂

Note: all photographs in this article were taken by me

13 Replies to “Travel Guide: Broome & Cable Beach (Western Australia)”

  1. I would like to comment about the camel business Ships Of The Desert camel ride!

    I rode with the owner Casley and was disgusted by his rudeness and the way he treated his animals… he started hitting a camel with a stick-the camel was yelling and spitting every where, just when i thought i had seen it all Casley riding the front camel started [some text censored]. I dont recomend this tour to anyone

    Aaron

    EDITOR: For starters camels don’t spit … according to the San Diego Zoo “They aren’t actually spitting – it’s more like throwing up! They bring up the contents of their stomachs, along with saliva, and project it out.”

    Secondly I find some of Aaron’s comments to be potentially defamatory so I have removed them. Readers should be reminded that the camel operator mentioned first started offering rides in 1981 and I doubt his business would have lasted long if the animals were mistreated.

    Regardless, Ships of the desert may not be in business as of 1 January 2007, because of the current furore over the tender process for camel ride licences by Broome Shire Council:

    Three Broome camel ride operators overlooked for new licences will complain to the Corruption and Crime Commission about Broome Shire Council after it was revealed the consultant who reviewed the issuing of licences on behalf of the council was connected closely to the winning bidder. – WA News article: Crime watchdog called on to probe Broome camel furore

  2. ships of the desert camel ride!!!!

    Why are you defending Casley – [some text censored] and he quotes this himself in a book published by Noel Trevour- “why broome”

    As for camels spitting they do indeed, its is actually their cud or stomach contents which they throw up when under stress or mistreated, secondly if Casley is such a good operator with camels why is he the only operator that muzzles his camels during the ride and has his employees walk next to the camels with a cane for the entire ride … no other camel operator does this!!!! Just because he has operated for a long time it doesnt mean he is the best!

    EDITOR: Just so readers are aware:

    1. I have removed an accusation that could be seen as defamatory and from now i’m going to remove any personal comments by readers about other people that could be seen as defamation.

    2. I have no connections with Ships of the Desert besides having used their service once while on holiday and I don’t know any of their staff at all.

    3. The person commenting “Alison Bird” is the operator of Broome Camel Safaris, a direct competitor to Ships of the Desert

  3. being in the camel industry i know cas quite well having sold him camels over the years and being in the industry i know that camel peaple are lets say different i couldnt amagine cas taking a stick to a camel more like a light bit of cane tap tap the camel in question was i amagine a new camel to the string with the dogs and 4×4 wheel drives on the beach someone on the ground keeping an eye on things and taking them great photos for you sounds like a good safty practice to me dave stuart

  4. Isn’t Cable Beach fabulous!!! I took my six year old daughter on the camel ride and it was gorgeous. We spent 6 months travelling Australia with our two young daughters and had a ball. So much so that I couldn’t help but write a short ebook on it to motivate others experience the Outback with their families. After the dry red/blue of the Kimberley, Cable Beach is a welcome sight. Loved the Kimberley but am a beach babe at heart.

  5. I found the Ships Of The Dessert Camel rides to be a very professional operation. Fraser went to great lenghts to ensure the whole camel experience was rewarding. His knowledge of camels showed a great understanding of these wonderful animals and their habits.

  6. I have always wanted to travel to Australia but this is the first I have heard of Broome and Cable Beach. Based on the pictures and descriptions it sounds like a must-see place. The sunset camel ride truly sounds like a once in a life time type of experience. Even though the beach is what would draw me, the town of Broom with its local pubs, shops, and art galleries sounds like a great little spot as well. Thanks so much for the great post… loved the pictures!

  7. Hi, I live in Broome and enjoyed reading your comments about your visit. It’s nice to read a positive report, although unfortunately not everyone has this kind of positive experience!
    In case you are interested I’ve started a non commercial site showcasing Broome via videos. Feel free to link to it if you like, or not. It’s http://www.broomevideo.com

    Cheers.
    J.

    EDITOR: Hi johann Your site has advertising so I don’t think it can be called non-profit.

    However I see you have gone to some effort with your videos so I’ll leave the link there

    PS I looked at a video and the resolution was pretty low, would be nice if the videos were larger so they could be viewed full screen rather than as a small credit card sized part of my computer screen

  8. Thanks for your kind comments. I hope to add many more videos over the next few months.
    I’ll take on board your comments about video size, I’m just concerned about bandwidth right now, but definitely hoping to have larger scale clips in the future.

    EDITOR: Have you considered hosting your videos on a site like Revver.com ?

    That way you don’t have to pay for bandwidth and if the video gets seen a lot you get a share of the advertising revenue

  9. I have been to Broome and stood on Cable Beach and watched the sunset. We found Broome to be quite a spectacular place to visit, hopefully will be able to return sometime.

  10. I have no affiliation with any camel company in Broome or anywhere else for that matter! I came across this site and noted a comment flat out stating that one of the tours was “a much better experience than its competitors”. I had tons of time to hang about and observe the goings ons… and I didn’t like the way one of the operators in particular treated the animals but more than that, I too, had other concerns.. I actually chose Alison Bird’s tour and had an excellent time. But then again I am commenting three years after the fact!
    Broome was a gorgeous experience all round.
    Regards,
    Susan Johnson
    Vancouver, B.C.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.