Free Local & Natural Attractions
Anastasia’s Pool is located on the north side of Gantheaume Point. It was built by a former lighthouse keeper for his crippled and arthritic wife Anastasia and fills at very high tides. A concrete cast of the original Stegosaurus dinosaur footprints stolen in 1997 is also on display in the vicinity. It is alleged two men cut the fossilized print out of rock at Crab Creek using a power saw, with the intention of selling it on the black market. The three toed footprint is about 60 cm long and 45 cm wide. Located at the end of Gantheaume Point Road.
Situated overlooking beautiful Roebuck Bay on Hamersley Street is the site of Broome’s War Memorial. The park features an array of memorabilia, including a replica of one of explorer William Dampier’s sea chests and an old train coach once used on a railway that connected the original jetty at Town Beach to Chinatown.
The Broome region is regarded as the most significant site in Australia for shorebirds and among the top four in the world. It has the greatest diversity of shorebird species of any site on the planet and more than 800,000 birds visiting the area annually. The Broome region is home to more than 300 species of birds. This is more than one third of Australia’s total species and includes 50 species of waders, which is nearly a quarter of the world’s total. Raptors are always present, with 22 of the 24 Australian Raptor species being recorded around Broome.
The only 18 hole fully grassed course in the Kimberley. Spectacular panoramic views over the Broome peninsula. Open to the public. Located on Port Drive.
Sun Picture Gardens, Old Tang Wei Cafe & Residence Blooms café restaurant), Ocean & Earth, L.L.Tack’s Store, Shekki Shed Gallery, Bob’s Shoe Store and Anastasia’s Pearl Gallery, Kinney’s, Roebuck Bay Hotel Facade, Streeter’s Jetty, Motor Garage (trading as Woody’s 4WD Hire & Fuel in 2001), Boat Yard and Slipway, Streeter and Male Stores, Old Pearler’s House, Hanoe’s Cottage, Napier Terrace Cottages, and Kennedy’s Store, all contribute to the formation of significant streetscapes on both sides of Carnarvon Street, the south side of Napier Terrace, both sides of Dampier Terrace, and the north side of Short Street, and collectively create a precinct in the Chinatown Conservation Area. These are great examples of residences built for the tropical climate of Broome in the early 1900s. Located within the Chinatown precinct. See Heritage Trail Map.
Take a walk along the walkway to the side of the Broome jetty or throw in a line and enjoy the exception view while fishing. The jetty is a steel piled structure with a concrete deck and spring fendering. The outer berth is 331metres long and two inner berths 170 metres long and 96 meters long. At zero datum it is 12.5m from the waterline to the deck of the wharf.
Broome boasts a modern library situated in the Civic Centre gardens on Hamersley Street. Visitors welcome to borrow books.
Free 1 hour Children’s Tour – Chinatown to Cable Beach and back.
Children always travel free when accompanied by an adult. Relax in air conditioned comfort as the Town Bus Service takes your children on a free tour from Chinatown to Cable Beach & back. You travel through old Broome & Cable Beach on your way to Cable Beach and through Sunset Park and Roebuck Estate on your return to Chinatown. Check the Broome Bus timetable link for Bus routes and Bus Shelters for departure times.
Broome War Memorial is located in Bedford Park overlooking the Roebuck Bay. The memorial remembers residents who died during both World Wars and the Vietnam War. The park also contains a range of other memorabilia including a train coach once used on the railway line connecting the original town jetty to Chinatown. This is the location of Broomes’ ANZAC day march on the 25th April every year.
Broome legend has it that Buccaneer explorer, William Dampier, came to the present town anchorage, landed a treasure chest of pirated pieces of eight and buried it at Buccaneer Rock. His ghost is said to be seen there on a misty night with a lantern looking for the lost loot. A great legend but, alas, the treasure seems only an often repeated myth. The Rock is located in Roebuck Bay opposite the Mangrove Hotel.
The famous Cable Beach is only Australia beach to be rated in the top 5 in the world. Cable Beach with its 22 kms of white sand and azure blue water, washed cleaned daily by Broome’s big tides. Cable Beach takes its name from the telegraph cable that was installed between Broome and Java in 1889. For a unique experience join the sunset camel rides
that operate daily along the beach. Due to the possible presence of box jellyfish and stingers in tropical waters during November to April, precautions should be taken. Great location to enjoy a beautiful Broome sunset. North of the vehicle access ramp is a declared nude beach. Located at the end of Cable Beach Road.
Located on Cable Beach Rd on the outskirts of The Broome Recreational Aquatic Centre. The skate park is a community funded project that now includes lighting, three quarter-pipes, rails, benches and ramps catering for beginners through to experienced extreme boarders. A gazebo gives shade to parents and seating. A pedestrian streetscape SK8 boarders, inline skaters and BMXers and scooters can ramp up and cut loose 24/7. Broomes’ only aerosol art zone where tagging and graffiti art is encouraged and Broome youth can display their creative and artistic side. The sickest zone in Broome where cutting and rad moves are the groove.
Built in 1917 for Captain A.C. Gregory, who operated one of Broome’s most successful pearling businesses. A fine example of early Broome architecture and has now been converted to an art gallery. Situated on the corner of Hamersley and Carnarvon Streets in the same grounds as Matso’s Brewery.
The wrecks of three Royal Dutch Air Force Flying Boats lay half buried in the mud at Roebuck Bay. The flying boats were destroyed by a Japanese Air Raid on 3rd March 1942 while they moored near the jetty. There were 16 flying boats at anchor at the time of the attack and the corroding hulls remain approximately a one km off Town Beach. They can only be viewed at minus tides. This site was declared a heritage site in December 2002 by the West Australian Government, the first Australian Government to provide legislative protection to submerged material culture other than shipwreck sites.
History shows on 3 March 1942, refugees from Java and the Celebes started arriving in Dornier flying boats in Roebuck Bay, Broome. The refugees were due to be evacuated to the south and east areas of Australia. The previous day a Japanese Navy Kawanishi H6K4 reconnaissance flying boat had been spotted over Broome. It flew over the town of Broome at 12,000 feet before turning out to sea. At 9:20am on 3 March 1942, nine pale grey Japanese Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero fighter aircraft and a single Mitsubishi C5M2 command reconnaissance and navigational aircraft of the 3rd Ku, arrived over Broome after leaving their base at Koepang in Timor. Six of the Zeros stayed low while the other three Zeros acted as “top cover”. The Japanese aircraft then destroyed 15 flying boats anchored in the Roebuck Bays shallow harbour.
They then strafed the airfield and destroyed two B-17 Flying Fortresses, two RAAF Hudsons, another B-24 Liberator #40-2373, Lockheed Lodestar LT-918 of the Netherlands East Indies – Air Force, and a civilian Dutch Dakota DC-3 PK-ALO of KNILM (Netherlands East Indies KLM). One of the Lockheed Hudsons belonged to 14 Squadron RAAF, which was based at Pearce in Western Australia. When the raid was finished, numerous ground installations and motor vehicles were left burning or badly damaged.
A Japanese Zero, piloted by Warrant Officer Osamu Kudo, was shot down on the beach at the end of the raid by a Dutch pilot, F/Lt Gus “Wild Bill” Winckel, using a 7.9 mm machine gun he had taken from his LT9-18 Lockheed Lodestar. He stood behind a sawn-off tree and fired the machine gun from the hip. He sustained severe burns to his left forearm, which he used to support the barrel of the machine gun.
A Dutch Dakota DC-3 PK-AFV, “Pelikaan”, of the KNILM (Netherlands East Indies KLM) was also shot down at Carnot Bay, 60 miles from Broome while the three “top cover” Zeros were returning along the coast towards Timor. The Dakota was on an evacuation flight from Bandung, in Java to Australia. A lot of mystery surrounds the crash of this Dakota. It carried a box of diamonds worth £300,000. They could not be found after the crash. The other DC-3, PK-ALO, which had landed in Broome, also had a similar package, in the hands of a courier of the NEI Government, stamped full with lacquer seals. As indicated above, PK-ALO was strafed by the Japanese Zero´s and burned completely. The package was also lost. Approximately 70 civilians and Allied servicemen were dead or missing in this bombing raid at Broome. Reference Peter Dunn’s www.ozatwar.com.
At the intersection of Short & Carnarvon Sts a bronze commemorative plaque has been erected in honour of the 70 civilian and Allied servicemen lives lost.
Broome was gazetted in 1883 and named after the then state Governor, Sir Frederick Napier Broome. At this time it was little more than a shanty town of sand hill camps and a jumble of shacks housing businesses that serviced the pearl luggers.
Pearling masters and their crews came from all over the world in search of the “Golden Lip” Pinctada Maxima, the largest of Australia’s mother-of-pearl shell.
Initially it was the shell that was in great demand, attracting up to £400 a ton in 1880’s. The mother of pearl shell was used to make buttons, cutlery, hair combs, jewellery items as well as objects of art and inlay for furniture.
The truth be known the pearling industry around Broome began long before then. Local Bardi people along the Dampier Peninsular were the first to harvest pearl shell. Mathew Flinders diaries tell us of links between Australia and Indonesia (Dutch East Indies then) dating back 500 years of established trading of pearl shell, turtle and trepang. They were also known to wear the pearl shell and trade with other indigenous peoples from the surrounding regions.
Broomes’ first town lots were sold in 1886 and from 1890’s permanent structures sprung up to meet demand for pearl shell. Town planning was not what it is now, described in 1902 as an inexplicable jumble; Chinatowns’ narrow crooked lanes were lined with ramshackle corrugated iron buildings with bars in place of windows and they seemed to spring up at each land owners’ whim.
By 1910 nearly 400 Luggers and 3500 people were diving for shell in waters around Broome, the biggest pearling industry in the world, Broome population grew to 5000.
A hand drawn map of Broome from the 1920’s shows Broome had already shaped its street layout with Billiard Halls, Brothels and Bars plentiful and scattered amongst food and supply stores that serviced locals and the pearling fleets.
Broome has changed significantly in the past 90 years however fortunately many original buildings remain and are protected by the 2001 Register of Heritage Places – Chinatown Conservation Area. Some have been relocated however remain in their original state.
We invite you to wander the streets of Chinatown as we guide you around the Heritage listed buildings and discover the mysteries of another time. Please enjoy Broomes’ original settlement, business and shopping precinct.
Hanoe’s Cottage, Short St (Short St Gallery) – Built in 1890’s its original use is unknown. Its distinctive design consists of a central room surrounded by shuttered verandas and a unique wind scoop that draws cooler air from outside and set upon masonry stumps to avoid tidal flooding. It draws it name from its owners who purchased it in 1940 remained its resident/s for over 40 years.
Sun Picture Gardens, Carnarvon St – Built in 1916, a single-storey three sided timber framed structure clad with corrugated iron with a high twin-peaked roof, a rare example of a purpose built picture garden. It is one of the oldest operating picture gardens in Australia. You are free to wander through the grounds and view the memorabilia on display.
L.L.Tack’s, Carnarvon St (Broome Eco Adventures) – Built in 1890’s, one of Chinatown’s original buildings, this is a typical example of Broome architecture. Built with practicality in mind the shop owner would reside behind or above. Lattice encloses the upstairs balcony providing privacy whilst still allowing air to circulate.
Tang Wei’s, Carnarvon St (Eco Beach Wilderness Retreat) – Thought to be built in 1905-10, the rear extensions were added in the early 1920’s and were used by the Chinese pearling crews as a boarding house prior to WW2. Tang Wei’s soup kitchen was a popular haunt when it operated around his pearling commitments and after his retirement.
Old Lockup & H.Thomas Boab Tree, Carnarvon Street (Old Broome Lockup Gallery) – This single story concrete and iron cell block once adjoined Broomes’ Police Station, Courthouse &. Inspectors’ residence. Built in 1894 it remained in use until the 1950’s. The Boab tree was planted in 1897 by Sgt Herbert Thomas to commemorate the birth of his son. Sgt Thomas rose to the rank of Inspector but tragically died in the 1920 riot.
Napier Cottages, Napier Terrace (Som Thai Restaurant) – Built in the very early 1900’s, a single-storey front section and two story rear section is timber framed structure and corrugated iron. Initially a Japanese boarding house it has had many tenants over time but remained a Restaurant for over 20 years and remains virtually unchanged.
Napier Cottages, Napier Terrace (Kimberley Bookshop) – Built in the very early 1900’s, a single-storey timber framed structure clad with corrugated iron. The relocation of the entrance to the side occurred in the 1980’s however it remains a classic example of Broomestyle architecture.
Roebuck Bay Hotel, Dampier Terrace – Fire destroyed the original hotel built by EW Streeter in 1890. In 1904 it was rebuilt and although undergoing many changes since the original façade consisting of its wide veranda and corrugated iron roof remains to this day.
If these timber boards could talk then many a colourful tale they would tell.
Streeters Jetty, Dampier Terrace – The original rough bush timber jetty was built in the 1880’s and extended all the way to Dampier Creek. It has been repaired & replaced several times. The narrow jetty carves through the mangroves and allowed luggers to offload Pearl Shell and load supplies. Trolley rails once aided the movement of shell from the luggers to the pearl
sheds. It was sill used commercially as late as 1991. At low tide it appears to lead to nowhere yet on a 9 metre tide it is submerged below the waters surface.
Streeter & Male. Short Street – The stone office building was built in the 1880’s and has always stood in contrast to the corrugated structures that surrounded it. EW Streeter, a London jeweller and his son George established Streeter & Co to service the Pearling industry that had moved north from Cossack. Arthur & Archie Male was employed in the 1890’s and by the end of the decade Arthur was appointed General Manager. The Streeters sold to the Males in 1911 and the business was renamed Streeter & Male and continues to trade to this day.
Union Bank Chambers, Cnr Carnarvon & Hamersley Streets (Matso’s Brewery) – Originally built in 1910 on Frederick Street (opposite the Police Station) is housed the Union Bank and remained as banking chambers until 1942. Relocated to Corner Robinson & Weld Streets in late 1940’s it became known as Streeter & Male No. 2 store. Sometime in the 1970’s Philip Matsumoto opened a general store suitably called “Matso’s Store”. Relocated to its current address in the 1980’s you can view the original sign that hangs over the inside bar.
Captain Gregory’s House, Cnr Carnarvon & Hamersley Streets (Monsoon Gallery) – Originally built around 1915 it is a fine example of Broomestyle architecture. The central block of rooms open onto the wide veranda which is enclosed and surrounds the house. It is constructed of jarrah with pressed metal ceilings and corrugated iron clad and roof. Captain Gregory established a fleet of pearling luggers and in the 1920’s gained a licence to cultivate pearls. This did not please his industry peers who considered it threatened the mother of pearl trade and his licence was revoked. Captain Gregory died in 1942 and was not witness to the now billion dollar industry which he pioneered.
The final resting place for members of Broome’s Chinese community with headstones adorned with traditional logographic Chinese writing. Located on Port Drive.
Built in distinctive “Broomestyle” architecture, the courthouse was the original Cable House, built in 1888, where the Broome end of the oceanic telegraph cable terminated from Java. Browse through the gardens or visit the popular Courthouse Markets which operates every Saturday & Sundays during the peak season (from April onwards). Located on the corner of Frederick & Hamersley Streets.
Mr. Tokuichi Kuribayashi, originally from Nippon Pearl Company, Tokyo, Mr. Hiroshi Iwaki and Keith Francis Dureau from Pearl Prop. Ltd. were pioneers in the cultured pearl industry in Broome. The three life-size statues are now on display on the grassed area of Carnarvon Street in Chinatown.
Surrounded by Sanderling. Lorikeet, Greenshank Drives and Corella Rd in Roebuck Estate, Cygnet Park has a wide expanse of grassed area, good shade and a Children’s playground.
Located off Gantheaume Point the fossilized dinosaur footprints prints are lasting sign of Broomes’ prehistoric past. They can only be viewed when tides fall below 1.5 metres and are located within a fragile reef ecosystem and can be very difficult to locate. For convenience a concrete cast of the Stegosaurus foot prints can be viewed at Anastasia’s Pool.
In Broomes’ Indigenous peoples belief system the three toed footprints are of Marrala, the Law giving Emu Man. Marrala is also represented by three stars which rise before the morning star, and his shadow may be seen in the Milky Way, his head laying next to the Southern Cross.
Download our comprehensive guide to the dinosaurs that roamed the 80 kilometre Dinosaur track way that extends both north & south of Broome. This track way is a unique and exceptionally rare palaeontologic treasure unequalled by any other site in the world. The thousands of fossilised footprints were left by at least a dozen species of dinosaurs which lived 115 to 120 million years ago. This track way also includes rare fossilized human footprints estimated as over 7000 years old. Download Broomes’ Dinosaur Guide.
This life size statue of the Hard Hat Pearl Diver adjacent to the Cultured Pearling Monument in Chinatown, was erected in 1999 to pay tribute to the role that the Hard Hat Diver played in establishing Broome as the centre of the world’s pearling industry in the early 1900’s. These early Pearl Divers came from diverse cultural backgrounds, and this resulted in Broome being exempted from the White Australia Policy, making the town a pioneer of multiculturalism in Australia. Around 50 of these divers along with many of their ancestors still reside in Broome today.
Definitely one of the best regional museums in Australia – a must see when visiting! The Broome Museum features a display on pearling and a large collection of photographs and files that piece together the fascinating history of Broome. Located in the old Custom’s House off Robinson Street. Download brochure (230Kb)
Japanese labour was highly valued in the pearling industry early last century, but many lost their lives while gathering the shells. More than 900 Japanese are interned in the Broome cemetery thousands of miles from their families. Buried in the red pindan soil, their sandstone headstones are delicately inscribed with Japanese characters. Located on Frederick Street (just past Cable Beach Road turnoff heading towards the port).
The Lurujarri Heritage Trail follows part of a traditional Aboriginal Song Cycle which originated from the Dreamtime Ancestral Beings who are believed to have created the landscape, humans, animals and plants, all of which are interconnected by the same spirit of life. Since Aboriginal Law originated from the north, the trail follows the coast from Minarriny (Coulomb Point) to Yinara (Gantheaume Point). The Lurujarri Heritage Trail is 72 kms long and is divided into six sections with seven starting points which can all be reached by vehicle and where trail information signs are located.
By walking along this age old trail, you are sharing in the Dreaming, an ongoing state that draws on the past, present & future. These walks hold great mythological and spiritual significance to the indigenous people of Broome. Please respect the country at all times. Take nothing but photographs – Leave nothing but footprints.
The six sections of the trail are:
Minarriny to Walmadany – 15 km walk
Walmadany to Kardilakan – 10 km walk
Kardilakan to Wirrar – 10 km walk
Wirrar to Wirrkinymirri – 10 Km walk
Wirrkinymirri to Ingardinganyjal – 17 km walk
Ingardinganyjal to Minyirr – 10 km walk
Download the Heritage Councils 5 page brochure which is an informative guide to the Lurujarri Trail, Aboriginal Law, Myths and places of significance together with a checklist of precautions, what to take and what not to do.
Matso’s Store started life as the Union Bank of Australia Ltd and was built in 1900. It stood in Sheba Lane, which ran down the edge of Kennedy’s Hill. The Union Bank was the first bank in Broome and was to be a vital part of the financial life of the town for over 40 years. More recently the Matso’s building has been transferred into Broome’s only boutique brewery and café – Matso’s Broome Brewery. Located in Hamersley Street opposite Bedford Park.
Minyirr Park is a spiritual buffer between Broome & the sea and a place of great mythological and spiritual significance to the indigenous people of Broome. Minyirr literally meaning “birthplace”, is considered by Broomes’ indigenous as the site where they were originally created.
Within the park there are 22 kilometres of walking trails meandering through the dunes and Pindan bushland. One trail is named Lurujarri, meaning dune system, another is called Nagula meaning ocean. The third main trail is named Minyirr.
The park has a proliferation of bush fruits, seeds and animals which change with every season. Wattle seeds are devoured by parrots, nectar loving birds dash from Grevillea to Hakea, spiky pillows of green spinifex sprinkle golden seedheads on the red soil.
Broome was a melting pot for different cultures during the peak of the pearl shell industry, and the rough frontier town catered for everybody; from rollicking pubs to genteel whites-only clubs, kimono shops, Japanese emporiums, gambling dens, boarding houses and noodle stalls.
The legacy of that time is on show around modern Broome and recorded on our multilingual signpost in Carnarvon Street.
The Old Lockup is the only extant building from the original law and order buildings constructed in Broome in the 1890s and early 1900s;
The boab tree at the site of the place is closely associated with police officer Herbert Thomas, who served at Broome c. 1895-1901, and again in 1920, when he died on duty. It is thought it was planted in his memory.
This spectacular stretch of coastline and beach is an ideal place to observe the red pindan cliffs of Broome’s peninsula coastline. Named after Captain Riddell, who was murdered by his mutinous crew in 1899. Located 8 km from the town centre off Kavite Road . The rock formations that scatter this beach are often referred to as “The Bingle Bingles”, considered a similar but smaller collection of the famous Bungle Bungles.
Staircase to the Moon”, a natural phenomena caused by the rising of a full moon reflecting off the tidal flats of Roebuck Bay. (Only visible during the months of March – October for 3 nights per month). Check our community guide for dates and times.
The historic Streeters Jetty, in the centre of Broome-town, was once the hub of the pearling industry. Dozens and dozens of luggers would unload sacks of valuable pearl shell at the jetty, overseen by the wealthy pearling masters. The mangroves weren’t around the jetty and adjacent beach – the luggers were so prolific they took up every available space in the shallow waters. The waters of Roebuck bay are a brilliant milky blue at high tide. Located on Dampier Terrace, at the end of Short Street.
Officially opened in 1916, it is the oldest operating outdoor picture garden in the world. This unique indoor/outdoor theatre has withstood the ravages of war, cyclones and king tides. Housed in the foyer is an excellent display of movie memorabilia. Take in a movie beneath the stars and seated in deckchairs at Sun Pictures every night of the week. Located in Hamersley St, Chinatown.
Located at the end of Robinson Street, Town Beach Reserve incorporates Pioneer Park, Pioneer Cemetery (A resting place for Broomes’ pioneer from as early as 1880) and historic old jetty. Its calm waters, grassed area, shady trees and playground are a haven for young families. Walk among the mangroves and view hundreds of hermit crabs or just laze in the shade and watch the massive tides ebb & flow. Due to the possible presence of box jellyfish and stingers in tropical waters during November to April, precautions should be taken. A great location to spread a blanket and enjoy the mesmerising Stairway to the Moon phenomenon.