Broome, Western Australia. This town oozes with excitement and culture. It's a secret paradise on the shores of the Indian Ocean. It is the gateway town to the world's last frontier of pristine wilderness - the Kimberley Region of Western Australia.
As the pearling capital of the world, the town has 2 major trades, pearling and tourism. The world's largest pearl oyster shell was discovered in Broome's Roebuck Bay in 1861, and the town literally owes it's existence to this discovery. Boasting dozens of amazing attractions, in particular Cable Beach, with it's milky, blue tropical water, Broome is a truly remarkable and beautiful town. We urge everyone to experience it's magic.
Where Is Broome?
2250km North-East of Perth
Broome is quite far from Perth but definately worth the trip. We do not recommend driving. You will enjoy a scenic air flight or bus charter. If you do wish to drive, use the Great Northern Highway (Route 95). Broome has an International Airport if you wish to fly here directly.
Founded by Sir Frederick Napier Broome, on November 27, 1883. Broome at this time was nothing more than a few pearlers, a few shanties and local Aborigines but within 2 years the submarine telegraph cable, which had been connected to Darwin, was rerouted through Broome and suddenly the town was much more than a collection of tents. The firm of Streeters set up a store trading in pearls and built the famous Roebuck Hotel. The store still stands in Short Street near Streeters Jetty.
The 'golden age' of pearling was during the years before World War 1 when 403 luggers operated out of Broome, however the economy collapsed with the outbreak of war in 1914. The recovery after the war was slow. By the 1930s there were no white pearlfishers and the industry had been effectively taken over by Japanese crews. By 1939 there were only 50 luggers operating in the waters around Broome and the pearl industry was severely depressed.
On 3 March 1942 Broome was attacked by nine Japanese Zero fighters which destroyed 16 flying boats and 7 aircraft on Broome airstrip. It has been estimated that 70 people were killed in the raid. After the war the pearl industry started up again but this time it was with cultured pearls and by 1956 a cultured pearl consortium had been established. By 1980s it was earning over $50 million per annum for Broome.
Broome has a Tropical climate which is relaxing, all year round. The air is almost always warm, which heats the sea-water for those relaxing swims. Most rain falls in Summer (wet-season) and during this time the area can be subject to cyclones, although Broome has not felt the brunt of one for many years.