Broome, WA

Whether you’re looking for a holiday filled with new and exciting activities or you’d like some time to relax and enjoy a holiday that’s more laid-back, few settings offer more opportunities than Broome. Where else can you enjoy the startling landscapes and unspoiled beauty of the Outback, the beauty of pristine sandy beaches and the charm of a bustling seaside town steeped in the history of the pearl industry, all in one location?

Here’s just a glimpse of what Broome holidays can offer:

Ride the waves – and learn some history

Broome, WA

Source: yaruman5 on Flickr

Since the late 1800s, Broome has played a significant role in the world’s pearl industry, and one of the most exciting ways to experience that history is to take a tour on an authentic pearl lugger. The Intombi has been plying the waters off the Broome coast for more than a century, and today, it provides tourists with a little glimpse of the past. During your sail, snack on hors d’oeuvres or take a dip in the protection of the boat’s giant net.

Relax at Cable Beach

Broome, WA

Source: plesgardiner on Flickr

Named for the telegraph cable laid more than a century ago between Australia and Java, Cable Beach stretches along 22 kilometres and provides plenty of opportunity to swim, walk and just enjoy the stunning views. A system of natural hiking trails lets visitors explore the area and learn about the important role the sea played in the lives of the indigenous Yawuru people. And hey, if you find your bathing suit is becoming a little cumbersome, head to the northern end of the beach and join the nudists who’ve made the spot one of the most popular clothing-optional beaches in Australia.

Hop aboard a camel

Broome, WA

Source: CFreeman38 on Flickr

When you’re done swimming, hang around Cable Beach for a sunset camel ride. It’s truly one of the most memorable sunsets you’ll ever see. The camel rides are held every day (weather permitting), and their calm, measured gait makes them a good choice for anyone – even for those who may be shy of horseback riding.

Climb to the Moon

The beaches along Roebuck Bay offer more opportunities for swimming, and on nights when the moon is full, be sure to take the time to enjoy the phenomenon known as the Staircase to the Moon. The moonlight creates a ladderlike pattern that looks like stairs leading upward to the heavens. When the tide is low, market vendors set up shop and sell everything from local crafts to food and drink.

Look out for Whales

Just as Broome’s skies are a popular flyway for migratory bird species, its waters provide a popular spot to view migrating whales. You might get lucky and view a whale or two from the beach, but to get the best views, you have to go where the whales are. Taking a whale watching tour lets you get an up-close view of whales and other sea creatures. Be sure to bring along a camera and sunscreen as well as a jacket or jumper for sunset cruises.

Group and Self-drive Tours: Take Your Pick

To make the most of your holiday, taking a tour can be a low-pressure, stress-free way to kick back and relax and let someone else take charge of planning and scheduling. It’s also a good way to make sure you don’t miss out on unique experiences only available to tour groups.

But what if touring with a group isn’t for you? Self-drive tour packages let you enjoy the advantages of a professionally planned tour without the need to travel with a group. With a self-drive tour, you can take your time and schedule events to suit your style and your preferences for a truly customised experience.

Whether you choose a tour package or decide to explore the area on your own, one thing is certain: A holiday in Broome offers a range of experiences you won’t find anywhere else.

By Rosemary McGuigan, the owner of Best Of The Kimberley, an accredited travel agency in Broome Western Australia. Connect with Rosemary & the Best Of The Kimberley on Google+.