The Jewels of Broome
Although I was pre-warned about the weather quite a few times, nothing really prepared me for when I stepped off that plane and straight into the November heat of North Western Australia.
Luckily it wasn’t long before we were met by Zoe from Oaks, who was kind enough to drive us around for most of our stay in her air-conditioned van. Before heading to check in, Zoe took us on a quick scenic detour down to ‘town beach’, a small family friendly beach on the bay with beautiful bright blue calm waters and only a short stroll away from the property.
Our accommodation for the first two nights was at Oaks Broome, a 4.5 star property with a mix of hotel rooms, studios, and 1 & 2 Bedroom apartments. The 2 Bedrooms consists of a hotel room and 1 bedroom apartment. They are clean, tidy and spacious with extremely comfortable beds, and come with a very inviting large spa bath in the 1 bedroom.
The resort has its own onsite restaurant, serving breakfast and dinner and two large swimming pools, with plenty of deck chairs and umbrellas to relax under the shade. This property is great for both business travellers and holidaymakers who want to experience a touch of luxury during their stay, with a short walk to either Town Beach or Matso’s Brewery. A good choice for lunch or dinner close by is 18 Degrees, a Tapas restaurant and wine bar that also serves fantastic cocktails!
In the afternoon we had time for a relaxing and refreshing dip in the pool before we were picked up by Amy for the INTOMBI Pearl Lugger Sunset Sail. On the way out to the Port of Broome, Amy entertained us with the history of INTOMBI, an authentic 111 year old Pearling Lugger which is one of only a few still afloat today. Once on board we were welcomed with a complimentary alcoholic beverage and enjoyed watching dolphins swimming in the bay.
The Lugger slowly sails around the bay with plenty of time before sunset so you can have a dip in the water while holding on to the boom net, or check out the small museum on board. The nibbles are served up regularly, and there is plenty of alcohol for purchase at reasonable prices. Once the sun starts to set its time to sit back relax and enjoy the romance and beauty of it all. This is a family owned and operated tour, and all the crew were very friendly and attentive to the small number of guests on board.
The next morning we were picked up for our Broome Sightseeing, this is a great tour for newcomers to get a quick introduction to all the highlights of Broome. We were super excited to see our first glimpse of Cable Beach and also a replica of the dinosaur footprints that can be found out at Gantheaume Point. Unfortunately the real footprints can only be seen when the tide is very low.
We were also fascinated to hear about the rich history of Broome and role of the Japanese Pearl luggers, while visiting the Japanese Cemetery. After a quick loop around China Town in our air- conditioned bus we finished the tour at the Pearl luggers museum along with some morning tea and cold refreshing drinks.
We were kindly dropped us off on time for our site inspection at the Moonlight Bay Suites, a small 4* property with 1 or 2 Bedroom Apartments. All rooms have either a Garden view or Bay view, there is also an onsite Day Spa (run independently), complimentary BBQ’s, Gym and a 28m pool with lovely views of the Bay. It is close to Town and perfect location for witnessing the Staircase to the Moon Phenomena. The staff here are super friendly and will go out of their way to make your stay as lovely as possible. The apartments are all very spacious, slightly dated, but feel clean and fresh and are self-contained (without dishwashers or laundry facilities).
So of course after our inspection we headed straight over to this award-winning Microbrewery to enjoy a delicious lunch and beer tasting. I enjoyed my first taste of the famous Matsos Ginger Beer, which was very refreshing and easy to drink, maybe next time I will be brave enough to try the Chilli Beer! This place has a historical and relaxed ‘pub’ atmosphere often has local live music in the afternoons.
With an afternoon at our leisure most of us had time to enjoy another refreshing dip in the pool at Oaks Broome, before heading over to Oaks Cable Beach for the Gourmet BBQ Dinner. This is only available on Sunday nights, and is all you can eat for $39 per adult and $19.50 per child. We feasted on a variety of yummy Aussie BBQ Specialities, including fresh garden, potato and pasta salads, bbq prawns and lamb chops, as well as a few cocktails to relax after our hard day’s work.
We were up nice and early today for a full day of adventure, starting with the Willie Creak Pearl Farm tour. Lance picked us up at the hotel and informed us that we would be taking the wet weather or deluxe massage road as it had rained just two nights previously. Once we arrived, we were ushered over to a small grand stand where Megan began a very lively introduction to the farm and how these famous South Sea Pearls are made. After enjoying some morning tea and coffee, we took a relaxing cruise along the beautiful creek to witness some of the oysters in action, and spot some local wildlife along the way.
There are optional helicopter rides available for purchase after the cruise and I happily jumped on the opportunity to see a little bit more of the coastline.
Lance dropped us off at the Oaks Cable Beach Sanctuary, our accommodation for the last night of the trip. This property is a large 4.5*resort consisting of studios, 1 and 2 bedroom apartments, and 3 bedroom villas.
The studios have a small kitchenette with tea and coffee-making facilities, and the 1 and 2 bedrooms include laundry and full kitchen facilities, they are all modern, clean and spacious. The 3 bedroom villas are all freestanding and some even come with private plunge pools.
The property is spread out over a large area, and features a lagoon style pool, an infinity pool and children’s wading pool in the centre of the property, once again with plenty of deck chairs and umbrellas for shade. There are also a few smaller pools located around the edges of the property; one of them comes with temperature control.
This property is still about a 20 min walk to the beach, and 5 minute walk to the local shops. The restaurant on site offers a la carte breakfast and is also open for dinner. A good spot for lunch close by is Lord Mac’s who offer a variety of freshly made burgers which are way to big to take a bite out of!
Next we headed over to the Mantra Frangipani, where Michelle showed us around. This is a 4.5* property which offers 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments, great for families or couples who want some privacy during their stay. One thing to note is that the Mantra doesn’t have on site restaurant; however it does have plenty of parking and heaps of free Mangoes as it is located on an old Mango Farm! The surrounding gardens are peaceful and tranquil, and the apartments are spacious and clean with private outdoor showers! There are also two temperature controlled pools, a couple of BBQ areas and the property offers free Wi-Fi.
Waiting until our sunset camel ride that night, we passed the time by having a cocktail at Zanders overlooking Cable Beach. Once we saw the camels pass by, we followed them down to the Beach eager to start the experience. The walk began with plenty of time before sunset, and while heading up the beach our guides took turns walking beside each camel us and introducing us to the one we were riding.
The introductions were finished by the time we turned around to head back, leaving us to enjoy the view while the sun was setting. On the return journey the guides would take pictures with our cameras, while the professional photographer was driving up and down the beach capturing the perfect pictures on film, which you can purchase on a USB at the end of the tour. As a bonus to finish the tour, we each got the chance to feed our camels some carrots to reward them for all their hard work.
Next stop was the Pinctada Cable Beach Resort located a short but very humid 10 minute walk away from the beach, thankfully we were greeted by the General Manager Matthew with a refreshing glass of champers to help us to cool down. Pinctada is a 5* Star property inspired by the local ‘Pinctada Maxima’ shell, the rooms are luxurious and modern with high quality appliances and large marble bathrooms. The property also features a main pool, some private courtyard pools, a fitness centre, day spa, an award-winning restaurant, and landscaped gardens designed by Jamie Durie.
Dinner at the Pinctada was accompanied by Belinda, the Food and Beverage Manager. I enjoyed some threadfin salmon for the main, which is a species found only in this area, and some pistachio crème brulee for desert! Safe to say it was one of the best dinners and deserts I have had the pleasure of eating (and drinking) and the staff were lovely. Please note: Since the inspection this property has undergone a change of ownership and is now known as Kimberley Sands Resort.
The first stop on our last day was the Mercure Broome for a hosted lunch and property inspection with the General Manager Patina. The Mercure Broome is a 4* property with a large number of hotel style rooms, only about 1k out of town and close to Matso’s Brewery. The hotel features a restaurant, swimming pool, tennis courts and Captain Murphy’s Irish Bar next door.
The Deluxe Rooms came with a queen bed, daybed and work desk and a balcony overlooking the park or pool area. The inspection finished in the Privilege rooms while sipping champagne and feasting on some snack sized steak and mashed potatoes. These rooms come with the extra comforts of Free Internet, bathrobes, slippers, gourmet tea and coffee, ipod dock , chocolate and mineral waters, as well as the best view in the house overlooking Roebuck bay and the park.
The last stop before heading home was the Mangrove Hotel, a 4* property with an amazing location right next to town and elevated views over Roebuck Bay. The recent refurbishment of the hotel has transformed this property and its 60 rooms making it feel like a brand new Mangrove Hotel. With a Californian Chic design, the hotel style rooms are now clean, fresh and modern with Ipod docks and free WiFi.
The rooms are quite spacious with floor to ceiling glass windows next to a small sitting area overlooking either the gardens, pool or the bay. The Hotel comes with two swimming pools, restaurant and two bars with plenty of private cabana’s on a large lawn area overlooking the bay.
We finished our trip with a glass of bubbly overlooking Roebuck bay, appreciating the view knowing we had to say goodbye and head back home that night.
The unique natural beauty, history and culture of this town, make Broome a must see destination for all.
Written By Kelly Foran, Infinity Holidays Wholesale Consultant