Broome has always been known for its pearling and tourism industries, and it’s still growing as a popular holiday destination, thanks to its stunning beaches, pristine waters, rich history and spectacular natural phenomena. While international travel remains a distant dream, many Australians are traveling and exploring their own backyard – and there are so many wonderful reasons why Broome should be the destination on the top of your list.
There are many different things to consider when planning your trip to Broome: wet season vs dry season, time-specific attractions such as Staircase to the Moon and whale watching, and affordability, to name a few. We’ve made a list of some of the things to consider before booking, and some benefits of visiting at various stages of the year, so that you can decide the best time of year to visit Broome.
There are so many fantastic reasons to visit this favoured Kimberley town. Broome’s tropical climate is one of the many attractions for potential travellers. While the rest of Australia is shivering through winter, Broome relishes in warm, clear sunny days and magic evenings.
The original inhabitants of Broome, the Yawuru people, occupied the Kimberley region for some forty thousand years prior to European settlement, and still celebrate six specific seasons. They offer cultural programs in order to share their vibrant culture today.
Broome has a rich history as a pearling town, and provides important historical significance, including visible wrecks from planes downed during WWII. There are fossilised dinosaur footprints, a twentieth century movie theatre, a crocodile park, and many other fascinating attractions to please every member of the family. Cable Beach is world-renowned for its stunning sunsets and camel rides, and holidayers enjoy getting out onto the water for fishing, diving or dolphin and whale watching cruises.
Best time to visit – for weather
You have probably heard reference to the two main ‘seasons’ in Broome – the wet season and the dry season. But which one is best for tourists? Well, that all depends on what you’re looking for.
The dry season is typically the ‘on’ season in Broome, which is when the population triples in size as tourists flock to the town to escape the cooler weather back home and experience the stunning Kimberley. The dry season runs from May to October, and these are the busiest months for tourism. Daytime temperatures generally range from the 20’s to low 30’s, with little to no rainfall and humidity, and typically clear blue skies. This is the best time for ‘holiday weather’. If you time your visit just right, you’ll be able to experience the iconic Shinju Matsuri festival. Be sure to check out Perth is OK! for other local events while you’re here!
The wet season (November to April) sees rain, hot weather and humidity, though it’s not until later in the season (January to March) that there is monsoonal weather including possible flooding and cyclones, and heavy, short downpours. Daytime temperatures are generally in the mid 30’s during the wet season.
Due to the weather at this time of year, the sunsets are particularly beautiful, and there are stunning lightning shows. If you are going to use the quieter period to visit, be ready for a more chilled, laid back Broome, and a great time to meet the locals who venture out more during Broome’s ‘quiet’ season. Visiting Broome in the wet season is one of the region’s best kept secrets. But really, no matter the time of year, Broome is a remarkable holiday spot, and has so much to offer!
Best time to visit – for affordability
The wet season (or green season as it’s now known), as the ‘off’ season, is typically quieter – less crowds and therefore often more affordable. Due to the lesser demand during the wet season, there are typically cheaper prices and the best deals on offer during these months, with the added bonus of smaller crowds.
But, it’s important to realise that some of the tourist attractions and operators do close over the wet season. It’s a period of downtime and maintenance for some (not all), after the madness and mayhem that is the tourist season.
Attractions and Tours
Most broome tours run year-round, but it’s worth checking before you book your trip if there are certain tours you know you want to do.
Whale watching in Broome is a must-do and a tourist favourite, and the whale season runs from start of July to end of September – though it can change a little each year, depending on when the whales arrive and depart. Absolute Ocean Charters offer whale watching tours daily throughout these months, so you’ll have a guaranteed sighting of whales, as well as the opportunity to get out on the water in the fantastic warm, clear weather Broome provides at that time of year.
If you want to see the extraordinary natural phenomenon of Staircase to the Moon, check the dates before booking. You can see this breathtaking event on specific dates between May and November, along with the night Moon markets on at the same time, usually occurring for 3 days of each month.
There are various other local markets that run in Broome year-round that showcase fantastic local art, crafts, homewares and food, but they are busier and are on more frequently during the dry season. These are run on the weekends.
The wildlife of Broome show off at various times of the year. If you visit during the wet season, you’re in for a surprise at Malcolm Douglas Crocodile Park, as the big saltwater crocs are generally more active at this time of year. Camel rides on the famous Cable Beach run year-round, but in addition to glorious sunsets on this incredible beach, you may just see sea turtles hatching during the wet season if you venture out during the evening! It’s not guaranteed you’ll see any turtles, but if you do, make sure you give them some space as you admire them from a distance.
There is no straightforward answer for when is the best time to travel to Broome. Whether you visit in the dry season or the wet (green season), we’re sure you’ll be blown away by the culture, natural attractions, tours and photo opportunities Broome has to offer. Take into consideration all that you want to see and do when you visit, and choose the time of year that best suits your needs and your budget. We’re sure you’re going to have an absolute ball!