The Western Australian town of 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. Many Australians love travelling 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, but not only that! There are other important historical sites like the visible wrecks from planes downed during WWII, fossilised dinosaur footprints and a twentieth century movie theatre to name a few. Plus, a famed 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 or dolphin and whale watching cruises.
Best time to visit Broome – for weather
Broome weather enjoys the benefits of a tropical climate. 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.
Broome’s dry season is the most popular time to visit. It’s 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 lovely warm days and typical ‘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 Australia’s North West Tourism for other local events while you’re here!
On average, the coldest months in Broome are from May to August, but even then the average high is between 29 and 31°C! The nights are cool but not cold, with the nighttime minimums averaging from 14 to 22°C throughout the months of the dry season.
The wet season (November to April) sees rain, hot weather and high 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. The hottest month for daytime temperatures is December; though overall the average temperature is often not all that different between the wet and dry season, the humidity makes it feel hotter during this time of year. Towards the end of Broome’s wet season in April, the average high temperature is 34°C.
February is the wettest month on average, but if you visit at the start or end of the wet season (November or April) you will likely avoid the majority of the rain. If you do choose to visit in the wet season it’s unlikely you’ll be caught in showers all day long, as the heavy downpours are usually in the afternoon or evening, and pass quickly. Broome generally experiences moderate winds, with December being the windiest month on average.
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!
It’s worth noting, if you plan on visiting during the rainy season, there are potentially stingers in the water at some of the Broome beaches. It’s generally advised against swimming at Cable Beach and Town Beach at Roebuck Bay during the hottest time of year in Broome (November to April) due to the presence of stingers. If you plan on swimming at Cable Beach or Town Beach during this time of year, take proper precautions such as speaking to beach authorities, and wearing an appropriate stinger suit.
Best time to visit Broome – 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.
Best time to visit Broome – for whale watching
Each year, tens of thousands of Humpback whales migrate from the cold waters of the Antarctic to the warm waters in the Kimberley region to mate and calve. Witness Mother Nature at her finest, and see the majestic creatures breaching, playing and teaching their calves.
Whale watching in Broome is a must-do and a tourist favourite. The whale season runs from the start of July to the end of September – though it can change a little each year, depending on when the whales arrive and depart.
Here at Absolute Ocean Charters, we offer whale watching tours daily throughout these months and know all the best places to go 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.
Best time to visit Broome – for other attractions and tours
Many 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. Our personal, carefully-curated Broome bus tour only operates during the dry season, for example.
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 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 spot 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 visit Broome, and no one best month to visit. Whether you visit in the dry season or the wet season (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!