Location is a huuuuuge decision when it comes to a mini break before a new baby arrives! Your holiday needs to be free of zikka virus, dengue fever…all the nasty stuff, and somewhere with top-notch hygiene standards and fab medical resources. Sounds pedantic? Nah uh. Not when there’s a unborn kiddo to look out for. But throwing a toddler into the mix too? That’s where it gets tricky! Thankfully good ol’ Broome in WA’s north west (a short 2 hour flight from Perth) is an exceptional choice for a family with little one/s and bun in the oven too. Thanks to Qantas’ now uber cheap flights from Perth – we were able to splurge on accommodation at Cable Beach Club Resort & Spa, and what an epic decision that was. From where to stay, what to do and where to eat…here’s our jam-packed guide for a trip to Broome with your tribe. P.S. did we mention the temperature was a balmy 30 degrees every day, for 10 days? Bliss!
Written & photographed by Jade Just – Contributing Travel Editor.
Where to stay
First things first, where to book? Broome offers a substantial range of accommodation from Airbnbs to caravan parks and resorts. We opted for the absolutely divine Cable Beach Club Resort & Spa (here), and as we (two adults plus toddler and baby bump) were staying with another couple and their toddler, we set our eyes on a Pearler’s Bungalow. It meant we had a kitchenette and separate living area so we could whip up meals for the kiddos whenever needed, with space to relax and chat at night once they were in bed.
Cutting straight to the point, it doesn’t get much better than this for families. Cots and highchairs are provided. Icypoles are dished out by the pool area twice a day for kids, there’s a fab playground (sand free!), water playground; mini golf and tennis (all inclusive in room rates), and an abundance of daily school holiday activities. So. much. to. do. Without even needing to leave the resort. And the minute those kids hit the hay, I became a lady of leisure at the adults-only pool, with a mocktail in hand.
Rate wise, you’re looking from approx $799 per night in the high season ($469 per night for the summer season) for a Pearler’s Bungalow – but if you stay with another family it becomes pretty darn good value. There are also plenty of special deals throughout the year, for instance there’s a ‘stay 4 nights and pay for 3′ deal (Studio’s & Bungalows) for September bookings (details here).
What to do
The beauty of staying at Cable Beach Club Resort & Spa, is that the beach is on your doorstep. For some reason, Broome sunsets are nothing short of magical. To get the best views you can grab a drink and/or food from the resort’s Sunset Bar & Grill; BYO picnic rug and chill out on the huge grass area or hitch a ride on a camel for a quintessential Broome experience. Pretty much every evening was spent here, and it’s not hard to see why.
The clash of pindan red against the ocean is ridiculously photo-worthy. It’s not an overly safe spot for speedy toddlers, so it’s best to stick em on your shoulders where they’re safe and can enjoy the view too. A sunset on the beach next to the point is a great way to get a local Broome experience, and it’s far easier to drive an AWD or 4WD down onto Gantheume’s beach than Cable Beach. The beach car entrance is just before you pass the turf club.
Willie Creek Pearl Farm
With Broome’s pearling past, it would be a shame not to visit a pearl farm. Willie Creek is a relatively easy drive out of Broome with an AWD or 4WD, and you’ll be greeted with turquoise water, a playground for the kids and a cafe. They also run a variety of tours for those wanting to learn more about pearls and the pearling industry.
This absolute gem of a spot is just twenty minutes from Broome. At low tide there are hundreds of rock pools (and soooo many shells) making it ideal for kids. The best way to get there is to plug ‘Coconutz B&B’ into google maps but carry on past it for as long as you can, right up until you’re almost within sight of the beach (note: you’ll need a 4WD or AWD).
Malcolm Douglas Crocodile Park
This Broome essential activity is a great arvo out for families. Head there for the crocodile feeding tour at 3pm to learn about all the resident (GINORMOUS!) crocs, and then do your own exploring once it’s over. The tour guides are super animated with plenty of fun facts, so tweens and teens are kept interested, and for the young ones there’s lots of croc action to keep them amused. Tip: leave your pram at home and opt for a carrier and enclosed shoes – there’s a fair bit of sand to walk through during the tour.
A trip to the races is an absolute must in Broome! The locals put on a great show for families, and the warm up enclosure has plenty of viewpoints for animal lovers.
Ideal for a different view of Broome with the mangroves juxtaposed against the water. There’s a superb community playground and waterpark, and the cafe churns out awesome burgers.
The multicultural heart of Broome boasts plenty of cafes, restaurants and shops. Streeters Jetty is worthy of a photo, and Sun Pictures – the world’s longest running outdoor cinema – has all the latest flicks plus extra, kid friendly ones in the school holidays.
Where to eat
Broome has an unreal selection of restaurants and cafes, and plenty of them go above and beyond to help out families (Matso’s even presented our girls with a Barbie for the night, crayons and paper – so good!). Our picks in Broome are:
Cable Beach Club Resort & Spa – gahhh where to start – it’s quite honestly all delicious. Our preferences were Kichi Kichi for amazing Asian fusion dishes (super close to the bungalows for takeaway if the kids are in bed). But for an adult-only meal, Cichetti Club has a stunning setting (they’ve also got a happy hour too). Casual and with views of the sunset you can’t go past the Sunset Bar & Grill.
Zoo Keepers – gooooood coffee. Awesome for breakfast and brunch, try the blueberry pancakes (yum yum yum).
Matso’s Broome – very kid friendly, with great curries as well as Modern Australian options not to mention the Ginger Beer.
Wharf Restaurant – the best place in Broome for a seafood fix with grilled or battered options plus a lovely view, and it’s licensed.
Chinatown – Broome’s bustling hub is packed with good eateries. Our favourites are Dragonfly Cafe, Good Cartel, Aarli and Shady Lane Cafe
A few tips:
- Car Hire: it’s definitely worth hiring an AWD or 4WD – these types of cars through Broome Broome Car Rental are permitted to take on a variety of unsealed roads around Broome (e.g. roads to Coconut Wells). Most other car companies won’t allow cars on unsealed roads at all. You can hire car seats and booster seats for a great rate but don’t forget to BYO your sunshades.
- Footwear: there is a lot of red dirt, and toddlers (and kids) looooove the red dirt! Honestly, who can blame them? Best to leave the white Cons at home and bring cheap kicks instead.
- Afternoon/Evening Flights: Guests at Cable Beach Club Resort & Spa can continue to chill out for the day at the resort after check-out. Be sure to enquire with reception about securing a change room for a shower and freshen up before your flight – such a godsend for getting little ones ready for an evening departure.
- Mosquito Spray: lather it on morning and night…the tropical mozzies and sand flies are ruthless little buggers. For the kids we used an all-natural option by Moov (available at most chemists).
- Tours: if you’re looking at tours and/or car hire, it’s way easier to let someone else do all the booking. Aside from Cable Beach Club Resort & Spa’s tours desk, there’s also local tourism guru Robyn Maher from Unique Kimberley (here) who is an absolute jet for bookings. She’s got countless years of experience from her time at Australia’s North West Tourism. Note: this recommendation isn’t sponsored, she’s just awesome and is forever giving us insights for the North West (thanks Rob!).