Broome, Western Australia
Broome is a pearling and tourist town in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, 2200 km (1,367 mi) north of Perth
Perth, Western Australia
Perth is the capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia and the fourth most populous city in Australia. The Perth metropolitan area has an estimated population of almost 1,700,000....

. The year round population is approximately 14,436, growing to more than 45,000 per month during the tourist season. Broome International Airport
Broome International Airport
Broome International Airport is a regional airport located at Broome, Australia.Broome International Airport is the regional hub of the northwestern part of Western Australia. It is considered the gateway to the Kimberley. In the year ending 30 June 2009 the airport handled 391 914 passengers...

 provides transport to several regional and domestic towns and cities.


Broome is situated on the traditional lands of the Yawuru people.

The first European to visit Broome was William Dampier
William Dampier
William Dampier was an English buccaneer, sea captain, author and scientific observer...

 in 1688 and again in 1699. Many of the coastal features of the area are named by him. In 1879, Charles Harper suggested that the pearling industry could be served by a port closer to the pearling grounds and that Roebuck Bay
Roebuck Bay
Roebuck Bay is a bay on the coast of the Kimberley region of Western Australia. Its entrance is bounded in the north by the town of Broome, and in the south by Bush Point and Sandy Point. It is named after HMS Roebuck, the ship captained by William Dampier when he explored the coast of...

 would be suitable. In 1883, John Forrest
John Forrest
Sir John Forrest GCMG was an Australian explorer, the first Premier of Western Australia and a cabinet minister in Australia's first federal parliament....

 selected the site for the town, and it was named after Sir Frederick Broome
Frederick Broome
Sir Frederick Napier Broome KCMG was a colonial administrator in the British Empire.He was born in Canada, but was living in England in 1865, when he married Mary Anne Barker...

, the Governor of Western Australia
Governor of Western Australia
The Governor of Western Australia is the representative in Western Australia of Australia's Monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. The Governor performs important constitutional, ceremonial and community functions, including:* presiding over the Executive Council;...

 from 1883 to 1889.

In 1889, a telegraph
Telegraphy is the long-distance transmission of messages via some form of signalling technology. Telegraphy requires messages to be converted to a code which is known to both sender and receiver...

 undersea cable
Submarine communications cable
A submarine communications cable is a cable laid on the sea bed between land-based stations to carry telecommunication signals across stretches of ocean....

 was laid from Broome to Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

, connecting to England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

. Hence the name Cable Beach
Cable Beach
Cable Beach is a stretch of beach near Broome, Western Australia. Cable Beach was named after the telegraph cable laid between Broome and Java in 1889....

 given to the landfall site.
The town has an interesting history based around the exploits of the men and women who developed the pearling industry, starting with the harvesting of oysters for mother of pearl
Nacre , also known as mother of pearl, is an organic-inorganic composite material produced by some mollusks as an inner shell layer; it is also what makes up pearls. It is very strong, resilient, and iridescent....

 in the 1880s to the current major cultured pearl
Cultured pearl
A cultured pearl is a pearl created by a pearl farmer under controlled conditions.-Development of a pearl:A pearl is formed when the mantle tissue is injured by a parasite, an attack of a fish or another event that damages the external fragile rim of the shell of a molluc shell bivalve or gastropod...

 farming enterprises. The riches from the pearl beds did not come cheap, and the town's Japanese
Japanese diaspora
The Japanese diaspora, and its individual members known as , are Japanese emigrants from Japan and their descendants that reside in a foreign country...

 cemetery is the resting place of 919 Japanese divers who lost their lives working in the industry. Many more were lost at sea, and the exact number of deaths is unknown. The Japanese were only one of the major ethnic groups who flocked to Broome to work on the lugger
A lugger is a class of boats, widely used as traditional fishing boats, particularly off the coasts of France, Scotland and England. It is a small sailing vessel with lugsails set on two or more masts and perhaps lug topsails.-Defining the rig:...

s or the shore based activities supporting the harvesting of oysters from the waters around Broome. They were specialist divers and, despite being considered enemies, became an indispensable part of the industry until World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...


Broome was attacked at least four times by Japanese aircraft during the Second World War, and the worst attack was the 3 March 1942 air raid
Attack on Broome
The town of Broome, Western Australia was attacked by Japanese fighter planes on 3 March 1942, during World War II. At least 88 people were killed....

  in which at least 88 people (mostly civilians) were killed.

The West Australian mining boom of the 1960s, as well as the growth of the tourism
Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes".Tourism has become a...

 industry, also helped Broome develop and diversify. Broome is one of the fastest growing towns in Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...


At Gantheaume Point and 30 m (98.4 ft) out to sea are dinosaur footprints believed to be from the Cretaceous
The Cretaceous , derived from the Latin "creta" , usually abbreviated K for its German translation Kreide , is a geologic period and system from circa to million years ago. In the geologic timescale, the Cretaceous follows the Jurassic period and is followed by the Paleogene period of the...

 Age approximately 130 million years ago. The track
Fossil trackway
A fossil trackway is a type of trace fossil, a trackway made by an organism. Many fossil trackways were made by dinosaurs, early tetrapods, and other quadrupeds and bipeds on land...

s can be seen only during very low tide.

Broome entered into a sister city agreement with Taiji
Taiji, Wakayama
is a town located in Higashimuro District, Wakayama, Japan.As of 1 January 2011, the town has an estimated population of 3,225 and a population density of 541 persons per km². The total area is 5.96 km². Taiji is the smallest local government by area in Wakayama Prefecture because, unlike others,...

, Japan in 1981 as historic ties between the two towns date back to the early 1900s, when Japan became instrumental in laying the groundwork of Broome's pearling industry
Pearling in Western Australia
Pearling in Western Australia existed well before European settlement. Coastal dwelling Aborigines had collected and traded pearl shell as well as trepang and tortoise with fishermen from Sulawesi for possibly hundreds of years. After settlement the Aborigines were used as slave labour in the...

. The annual dolphin hunt
Dolphin drive hunting
Dolphin drive hunting, also called dolphin drive fishing, is a method of hunting dolphins and occasionally other small cetaceans by driving them together with boats and then usually into a bay or onto a beach. Their escape is prevented by closing off the route to the open sea or ocean with boats...

 in Taiji was the subject of the 2009 documentary The Cove, and sparked a unanimous decision by the town's council, headed by Graeme Campbell, to end the relationship with Taiji if the dolphin hunt were to continue. The decision was reversed in October 2009.

Cable Beach

Named in honour of the Java-to-Australia undersea telegraph cable which reaches shore here, Cable Beach is situated 7 km (4.3 mi) from town along a good bitumen road. The beach itself is 22.5 km (14 mi) long with beautiful white sand, washed clean daily by tides that can reach over 9 m (29.5 ft). The water is crystal clear turquoise, and the gentle swells hardly manage to topple over as they roll up onto the almost perfectly flat beach. Caution, however, is required when swimming from November through March as box jellyfish
Box jellyfish
Box jellyfish are cnidarian invertebrates distinguished by their cube-shaped medusae. Box jellyfish are known for the extremely potent venom produced by some species: Chironex fleckeri, Carukia barnesi and Malo kingi are among the most venomous creatures in the world...

 are present during those months. There have been cases where crocodiles have been sighted off the shore, but this is a rarity and measures are taken to prevent these situations. Four wheel drive vehicles may be driven onto the beach from the car park. This allows people to explore the beach at low tide to a much greater extent than would be possible on foot. Sunset camel rides operate daily along the beach.

Cable Beach is home to one of Australia's most famous nudist beaches. The clothes optional area is to the north of the beach access road from the car park and continues to the mouth of Willie Creek, 17 km (10.6 mi) away.

Located directly east of Cable Beach over the dunes is Minyirr Park, a coastal reserve administered by a collaboration of the Shire of Broome
Shire of Broome
The Shire of Broome is one of the four Local Government Areas in the Kimberley region of northern Western Australia, covering an area of , most of which is sparsely populated. The shire's estimated population in 2010 was 16,298, most of whom reside in the town of Broome...

 and the Rubibi people.

Roebuck Bay

Being situated on a north/south peninsula, Broome has water on both sides of the town. On the eastern shore are the waters of Roebuck Bay extending from the main jetty at Port Drive to Sandy Point, west of Thangoo station. Town Beach is part of the shoreline and is popular with visitors on the eastern end of the town. It is also the site of the famous 'Staircase to the Moon', where a receding tide and a rising moon combine to create a stunning natural phenomenon. On 'Staircase to the Moon' nights, a food and craft market is operated on Town Beach.

Roebuck Bay is of international importance for the millions of migratory wader
Waders, called shorebirds in North America , are members of the order Charadriiformes, excluding the more marine web-footed seabird groups. The latter are the skuas , gulls , terns , skimmers , and auks...

s or shorebirds that use it seasonally on migration through the East Asian – Australasian Flyway from their breeding grounds in northern Asia. They feed on the extensive intertidal mudflat
Mudflats or mud flats, also known as tidal flats, are coastal wetlands that form when mud is deposited by tides or rivers. They are found in sheltered areas such as bays, bayous, lagoons, and estuaries. Mudflats may be viewed geologically as exposed layers of bay mud, resulting from deposition of...

s and roost at high tide on the red sand beaches of the Bay. They can be seen in the largest numbers in summer, but many of the younger birds remain throughout the first and second years of their lives. The Broome Bird Observatory
Broome Bird Observatory
Broome Bird Observatory is an educational, scientific and recreational facility located 24 km from Broome in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. It began operating in 1988 under the auspices of the non-profit organisation Birds Australia in order to provide a base for the study and...

, sited in pindan
Pindan is a name given to the red-soil country of the south-western Kimberley region of Western Australia. The word “pindan” was first mentioned in print in August 1884 in the Perth Inquirer...

 woodland close to the northern shore of Roebuck Bay, was established by Birds Australia
Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union
The Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union, also known as Birds Australia, was founded in 1901 to promote the study and conservation of the native bird species of Australia and adjacent regions. This makes it Australia's oldest national birding association. It is also Australia's largest...

 in 1988, and formally opened in 1990. The purpose of the observatory is to study the birds, learn how to protect them, and educate the public about them.


Broome has a tropical climate
Tropical climate
A tropical climate is a climate of the tropics. In the Köppen climate classification it is a non-arid climate in which all twelve months have mean temperatures above...

 and under the Köppen climate classification
Köppen climate classification
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by Crimea German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen himself, notably in 1918 and 1936...

 it has a semi-arid climate (BSwhg), like most parts of the Australian tropics, it has two seasons: a dry season
Dry season
The dry season is a term commonly used when describing the weather in the tropics. The weather in the tropics is dominated by the tropical rain belt, which oscillates from the northern to the southern tropics over the course of the year...

 and a wet season
Wet season
The the wet season, or rainy season, is the time of year, covering one or more months, when most of the average annual rainfall in a region occurs. The term green season is also sometimes used as a euphemism by tourist authorities. Areas with wet seasons are dispersed across portions of the...

. The dry season is from April through November with nearly every day clear and maximum temperatures around 30 °C (86 °F). The wet season extends from December through March, with maximum temperatures of around 35 °C (95 °F), rather erratic tropical downpours, and high humidity. Broome's annual rainfall average is 603.5 mm (23.8 in), 75% of which falls from January through March.

Broome is susceptible to tropical cyclone
Tropical cyclone
A tropical cyclone is a storm system characterized by a large low-pressure center and numerous thunderstorms that produce strong winds and heavy rain. Tropical cyclones strengthen when water evaporated from the ocean is released as the saturated air rises, resulting in condensation of water vapor...

s, and these, along with the equally unpredictable nature of summer thunderstorms, play a large part in the erratic nature of the rainfall. For instance, in January 1922, Broome post office recorded just 2.8 mm (0.110236220472441 in) of rainfall while in the same month of 1997, the airport received 910.8 mm (35.9 in).

Frost is unknown; however, temperatures during the cooler months have dropped to as low as 3.3 °C (37.9 °F).

Broome observes an average of 48.3 days a year that record measurable precipitation.


Localised television stations available in Broome include GWN7, SBS
Special Broadcasting Service
The Special Broadcasting Service is a hybrid-funded Australian public broadcasting radio and television network. The stated purpose of SBS is "to provide multilingual and multicultural radio and television services that inform, educate and entertain all Australians and, in doing so, reflect...

, WIN Television
WIN Television
WIN Television is an Australian television network owned by the WIN Corporation that is based in Wollongong, New South Wales. WIN commenced transmissions on 18 March 1962 as a single Wollongong-only station, and has since expanded to 24 owned-and-operated stations with transmissions covering a...

 Western Australia and ABC Television Western Australia.

Both WIN and GWN7 provide local news services that screen Monday to Friday. WIN News
WIN News
WIN News is a local television news service in parts of regional Australia, produced by WIN Television. 20 regional bulletins are presented from studios in Wollongong, Canberra, Ballarat, Rockhampton, Toowoomba, Mount Gambier, Hobart and Perth.-History:As well as its flagship nightly...

 screens at 5.30pm before Nine News Perth. GWN7 News screens at 5.30pm before Seven News
Seven News
Seven News is the television news service of the Seven Network in Australia.National bulletins are presented from Seven's high-definition studios in Martin Place, Sydney, while flagship 6pm bulletins are produced in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, and Perth. The network also produces Seven...


External links

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