Broome in Western Australia is one of the roads less traveled. Its uncharted red rock deserts, breathtaking white sands, and turquoise waters, laced with stories of Dreamtime from Aboriginals, will have you feeling less like a tourist and more like an explorer. Unfortunatly, Australia also has a penchant for attracting some (possibly a majority) of the deadliest animals on the planet.
When to Go
Broome is popular amongst Australian tourists and things really pick up during Australia’s autumn and winter (April-September); however, the best time to visit Broome is towards the end of March, when the rainy season is nearing its end and you can secure more affordable hotel and car rental prices, as well as significantly improved weather. Swimming at Broome’s Cable Beach during this time is also not advisable unless you have stinger suits or an interest in pouring vinegar over Box Jellyfish stings. The vinegar only works to disable the venom that hasn’t yet been released into the blood stream. More simply stated: Box Jellyfish Can Kill You.
How to Get There
Flights to Perth are available from all of Australia’s major cities and the flight to Broome is an additional 3 hours from Perth. All of Australia’s domestic carriers fly to Broome on a daily basis, multiple times a day, so securing a flight should be easy. Most hotels will have free shuttles to and from the airport.
Where to Stay
Stay at The Frangipani (http://www.thefrangipani.com.au/) rather than the more popular 5 star Cable Beach Club. The hotel is within walking distance to Cable Beach, but is half the price at about $120 AUD per night with all the amenities, including gardens, a pool, verandahs, and yummy food. Nothing is likely to kill you here.
What to Do
Cable Beach in the Morning: Walk the beach a little after dawn when you will spot tiny sea creatures chasing the tide back out to sea. You can marvel at the Picasso-worthy designs of hermit crabs that hide in the sand and burrow their way out by rolling hundreds of tiny sand balls, creating marble patterns throughout the beach.
You may even stumble upon an octopus that has washed up, and is unable to get back to sea. Pick one up and throw it back into the ocean; you’ll save a life and they are harmless. (Really, I mean it.) Keep you eyes open because Black Stingrays can be seen spreading their wings above the water near the shore. Don’t go chasing after them though. Remember Steve Erwin? The Stingray’s venomous spine CAN KILL YOU.
Cable Beach in the Evening: Spend the evening watching the sunset as thousands of rainbow colored dragonflies beat a symphony with their wings over your head. Better yet, do that on a camel! Camels were brought to Australia to transport goods across the deserts and now explorers can ride them through the sands.