Travel SOS: Broome on a budget

Broome is not only expensive to get to, it’s also not the cheapest destination once you arrive. However, in this week’s Travel SOS, we have some money saving ideas to make it a little more affordable.

Q. Tony

I would desperately love to take my wife to Broome, but every time we look at booking a trip, we’re staggered by how much it costs and decide that our budget really can’t stretch that far. Surely there has to be a way to do the trip on a budget?

A: Thanks to its remoteness, stunning landscapes, tropical weather and proximity to the Kimberly, Broome is possibly one of the most expensive destinations to reach in Australia. And it’s not exactly the most affordable destination to spend time in once you get there. But, thanks to a little insider knowledge, we have some suggestions for how you can cut costs.

When to go
Firstly, when you go can make all the difference. The dry season from May to October is the most expensive, so avoiding these months will make your trip more affordable. However, the monsoon season, between January and March can bring really heavy rain and cyclones. November is the hottest month, but if you can cope with the humidity, you should be able to grab a bargain on flights and accommodation. It can still be wet, but the rain tends to fall in short downpours in the late afternoon and evening.

couple walking along the beach at broome

Getting there
Direct flights from Melbourne and Sydney are in the region of $900 in November, although if you’re willing to go via Perth, you can knock about $150 off this fare.

Where to stay
If you’re not looking for flash accommodation, then you can score a bargain in November. Kimberly Klub YHA (which is not only for the young) has dorm-style accommodation from $35 per night, while Oaks Broome offers clean and comfortable ensuite rooms from $99 per night.

Getting around
Unless you’re happy to spend money on arranged tours, you’ll probably have to hire a car, as getting around Broome and all there is to see and do in the area isn’t really walkable – plus it really is too hot to be pounding the streets. There are many car hire options available from Broome airport and as a guide, seven-days in an economy car will cost you about $250.

Things to do when you’re there
Eating and drinking in Broome can be as expensive as you wish to make it, with plenty of dining options available. To keep costs down, a trip to the local supermarket for picnic provisions is a must. For the nights when you are keen to eat out, Broome RSL offers affordable standard pub fare, cheap beer and bingo on a Tuesday night. There’s also Pizza and Darts on Thursday and a BBQ night on Fridays. If you don’t want to spend every night at the RSL, then head to Cable Beach General Store for a plentiful portion of fish and chips, washed down with a beer from the bottle shop.


Best beaches
The great thing about sitting on the beach is that it’s free. Obviously, Cable Beach is probably the best known in the area and if you hit it at the right time, you can witness the camel trains passing through. But if you’re looking for somewhere with fewer crowds, head to Reddell Beach at sunset – spectacular.

Just for something different
Broome is quite a quirky place so finding something off the wall isn’t too difficult. Watching the bats take flight over Roebuck Bay is a magnificent sight or if you’re interested in a little local sport, head to the Satay Hut pub on a Sunday night for the hermit crab races.

We can’t wait to hear if you manage to book your trip and how you get on once there.

Do you have any local tips for Tony?

Related articles:
Broome’s top five
People of the Kimberley

Written by Debbie McTaggart


Broome’s top five

Award-winning travel writer Lee Atkinson discovers the top five things to do in Broome.

People of the Kimberley

It's true that you won't really encounter the ‘real' Australia until you've gone outback. And