10 Ways to Meet the Locals in Broome
Knowing your host country’s inhabitants can only benefit your trip, and now is easier than ever with new technology and apps like Couchsurfing making this process much simpler.
Students from Genazzano and Xavier Colleges of Melbourne visited St Mary’s College last week as part of an exchange program, staying with Indigenous families while attending classes together every day.
1. Meet the Locals Tours
Travelers frequently return from a trip and say things like “it was wonderful, but what made it truly memorable was meeting locals.” Thanks to the sharing economy, meeting locals has never been simpler; with informal platforms like Airbnb allowing travelers to quickly strike up conversations and make friends easily; formal opportunities exist too for street art tours or culinary adventures with the locals in your destination city – these 10 ways will add another layer to your adventure!
Broome, situated on Rubibi Land – a sacred site belonging to the Yawuru Traditional Custodians – is an outback coastal town famous for its pearling history and 22km-long Cable Beach. Broome’s rich Aboriginal culture remains an integral part of its community with numerous tours that explore these traditions, cultures and beliefs that have endured throughout time in this remote region.
The Aboriginal Cultural Center and Museum provides a welcoming space for families, students and visitors where culture is celebrated. Proud to participate in programs like Broome Clontarf Academy, Follow the Dream and Broome Stars; its Bagu Warrdarndan Jimbin Centre allows both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to share stories.
Broome Visitor Information Centre offers an unforgettable experience for those seeking something different – their “Meet the Locals” program provides tourists with an engaging opportunity to engage with the community on a more personal level and has helped many visitors explore it more fully.
Ganethaum Point, with its red rocks framing azure blue water and iconic cable beach, offers an unforgettable sunset viewing spot or opportunity to observe locals diving into the waters and fishing off of cliffs at high tide. Also located here is Matsunagaya Japanese Cemetery as well as Japan Town – home to descendants from Japan who settled during WW2. A recent highlight was when Melbourne high school students visited St Mary’s College to learn about Sisters early days in Broome as well as connections they have with Japanese community within Japtown.
2. Bart’s Pearling Tours
Broome is known for its breathtaking sunsets and glorious beaches framed by red pindan scrub, but the pearling town boasts an enthralling history rich with cultural heritage that contributes to its distinct character. Experience it first-hand on one of Bart Pigram’s Narlijia Experiences tours; his family have long resided on Roebuck Bay land where they share generational knowledge.
His most popular tour, known as the Broome Pearling History Tour, takes visitors through opium dens, brothels, gambling houses and historic places that helped shape Broome’s pearling industry 160 years ago. You will visit Sun Pictures, Johnny Chi Lane and other landmarks that contributed to shaping it.
Yu’s account of pearling history in Australia is less than flattering. Yu explains how pearling was once an unregulated industry where white Europeans could reap large profits from harvesting the silver-white oysters of Pinctada maxima; yet workers were exploited at great cost, often being captured from Asia at gunpoint and sold off to pearling crews for pitiful wages.
Pearl divers were responsible for diving deep into the Indian Ocean without safety equipment to retrieve pearl shells, an exhausting task which tested human endurance to its limits and was particularly exploitative of Indigenous men, women and children – many of which Bart’s ancestors worked as pearl divers and told their tales with great passion and respect.
Willie Creek Pearls and Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm offer two delectable culinary experiences as well as historical tours. Located near the tip of Dampier Peninsula and only minutes away from Melbourne’s Attica restaurants, Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm gives an insight into working pearl farms while giving visitors a chance to taste fresh pearl meat, prized in Asia.
Roebuck Bay mangroves provide an opportunity to view vibrant marine life in Roebuck Bay’s mangrove forests – feeding grounds and nurseries for fish, molluscs, crustaceans and dugong alike! In low tide the Horizontal Falls appear; an astounding natural spectacle only visible at low tide!
3. The Broome Markets
Broome Markets offer an abundance of local produce, food and art. Held every Saturday and Sunday between town centre and Cable Beach precinct, these markets provide everything from breakfast bao buns, fresh mangoes or unique Boab tree necklaces – you’re bound to find what you’re searching for at Broome Markets!
Broome’s markets provide the ideal venue to witness a natural phenomenon called Staircase to the Moon, which occurs two to three times each month between April and October. When the rising moon reflects onto exposed mudflats at extremely low tide, creating the optical illusion of a staircase reaching towards it.
Markets serve as the epicenter of community activity and cultural engagement in their areas. Stallholders typically offer art, photography and homewares along with global food offerings at these markets; there are often plenty of grassy picnic spots as well as live musical performances at them.
For those wanting to maximize their experience, we advise arriving early as many of the stalls sell out quickly! The market opens from 8am-12pm.
SUNY Broome is committed to the internationalization of its campus. Working collaboratively with overseas partner institutions, our International Office facilitates an expansive global opportunity network for our students. In addition, it also leads efforts within the college in creating international agreements and federally-funded programs.
Broome Street Residential College has welcomed sophomores, juniors and seniors since 2007. Situated between New York’s historic Little Italy and trendy SoHo neighborhoods, this upperclass living-learning community takes great pride in having a dynamic faculty Fellow in Residence as well as two Faculty Affiliates connected to streams, a student-led BEAST Hall Council and nine graduate and undergraduate Resident Assistants. In addition, this community is accessible via Route B Shuttle for easy transportation; please visit our Moses Center for Student Accessibility page for further details and view our accessibility guide for further details.
4. Broome Tours
Immerse yourself in Broome’s diverse culture and history through one of the many tours offered around town. Choose between Pearl Lugger Tour at Willie Creek and Sunset Seafood Pearling Cruise along Cable Beach for something sure to peak your curiosity!
Mud crabbing should not be missed – follow your guide through Roebuck Bay mangroves as you hunt for prized Kimberley Mud Crab and prepare it fresh on board. Or why not join a Whale Watching Cruise to experience these magnificent marine beasts up close.
If you prefer taking in Broome’s beauty from above, why not take advantage of a Buccaneer Scenic Flight and experience its magnificence from above? With towering cliffs, turquoise waters and vast wilderness to discover on this flight ride over Broome; it will give you the fullest view possible of this township.
Visit the Japanese Cemetery to pay respects to hundreds of pearl divers who died due to bends (divers’ paralysis) or cyclones at sea, or head down to Town Beach to gain more insight into pearling’s dangerous past. Don’t miss visiting the stunning 3.5 Metre Crystal Sitting Buddha too.
Kimberley Cultural Adventures provides visitors with an exciting opportunity to interact with real locals. Robert Dann, the founding and directing director, hails from Winawul Country as a Nyul Nyul person and uses his knowledge and passion for Broome’s Aboriginal history to bring this part of the world alive.
Kimberley Cultural Adventures provides Dinosaur Adventure Tours that combine natural and human history of the area with modern travel. Robert and Emma run this family-owned business passionate about sharing the area’s first people culture and knowledge. Travel through secluded bays, creek inlets and beaches searching out dinosaur footprints up to 120 million years old as well as wildlife like kangaroos and crocs before stopping off at Matso’s Brewery at Gantheaume Point to taste local beer and food before returning back to Cable Beach!