There are lots of places in Australia that we have amazing memories of. Broome is one of them, and we booked 3 nights in the middle of July last year, to stock up, relax a bit and take the kids to the crocodile park. It was to be our 3rd (and my 4th) visit, and each time we’ve felt refreshed, relaxed and ready for more adventure off grid.
This time though, we’ve left with a bittersweet feeling, and I’m really not sure we’ll be back again. We had some great experiences, and we had some pretty average ones that were a real turn off. The large majority of the downsides were caused by more people in town than you could possibly poke a stick at.
Normally Broome would triple in size over the dry season, where people from all over the globe travel to enjoy its amazing beaches and weather.
However, this year with people being hugely restricted in terms of overseas travel there were more people that flocked to Broome than ever before. The locals were saying they’d never seen it so busy ever, and no matter where you went there were people everywhere.
The first day that we arrived was a Sunday, and we headed down to Cable beach to watch the sunset. I’d say there were more than a thousand 4WD’s on the beach, coming down a one way road and crossing some small rocks to find a slice of beach.
I have to say for the most part it went fairly smoothly, even when we went to get fish and chips for everyone.
We stayed until well after sunset, when most of the vehicles had gone before heading back but it was insanely busy.
On a Monday afternoon, after much excitement we jumped in the car to take our kids to the Malcom Douglas Crocodile Park.
We arrived at 2:20PM, just 20 minutes after it opened, and arrived to the biggest pile of cars I’ve ever seen. There were no more car parks available, people were blocking others in and I said to Sarah maybe we should come back the next day.
We had a quick chat to Oliver about it, who clearly didn’t care and didn’t want to wait another day, so we parked on the edge of the road and headed in. The queue was huge, and there were kids everywhere.
The staff did a pretty good job separating people into smaller groups for the tour, but it was still insane. It was super hard for the kids to see the crocodiles being fed with everyone pushing in front and taking up the best spots.
Overall we still had a pretty good time, but there were some pretty frustrated people, and you could see why.
The following day, we headed in to get groceries, and were met with more people than ever before. To top it off, the internet was down for many stores and they couldn’t process anything except cash. This turned queues at Woolworths into hour long delays, with lots of people jumping the queues and being quite rude about it all.
Kicking back at Cable beach that evening we remarked it seemed a bit quieter, and we loved sitting there with the kids playing, just soaking up the sunset and amazing beach. Broome will forever hold a special place in our hearts, but I really don’t know that I’d come back again in peak season.
Of course, most of this was self inflicted as we booked during school holidays, with the travel restrictions still going and everyone who’d normally be overseas wanting a tropical slice of paradise.
Its given us the ultimate kick in the guts to realise that staying amongst lots of other people just does our head in. We want a quiet, off grid location away from everyone else, and our Reconn R2 needs to be put to better use!
Here’s our thoughts on Broome, in video: