During the heyday of Broome's pearling industry, the pearlers (many from China, Japan, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Europe would arrive back on shore cashed up and head to the opium dens, billiard halls, and brothels of Chinatown to let loose. The vibrant neighborhood remains the multicultural heart of Broome.
While you won’t find opium dens in Broome Chinatown these days, you will still find corrugated sheds alongside some fascinating Chinese architecture and delicious food. The area is filled with pearl shops selling pearls and mother-of-pearl products, many of which come from local waters. Sightseeing tours around town nearly always pass through Chinatown, along with Town Beach, Gantheaume Point, Sun Pictures (the world’s oldest outdoor cinema), and Cable Beach.
Things to know before you go
Broome Chinatown is the heart of Broome and a must for all first time visitors. Wear comfortable walking shoes and wear sun protection, as not all areas are shaded. Chinatown is Broome’s main shopping district—a great place to pick up gifts and souvenirs.
How to get there
Chinatown is still the commercial center of Broome so it is a major stop for the Broome Bus, which has comprehensive coverage of Broome. It is also walking distance from the airport.
When to get there
The best time to visit Chinatown is during regular business hours when its shops and restaurants are open to visitors. Come hungry, as this is one of the best places in town for a meal.