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Accessible places and activities - Broome

With the cold weather here to stay many people wish for a holiday in a warm tropical place. Living in Perth, I always get an urge to take a quick mid-winter get-away, preferably to somewhere nearby and not too expensive. Usually, I opt to fly to Bali as it is a beautiful country, with tropical weather and beautiful landscapes such as those I recently experienced on Nusa Penida.
However, during my last trip, I realised that if you aren't physically fit and able to climb up steep stairs, most of the destinations I visited wouldn't be able to be reached. So I decided to do a little bit of research in what the alternatives are for people of all abilities, and I found BROOME!

Broome has the perfect climate during our cold winter months, is only a short flight away and thanks to the new incentives the flight prices have become a lot more affordable. You can read more about that here.
However, the big question is - How accessible is Broome for users of wheelchairs, mobility scooters and other assistive technologies? Doing my research, I was pleasantly surprised! Broome has been working hard to become more accessible over the past years, while there is still work to be done they have taken steps in the right direction.

Staircase to the Moon
The Staircase to the Moon is a beautiful natural phenomenon and can best be viewed at the below dates; there are two main spots to watch the Staircase to the Moon; unfortunately only one is wheelchair accessible, which is Town Beach.
July 2018
28 July                   18.00
29 July                   18.49
30 July                   19.39

August 2018
27 August              18.25
28 August              19.15
29 August              20.05

September 2018
25 September         18.01
26 September         18.52
27 September         19.45

October 2018
25 October             18.31
26 October             19.28

To make the experience even more special, a night market is held on all the above dates. If your travel dates don't coincide with the above dates, you can still experience the Night Markets at Town Beach every Thursday night between June and September.
Town Beach is accessible and the only obstacles to be navigated are curbsides, but they have ramp accesses along the perimeter of Town Beach. If you need to navigate kerbs, either ask for assistance or make sure you are on mobility device with enough clearance and large wheels such as the E-Traveller electric wheelchair.

Beach and Aquatic Wheelchair Loan
The Shire of Broome in Partnership with the DSC (Disability Services Commission) is also offering 2 Beach Wheelchairs for hire so everyone can enjoy the beauty of Broom's beaches.

The "FreeWheeler" wheelchair has large inflatable tyres, is relatively lightweight, can be adjusted to different leg supports and traverses easily over sand.

The "Beach Trekker" chair (large spoke wheels) is more suited to going into the shallow water depending on water conditions.

The Shire's friendly lifeguards are available to assist users of the wheelchair's in getting down on to the beach and advising how to operate the chairs in and around the water safely. For more information about the booking process, you can visit the Shire of Broome website here .

Town Beach Water Park and Town Beach Water Park Aquatic Wheelchair Hire
This Shire’s Water Park is located at the Town Beach Playground; on the southern end of Robinson Street, across from Pioneer Park. Designed to be accessible to all children, the water playground encourages inclusive, active play and consists of a misty twisty, whale tail sprayer, sneaky soakers and a froggy-o sprayer.

Water Park Opening Hours
Mondays: 9 am – 5 pm
Tuesdays:       Closed
Wednesdays: 9 am – 5 pm

Thursdays: 9 am – 5 pm
Fridays: 9 am – 5 pm
Saturdays: 9 am – 5 pm
Sundays: 9 am – 5 pm     

All children using the Water Park need to wear swimwear, and (if applicable) nappies.

The Shire’s Water Park was made possible thanks to its funding partners; Lotterywest, Variety WA, Royalties for Regions and the Lionesses of Broome.

The Platypus Wet Area Self Propelling Wheelchair is a custom built, water submersible wheelchair that allows people of all ages and levels of ability to access the Town Beach Water Playground.

The wheelchair is available for loan, free of charge from the Shire of Broome with a velcro lap belt, adjustable harness belt and junior adaptor with padded supports if needed.

The Platypus Aquatic Wheelchair is stored on site at the Town Beach Water Park. To loan the aquatic wheelchair contact the Shire of Broome on 08 9191 3456 to arrange the booking and collection of the key to the storage shed or send a request via email.

Pre-booking during office hours is preferred.

Broome Recreation and Aquatic Centre (BRAC)
The Broome Recreation and Aquatic Centre pool has a wheelchair access ramp and aquatic wheelchair with harness to ensure people of all abilities can access the pool.
All premises are wheelchair accessible with adequate signage and wide sliding entry doors. BRAC accept ‘Companion Cards’ which allow free entry to cardholders who accompany a person with a disability. A Disability Concession entry rate of $3.50 has recently been introduced to ensure the services are affordable for all. Disability Learn to Swim instructors are on site to conduct private lessons.

Other accessible attractions include
Broome Courthouse Markets
Broome Deep Water Wharf & Jetty
Broome Historical Society Museum
Buddha Sanctuary
Cable Beach Foreshore Reserve
Cable Beach
Japanese Cemetery
Pearl Luggers
for detailed information on the above visit
Additional accessible places of interest recommended by the Broom visitor centre are
The Mango Place
The Cultured Pearl & Hard Hat Diver Monument
Johnny Chi Lane

Broom offers a range of different accommodation options with accessibility features. This link will take you to a PDF document with detailed information on what facilities are available at which accommodation. Please make sure to double check, before booking as the list may not be 100% current
I have also spoken to the Broome visitor centre and in addition to the above-attached document they also list these 3 accommodation options
Habitat Resort - 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom and 3 bedroom options available
The Oaks - 1 bedroom and Hotel suites options available
The Mercure - 1 bedroom and Hotel suites options available

Broome has two different option, Sun Cinemas and an open-air cinema. Both are wheelchair accessible and have designated parking bays. However the outdoor cinema doesn't have an accessible toilet, the closest accessible toilet is 2min away for more detailed information on both cinemas, and their facilities view this document .

Broome is rich in natural beauty as well as history. The Visitor centre listed the below tours as wheelchair friendly. Some may require more mobility than others. If any of these are interesting to you, make sure you contact the tour organisers directly to ensure that the tour is suitable to your abilities.
Broome Bird Observatory
Broome Camel Safaris
Broome Trike Tours
Broome Hovercraft
Broome Sightseeing Tours
Broome and Around
Red Sun Camels
Kimberley Wild
Pearl Luggers
Sentosa Charters
Ships of the Desert
Willie Creek Pearl Farm

Restaurants, Bars & Cafes
I LOVE food! The "your welcome - access initiative" has compiled a list of all venues that have accessible features, which can be read here.
The broome visitor centre has also put together a list of dining options that they deem to be accessible. They are
Zoo Café
The Wharf Restaurant
Zanders at Cable Beach
Cable Beach Club Resort
Roebuck Bay Hotel
Matso’s Broome Brewery
18 Degrees
Azuki Japanese Fusion
From personal experience, I can highly recommend Azuki Japanese Fusion for really lovely, fresh and unusual Japanese food.
Matsos Brewery is also a must if you are visiting Broome. Beautiful location and a friendly casual vibe make Matso's an excellent spot for locals and visitors alike.
The Club Restaurant and Boardwalk Cafe at the Cable Beach Club are one of the best spots to watch the beautiful sunset. Enjoy a cocktail or a glass of wine, make sure you get there early as it can get quite crowded.

Taxi Service
Chinatown Taxis – Wheelchair minibus
Ph: 08 9192 3316

Mobility Equipment suitable for Travel

Now all you  need is a mobility device that allows you to travel with ease to the locations that you choose. Depending on your personal needs you might choose a travel scooter, electric wheelchair or a manual wheelchair. We offer a wide range of Mobility Scooters and Electric Wheelchairs in our Osborne Park premises and can also arrange to bring suitable products out to you at no charge with no obligation to buy, so you can try them out in the comfort of your own home. Give us a call or send us an email for your obligation free demonstration and test-ride.


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