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Broome: A retirement gem in Australia’s far north-west

The pearling capital of the world is becoming a destination for those wanting a retirement blessed by idyllic weather, beautiful beaches and a snapshot of multicultural Australia.

Broome, an idyllic coastal town in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, is the largest town on Australia’s north-west coast with nearly 15,000 locals. So, for those that don’t want the hustle and bustle of the Gold Coast or the chilly climes of Tasmania, it’s an attractive retirement option.

Increasingly, Broome, which was founded in the late 1880s as a pearling port, is becoming a prime retirement destination for retirees wanting a harmonious blend of natural beauty, cultural richness and a laid-back lifestyle.

Photos don’t do it justice, although Broome does look beautiful in photos too. Thanks to an exquisite tropical climate, some of Australia’s finest (and yet not too busy) beaches, a diverse cultural heritage, abundant natural wonders and an open and accommodating community, Broome offers a fulfilling retirement experience.

  • But there are two interrelated hitches – isolation and medical care. Perth is the nearest city and that’s a 2.5-hour flight. Although both Qantas and Virgin fly there from the eastern states, tickets are not cheap, so don’t expect to being overwhelmed by family and friends visiting.

    On the medical front, there is a local hospital that is a good by regional standards, but for most specialist work you will need to go to Perth – time consuming and expensive. For retirees, that has to be factored into their decision.

    Isolation and medical care aside, there are nothing but benefits to Broome. First and foremost, is the climate, with warm and sunny days prevailing throughout the year. The average temperature hovers around 27°C, creating an inviting atmosphere for outdoor activities. The distinct dry and wet seasons add variety to the local experience, ensuring retirees can tailor their engagements and outings to the changing weather patterns.

    You’ll need to be comfortable with hot, humid weather during the summer months, but provided you have air conditioning, that’s a breeze.

    The natural environment is stunning, with the town’s beaches, including the renowned Cable Beach, Roebuck Bay and Gantheaume Point, contributing to its allure. These stretches of pristine white sand invite retirees to relax, take leisurely strolls or indulge in refreshing swims in the turquoise waters.

    The picturesque sunsets over the Indian Ocean provide a breathtaking backdrop for evening contemplation. For an unforgettable experience, you can even partake in the age-old tradition of camel rides along the shoreline or witness the captivating Staircase to the Moon, a natural phenomenon that occurs when the full moon rises over the mud flats of Roebuck Bay during low tide.

    And, for people that like the desert, that’s virtually on your doorstep. Truly, Broome is a rare city that can accommodate all aesthetic preferences.

    Broome has a long and rich multicultural history stemming from its diverse heritage that’s been influenced by Aboriginal, Asian and European communities that have called the region home in equal measures through much of its nearly 150-year history.

    Retirees can delve into the history and traditions of the Yawuru people, who have inhabited the area for millennia, at the Broome Historical Museum or the Yawuru Cultural Centre. The Chinatown precinct, once the heart of the pearling industry, offers glimpses into the town’s storied past. It wasn’t just the Chinese that have called Broome home for generations either. The Japanese festival is a cultural highlight that draws tourists in from around the country, and Broome is the home of the ever-popular Matsuo’s brewery.

    Broome is surrounded by natural wonders, giving retirees ample opportunities to enjoy a wide range of experiences. From the awe-inspiring Horizontal Falls to the captivating landscapes of the Dampier Peninsula and Kimberley wilderness, they can embark on scenic flights, boat cruises, 4WD tours or camel safaris to discover the region’s diverse wildlife and flora.

    The Malcolm Douglas Crocodile Park, Broome Bird Observatory and Willie Creek Pearl Farm provide fascinating encounters with the local fauna and flora, enhancing the retiree’s connection with the natural world.

    Provided your budget lasts, you can have a different experience every day and never feel like you’ve run out of things to do.

    The icing on the cake for those planning to retire there is its relaxed and friendly lifestyle, supported by a vibrant community and a wide range of amenities and services. Local markets, festivals and events such as the Broome Cup, Shinju Matsuri and Broome Fringe Festival showcase the town’s artistic, culinary and musical talents. There are also plenty of senior citizens clubs to build friendships with and enjoy weekly group activities and outings.

    With its diverse offerings, Broome invites retirees – especially those that enjoy getting out and seeing the world – to embark on a fulfilling and enriching chapter of their lives, surrounded by the beauty and tranquillity of this coastal gem in Western Australia.

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