Dog-Friendly Broome, WA: Visiting Broome with a Dog

Despite its isolation, Broome is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Western Australia. With the stunning Cable Beach and beautiful natural scenery, is it any wonder that this tropical town attracts tourists by the caravan-load every winter. But what if you have a pet? Find out what it’s like to visit Broome with a dog, and the options available to you.

Dog-Friendly Broome

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Dog-Friendly Sightseeing in Broome

So, once you’ve made it to Broome, what is there to do with your pup? Although it’s a destination perfect for chilling out, consider ticking off these items..

1. Go Swimming at Cable Beach

While the bays closest to the centre of Broome are mangrove mudflats, across town is the 22km long stretch of white sand known as Cable Beach, due to it being the site of the first undersea telegraph cable linking Australia to the world.

Cable Beach Sunny Day
The wide stretch of Cable Beach at low tide

Deservedly famous, it’s a must-visit destination in Broome, whether to swim, laze on the sand or 4WD along much of it. And luckily, dogs are allowed most of it according to the latest info from the visitors centre, although they are no longer allowed along the main swimming stretch between the surf club and the ramp.

If you wish to visit the beach with your dog, head south of the surf club, where there’s a sign indicating where the dog exercise area starts. The one exception is that dogs need to be kept on leash around Gantheaume from 8am to 10am during the race season, from May to August.

Alternatively, head north of the ramp and the rocks, where the main 4WD section is located. Dogs initially need to be kept on-leash, but they are allowed off-leash from 1km north of the rocks. Just keep in mind the rules are few along this stretch, which is also a designated nudist beach. 

Keep in mind that it can get hot on the sand, even during the winter months, so consider setting up an umbrella to provide shade for your pup, and don’t forget a water bowl, such as a collapsible bowl. Cable Beach can also be closed if crocodiles are spotted in the vicinity. 

Cable Beach with Dog
Enjoying Cable Beach with our pup

2. Watch the Sunset at Cable Beach

Cable Beach isn’t just the place to go for a swim in Broome, it’s also the place to soak up a tropical sunset, with the sun slowly sinking into the Indian Ocean that stretches before you.

Cable Beach Sunset with Dog
Head to Cable Beach for the sunset

If you’ve got a 4WD, this is the most popular time to head to the sand, accessed from the northern end of the Cable Beach carpark. Once you found a spot, it’s time to set up your chairs and watch the sunset with a beer in hand, your dog at your feet.

No 4WD? Perhaps set up a picnic blanket on the grassed reserve next to the carpark, or just stay on your beach towel on the main swimming beach. 

Cable Beach Sunset
Watching the sun set into the Indian Ocean at Cable Beach

Sunset is also the time of the most popular camel rides on Cable Beach. These famous rides have taken place on Cable Beach for decades and are a sight to behold, even if you don’t take part. 

The camels walk along the beach north of the rocks, where 4WDs are also allowed. Just be careful to keep your dog well away, particularly if your dog shows an inclination to bark at the camels. Dogs are required to be on leash on this stretch of beach.

3. Look for Dinosaur Footprints at Gantheaume Point

The history of Broome dates back to prehistoric times, with some of the best dinosaur footprints in Australia found around Broome. One of the most popular spots to visit them is Gantheaume Point, at the southern end of Cable Beach, where leashed dogs are permitted.

Gantheaume Point with Dog
Leashed dogs are allowed at Gantheaume Point

The Point can be reached by road, which is surprisingly unsealed for the last 600 metres (at least when we visited in 2021). Take it easy if you’re in a 2WD, as it can be bumpy, or park at the Turf Club instead. Then follow the walking track over to the rocks.

The dinosaur footprints are only visible at low tide, or very low tide, and visitors are actually discouraged from locating them, with no directions provided. We think we spotted some of them, but aren’t sure. It’s easier to check out the plaster cast of three prints, located at the end of the walking path. 

Gantheaume Point Dinosaur Prints with Dog
Checking out the plaster cast of dinosaur prints

In any case, Gantheaume Point is a beautiful spot, with the red rocks starkly contrasting against the turquoise blue water, and worth a visit. 

4. Chill Out at Matso’s Brewery

Matso’s Brewery is a Broome institution, established over 20 years ago in the historic Matso’s Store. They’re most famous for their Mango Beer and alcoholic Ginger Beer, although they’re not the only beers they typically have on tap.

Beer isn’t the only thing on the menu, with the onsite restaurant offering up casual yet chic dining for lunch and dinner. Leashed dogs are welcome to join you in the beer garden area, but not on the verandah immediately surrounding the restaurant.

Matsos Brewery Beer Garden
The beer garden at Matso’s Brewery

At the time of our visit, the other advantage of sitting in the beer garden, in addition to the lovely relaxed seating, was there was a Japanese food truck set up in the garden. In addition to being able to order from the main restaurant menu, we could grab the simple takeaway-style dishes from the food truck. This is probably only a dry season event.

5. View the Staircase to the Moon

Another Broome institution is watching the Staircase to the Moon. This natural phenomenon  occurs at Roeback Bay, around each full moon period between March and October, as long as the full moon rising coincides with a low tide. Check online for the expected dates for the coming year. 

One of the best dog-friendly spots to watch the Staircase from is Town Beach. Just be prepared for crowds and keep your dog leashed!

Town Beach Reserve
Town Beach Reserve is one of the best spots to view the Staircase to the Moon

While Town Beach doesn’t have the white sand of Cable Beach, it’s still a great spot to visit with your dog any time of month during the day, with the large mature trees providing welcome shade. Leashed dogs are allowed at Town Beach Reserve including the main section of beach (and off-leash along the small strip of beach). The reserve is also home to a huge playground and splash park for kids. 

6. Visit the Markets

It’s not a true visit to Broome without visiting at leash one of the markets held regularly in town.

The larger markets of the two are the Courthouse Markets. These markets are held every Saturday morning, from 8am to 1pm, year-round. (Although they wrap up early at midday from September to March.) Additionally, between April and October, they’re also held on Sunday mornings.

The bustling markets have a huge number of art and jewellery, local products and hot food stalls. On the morning of my visit, the drink stalls had very long queues! Afterwards, relax on the grass with a drink or lunch, while listening to live music. Well-behaved dogs on a leash are welcome.

Courthouse Markets Broome
A bustling morning at the Courthouse Markets

During the months from June to September, the Town Beach Markets are also held every Thursday evening. These smaller markets focus more on food, with a variety of food trucks set up, although there are also stalls with jewellery, clothing and homewares.

A special edition of the Town Beach Markets are held during the Staircase to the Moon event. One night of the full moon the Staircase Markets are held at the Town Beach Reserve. Browse the stalls and find something to feast upon on the grassy lawns while awaiting the spectacle.

7. Wander Through Chinatown

The historic heart of Broome is known as Chinatown, although it doesn’t have that much of a Chinese touch to it these days. Instead, it’s the location of many of the pearl outlets and shopping boutiques, as well as cafes, tour shops and more.

Go for a wander through the streets of Chinatown with your pup, keeping an eye out for the many signs explaining the history of Broome. Keep an eye out for Sun Pictures, the world’s oldest operating picture gardens. 

Sun Pictures Broome
The historic Sun Pictures

It’s also worthwhile detouring to Streeter’s Jetty, a jetty constructed in the late 19th century through the mangroves to allow access for the merchants and pearl dealers. At the time of my visit it was closed, but it has since re-opened. Further along the waterfront climb up to the Roeback Bay Lookout, for beautiful views over the mangroves and bay. 

Roebuck Bay Lookout
Make sure you visit Roebuck Bay Lookout

8. Explore the History of Broome

Broome has a fascinating history, ranging from the early pearling days through to the bombings that occurred during WWII. One of the most fun ways to explore the history is by taking a Broome Tramway Tour.

Tramway Tours depart on weekdays from the Broome Visitor Centre. Choose between the one-hour long Historical Tour at 10am and 11am, or enjoy a short ride on the historical tram on the 20-minute Snapshot Tour at 9:20am during school holidays. Friendly dogs are welcome on the tours.

Another place to visit to explore the history of Broome is the Broome Historical Museum. This volunteer-run museum is open daily in two of Broome’s oldest buildings. There’s a variety of exhibits and activities for kids, with well-behaved dogs on a leash welcome to accompany you.

9. Go Camping North of Broome

Staying in Broome isn’t the only option available to experience this region. If you want the Broome experience but without the crowds of Broome, head to the many camping spots located north of town.

Some of the potential campgrounds include Willie Creek, Nuwirrar (Barred Creek) and Kardilakan (Quandong Point). Access to each of these is 4WD only, and be prepared for no facilities, but campsites are generally free. Dogs are allowed at each of these locations, but double check in case rules change. 

Further north again is the Dampier Peninsula. Previously only accessible to 4WDs, the 200km road to the tip is now almost entirely sealed, although many access roads to communities and campgrounds are still only suitable for high-clearance 4WD vehicles only.

Dampier Peninsula
The red sands of Dampier Peninsula north of Broome

The local visitors centre previously advised that dogs shouldn’t be taken to the Dampier Peninsula, and many locations still prohibit dogs, but there are more campgrounds allowing dogs. Banana Well Getaway permits pets, while Gumbanan Wilderness Retreat allows small to medium dogs in their campground. At both campgrounds, keep your dog on a leash.

Dog Sitting Options in Broome

On my visit to Broome, we didn’t make use of any dog sitting services. However, there are options available, such as if you want to visit the Dampier Peninsula. For starters, there’s the Broome Pet Motel, located at 29 McDaniel Road near the point, which has quite reasonable rates. 

The Broome Veterinary Hospital also offers boarding, whether just for the day or longer periods. Their current rate is $30 per calendar day (or $24 for cats). They recommend booking well in advance during holiday periods. 

One more option is Broome Dog Sitting on Facebook, with Amy looking after pets in her own home and plenty of five-star reviews.

Dog-Friendly Walks in Broome

One of the best dog-friendly walks available around Broome is along the white sands of Cable Beach. While parts of it require dogs to be on a leash, head north of the rocks for the off-leash section. There’s also off-leash exercise areas at Riddell Beach and Entrance Point.

Another option is to head to Minyirr Park, located in the sandhills behind Cable Beach, and experience one of its multiple walking trails. Close to the Gantheaume Point Road, there’s an access point for the Lurujarri, Nagula and Minyirr Walks.

Minyirr Park
There’s multiple dog-friendly walking trails at Minyirr Park

Or head to Cable Beach Road West, opposite the RAC caravan park, for the short Wanbiny Trail. This short concrete pathway leads to the dunes behind Cable Beach and can be combined with a beach walk.Dogs are permitted on leash.

Wanbiny Trail
Walk along Winbiny Trail to the sand dunes of Cable Beach

Keep in mind the temperatures in Broome, with the best option to head out on a walk either early or late in the day. 

Dog-Friendly Cafes & Restaurants in Broome

There’s quite a few dog-friendly cafes and restaurants located around Broome, where you can enjoy the warm tropical climate while feasting on some delicious local food.

For starters, as mentioned above Matso’s Brewery has a restaurant onsite, open for lunch and dinner. The restaurant serves up dishes ranging from local fish to eye fillet, plus a list of share plates. Each of the markets in Broome also offers an array of food trucks.

Lunch at Matsos Brewery
Poke bowl and burger for lunch at Matso’s

Another frequently recommended dog-friendly cafe is The Good Cartel, located not far from the main Chinatown strip. Reputedly serving the best coffee in Broome, they also offer breakfast sandwiches and burgers. 

If you’re in the Cable Beach area, head to the Cable Beach General Store & Cafe for a dog-friendly cafe open until early evening every day. There’s a wide range of breakfast, burger, pizza and fish ‘n’ chip options to choose from. 

Dog-Friendly Accommodation in Broome

Over the years the accommodation options in Broome have become increasingly dog-friendly, at least when it comes to caravan parks. Not that long ago, none of the caravan parks in town permitted pets to stay, but now the majority are pet-friendly. 

Each of Broome Caravan Park, Discovery Parks – Broome, RAC Cable Beach Park and Tarangau Caravan park accept pets, although not in cabins. Also check for any site restrictions or other rules. It’s best to call up and book, and advance bookings are recommended over the winter months. 

If you do arrive during the peak season without a booking, both of the current overflow sites, at the Pistol Club and the Seventh Day Adventist site, also allow pets. Plus outside of Broome, about 20 minutes back along the highway, both the Broome’s Gateway Pet Friendly Caravan Park and Roebuck Roadhouse allow pets.

The Gateway Caravan Park was originally the only pet-friendly option near Broome, and is still arguably the most pet-friendly, thanks to its fenced off-leash exercise area for dogs. Double check if the day kennels and pet-sitting service are still available. Note however that the park lacks powered sites plus the convenience of being in town.

Keeping Your Dog Safe Around Broome

It’s important that your dog’s safety is paramount when visiting this isolated region. For starters, Broome is in the Kimberley, one of the regions worst affected by the current outbreak of Ehrlichiosis. This tick-borne disease is spread by the brown dog tick and can be fatal if left untreated.

It’s vital that you use a tick prevention treatment for your dog. In addition to continuing to give our dog his monthly Nexguard chew (which doesn’t kill ticks quickly enough to prevent Ehrlichiosis), we also used a Seresto collar (available both for puppies and small dogs and medium and large dogs). For more information, see the WA government website.

At the other end of the size spectrum, estuarine (or salt-water) crocodiles are also a risk around Broome. While they’re a rare visitor to the main stretch of Cable Beach, which is closed if there are any sightings, you need to consider the risk in less populated spots. Dogs can be a target of crocs, so keep your pup well away from the water, unless you have no doubt there are none around. 

Broome Crocodile Warning
Warnings for estuarine crocodiles around Broome

Finally, even if you are visiting Broome in the winter months, it’s well into the tropics, and can still experience quite hot weather, particularly in the afternoons. Make sure your dog has access to shade and water, and never leave them alone in a hot car. 

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About the Author

Photo of Shandos & Schnitzel

Shandos Cleaver is the founder of Travelnuity: Dog-Friendly Travel. She has travelled extensively with her Miniature Dachshund, Schnitzel, including to 33 countries across Europe, every state and territory of Australia except Tasmania, and 10 of the United States. She’s passionate about providing inspiration and information to others wanting to travel with their dogs, whether close to home or internationally.

12 thoughts on “Dog-Friendly Broome, WA: Visiting Broome with a Dog”

  1. Hi Shandos,
    I just want to say thank you for this amazing blog, I have been travelling around Australia with my dog for the past 3 months and always use your blog as my main source of information – we have visited so many wonderful attractions/restaurants/cafes and been on some wonderful hikes thanks to you.

  2. I love this! We have lived in Broome nearly 11 years have you ever done the tram tour with your dog? It’s amazing and we allow pets. I have many photos from owners with their pets enjoying the tram. We’d love to see you.

  3. Thanks for all the great information. I have used your help quite a few times but this is my first question. Soon I will be heading from Broome to Port Hedland. Is there any where you can stay with a dog and have access to power?

    • We didn’t stay in Port Hedland, but the Discovery Park allows dogs and has power. Along the way, dogs are allowed at Sandfire but not Eighty Mile Beach campgrounds. Pardoo is currently reopening following the cyclone, not sure if it has power.


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