Broome’s a Special Place to Live

Here in Broome, there’s plenty of what the Yawuru people call mabu liyan – strong spirit, good feeling and positive wellbeing.

It’s easy to fall in love with this unique town above the 26th parallel. It doesn’t take long to slow down and enjoy living in a place where it’s always warm and the turquoise waters of Roebuck Bay provide year-round opportunities to swim, fish and kayak.

It must be the only town of its size in the world with such a culturally diverse population. A long pearling history brought workers from all over the world and the result is a blending of races which is wonderfully colourful and globally unique.

Ask well known Broome identity Bart Pigram what stirs his heart about Broome, and he describes his spiritual connection to this beautiful town.

“For me Broome is a safe home, the most comfortable place in the world,” he says. “And that’s something I want to share with people who come here to the Kimberley.

“I started Narlijia Tours in 2015 and Narlijia means ‘true for you’ in the Yawuru language. This reflects my wish to tell the entire story - sharing my Aboriginal and multicultural perspective first hand. It’s a great feeling.”

Broome generates an overwhelming sense of wellbeing that stems from a combination of a relaxed lifestyle and an opportunity to slow down and appreciate the simple things in life.

The warmth, the cleanliness of the beaches, the millions of migratory birds and presence of humpback whales in the warm tropical waters are within the reach of both locals and visitors alike.

Thanks to the international airport, visitors can escape the cooler southern climes in Australia and nestle into the warmth of Broome in just one day.

Doug Fong grew up in Broome, then lived and worked elsewhere before happily returning home to enjoy the best retirement lifestyle.

“There are the medical facilities, trades, shopping centres and recreational options, plus the proximity to beaches and of course, the wonderful weather.”

Doug has a strong connection to the land that stretches as far back as 1905, when his great uncle first arrived in Broome.

A place which combined an outdoor lifestyle and work opportunities led Taryn Ryan and her husband Aaron to Broome in 2016.

“We arrived just before the road closed ahead of a cyclone warning,” Taryn laughs. “And we haven’t looked back.”

For Taryn and her family, cultural immersion is important for the next generation of ‘wildlife warriors’.

“I love the natural beauty of the Kimberley and the friendships we have made in this small community. There is much to learn here.

“There are excellent health systems and I am really enjoying the support of having familiarity all around me as well as the excitement of meeting new people and exploring new places.

“Both of our businesses here …. Give us great flexibility to spend time with the family.”

Talented local artist Kerry Anne Jordinson moved with her family to Broome in 1996.

“I remember stepping off the plane at Broome airport on a lovely warm tropical February day and thinking the rain drops were as big as plates – and I fell in love with Broome that very first moment,” she said.

Kerry Anne’s heritage is part Caribbean and she loves the multiculturalism of Broome.

“It was the best place to bring up my four little sons and I loved seeing them run around barefoot in the pindan and playing on Cable Beach. The friendships they formed in Broome are longstanding and special.”

For Kerry Anne, painting in this special part of the world became a large part of her life.

“I started a market stall at the Courthouse Markets in 1997 and it grew slowly but surely. Being inspired by the environment was not hard in a place like Broome and the Kimberley and its characters.”

Many locals look forward to the tranquillity, thunderstorms and smells of the wet season, however Kerry says she loves the dry season buzz.

“I love the energy that the tourist season offers with the flow of holiday makers and hippies. Broome is my place of retreat, peace, creativity and wonderful memories of the past and more to come. It is truly my home.”

Before moving to Broome, write Leah McLennan was travel editor at Australian Associated Press. Since moving to Broome in 2016 she has been a freelance travel and health writer and has made a substantial contribution to this directory.

A busy mum of two daughters, Leah says Broome has given her so many gifts – more time with her children, a smorgasbord of outdoor adventures and countless gorgeous sunsets.

Tina Blackmur, also a freelance writer who has contributed to this publication loves the welcoming and supportive multi-cultural community, the spiritual energy that comes with being surrounded by water and Broome's fascinating history.