Mud crabs, white sand, blue water, culture
The area around Broome in Western Australia is stunning - with awe-inspiring white sandy beaches, dazzling clear blue water and vibrant Aboriginal culture. Broome in is famous for its pearling history and multicultural population, its chilled lifestyle and friendly welcoming vibe.
One of our favourite things to do in Broome is to head out for a few days to the spectacular Dampier Peninsula, just north of Broome. It's a great place for kids to learn about and experience Aboriginal culture, and there's a swag of Aboriginal cultural tours and unique places to stay. There are a number of Aboriginal communities on the peninsula and several smaller outstations. At the northernmost part of the peninsula is Cape Leveque renowned for its stunning red cliffs.
This is a really special part of Australia, and the Aboriginal custodians ask that you respect their country when you visit and abide by their wishes.
By Libby Larsen
When holidaying in Broome - the groovy and chilled tunes of the legendary local Pigram Brothers are the perfect way to embrace the town's unique vibe. If you want hear the stories about the colourful history of the town, Bart Pilgrim is your go to guy. His Aboriginal cultural tours around Broome include a town tour, a cultural cruise, a walk through the mangroves and more. Check out the Trip Advisor reviews to see if it's something your kids would be into. Bart is techno savvy so you can follow him on Instagram and Facebook.
Photo Credit: The Guardian
If sampling seasonal bush foods, learning about local Bardi Aboriginal culture and customs sounds like the kind of experience you're after, check out Brian's Lee's Aboriginal cultural experiences. He's pretty well known in these parts and on his tours the charismatic Brian will show you his country, teach you about masterful traditional fishing and crabbing techniques and you'll finish up by cooking up the catch on the fire, yummy! Brian's tours leave from Kooljamin, Cape Leveque.
Photo Credit: Brian Lee Tagalong Tours
Bundy gets rave reviews about his Aboriginal bush tucker tour and spear making tour. It's all pretty relaxed and personal it seems. You'll get the opportunity to hone in your skills at spear fishing, and maybe his family will swing by. He can also take you out for a spot of night fishing, cool! Bundy will share his knowledge about the local seasons, bush medicine, creation stories and other insights into Bardi culture.
Photo Credit: Bundy's Cultural Tours
Protecting endangered sea turtles and dugongs, wildlife surveys, managing feral animals and patrolling coastline are all part of a days work for the Bardi Jawi rangers, and they've won awards for their efforts. You can hear all about what these guys do on of their chit chats at Kooljamin, Cape Leveque.
Photo Credit: ABC
There are some great experiences to be had with the Lombadina Aboriginal community on the Dampier Peninsular. These guys have seasonal Aboriginal cultural tours like kayaking, mud crabbing, whale watching, 4WD tours etc. The local beach is amazing with white sand and clear blue waters. I love it! You can also stay in accommodation in the community, yay!
Photo Credit: yaruman5 creative commons - Flickr
Some cool spots to stay
Here's some awesome Aboriginal--owned camping spots and accommodation options on the Dampier Peninsula.
Cultural protocols for you visit.
The word is out - and there are more and more people heading to the Dampier Peninsula. Understandably the local Aboriginal communities are concerned about the impacts that more tourists will have on the area. They ask that you respect sites of cultural significance and observe advice about restricted areas. They also request that you take your rubbish when you leave and observe fire warnings and advice.
How to get to Cape Leveque
The Cape Leveque Road is partially sealed and there are plans to seal the entire road. However, at this stage high clearance 4WD vehicles are still required for the unsealed section and some access roads. Fuel and supplies can be purchased on the peninsula, but facilities are only available at certain locations and times. The best time is during the Dry Season (May-October). During the Wet Season (Nov-Apr) the Cape Leveque Road may experience closures due to weather conditions, and facilities on the Peninsula are also limited.
Check out the Western Australian Indigenous Tourism Operators Council (WAITOC) - the peak representative for Aboriginal tours and experiences in Western Australia. They promote authentic Aboriginal cultural experiences and have a great website showcasing Aboriginal cultural tours, festivals, art galleries and accommodation.
*I don't have any affiliation with the tours I've written about in this post and I'm not receiving any freebies at all. I just really love this part of Australia, and am passionate about supporting local Aboriginal-owned tourism businesses and responsible family travel.
Libby Larsen - Growing up Troppo
Growing up Troppo provides honest travel advice tips and inspiration from parents about special and unique places to stay, play and eat with kids that parents love too! Travel is and has always been, Libby's passion and she believes this shouldn't stop when you have kids. Libby writes a monthly column for Off The Leash - the Darwin Entertainment Guide and is the Northern Territory "Experience Expert" for Experience Oz + NZ.