An 80-kilometre dinosaur trackway can be found along the coast of Broome. Dinosaur prints from 130 million years ago have been fossilised and documented on the coast of this Kimberley town in Western Australia, with more being discovered even as recently as early 2021.
Some of the footprints can be tricky to get to, or require certain conditions to ensure visitors can see them. Here’s a quick guide to help you on your journey to walking in the footsteps of giants:
All about the footprints
These prints, dating back some 130 million years, prove that all the main types of dinosaurs once inhabited Australia. Sauropods, orthopods, theropods and thyreophora varieties have all been identified by their tracks in the areas surrounding Broome.
130 million years ago, tracks were left behind in muddy tidal flats by the dinosaurs. Over time, the footprints dried out and hardened. Small rocks and sand filled the prints, preserving them but covering them up. Then, millions of years later, erosion led to the surrounding sand and rock falling away, revealing the preserved print underneath.
Let’s talk about tides
Broome has some of the largest tides in the southern hemisphere, with a 10-metre difference between low and high tide. Each of the dinosaur print locations around Broome require low tide in order to see them.
Visitors unused to the swiftly changing tides in Broome can be caught by surprise. Make sure you study tidal charts before planning your visit to the dino prints so you don’t get caught out, or aren’t disappointed by missing your window of low tide needed to see the tracks.
The time of low tide changes depending on the time of year and the day, so it’s best to look at up-to-date info online regarding the tides before planning your visit to the dinosaur sites.
Best spots to see the footprints
Some of the best places to see the dinosaur footprints include:
Located 6km from the town centre of Broome, Gantheaume Point is a tourist-favourite for seeing the footprints of dinosaurs. If the walk across the slippery rocks at low tide is too treacherous, or if you happen to visit when the tide is too high, casts have been taken of the prints and can be found higher up the point for you to examine.
Often covered over by sand, the dino footprints at Cable Beach can be hard to spot. Again, make sure you visit at low tide for your best chance. You will likely find other visitors on the hunt for the footprints, too.
James Price Point
If you have access to a car, James Price Point is approximately 50km north of Broome. Make sure you visit at low tide to be able to see the prints, when they are fairly accessible.
Other things to do in Broome
Visiting the dinosaur tracks of Broome is a must-do, but it’s also time-specific. You may be wondering what else is on offer in the town to fill up your itinerary while you wait for low tide.
Flying boat wrecks
At Roebuck Bay you can see the preserved wrecks of flying boats which were downed during World War II. You will need to visit at low tide, and walk about a kilometre out onto the tidal flats of Roebuck Bay to see the wrecks. The wrecks are an important part of history, and it’s fascinating to learn more about them.
The picturesque image of a sunset camel ride on Cable Beach is perhaps one of the first images that comes to mind when thinking of Broome. There are several tour companies that offer camel rides along Cable Beach, and it’s a must-do whenever you choose to visit.
Some of the most fascinating and beautiful parts of Broome can be seen from the turquoise waters. Get out onto the water for a spot of fishing with a Broome fishing charter, and see what the rich waters surrounding Broome have below the surface. If fishing isn’t your thing, whale watching charters are a great family-friendly activity that will blow you away. The warm waters around Broome play host to a large population of humpback whales during their annual migration, and getting out onto the water is the best way to see the whales playing, breaching and teaching their calves. You’re sure to spot dolphins, sea turtles and other beautiful sea creatures, too!
Staircase to the Moon
This natural phenomenon is one that cannot be adequately described in words – you must witness it yourself firsthand. Occurring only for a few nights every month between March and November, the reflection of the full moon creates an alluring illusion off the exposed tidal flats at Roebuck Bay. It’s worth considering planning the dates of your visit around the Staircase to the Moon dates.
The dinosaur footprints around Broome are a must on your next visit, just remember to be mindful of the tide and plan your day accordingly. Enjoy slipping into ‘Broome time’ with a relaxing holiday in this stunning Kimberely town, with plenty to do to keep the whole family entertained.