The best place to explore Australia’s unique landscapes is the North West of Western Australia (WA). This area is largely untouched by humans, with fewer people per square kilometre than almost anywhere else in the world!
From discovering the pearling capital of the world, Broome(opens in a new tab), to connecting with the rich Aboriginal culture and breath taking nature of the Dampier Peninsular, there’s so much to do and see in the North West. As an international student at North Regional TAFE’s Broome campus, you’ll be in the best location to uncover this special region. TAFE International Western Australia (TIWA) can assist you to start your education journey.
Studying in regional WA can provide you with a unique opportunity to experience the amazing natural beauty of WA. The Western Australian (WA) Regional TAFE International Student Bursary 2023–2024 gives international students a chance to experience life in regional and remote Australia while receiving high-quality education and training. You will also receive help to find suitable local accommodation and support to find employment in the region!
If you apply for an eligible study package starting in 2024, you could receive AUD$5,000 for the WA Regional TAFE International Bursary.
How to get to the North West
Broome(opens in a new tab) is located about 2,045km from Perth. However you decide to travel there, you’re guaranteed some gorgeous sights. The easiest way to get from Perth to Broome is by flying. Qantas and Virgin Airlines both operate regularly to and from Broome. The flights are around two and a half hours long and will cost upwards of AU$200 for a one-way ticket.
If you’d prefer a more scenic mode of travel, Integrity Coachlines(opens in a new tab) makes the trip from Perth to Broome. It’s a two-day trip costing around AU$250. View the website(opens in a new tab) to book or for further information.
If you have access to a car, the trip will take around 22 hours but will give you the most flexibility to create your own itinerary and visit other spots around WA. The Government of WA provides some useful information(opens in a new tab) so you can stay safe when driving long distances.
Broome campus location
Situated on Cable Beach Road East, North Regional TAFE’s Broome campus is in a prime location for international students to take advantage of all the town’s features.
The campus itself has an extensive array of facilities on offer, including an industry-standard training restaurant. Outside of the campus, students have amazing cultural and natural experiences right at their fingertips. Courses on offer for international students include community services and hospitality.
Top five things to see and do in North West WA
Explore Broome’s pearling heritage
Founded as a pearling port in the 1880s, Broome(opens in a new tab) is still known today for producing some of the finest pearls in the world. The unique history of the town’s pearling industry(opens in a new tab) – which takes you through World War II, the introduction of plastic, and Japan’s technical influence – is certainly worth delving into.
Join a guided tour following the Jetty to Jetty Walk(opens in a new tab), before visiting the Broome Historical Society Museum(opens in a new tab). You can also take a pearl farm tour departing from Broome or the Dampier Peninsula to witness how cultured pearls are farmed. If you’d prefer just to admire the pearls in all their glory, visit the glittering pearl and diamond jewellery showrooms of Chinatown(opens in a new tab) in Broome.
Learn about Aboriginal history and culture
One of the best things about studying overseas is learning about the history and culture of your host country. There are plenty of opportunities to learn about Aboriginal cultures when living in the North West, with many First Nations tourism operators available to guide you.
To learn about the saltwater lifestyle and sample native bush food (known as bush tucker) from the mangroves in Broome, you can take a Narlijia Cultural Tour(opens in a new tab). Or, join a Mabu Buru Tour(opens in a new tab). This is a very personal journey that explores Yawuru culture through country, nature, history and traditional knowledge.
The North West is also home to many famous First Nations artists. A great way to spend the day is browsing the many galleries showcasing Aboriginal art(opens in a new tab).
Ride a camel at Cable Beach
Stretching over 22km, Cable Beach(opens in a new tab) is famous for its golden sands and dazzling sunsets over the Indian Ocean. For a unique experience, soak in the view from the back of a camel! One of WA's most iconic experiences, there are a number of operators running camels(opens in a new tab) rides. Tour times range from sunrise to sunset.
For more animal encounters, you can witness turtles nesting on Cable Beach(opens in a new tab) between October and February. You can’t drive on the beach during these months as it’s important to allow the turtles space. However, can still walk down and witness this incredible sight.
Marvel at the Staircase to the Moon
The Staircase to the Moon(opens in a new tab) is a mind-bending natural phenomenon that occurs between March and November at Roebuck Bay in Broome. For two to three days a month as the rising full moon sits on the horizon, its brightness is reflected on the exposed, extremely low-tide mudflats. This creates the illusion of a staircase. This special natural event is only visible for a small window of time, so make sure you check the dates and times(opens in a new tab).
Afterwards, you can wander through the night markets at Town Beach(opens in a new tab), which are set up in celebration of the Staircase to the Moon.
Cruise along Lake Argyle
One of the largest man-made lakes in the Southern Hemisphere and home to 70 islands, Lake Argyle(opens in a new tab) is a must-see attraction in the North West. The lake has an amazing marine environment with native fauna, and there is now a wide range of activities on offer. A wildlife cruise(opens in a new tab) of the lake's shoreline and islands will give you close encounters with fish, wallabies, and more than 240 species of birds - almost one-third of Australia's total known species.
Don’t be alarmed if you spot a crocodile! The lake is home to 35,000 freshwater crocodiles(opens in a new tab) (not to be mistaken for saltwater crocodiles) which are, in fact, quite timid and feed off insects and small fish. It’s safe to swim respectfully in their waters. More information about swimming in the lake can be found on the Lake Argyle website(opens in a new tab).