The Gold Coast Bulletin - Gold Coast Eye - - CONTENTS -

As the pearling cap­i­tal of Aus­tralia there is no short­age of trea­sure to be found in Broome. For a his­tory les­son that had my lit­tle buc­ca­neers com­pletely cap­ti­vated, we joined the Pearl Lug­gers Tour.

Here we learned about the town’s pearling past but also got to check out a real pearl lug­ger and trace (and even touch) rare arte­facts and equip­ment that was used by the coura­geous men and women that built early Broome off the back of but­tons.

More than 150 years of fas­ci­nat­ing his­tory is con­densed into 1.5 hours.

For $30 it’s worth the in­vest­ment in a well- rounded start­ing point from which to base fur­ther ex­plo­rations.

Then there’s the Brown fam­ily who own Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm, 200km north of Broome — true blue Aus­tralian pearl pi­o­neers.

We learned di­rect from the farm­ers about spawn­ing, seed­ing, grow­ing and grad­ing in a hands-on tour that was as in­ter­est­ing for the kids as it was for me — so much so, my youngest is plan­ning on be­com­ing a pearl farmer with a school of mer­maids to help her.

We got to ad­mire pearls worth thou­sands of dol­lars and tried pearl meat, a del­i­cacy that can sell for more than $200 a kilo­gram in Asia. For $35 an adult and $15 for a child, it’s an­other well-priced tour in a stun­ning lo­ca­tion. It of­fers a great per­spec­tive of why pearls are con­sid­ered Broome’s most pre­cious sou­venir (but only if you if are car­ry­ing some se­ri­ous pocket money). For more in­for­ma­tion go to cygnet­bay­pearl­

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