It's All About Broome Pearls at Willie Creek Pearl Farm
Broome has been known for the quality of the pearls it has produced for decades. Broome pearls are highly sought after due to their quality. The late Princess Diana was one who embraced pearls and she was often photographed wearing jewellery that included these wonders of the sea. Take a minute to Google’ images of her wearing a stunning array of jewellery featuring pearls.
The range of shapes, colours and sizes of cultured pearls is vast. Finding out how cultured pearls are produced, is the focus of a half day tour from Broome to visit Willie Creek Pearl Farm.
Located 38kms north of Broome, the best way to visit Willie Creek Pearl Farm is via a guided tour. You can self-drive drive, but the last 10kms can be tricky. The first 28kms from Broome are on a bitumen road, but from the Manari Road turnoff the next 5kms of the rich, red ‘pindan’ road can be bone-jarring corrugations.
The access road into Willie Creek is less so, but there you have salt flats to traverse. Negotiating the track that can be wet due to the extreme tides is not for inexperienced drivers. Although there are markers on the two tracks, some self-drive visitors have had their vehicles come to grief when they veered from the tracks to take a shortcut. We recommend that it is easier to leave it to the experts and join a tour!
With a range of tour times and operating daily during the dry season months, a half day, award-winning Willie Creek Pearl Farm tour is a must when visiting Broome. During the wet season months and lesser visitor numbers, the tour remains operating but with reduced days and tour times. Feel free to give us a call on 1800 450 850 for further details or contact us online.
At the ‘farm’ the tour begins in earnest with the tour group gathered in a shady gazebo for a 45 minute interesting and fascinating ‘lesson’ about how these beautiful gems are produced on a modern pearl farm; and with the chance to harvest a pearl at each demonstration.
After the demonstration, the Willie Creek staff reward their visitors with a delightful morning or afternoon tea.
The next part of the pearl farm experience was to get on the water to view how the pearl shells are grown by being suspended in water and how the massive tidal changes enhance the growth. We learned how the shells are maintained and kept healthy so that they, in turn, produce beautiful pearls.
The tide was very high on the day of my visit so we only had a short walk along a track before boarding our shaded vessel. There is a jetty with steps close by, but because of the high water, these were completely immersed.
Travel Tip: One of the first things that strikes you about Willie Creek is the stunning colour of the water. A scenic flight over the area really highlights the beauty of the coastline.
(Image: Willie Creek Pearl Farm)
After the on-water demonstration, there was time to cruise the creek and one of its tributaries. There are a couple of resident saltwater crocodiles living around the creek area so we had our eyes peeled just in case one of them made an appearance. Sure enough, we were lucky to see one just cruising past, much to the delight of the visitors.
Back on land, we visited the onsite showroom where we indulged our fantasies of owning one of the beautiful strands of pearls, rings, pendants and earrings on display and learnt how to care for the gems. We put to the test what we had learned earlier on the tour - the 5 virtues of a pearl, being: size, shape, colour, lustre & complexion.
As we bumped along the road back to Broome, there was no doubt some quiet scheming of how to drop some significant hints to partners about forthcoming Christmas presents in the shape of pearls!
Visiting a pearl farm in Broome is a must on any visit to the area, for help booking your tour, please contact us today.