Segment: Willie Creek – The Pearls
Air Date: 29th March 2020
Presenter: Trevor Cochrane
Broome was founded on the back of the pearl industry, and the Willie Creek Pearl Luggers gives guests a chance to learn the history of the town.
- The Australian South Sea Cultured Pearl, farmed here in Broome, is one of the world’s finest.
- There is a great tour at the Luggers you don’t want to miss – located in the heart of Broome right next to China Town, you’ll know you’re in the right place when you see the two giant luggers.
- The tour covers the history of pearling, including the mother of pearl era. It goes into depth on how Broome was built on buttons, with buttons being taken from the pearl shell itself.
- The industry was initially founded on the mother of pearl shell. The pearl shell was utilised to make ornaments and jewellery.
- This was a risky industry, with divers going in the water without modern day safety techniques. It was similar to a gold rush in Broome, with people coming from all over the world.
- Guests can go and check out the real luggers, which is a rare opportunity.
- The tour covers life under the water, looking at the traditional divers. Using gear weighing up to 100kg, divers were dragged along the ground to collect oysters.
- Take some time to explore the place after the tour – you can even indulge in retail therapy with the incredible collection in the show room.
- Guests are treated to a special experience – they’re able to taste the pearl meat. Generally costing $150 per kilo, it has the texture of abalone and the subtlety of a scallop.
- Luggers is part of the Willie Creek Pearl Farm, and pays homage to the enormous effort put in to establish the industry. Willie Creek Pearls is a family business celebrating 30 years of excellence.
- Tours run daily – be sure to book your spot!