Travel Diary 101 : Broome – A Pearling Town in Kimberley

When we were on our way to Broome, I felt mixed emotions, I felt sadness and then excited. The 9 Days Overland Adventure was almost over which made me felt a bit gloomy but it I was elated with the thought of  my next adventures in Broome.

Because there was no telecom signal most of the time while we were in Kimberley, I haven’t checked emails. On our way to famous town in Kimberley, I took my chance to check emails. Then, I received notifications that my accommodation reservation in Broome was canceled. I felt uneasy after I read it, because we’re on our way to the town and yet and I don’t have a place to stay. I immediately browse sites to check available rooms for me.  I selected the same hotel that I booked before and that was the time I felt relax again when the booking has been confirmed.

When we started to see houses, we knew that we reached Broome. Honestly, before I booked the Overland Adventure tour, I never heard about the town’s name but during my researched before my trip, I saw an adventure activity that I wanted to experience as it is only available from Derby and Broome, I was hoping that during my stay in the town it will happen, I was talking about Horizontal Falls. It is quite an expensive adventure but I dream about it and praying that I will have opportunity to experience and witness it with my own eyes but this dream depends on nature, the Horizontal Falls does not always happen like other waterfalls that dries up and has seasons that its visible.

When I went off the truck, I bid goodbyes to the people left in the vehicle. And I had photo memory with our awesome guide Scotty. And I knew that most from the group stays in one hotel and Scotty told me to go to the hotel so we can still had some dinner that night, I said to Scotty I will try.

Then, I went inside OAKS Broome Hotel that I booked, approached the lobby officer and checked-in. That night, I was contemplating to think if I will go out that night or stay for the night. Then I went to my assigned room and started checking the internet in my phone with the objective to organize my adventures in two days while in Broome.

I already reserved one tour which all about Broome for the next day even before I reached Broome.  And that night, I still tried to booked two more important adventures that I was hoping that I will be able to join even just one of the two will do. I was trying to booked for the second adventure with the options of either Horizontal Falls or Cape Leveque 4WD Tour. I sent an email again to Horizontal Falls Tour Operator that night to follow-up if they will operate during my stay in the town. Then, I booked the Cape Leveque 4WD tour via Viator. I had dinner in the restaurant of the hotel and returned to my room, still checking other activities that I can do the next day until I fall asleep. This means that I never had a chance anymore to meet my group from overland adventure tour that night.

The two days adventure in Broome happened so fast. But the main adventures that I was hoping to happen did not materialize. The Horizontal Falls Tour was not operating during my stay in the town due to neap tides which means that the high and low water has no difference and the Horizontal Falls is most likely not visible at that time. This is second adventure that I missed after Kakadu National Park in Northern Territory. I felt really sad because the timing was not really for me. It was nature and I don’t have control on it. The Cape Leveque 4WD Tour that I booked Viator which is the second adventure that I was hoping to experience while in town, has been canceled as the tour is fully booked. Two main adventures, I missed for certain reasons. I felt empty-handed. I was in beautiful town far away from the world and yet I missed its beautiful natures that I dreamed to experience and to discover. I cannot extend my time in Broome, because I have to go to my last adventures in Western Australia which is Perth and its surrounding places.

But my stay in Broome did not end in vain. I was able to work on things that made this town a remarkable for me with some discovery that is unique to itself and to the world. If I will be given a chance, I will come back in this place and plan to stay few more days to see, experience and discover what the town is offering to its guest and visitors.

Here are my perception and impression that the town left on my during the time that I was there. Broome is a remote town in Kimberley but even it is remote place, it is indeed a popular place for adventures and relaxation. Broome is a pearling town that once the main producer of pearls in the world. But due to certain events, the town almost wiped-out because of war. Broome strived so hard to live. Now it is not only a pearling town because of history and because of its major industry that fuels its economy but a great place for tourism industry as it offers so much to anyone who dare to go to this town which considered to be one of the most remote place in Australia.

Here are some of the places that I had a chance to see and explore while I was in town.

Day 1

Broome Sightseeing Tour

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Sun Pictures

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Cygnet Bay Shops

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Japanese Cemetery

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Matso’s Broome Brewery

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Cable Beach (South) – Part 1

Day 2

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Broome Town Beach

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Roebuck Bay

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Guwarri Old Jetty (McDaniels Lookout)

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Pioneer Cemetery

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Broome Historical Museum

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Willie Creek Pearl Farm

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Cable Beach (North) – Part 2

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Willie Creek Pearl Farm Tour

The second and the last tour that I joined while I was in Broome was a tour in one of the pearl farm in Western Australia. Willie Creek Pearl Farm is just 38km from Broome and becoming popular destination when somebody wanted to combine learning about pearling industry while enjoying a beautiful backdrop of nature which is Willie Creek and its surrounding.

Missing the most adventurous tour in town such as Horizontal Falls and Cape Leveque because of neap tide and the other being fully booked, were really something that disappoint me but all the reason are beyond my control. I didn’t want to waste time in my hotel room doing nothing as I got a chance to be in different place and I had to take all my opportunity to see some part of it.

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Broome-Cape Leveque Road on the way to Willie Creek Pearl Farm

The tour picked me up after lunch time with a minibus. We were out of the town after picking-up other tourist. We took Broome-Cape Leveque Road before we turned left to Manari Road. When we were taking the said road, my mind played again and wondered, how exciting it would be if I got a chance to be in Cape Leveque. Then the thought went away when we passed Manari Road and we were out in an open space with combination of sands and bushes while we were taking Willie Creek Road. It was like that, until we reach Willie Creek Pearl Farm itself.

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Manari Road on the way to Willie Creek Pearl Farm

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Willie Creek Road on the way to Willie Creek Pearl Farm

We arrived at the front of the main building and a showroom. We were welcomed by one of the staff and we went to a pavilion where we had a presentation about culturing and producing pearls. Here we saw oyster fresh from their farm. What happened was, these oysters are collected and spawned from hatchery, then seeded for more time before harvested. The facilitator opened the shell and showed to us a sample where a small white ball was beginning to develop to become pearl. The presenter also showed to us how these oysters lined-up with their metal net or cages holding them where in the end will be submerged into the water in oyster bed to follow the natural process to make the nucleus to be a full pearl.

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Our facilitator during the tour

The presenter emphasized that the main business are producing and culturing pearls. The additional business is maximizing the mother of pearl or the nacre itself (this is the shiny part of the shell) to create useful products that are sellable. I also learned in the natural process of producing pearls, the healthy oysters has limited number like 2-3 times they can produce or culture pearls. The people who deal with pearling business hires skilled and professionals that takes care these oysters and to medicate sick oysters if it still possible to make them survive to continue the process of producing pearls.

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Oyster with nucleated pearl

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Sample of Mother of Pearl (or Nacre) produced

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Shell Cleaning Machine

After the presentation, we went outside to explore Willie Creek where the natural process of producing pearls happens. Before reaching the small jetty, we passed a Shell Cleaning Machine where one of the net are inside of it. Then we continued our way to the creek.

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When we were in the boat and ready to explore the Willie Creek, a male presenter went to the front, introduced himself and he was our guide during the entire exploration of the beautiful and turquoise creek.

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Then, he started talking more about the life of the oyster and its challenges of breeding of it. Our boat started moving. Then, we approached a marker in the water and we stopped. The presenter took something under the water and that is a cage or net of the oyster which came from oyster bed. He picked-up one from the net and starts explaining that even the oyster has enemies while trying to grow itself under the water. He showed to us that there are holes, a sign that there are parasites eating the oyster shell. One of the challenges in growing and re-seeding the oyster that will produce the pearl in the future.

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One of the parasites that showed to us that is enemy of the oyster.

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Sample of holes made by parasites that attacks the shell of the oyster

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Boat with Shell Cleaning Machine on it.

After the lectures, our guide in the boat let us explored the creek by moving it to different parts of the creek which gave us a chance to appreciate the beauty of the nature that surrounds us. Honestly, looking at how pristine the color of the water and thinking that the place is a great place to be a resort or some kind for human, but then I realized that not only people has the right to use the water. Human use water both for livelihood and recreational activity, while oyster use water as it is their world to live. The condition of the water for pearl farming is so critical to allow the oyster to be healthy and to allow to produce pearls still following the natural process after they re-seeded under the water. Looking at the turquoise water in Willie Creek made me felt envy with these oysters because they live in such paradise.

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Willie Creek

After exploring the creek, we returned to the jetty and go back to the main building where we had a snack for a bit. Then, we went inside the showroom to see the pearls they produced from the pearl farm and all we saw in the showroom are beautiful pearls on its own form, whether it has the five grading points of the most valuable pearl on earth, still they are work of art even in their imperfect characteristics. They are all cultured pearls since it is indeed rare to find natural pearls.

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Main Building of the farm and showroom

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On our way back to the town from the pearl farm, we took the same route and before leaving it, we had a glimpse of the Willie Creek Road before passing it completed. A horizon that so beautiful to appreciate.

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Willie Creek Road on the way to Broome

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Manari Road on the way to Broome

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Broome-Cape Leveque Road on the way to Broome

My last tour in the town was ended and every time the tour was about to end, it was natural that I felt sad but on the brighter side, I looked upon on my next adventure that will begin the next day when I reach Perth.

Until then.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Featuring Our World : Willie Creek

Featuring Our World (Post#19) : Willie Creek

Photos of the day are all about Willie Creek. Willie Creek is where culturing pearl is happening. The Pinctada Maxima Oyster are transported in the creek as the site provides pristine water off the coast. The said oyster thrive in a nutrient rich waters. The Oyster are suspended in panels and put back several meters under the water. Then, these oysters are cleaned from marine organisms and being x-rayed to make sure the pearl development. During the visit, we had experience a lecture in the boat about the life of pearl shells while exploring the Willie Creek which even myself fell in love with the place and I thought that Pinctada Maxima Oysters has beautiful home for a limited time in the said place. These photos are part of Willie Creek Pearl Farm Tour October 2016.

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Notes :
Photo : Willie Creek, Creek, Pearl Farm
Location : Willie Creek Rd, Broome WA 6725, Australia
Transportation : Willie Creek Pearl Farm Tour
Official Website : Willie Creek Pearl Farm

Life Of Others : Pinctada Maxima Oyster

Life Of Others (Post#21) : Pinctada Maxima Oyster

Photos of the day are all about Pinctada Maxima Oyster. During the visit in Willie Creek Pearl Farm, I had a chance to see Pinctada Maxima Oyster, where one was shown in our group, fresh from Willie Creek Pearl Farm and one of the facilitator in pearl farm tour showed us and explained to us how pearl is cultured. In the process of seeding the pearl which is one way of culturing pearls, there are important parts of the Pinctada Maxima Oyster involve in the main process. First, is Gonad – where the pearls are positioned. Second is Mother of Pearl (or Nacre) – the shiny part of the shell and third is the nucleus – the pearl itself. If the Pinctada Maxima naturally produced the pearl, the pearl itself is the nucleus. If Pinctada Maxima are then re-seeded, the small nucleus formed from Mississippi mussel into the Gonad of the oyster which become pearl in the future.  These photos are part of Willie Creek Pearl Farm Tour October 2016.

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Notes :
Photo : Willie Creek Pearl Farm
Location : Willie Creek Rd, Broome WA 6725, Australia
Transportation : Willie Creek Pearl Farm Tour
Official Website : Willie Creek Pearl Farm

 

Name Of The Place : Willie Creek Pearl Farm

Name Of The Place (Post#53) : Willie Creek Pearl Farm

Photo of the day is about Willie Creek Pearl Farm. It is the name of the pearl farm that I had a chance to visit while I was in Broome. My visit in this farm made me realized that there is a way to grow and culture pearls than looking for the pearl itself. Growing and culturing pearls itself is the combination of natural process happens under the water to the shells (mother of pearl) and its oyster with human intervention taking care of it. The photos are part of Willie Creek Pearl Farm Tour October 2016.

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Notes :
Photo : Willie Creek Pearl Farm
Location : Willie Creek Rd, Broome WA 6725, Australia
Transportation : Willie Creek Pearl Farm Tour
Official Website : Willie Creek Pearl Farm