Tuesday, Nov 29: This morning we arrived in the very remote town of Broome – home to the pearl farming industry. Weather was hot and humid. Like most parts of Australia’s tropics, Broome has two seasons, a dry season that runs from April through November and a wet season starting about now.
There is no actual cruise terminal, so everyone was taken from the ship via free bus shuttles to the town which was located a few kilometres away.
It is a compact little town, discovered in 1688, with a lot of history going back to 1861 with the discovery of pearl oysters. Chinatown is the name of the main shopping area. Once it was noodle houses, opium dens and boarding houses. These days, food, fashion and expensive jewellery shops. The Sun Pictures – the oldest operating outdoor picture theatre gardens in the world. Quirky buildings and story boards giving the history of the town and the many nationalities who came here in search of the pearl.
The local people were very friendly and welcoming and we learnt all about how pearls are formed and the sad history of the hundreds of Japanese divers who drowned and the aboriginal women who were captured and sold and forced into diving, some even when pregnant. This town has quite a history!