If, like me, you are from a modest-sized country where a six-hour drive to Scotland seems quite the ordeal, you will agree that the coastal town of Broome in the Kimberley region of Western Australia is the definition of ‘off the beaten track’. Broome is approximately a two and a half hour flight from its closest major cities, Perth and Darwin, and a staggering eight hour plane journey from Australia’s east coast. In this time, most European’s could have crossed oceans and reached whole other continents, never mind stayed within the same country. Yet, as with many secluded destinations, a visit to Broome is worth the lengthy journey.
The town’s history is a fascinating one steeped in the harvesting of oysters — a cultivation known as ‘pearling’. The industry is fruitful, however, prior to modern-day technological advancements, it was a dangerous job and one that was initially forced upon Aboriginal slaves who would dive hundreds of metres to the sea bed in search of the precious gems. When slavery was abolished, pearling in Broome was an occupation assumed by Asian workers who had arrived on Australia’s shores looking for a new and prosperous life. Nowadays, the industry has replaced these life-threatening dives with machinery, and Broome remains one of the primary centres for pearling in Australia.
This rich history, combined with breathtaking coastal scenery, makes Broome a thriving tourist destination despite its remote location. The town is hailed for being the gateway to the Kimberley wilderness, however, there is as much to see in Broome itself as there is in its surrounding area. The ambience in the town is relaxed and laid-back; the climate warm and tropical; the sights unique and varied. Its landscapes are also captivating; Broome is where the burnt orange of the outback meets the aquamarine waters of the Indian Ocean, and its offerings to visitors are as valuable as the pearls hauled from its coastal depths. Continue reading