In the Australian winter, a good town to visit is Broome in the North of Western Australia. It’s on the edge of a great dessert.
Broome is the centre for pearl farming. Some of my old diving friends got into the business either as divers or in one case as a pearl farmer.
The original divers came from Japan. The local cemetery has many Japanese graves – some killed while diving.
In the 1970′s there was a switch from hard hat diving to hookah diving. (Which might be simply explained as scuba diving with a hose to the dive boat air compressor instead of a cylinder on your back).
In many respects Broome is a real diver town today. There are many reminders of this industry in the town. But it is not a dive tourist town. The tides are huge – ten meters at times. The ocean is blue but not clear.
It’s been a terrific place to visit in the past. Camp in a tourist park near the bay. Get around by bicycle. (There is only one hill in town). I’ve spent a couple of months there. But that’s another story.
I thought I’d mention it here for anyone interested in owning a real cultured pearl one day. They are not cheap either.
The girl pictured here worked in one of the many retail pearl stores in the small Chinatown area.