Willie Creek Pearl Farm is north of Broome in Western Australia and conduct tours showing the process of modern pearl farming.
The Banfield family took over the Pearl Farm lease in 1994 and started a local tour operating company, expanding from a simple presentation on the Willie Creek jetty to become one of the popular attractions around Broome.
The pearl farm tour is great. The process of growing the oysters and then through to producing a pearl takes 4 years and they are not always perfect.
We were shown the various aspects considered for an oyster with samples of contrasting samples for each aspect, such as its size, complexion, colour, and lustre.
The oysters are Pinctada Maxima oysters, taking in the nutrients and minerals in the beautiful waters around Willie Creek. Carbon dioxide dissolves in the ocean and reacts with water to form carbonic acid, which generates bicarbonate, carbonate, and hydrogen ions, which builds the shells of the oysters.
After finding out about the process of the oysters, the tour takes to the water on a boat. During the boat ride section of the tour, we saw how the oysters are placed in the water, etc.
It was during the tour on the boat we saw two salt-water crocodiles. One of them was sunning itself on the edge of the beach and clearly visible.
We went to their shop to see the pearls made into finished jewellery, very beautiful but also very expensive. Finished off with a nice lunch before returning to the caravan park in Broome.
To get there:
From Broome, head east of Broome along Broome Rd for about 5km and turn left into Broome-Cape Leveque Rd at the brown sign. Follow Broome-Cape Leveque Rd for 14.5km and turn left into Manari Rd. Follow Manari Rd for 5km and turn left into Willie Creek Rd. Follow Willie Creek Rd for 7.5km to reach Willie Creek Pearl Farm.