Brisbane, QLD

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Kimberley and Top End-Broome (Part2)

Last night we met the tour guides, Kim and Ben, and the passengers (21 all together) at dinner. The next morning we boarded the bus for the first of 14 days of adventure. The bus is a 4 wheel drive Mercedes truck with a cabin on the back. It was air conditioned and comfortable.

The first day was a tour of Broome and surrounding areas.

Gantheaume Point's unusual lighthouse. There was a huge Osprey Eagle's nest on the top platform.

The contrast of the red, pindan earth and rocks with the pearlescent, aquamarine water was beautiful. Anastasia's pool is a hand dug pool made for an early lighthouse keeper's wife to ease her arthritis but it was empty as it needs a high tide to fill. There are also Dinosaur footprint fossils at the water's edge.

We had an informative visit to 'Pearl Luggers' a museum showing the history of the pearling industry.The industry started in 1880's after settlers failed as graziers due to drought. Some of them started collecting the huge pearl shells from the shore and selling them. The shells were sought after overseas for buttons and decoration. Soon all the shells were gone from the shore and aboriginals were made to dive for them. Soon they needed to go deeper for them and so deep sea divers were employed. The Japanese were the most successful divers.

They wore heavy suits with long woollen underwear and..... .....with lead weights, very heavy boots and the mask connected with air tubes and a line for signals to the lugger. It took them hours to get dressed and they needed help. It was an extremely dangerous job. An old pearling lugger being restored. The sought after shells used for buttons by Europeans and a modesty cover for Aboriginals. Occasionally a natural pearl was found inside the oyster. This one is worth over $100,000 Many hundreds of Japanese divers are buried here in the Japanese cemetery. A song was written about this fellow. At the end of the day we were taken to the beach to watch the famous Broome sunset. Our friend Joe is a character, who kept us entertained throughout the trip. Here he watches the sunset with a seaweed moustache. So ends the first day of our tour.


  1. Absolutely breathtaking photos, and stunning vistas. It all looks so interesing, you really make me want to travel more, or more correctly, travel there.

  2. Absolutely beautiful photographs Diane. What a wonderful trip this must have been. What type of camera are you using for your photography? The colors are so sharp and brilliant.

  3. Amazing! Beautiful! Spectacular! Magical! Brilliant shots Mum!!!

    And I hope you slipped that pearl into your pocket? I loved Joe and his amazing mustache too!

    More! more!

  4. Oh Diane, this place is gorgeous. Love the rocks and those colors in that area. Interesting about the divers and the Japanese cemetery... And I loved the sunset... Wow!!!!

    Thanks for taking us on your trip with you.

  5. Simply amazing shots! So vivid and colorful...

  6. Magnificent DB! I have seen the sunsets from Bali and Honolulu but I am convinced those from Broome are far better! The sun setting over the sea gives it an aura of beauty which we, here, in the East just miss out on. I guess it could be because of less haze in the atmosphere? Due to the less population of the area? I should imagine that sunrise would be also spectacular coming up over the desert? Yes, Broome is starting to whet my appetite to visit. I just wish that there were direct flights from Brisbane - maybe via Darwin for a short stay and then Broome and back via Sydney. I will be looking into it.
    I also wonder if there were still Japanese pearlers there when Japan attacked Pearl Harbour in WW2 and if so what happened to them?
    Looking forward to Part 3.

  7. What an interesting and beautiful tour you are doing ! I had to scroll down to see where you started from. These red rocks in the blue see are gorgeous ! I love these kind of landscapes and how interesting the story about the diving !

  8. Your photos are beautiful. What a wonderful tour and I know there is much more to come. I am really enjoying the history of the pearl industry.

  9. I think that if I could just have that one day I would be more than satisfied with, and to think there are 13 more days to come! Wow! That sunset is amazing!

  10. Golly did you go down onto Cable Beach to watch the sunset. We just leant on the railing up above as we sipped our champers. I love your photos of the pindan coloured rocks.