Broome is cosmopolitan town with striking natural beauty that is rich in history and ethnic influence of the many cultures that have reached its shores.
Broome was originally settled by lugger crews escaping plagues ofrats and cockroaches infesting their wooden boats. It was established in 1883 as a port to supply the fast growing Broome pearling industry seeking the largest pearl shell to be found in the world, Pinctada Maxima. Aboriginal divers were used initially in shocking conditions and suffered brutal treatment from pearling captains. Hard hat diving was introduced which led to the domination of Japanese pearl divers.
Lugger crews were a mixture of Malay, Chinese, Koepangers, Manilamen and people from over 40 countries. A blend of Aboriginal, Asian and Caucasian has resulted in a melting pot of nationalities and cultures for which Broome is now famous.
A massive decline in production occurred during World War II when Broome¹s foreign labour was sent to indentured camps and much of the pearling fleet was torched to save it falling into enemy hands. In another blow, the world discovered plastic in the 1950s, marking the end of demand for mother of pearl shell.
A thriving cosmopolitan town rich in culture, history and natural beauty.
Cultured pearling techniques were introduced by the Japanese soon after and quickly took off in Broome, which continues to produce 80% of the world¹s finest quality cultured South Sea Pearls. Broome suffered high and lows through Boom times, wars, depression and the collapse of the Mother of Pearl Market. Broome is now a thriving, cosmopolitan town rich in culture, history, natural beauty, tourist attractions and tours and thriving industry.