Pearling in the Kimberley
Broome was founded as a pearling port in 1880s, and once produced most of the world’s supply of prized mother of pearl shell, used to make buttons and fine cutlery. Today, Broome still supports a flourishing pearling industry which operates off the Kimberley coast.
Some of the major farmers are Paspaley Pearls, Clipper Pearls, Kailis Australian Pearls and Maxima Pearls who collectively produce over 80% of the world’s finest pearls.
See the glittering pearl and diamond jewellery showrooms of Chinatown in Broome. Join a tour to discover the Kimberley’s pearling history and head out to a working pearl farm to see how cultured pearls are farmed today. Contact Broome Visitor Centre for more information.
One third of the world’s annual production of diamonds is mined in the Kimberley. Take a look around the world’s largest operational diamond mine and search for Argyle Diamond Mine tours. You can choose to take a scenic flight or join a ground tour of this huge site. Various mines throughout the Kimberley region also currently produce bauxite, nickel, copper, cobalt, iron ore, lead and zinc. Contact the local visitor centre for more information.
The Pilbara is known as the ‘engine room’ of Australia. Its ancient landscape is rich in high-grade iron ore and large deposits of petroleum and natural gas. This is the home of Australia's largest mines, longest rail lines and busiest ports. Contact the local visitor centre for information about Pilbara mining tours.
You can find more North West’s fascinating industrial history on this site. See pearling history, mining history and pioneering history.