Where is it? 2200km north of Perth, on the Kimberley coast, WA.

Pearls might bring to mind the glamour of old Hollywood rather than the oceanic equivalent of the Australian gold rush, but the pearl is something of an Aussie icon, as Broome’s annual Shinju Matsuri (Japanese for ‘Festival of the Pearl’) demonstrates. The history of pearl diving here is as dark as the pearl is iridescent: even skilled divers often got the bends or died in their perilous pursuit. These days, it’s easier to find a pearl in Broome: just walk the streets of Chinatown. But it’s more rewarding to head out to sea on a dive tour to get face-to-mask with Broome’s marine life in its natural habitat.


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