The annual Shinju Matsuri (Japanese for “Festival of the Pearl”) originated from three cultural festivals – Japanese Obon Matsuri, Malaysian Hari Merdeka, Independence Day from British rule in 1957, and the Chinese Hang Seng. Shinju Matsuri rekindles the excitement and romance of Broome’s early days of being a world-renowned producer of South Sea Pearls when the Japanese, Chinese, Malay, Koepangers, Filipino and Europeans flocked to Broome from the late 1800’s to be a part of this prosperity. This unique multicultural population of pearl industry workers joined with the local Aboriginal people and Europeans to work on up to 400 Pearling Luggers that sailed out of Broome.
Your holiday begins when you are picked up from home and transferred to the airport in a private vehicle. Meet your fellow passengers and Kings Tour Manager then fly to Broome. Upon arrival in Broome we are transferred to our hotel to settle in and freshen up. Our welcome dinner is at Zanders overlooking the beautiful Cable Beach, arriving in time for sunset and the opportunity to ride a camel for those who wish! This is a very unique and popular experience to do in Broome.
Hotel: Oaks Resort Broome for 4 nights
After breakfast today, unearth the stories and sights of Broome as our guide leads the way. See the red rocks of Gantheaume Point and the town’s Port with time to wander through the Japanese Cemetery. We then head to Chinatown and pass by The Sun Pictures building, an open-air theatre owned by the Yamsaki family. We visit the Broome Museum and see the extensive collection of Shinju Matsuri memorabilia including the Shinju Queen crown made of pearls and silver, past Sammy the Dragons, festival programs and commemorative items all at the Broome Museum. After an interesting morning we stop off at Matso’s brewery, the Kimberley’s award winning microbrewery and a true Broome treasure for lunch. After lunch we have the afternoon at leisure to enjoy the activities on offer as part of the festival.
Today we discover how rare and beautiful the Australian South Sea Cultured Pearl is produced at the Willie Creek Pearl Farm. Our knowledgeable guide will reveal the intricate processes of today’s modern cultured pearling industry – from the seeding of an oyster to the harvesting and grading of a pearl, right through to the final stunning product on display in the showroom. Our farm tour also includes a Willie Creek boat cruise, a light lunch and time for some retail therapy in the shop. Upon our return to Broome we can enjoy the hotel facilities or join in the festivities. Tonight send your message out to the universe in one of the most symbolic ways possible at The Floating Lantern Matsuri at Gantheume Point.
After our late night, enjoy a leisurely start today. Mid-morning, we visit the fascinating attraction, Pearl Luggers. For lunch we enjoy the Pearling Masters High Tea followed by an afternoon at leisure. Late afternoon, we have the opportunity to see the “Staircase to the Moon”, a natural phenomenon which occurs when a full moon rises over the exposed tidal flats of Roebuck Bay. The Staircase to the Moon happens 2-3 days a month between March and October and we are lucky enough to be here for it. We will have time to wander through the markets at Town Beach. Here we can sample local produce, buy hand made products, experience a variety of international food and enjoy the sounds of locals.
After breakfast today we check out of our hotel and transfer to Broome Airport for our flight home to Perth. On arrival in Perth your driver will be waiting to take you home.