First ever visit to Broome we were not wrapped in the town. Second time we loved it, and of course this last time we still loved it, in Broome.
There are a few older posts of the sunsets looking from Cable Beach, and there is nothing like the sunsets there. I shall post some more later.
Broome is a coastal, pearling and tourist town in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, 2,240 km (1,390 mi) north of Perth. The permanent population is estimated at 14,436, growing to over 45,000 per month during the tourist season. Broome International Airport provides transport to several domestic destinations.
The town has a deep history based around the men and women who developed the pearling industry, starting with the harvesting of oysters for mother of pearl in the 1880s to the current major cultured pearl farming enterprises.
At first, aborigines were blackbirded (enslaved) and forced to dive naked, with little or no equipment. Especially pregnant girls were used as they were believed to have superior lung capacity. In 2010 the Shire of Broome and Kimberley commissioned a Memorial to the Indigenous Female Pearl Divers.
When slavery was abolished and diving suits were needed for deeper diving, Asians and islanders were given the dangerous job instead. Especially Japanese were valued for their experience. The riches from the pearl beds did not come cheaply, however, and the town's Japanese cemetery is the resting place of 919 Japanese divers who lost their lives working in the industry. Many more were lost at sea, and the exact number of deaths is unknown. The Japanese were only one of the major ethnic groups who flocked to Broome to work on the luggers or the shore based activities supporting the harvesting of oysters from the waters around Broome. They were specialist divers and, despite being considered enemies, became an indispensable part of the industry until World War II.
Headstones in the Japanese Cemetery
Each year Broome celebrates this fusion of different cultures in an annual cultural festival called Shinju Matsuri (Japanese for festival of the pearl) which celebrates the Asian influenced culture brought here by the pearling industry
Broome was attacked at least four times by Japanese aircraft during the Second World War, and the worst attack was the 3 March 1942 air raid in which at least 88 people (mostly civilians who were refugees from the Dutch East Indies) were killed.
Racial segregation was common in Broome until the 1970s.
Broome entered into a sister city agreement with Taiji, Japan in 1981 as historic ties between the two towns date back to the early 1900s, when Japan became instrumental in laying the groundwork of Broome's pearling industry. Wikipedia
The shopping centre is called Chinatown.
The main street in Chinatown, Broome at the top end of it.
The photo below is down the street a little.
You will notice that none of the buildings have gutters on them. This is because of the rainy season, the gutters would not hold the water.
Pearls are sold in many shop, some exclusively.
Pioneers in the cultured pearl industry.
Open aired picture theater in the main street.