On Friday 18th September 2020, I found Paradise.
Have you ever been on a trip, discovered somewhere, turned up in a new place… and immediately felt like being there was exactly what your soul needed? Well that’s what went down for us on the 18th September. We found Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm.
2.5 hours drive north of Broome sits Australia’s oldest working pearl farm. We had no idea what we were heading off to when we got in the car at 7am that morning, having purposely done very little research about the farm so as to see everything with fresh eyes. And my god – it did not disappoint.
When you arrive, taking the winding driveway towards the coast, you are greeted first by the warm and friendly staff, a peak at their on-site pearl boutique, and a few steps later – the magnificent Cygnet Bay itself. A stunning part of the Kimberly coastline that boast the second largest tides in the world.
PSA – reading on will result in a severely strong desire to book a visit to this stunning part of our state. You will then, inevitably, fall in love and have a really hard time leaving. There, I warned you.
There are a handful of different accommodation options to choose from. The farm village is always a-buzz with caravan and camping guests taking advantage of the private bush campsite, powered caravan sites or the perfect little bush tents.
If camping isn’t your thing, stress not. The old pearlers shacks have been converted into holiday chalets – perfect for kicking back after a day of tours and exploring the farm.
But wait, there’s more! We were lucky enough to spend our night here in one of Cygnet Bay’s Safari Glamping Tents. Apart from evoking all the memories of my time in Africa as a kid, these gorgeous tents are so well kitted out, allowing you to enjoy some time in nature with all the creature comforts – Bathroom and shower, fridge, and a balcony deck with views to die for.
As well as set tours, the farm has so many spots for you to explore yourself you’ll be hard pressed to fit it all in. As the tide goes out (touch base with the gems on reception for all tidal times that day), you can head out on a marine life spotting mission among the rocks, forage for rock oysters, paddle board in the bay, borrow the dinghy (if you’re a skipper) and head off fishing, or just fish off the beach! The list goes on.
Eat and Drink
I can honestly say with my hand on my heart that the meal we enjoyed at the restaurant was one of the best of our entire trip. We tried pickled pearl meat (not the same as an oyster, who knew!?), crocodile spring rolls, and discovered a new favourite rum distilled right there up in the Kimberley. The restaurant served breakfast, lunch and dinner, and is conveniently set next to pool for those afternoons where you just alternate swimming with cocktail drinking. All overlooking the bay, this is a huge reason you won’t want to leave.
Right, you’re at a Pearl farm. Australia’s oldest working pearl farm to be exact. So what are you there to see..? Show me all the pearls, right!? The first thing we did on arrival was head out on the Pearl Farm Discovery tour. An hour of learning all about the farm, the history and processes of the pearling industry and finishing up with a live pearl harvest and a mini lesson in how pearls are graded. The pearls harvested on this tour are also available to purchase at the end! How about that for a souvenir.
A quick dip and a bite to eat later, we were whisked away onto the Waterfall Reef Tour. Yep, that’s a reef, that’s also a waterfall. *Mind explodes*. The abundance of islands which form the Buccaneer Archipelago, combined with the world’s largest tropical tides, expose the unique natural phenomenon of the Waterfall Reef. The ever-changing tides mean this reef spends hours a day out of the water, and not only survives, but thrives! Must be seen to be believed, and yes, it’s as magical as it sounds.
Other tour options include the Giant Tides tour, The Kimberley Island Explorer, and the cultural Coast to Creek tour. Good luck choosing! My advice – give yourself plenty of time to enjoy this magnificent location.
Feeling inspired? Be sure to tag us in your Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm adventure and let the team know Katie sent you!
For more information head to the Cygnet Bay website here.
All image credits to myself and Mitchell Williams