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The Willie Creek Pearl Farm Tour in Broome, Western Australia was recommended to us by family and friends, so we decided to book a tour while we were on holiday there. Find out what we thought of this tour, if it was worth the money, and essential information to make the most of your day.

Willie Creek Pearl Farm Directions

Willie Creek Pearl Farm is located 38 km out of Broome on the estuary of Willie Creek. They offer a Coach Tour (which is the option we chose) that provides an air-conditioned transfer from most hotels and campsites in Broome.

If you are doing the self-drive tour, I would recommend a 4wd as part of the drive is on an unsealed road. If you are hiring a vehicle, check with the hire company that you are allowed to drive there as some do not allow it.

Give yourself an hour to get there if you are driving.

Head out of Broome along the Broome Highway for 10kms then turn left onto Cape Leveque Road for 15km. Turn left onto Manari Road for 5 km then left onto Willie Creek Road for 7.5 km. You will see signs for Willie Creek.

You may need to take the alternative track in the wet season (call ahead, and they will advise the best route).

pearl in oyster shall at pearl farm

Cost of Willie Creek Pearl Farm Tours as at May 2021

By Coach

Adult $125, Concession $105.00 , Child $68.00,  2 Adults + 2 Children $318.00

Self Drive

Adult $75.00  Concession $65.00 Child $40.00  2 Adults + 2 Children $190.00

There is also an option to have lunch included and scenic helicopter flights to and from Willie Creek Pearl Farm.

The tour itself is 3 hours but allow 5 hours including transfers.

Willie Creek Pearl Farm Tour Review

Our day started by being collected outside our accommodation in Cable Beach. There were a few more stops to collect other passengers, but it was an excellent way to look at other Cable Beach accommodation choices. Once we had everyone on board, we made our way to the Willie Creek Pearl Farm.

Anne, our driver, gave an interesting commentary about Broome and the places we drove past, including Kerry Stokes’s house. It was fascinating to learn more about Broome’s history, tourism, and architectural designs.

The journey took around 45 minutes. Be prepared for a bumpy ride as part of the journey is on corrugated unsealed roads.

red willie creek pearls tour bus parked in car park

Upon arrival, the tour group went to the hatchery, where we learned about the oysters’ collection and spawning.

We then moved into an undercover area where we were told about how the oysters are seeded and harvested. It’s a great insight into the process of modern cultured pearl farming. Our guide also explained what makes a perfect pearl, how they are valued, and the creation of beautiful jewelry.

I gained a new appreciation for all the hard work, skill, and long hours to create the perfect pearl.

Willie Creek Pearl Farm Tour - An Honest Review 2021

Pearls were handed around so that we could see what they looked like and the difference between them.

The Keshi Pearls are the closest to natural pearls and are irregular in shape. They are valued on weight instead of size.

a box of keshi pearls of varying size

The most revered pearl in the world is the Australian South Sea Cultured Pearl. This is produced by the Pinctada maxima oyster from the coastal waters of northern Western Australia. It creates the most beautiful pearl nacre of any oyster.

Not every oyster produces a pearl and most only create one at a time.

The oyster shell itself is also valuable due to its lustrous mother of pearl.

3 Australian South Sea Cultured Pearls at willie creek pearl farm tour

At the end of this part of the tour, the guide carefully opened one of the oysters so we could see inside. I was amazed at how big the shell was and look at that stunning pearl inside.

oyster shell shucked with pearl oyster meat

It was then time for the morning tea, which was included in the tour price. There was plenty of fresh fruit, damper, fruit cake plus hot & cold drinks. We used this time to have a little wander around the property.

willie creek pearl farm tour morning tea

After morning tea, we were taken down to the creek’s jetty to go and view oysters in their natural environment. We hopped into a boat and cruised out to see live oysters suspended in the water.

A panel was pulled up so that we could see what the oysters look like. These are just a small sample of what happens in the open water sea lease, 10 nautical miles off Broome’s coast.

oysters on a line at willie creek pearl farm tour

The oysters filter around 50 litres of water per hour and feed on microscopic phytoplankton. It takes up to 2 years for the Australian South Sea Pearls to fully develop.

During this time, the oysters require regular cleaning. Backpackers are often employed for this task, to remove marine growth from the shells.

A short cruise along the azure waters of Willie Creek is also included to spot any wildlife. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see any crocodiles but spotted a few different types of birds.

The water is such a stunning turquoise colour due to the amount of crushed limestone in it. The mangroves make the perfect home for an abundance of wildlife. This photo has not been edited, the water really is this colour.

willie creek azure waters with mangroves

Lastly, we got to see the pearls on display in the showroom and dream of owning an exquisite pair of earrings or necklace.

Willie Creek Pearl Farm Tour - An Honest Review 2021

So would we recommend this tour? It was in our Top 3 of Things to do in Broome despite the feeling that it wasn’t incredible value for money. It was a great experience to see first hand how a pearl farm operates and gain an insight into the pearling industry. It is also a stunning place to spend a few hours and to be able to cruise Willie Creek. I’m glad we did it and would recommend it to friends.

Click here for availability on the coach tour and here for the self drive tour.

Name and History of Willie Creek

Willie means wind and boats would shelter in the creek during cyclones.

The pearl farm is now owned by the Banfield family, who moved to Broome in 1989. They began by operating Broome bus lines and then developed it into a tour company. The tours took guests to Willie Creek, which led them to purchase the pearl farm.

The Banfield family also owns the Zoo Keepers Store, Pearl Luggers, and Discover Broome Tour. The Pearl Luggers tour will provide the complete pearl experience.

Where to buy Willie Creek Pearls

As well as buying online, Willie Creek Pearls can be bought at one of their showrooms or stockists.

  • Hillarys Boardwalk Showroom
  • Subiaco Showroom
  • Elizabeth Quay
  • Cable Beach Showroom
  • Chinatown Broome Showroom
  • Willie Creek Pearl Farm Showroom
  • Lamont’s Winery Swan Valley
  • Oaks Broome
  • Mercure Hotel Broome
  • John Streater Fine Furniture Yallingup

Where to stay in Broome

We stayed at Broome Beach Resort and liked that it was family-friendly, close to Cable Beach, and the bus stopped nearby. Other popular options are:

Budget

Reflections Broome

Beaches of Broome

Mid-Range:

Oaks Cable Beach Resort

Blue Seas Resort

Mantra Frangipani Broome

Luxury

Cable Beach Club Resort & Spa

For prices and availability, click here.

Other Things To Do in Broome

Why not read all about our Whale Watching Cruise and Camel Ride; these were our favourite Broome activities. Or look at the options from Viator (they have lots of competitively-priced tours, offer free cancellation up to 24 hours prior on most experiences, and are part of the TripAdvisor network).

Flights

plane flying over a beach

I use different sites to try and get the best possible price for flights.

First I visit matrix.itasoftware.com to get an idea of the cheapest dates, but you can’t book through this site.

Next I compare the cost of flights with Trip.com and try different routes.

Accommodation

Willie Creek Pearl Farm Tour - An Honest Review 2021

I mainly use Booking.com for accommodation as they consistently have the lowest rates with free cancellation on most properties.

Car Hire

black car

To compare rental car company prices, I use Rentalcars.com. They are the world’s biggest car rental site, comparing all main brands including Europcar, Budget, Ace, Hertz, Avis, and Alamo.

Travel Insurance

Willie Creek Pearl Farm Tour - An Honest Review 2021

Don’t travel anywhere without travel insurance, it’s not worth the risk.

Travel insurance: simple & flexible

You can buy and claim online, even after you’ve left home. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from over 130 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.

Travel Information & Guides

This Australia Travel Guide, which includes all essential information and tips, will help with the planning of your holiday to this beautiful country.

For more things to do in Western Australia, check out this Western Australia Travel Guide.


If you found our Willie Creek Pearl Farm Tour review helpful, please consider booking through one of our links. It won’t cost you anything, but will help towards the cost of running this site. Thank you 🙂

large oyster with pearl at willie creek pearl farm broome western australia

Note: We were paying guests of the Willie Creek Pearl Farm Tour and received no discounts or benefits for writing this article.

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14 Comments

  1. Hi Wendy! Interesting post about your visit. I’ve been to pearl farms before, but I always felt like I was being pressured to buy. Or, at least, people were staring at me as if I should buy. Any pressures here?

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. No, we weren’t under any pressure at all. They did finish the tour in their shop but no obligation to buy and there wasn’t much of a sales pitch either.

  2. I love pearls so this would be a must visit for me. Apart from learning about the creation of pearls, the scenery looks wonderful.

    1. It certainly is located in a picturesque place.

  3. Besides Marge Simpson I knew nothing about pearls. So this had been an education. It does seem a bit steep but a well put together tour all the same. Glad you enjoyed it.

  4. That’s the kind of day out that I would love. I really enjoy hearing about niche industries like this. And I had no idea that the best pearls in the world came from Australia. As well as the best opals! 🙂

    1. Thank you Carole. We just need the money to buy them 🙂

  5. Looks like an interesting tour, Wendy! It’s always been fascinating to me how pearls are made so I think I’d enjoy the tour. As you said, it seems a bit expensive. Good to know you’d still recommend it though.

    1. It was very interesting and I do find tours, on the whole, quite a lot especially when you are paying as a family.

  6. Very good advice about rental cars and unsealed roads. I didn’t know crushed limestone is the reason for the beautiful turquoise color. There are many pearls of wisdom here.

    1. haha like your play on words here John 🙂

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