Scenes to expect

Broome, Western Australia
Location Profile

Backpackers looking for work in the pearling industry go to Broome, Western Australia. It is a popular tourist location with pleasant weather throughout the harvest season, with temperatures averaging around 30 degrees Celsius during the day and 18 degrees Celsius at night. It also produces some of the world’s best pearls.

This is not a job for everyone. You must enjoy the water and early mornings. Boats typically leave at 6 a.m. and return around 4.30 p.m. The task is physically demanding and can be tedious, messy, and stinky. Many girls work on farms and are able to work in less physically demanding vocations.

Some organisations allow you to work and live on boats, so you might not see land for a few weeks. Others sleep on the ground during the night and work on the boats during the day. You won’t get seasick because most farms are in sheltered and protected waters (but check with the business to see how far out they go!).

Because there are so many travellers, the profession has a strong social side, and time off after work can be spent swimming, fishing, or socialising. Many people who go pearling enjoy the chance to see (and fish) some of Australia’s wonderfully diverse and beautiful marine life. You will see sea snakes, turtles, dolphins, sharks, whales, and other water creatures.