The former pearling capital of the world‚ Broome is the western gateway to the vast northern Kimberley Region and a popular tourist destination in its own right. In its heyday at the beginning of the 20th century‚ Broome had a population of 5000 and was supplying 75% of the world’s mother-of-pearl. The trade declined in the 1950's‚ but still exists; visitors may see a fully operational pearl farm and purchase a souvenir at Willie Creek Pearl Farm. During the pearling days Chinatown was a district of pearl sheds‚ boarding houses‚ billiard saloons and eateries. It is still a busy area and a major tourist attraction with stores that look much as they would have in the 19th century.
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