In the beautiful, calm estuary of Brisbane Water an hour north of Sydney is the state’s only pearl farm – one of the best producers of Akoya cultured pearls in the world.
The little-known company Broken Bay Pearls uses pioneering farming techniques – it doesn’t use chemicals to treat and bleach the pearls, a common practice overseas – and is now inviting visitors aboard its 10-metre catamaran to explore its 150-year-old oyster cages, in a unique “shellar door” experience.
The recently launched farm tour includes a one-hour voyage across the bay where you can learn more about Akoya pearls, which are native to the east coast of Australia and its subtropical waters. They’re also farmed in Japan, China and a couple other areas in Asia, but in Australia are cultivated only on NSW’s central coast. (There are other non-Akoya pearl farms in the Kimberley, WA, Queensland and the NT.)