Cygnet Bay & Broken Bay Pearl Farms launch the Australian Pearl



New immersive experience offers unique opportunity to learn about the Australian pearl in extraordinary, pristine marine environments


Cygnet Bay Pearls is pleased to announce the inaugural ‘Australian Pearl Masterclass Voyage’, a new immersive experience which tells the complete story of the Australian pearl, and what it takes to bring this extraordinary industry to life.


Commencing Monday 27 August 2018, the Masterclass Voyage official launch at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney with a cocktail event to honour the winners of the 2018 Australian Pearl Jewellery Design Masters. Then, it’s off to the Central Coast to Broken Bay Pearl Farm where some of the world’s most beautiful Akoya pearls are harvested.  Renowned for their exceptional lustre and varied natural colours, Broken Bay pearls are farmed in the sheltered waters of the Hawkesbury River region, well known for its rock oyster industry.  Throughout the one-day experience guests will be immersed in the science and fine art behind cultivating these local pearls with an opportunity to try their hand at seeding a pearl shell, grading a harvest and learning about the five virtues of the exquisite gem.


The Voyage then takes guests across the country to Broome and the Kimberley where Australia’s historic pearl festival, Shinju Matsuri is in full swing.  Staying at the luxurious Cable Beach Club Resort & Spa, guests will be treated to a unique multi-cultural celebration, the Pearl Harvest Yum Cha in Chinatown and the Floating Lantern Matsuri at Gantheaume Point.


Saving the best for last, the experience culminates two hours drive north of Broome to Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm, Australia’s oldest pearl farm in operation today and home to the Kimberley Marine Research Station.  In this two-day Masterclass, guests will be introduced to the Australian South Sea Pearl – the most valuable pearl in the world.  This Masterclass incorporates every aspect of the industry from diving for pearl shell (without getting wet!), growing, seeding and learning about all the influences that affect the cultivation of the gem.  Each guest will harvest his/her own pearl from a live shell with the opportunity to keep the pearl as a memento of their journey in the Masterclass.


This complete pearling experience will showcase one of the most unique marine ecosystems, the Kimberley coast where the world’s largest tropical tides ‘power’ the pearls which grow there. A Sea Safari adventure will weave guests through the islands of the Buccaneer Archipelago, combining the thrill of witnessing whirlpools and giant tides that expose the natural phenomenon known as ‘Waterfall Reef’. The highlight of this Sea Safari is the emergence of the reef with a cascading waterfall on outgoing tides.


The Masterclass Voyage also coincides with the annual Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm Harvest Festival featuring Indigenous experiences, the annual pearl crop on display, music, a film night and a special long table dinner.


Managing Director of Cygnet Bay Pearls, third generation pearl farmer and Marine Biologist James Brown has created this experience to offer a unique opportunity for jewellers and jewellery enthusiasts to gain an in-depth understanding of the Australian Pearl.


“Through the Masterclass Voyage we offer a once-in-a-lifetime experience that travels from East to West in an immersive education program, coupled with a holiday adventure that visits some of Australia’s most pristine environments”.


“After 70 years in the industry, these Masterclasses will reflect the culmination of my family’s learning and love of the story of the Australian Pearl. We are committed to sharing this little known, yet great story and hope that a little bit of our passion rubs off on all who join us on this Voyage.”


A week-long program, the Australian Pearl Masterclass Voyage ends on Monday 3rd September and includes a one-way flight Sydney to Broome, plus all transfers, accommodation and meals.  Class sizes are limited to twelve to ensure a memorable experience for all participants.


For those unable to attend the Voyage from East to West, guests are welcome to participate in all or some of the Masterclasses in either location.


For full program details and prices contact or call 0410 967 509.


What is a Pearling Masterclass?

The Australian Pearlers Masterclass is an in-depth, behind the scenes look at the skills and effort required to bring to life the Australian South Sea and lesser-known Australian Akoya pearls. Over two and a half days at the Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm on the Kimberley coast of WA, and one day at the Broken Bay Pearl Farm on the Central Coast NSW, you will stay at the pearl farm and be exposed to the entire process from breeding pearl oysters and wild pearl shell collection, to shell cleaning, seeding, harvest and pearl grading – a complete immersion into two extraordinary Australian pearl industries and environments.


Experience the thrill of harvesting your own pearl, sit beside a pearl seeding technician at work and appreciate the subtleties involved. Witness the extraordinarily diverse outcomes of a pearl harvest and be trained in the art of pearl grading. Watch the beautiful sunset from a Kimberley intertidal island made only of shells, and sample local delicacies from the Hawkesbury River region.



The inaugural East to West Australian Pearl Masterclass Voyage is scheduled 27th August to the 3rd September 2018, incorporating:

  • Broken Bay Pearl Farm – Tues 28th August (1 day)
  • Broome – Thursday 30th August to Friday 31st August (2 days)
  • Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm – Sat 1st September to Monday 3rd Sept (2.5 days)


East-West Masterclass Voyage Inclusions:

  • Flight from Sydney to Broome (domestic)
  • Cocktail Party at the Australian National Maritime Museum (Monday 27 August)
  • Meals, transfers & accommodation from Tuesday 28 August to Monday 3 September
  • Broken Bay Pearl Farm Masterclass (1 day – 28th August)
  • Shinju Matsuri Festival of the Pearl, Broome
  • Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm Masterclass (2 days – 1st & 2nd September)
  • Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm Harvest Festival evening events

Class sizes are limited to 12 to ensure a memorable experience for all, so be sure to book ahead of time.


Booking details & enquiries

Jael Napper

0410 967 509


About Broken Bay Pearls

Broken Pay Pearl farm is located 50kms (1 hour) north of Sydney, surrounded by national park islands and stunning coastline near the picturesque confluence of the Hawkesbury River, Brisbane Waters and Pittwater. Broken Bay Pearls is the only pearl farm in NSW and is nestled among a 150-year old rock oyster industry.

Home to a native species of Akoya pearl shell, Broken Bay produces some of the finest quality Akoya pearls in the world due to their incredible iridescence, thick nacre from longer cultivation periods, an unusual array of natural colours which have not been treated or enhanced in any way.


Established in 2003 by Ian and Rose Crips, with two other local rock oyster farmers, the enterprise recently welcomed a new majority shareholder James Brown, Managing Director of Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm, 200kms north of Broome and home to the Australian South Sea Pearl. As a third generation Pearl Farmer and a Marine Biologist, James saw an opportunity to apply the pioneering spirit, innovation and expertise of Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm to develop a new industry in NSW to realise its full potential.


About Shinju Matsuri – Festival of the Pearl

The annual Shinju Matsuri (Japanese for “Festival of the Pearl”) originated from three cultural festivals – Japanese Obon Matsuri, Malaysian Hari Merdeka, Independence Day from British rule in 1957, and the Chinese Hang Seng. Shinju Matsuri rekindles the excitement and romance of Broome’s early days of being a world-renowned producer of South Sea Pearls when the Japanese, Chinese, Malay, Koepangers, Filipino and Europeans flocked to Broome from the late 1800’s to be a part of this prosperity. This unique multicultural population of pearl industry workers joined with the local Aboriginal people and Europeans to work on up to 400 Pearling Luggers that sailed out of Broome.

Broome’s people and businesses have given generously to show their love of Broome over the 48-year life of the Festival and is a testament to the character and culture of this special place. The Festival showcases the unique cultural heritage of Broome, ensuring it’s diverse identity is acknowledged and remembered through the generations.

Shinju Matsuri will tempt your senses with an exciting whirlwind of colour, sound, taste and smell as the community shares this beautiful locale with the world and the people who call it home.