The Long Road to Broome



The Long Road To Broome is one of those larger than life stories written by a man who has lived the kind of life every man aspires to but few achieve. The blonde-haired boy from Mooloolaba whose two passions in life are the sea and pearls, turned a zoology degree into a passport to travel the world, where more through good luck and an incredible sense of timing than good management, lived and worked in some of the wildest, most remote and dangerous locations on earth.

Bill Reed’s passion for pearls took him to the wilds of post-war New Guinea and then on to The Sudan where he dived and farmed pearl oysters in the Red Sea. When he had to leave the Sudan in a hurry after the Six Day War his next posting, again with FAO of the United Nations, was to Northern Nigeria where he catalogued the fish and fisheries of the Niger and Benue Rivers travelling these remote places in giant dugout canoes. From there it was off to Tehran where he worked for the sister of The Shah of Iran and then on to Tahiti and his own pearl farm before returning to Australia to settle in Broome where he was to play a major role in the resurgence of the pioneer town’s pearling industry.

With such a full and adventure-filled life, it was inevitable that he put pen to paper to record his incredible journey along his long road to Broome.

There’s never a dull moment as Bill recalls the characters and places he has encountered with amazing clarity and more than a little humour and hilarity!


  1. Petra Ernsting

    Dear Ladies and Gentlemen, we would like to order the book. Our address: Dr.Petra Ernsting, Siegelberg 103, D-42399 Wuppertal-Beyenburg, Germany.
    We are looking forward to read this book. Several times we stayed in Broome, always made a visit to Your shop, enjoying a talk with Bill and the wonderful pearls afterwards. Kind regards Martin and Petra from Beyenburg (near Düsseldorf)

  2. Debbi Wilson

    I have not read the book yet…Want to buy

  3. Margaret White

    Many thanks for the book. I had to read it straight away. Its a great yarn, and to think it all started in old Yandina! Congratulations Bill, we look forward to meeting you sometime.

  4. Veronica Curness

    I really enjoyed reading this book. Very interesting & beautifully presented.
    There are a few books written about Broome’s mother of pearl industry, but not a lot on Broome’s cultured pearl industry, which makes this book so fascinating.
    A must read for anyone interested in the pearling industry & Broome (whether they are contemplating visiting Broome, or like me, have visited often).
    A companion book to Allure Pearls. Now there’s a gift idea!
    I hope that I may be lucky enough to meet Bill Reed when we are in Broome, (15/7/17 – 24/7/17), & ask him to sign my copy.

  5. Veronica Curness

    Loved the book, hope to be able to get it signed by Bill Reed, when we are next in Broome.

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