Stuart Hartigan - Tour Guide

Stuart Hartigan - Tour Guide

Tell us a little about yourself…

I grew up in Tamworth, NSW, and after finishing school I was excited for a sea change and made the move to Coffs Harbour. I spent 20 years managing clubs and pubs, met my lovely wife and bought a beautiful home we spent 10 years living in. My wife and I had a dream to travel Australia in a motorhome before we turned 50, so we set off on the adventure of a lifetime, stopping and working throughout Queensland and the Northern Territory before making our way to sunny Broome. We ventured out to Willie Creek Pearl Farm 7 years ago and Rob (Robert Banfield) offered me a job! I joke that Rob still regrets it to this day! I work for an amazing family and love what I do!

As the Tour Guide in Broome, what does your job entail?

As a Tour Guide I am lucky enough to work across two locations. At Pearl Luggers, I guide our guests through the museum and educate them on the fascinating history of Broome. At Willie Creek Pearl Farm, I get to show guests how we make the best pearls in the world, explaining the process from shell to showroom – and everything in between!

What is the best part about your job?

I love meeting people! All our guests have a story to tell, you can learn so much from asking questions and listening to different experiences. A boring day is a day you don’t learn anything, so I am constantly learning! My favourite days are the ones I get to stay with the guests all day – I pick everyone up in the coach and drive them to the farm, take them through the tour, I’m the waiter at lunch, I serve them in the showroom then drive them home again! You can build such great rapport and have a positive impact on their experience. My philosophy is if I can exceed the customer’s expectations, it makes my day! I am a very positive person with so much enthusiasm, and I love being able to help our guests create special memories of Broome and Willie Creek Pearl Farm.

What is the toughest part of your job?

Zero - I love what I do, working in the best office in the world, around the best pearls in the world where I get to meet magnificent people each day – what could be better than that!

What is your favourite thing about working with pearls?

Pearls are all so unique! The way these magnificent gems are created by Mother Nature is the real beauty of them.

What do you find so special about Australian South Sea Cultured Pearls?

Once the technician has placed the nucleus inside, it’s up to Mother Nature to develop a beautiful pearl and that is just amazing.

What is the most surprising thing you have learnt about Pearls or Pearling?

I had the opportunity to spend time on our oyster cleaning boat a few years ago and was able to witness firsthand the work our team do to care for the oysters. It’s such a great combination of pristine water, comradery and teamwork that keep the oysters thriving. 

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