Episode: Bali
Title: Pungu Pearl Farm
Broadcast: April 30th 2017
Presenter: Trevor Cochrane and Claudia Bertorello-Kell

The town of Labuan Bajo is a charming port in the western end of the island of Flores. Once a small fishing village, it's now attracting many visitors and it's the gateway to the Komodo Islands. It is the perfect base to discover the wonderful surrounding islands and volcanic lake or maybe dive the pure waters teaming with sea life.

  • The Plataran Komodo Resort and Spa is surrounded by awe-inspiring coral reef and only a short boat ride from the main town. You can relax and enjoy this luxurious beachside retreat or the friendly staff can assist you with your daily adventures.
  • We continue to follow the journey of the pearl oysters as we head out to Pungu Island to see how the pearl is born after 4-5 years of hard work and commitment.
  • Now we have had the luxury of travelling to north Bali by plane so it took us an hour and a half but for those oysters they make a three-day journey by sea to get here and this is the production stage where we see what the oyster delivers - that magic pearl.
  • We met up with Pungu project manager Nathan on the processing pontoon. At 4:30 this morning we bought in some pearl shell from the lines and we've taken the pearl shell out of nest given it a bit of a quick clean, once they've been cleaned we put them into the tanks, let them rest for an hour and once the technicians ready we'll bring a basket full of those shells, Erin will do the operation and then hopefully produce a beautiful pearl.
  • Each pearl is carefully graded according to fine virtues including size, shape, shade, shine and surface. Matching pairs of pearls is important when making things such as earrings or pearl strands. It's estimated that 5,000 oysters must be operated to get a chance of a matching pair of around, 11ml white gem quality pearls. It would take an average of 1 million pearls to be able to create a matching strand.

For more information about visiting the places Trevor and Claudia visited in this episode, visit www.northbalialliance.com and www.atlassouthseapearl.com.au.

For hotels featured in this episode, visit Plataran Hotels and Resorts (www.plataran.com) and Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort (www.sheratonbalikuta.com).


For flights from Australia to Indonesia, visit Garuda Airlines (www.garuda-indonesia.com).

Also visit www.indonesia.travel