Considered by many as something of a gateway to WA’s further southwest (Margaret River, Denmark etc.), Busselton has got it going on friends.
A delightful little city in its own right, there’s a plenty of reasons to put in some serious time in Busselton – from sheltered beaches with visiting whales and a bubbling food and drink scene, to national parks filled with caves and wineries, you don’t just have to pass it by.
Its star attraction is of course the Busselton Jetty, the longest pier in the southern hemisphere and a must-do for a heap of reasons, which you’re about to read up on:
What is it?
Built way back in 1864, Busselton Jetty was used to load and moor ships right up until 1971, from which point it took many structural hits (including a cyclone in 1978 and huge fire in 1999), before restoration began in the mid-2000s right up until today.
Now it serves as an exciting tourism development, carrying tourists along its 1,800m length via an old railway network, and featuring a natural aquarium at the end (more on that later).
Where is it?
Located about two-and-a-half hours south of Perth, it’s a pretty straightforward trip down the Kwinana Freeway, then Forest and Bussell Highways. Once at Busselton keep going along Queen Street towards the beach, and you’ll arrive at Busselton Foreshore.
What to do:
At almost 2km, Busselton Jetty is long enough to keep you busy for a morning or afternoon, with plenty of activities to do along the way. Entry to the jetty itself is $4 (under-17s free) via the Interpretive Centre, which gives you a Jetty Day pass and access to dive, fish or swim the jetty at your heart’s content. If the half-hour-each-way walk is a bit out of your range, you can jump on the jetty train, with single tickets around $16 but cheaper for family packages.
Towards the end of the jetty is the Underwater Observatory, offering 360-degree views of the ocean floor, some 8m below the surface. If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, you can also participate in an Undersea Walk in a shark-protected deep-sea pool wearing specially designed helmets that you let you breathe normally and walk around.
Otherwise you can just buy a $4 snorkelling/diving pass for the day, which gives you access to jetty life, along with being able to visit the epic new sculptures that were installed at the beginning of 2023.
History buffs would do well to spend some time at the Interpretive Centre and Museum at the beginning of the jetty, which is also wear you can book the above activities (head to the Busselton Jetty website to book all of these things in advance.
The foreshore itself is also packed with plenty to do, including a few great bars and cafes and skate park, plus it’s just a short walk into town for more to see, do, eat and drink.
What not to do:
Skip paying – The jetty is operated by non-profit community organisation Busselton Jetty Inc. who put proceeds from ticket sales directly towards maintaining the jetty and conservation.
Of course, if you don’t feel like jetty walks and tours, the foreshore is a great swimming beach protected from any big scary fish, and during summer filled with plenty of activities for the kids on the weekends.
Image Credit: Busselton Jetty