Busselton is a southwest holiday fave for many West Aussies and international travellers alike.
From adventure to chill and everything in between, no matter the type of holiday you are looking for Busso has got you covered – read on for some top tips for the best things to do in Busselton:
SEE & DO
Easily the most iconic part of Busselton, this 154-year-old jetty stretches out an impressive 1,941 metres has become an institution in this south west town. You can walk or catch a solar-powered train, go on snorkel tours or drop a line in, check out the whale murals, brush up on history in the museum or even take a yoga class. If that’s not enough, you can go to the Underwater Observatory where eight metres below the ocean’s surface you can view all the coral, fish and invertebrates in their natural habitat.
The Busselton foreshore is a buzzing hub full of awesome hang out areas, delicious restaurants and beautiful costal views, with grassy patches for a romantic picnic, long concrete walking paths, children’s playgrounds, barbeque facilities, covered seating, wind powered lights and water refill stations. If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, there’s also plenty of parking, a skate park, toilet and shower facilities. The beach in the area is famous for swimming due to its sheltered conditions, so you can float away without fear of being barrelled over.
Just east of Busselton lies the Vasse-Wonnerup Wetlands, an area that also happens to be one of the most important waterbird habitats in the State, home to 30,000 birds, comprised of around 90 different species. It’s filled with some beautiful walking trails for keen bird spotters out there, along with some spectacular wildflowers in Spring.
Tuart Forest National Park
This unique, 20km stretch of forest tucked between the Bussell Hwy and the ocean is home to thousands of majestic (and massive) tuart trees – special to the area on account of being the only eucalypt that can grow in limestone soils. Even given the region’s hectic logging history, it now remains as as the largest forest of pure tuart in the world, filled with the beautiful trees along with some special wildlife, like WA’s largest remaining wild population of the endangered western ringtail possum, which you might be able to spot if you jump on the Possum Spotlighting Trail.
In lieu of Wonnerup House being closed, history buffs would do well to stop in at Busselton Museum, located in the old Heritage Butter Factory and filled with photos, equipment and other memorabilia offering an in-depth snapshot of Busselton’s past.
ArtGeo Cultural Complex
And finally a must-do on any Busselton trip is to stop in at Busselton’s cultural hub, the ArtGeo Cultural Complex. The stunningly restored heritage-listed buildings of the Old Courthouse and ArtGeo Gallery will give you plenty to explore for a morning, filled with Federation architecture and furniture over a hundred years old. You can even explore the old gaol cells before marvelling at the exhibitions on display in the ArtGeo Gallery.
Forest Adventures Park
Forest Adventures Park is nestled in the Ludlow Tuart Forrest and is packed with awesome activities for everyone. Glide on more than 500m of flying fox runs, each of varying intensity. Rock climb, bike ride along narrow bridges and push yourself to the limits base jumping at this course. You can even take a unicycle joyride through the southwest forest, and with 6 courses to choose from you’ll have nothing short of a good time.
Geographe Path Bike Ride
If you really want to be a true iron man (which is held in Busselton btw), hire a bike and cycle the Geographe Path. The concrete pathway stretches some impressive 23km from Busselton to Dunsborough and takes you all the way along the stunning coastline. Not for the faint-hearted but definitely rewarding.
During the cooler months around September, whales herd to Geographe Bay for breeding season. Book a tour with All Sea Charters to catch these big guys waving their tails, playing with their calves and rolling around in pods.
St Mary’s Church
If you’re religious or have an appreciation for history, old buildings and architecture; be sure to visit St Mary’s Church while you’re in Busselton. Built from limestone and jarrah in the 1840s by early settlers, it is one of the oldest churches in WA. It was consecrated in 1848 and is still used as a place of worship today.
Busselton Archery Park
If you’re looking for a fun activity to fill your day, checkout Busselton Archery Park where you can try your luck with a bow and arrow. Whether you’re an experienced archer or have never seen a real bow and arrow before, this place has got you covered. You can elect to do a course with five, 10 or 15 targets and you can choose from three distances to have a go at. If Archery isn’t for you, there’s also a shaded mini-golf course featuring nine holes that you can try your hand at.
The Par 3
Speaking of mini golf – for a relaxed day out, head down to Par 3. Situated on the historic Old Broadwater Farm, this spot has a 9-hole par 3 course and an 18-hole newly constructed mini-golf course. Regardless of your golfing experience, you’ll find some fun on this stunning course that winds through an array of native peppermint trees.
South West Eco Discoveries
For an interesting activity, checkout South West Eco Discoveries who offer an educational Nocturnal Animal Tour. Depart Busselton on a 2-hour evening tour where you’ll get to see and learn about a variety of bush creatures including the critically endangered Woylies (Brush-tailed Bettongs). You can even arrange your own private tour or charter.
Situated just outside of Busselton is the Discover Deadly Education Centre and as the name suggests, this place will provide you with the chance to observe more than 30 different species of deadly creatures and creepy crawlers; including reptiles, amphibians and arachnids.
Busselton’s new outdoor amphitheatre hosts a range of seasonal festivals and performances including the Busselton Jazz Festival and Family Fun Day. Events are largely held during the summer months and lots of them are free entry. Have a look at what’s on when via the Busselton City Events Calendar.
Hobo Jack’s Music Emporium
If you’re a collector of any kind, a stop in at Hobo Jack’s in Busselton is an absolute must! Be warned however, your “pop in” may last for hours as you sift your way through Hobo Jack’s extensive library of books, records, games, collectibles and all kinds of goodies.
Almost as iconic the Busselton’s Jetty, Hillzeez is THE surf shop of down south. Family-owned and operated for over 30 years, they’ve got it all when it comes to surfing and skating. If nothing else, stop in and grab a sticker to pop on your car and at least pretend you’re a local while you’re down there!
While it’s hard to top Bunbury Farmers Market on any down south strip, if you want to skip the cues pop down to Origins Market in Busselton for a great market-going experience. It’s home an ever-growing community of WA’s best makers, growers and producers, and you’ll enjoy a delightful morning or afternoon exploring them all.
EAT & DRINK – BREAKFAST/LUNCH
For a delicious breakfast or lunch to start your morning, checkout this Instagrammable café serving up modern Australian cuisine for dine-in or takeaway. This aesthetic spot is full of greenery and provides an open vibe and generous portions but get in early as it tends to fill up quickly!
The Good Egg
All Busso adventures should start with great coffee, and The Good Egg source their’s from Freo’s finest – Micrology Roasters. You’ll need to fuel up with a feed too, and The Good Egg’s rotating seasonal menu is not only delicious, it has a huge selection vegan and gluten free options to boot. If you need any more selling, 5% of all The Good Egg’s profits go towards cancer research!
Urban Coffee House
Not far behind for healthy goodness is Urban Coffee House, a few streets back from the main drag but worth seeking out. A popular spot for brunch and lunch along with brekky, they also have a massive selection for whatever dietary requirements you have. If you’re really chasing a carbo load before exploring the southwest, hook into one of their gluten free beef or vegetarian lasagnes.
Another awesome spot just a little further south along Bussell Hwy, rise&co have a huge breakfast menu along with a few lunch specials that go down a treat. If you’re in need of some bread for your Busselton stay, head here for a freshly baked loaf and you won’t be disappointed.
For something a little different, Bistro Breton‘s take on French crêpes are incroyable, with their very nice savoury options matched only by an alluring array of very naugty sweet ones. And gluten free folks fear not – all crêpes are made from buckwheat flour, which is naturally gluten free!
No trip to Busselton happens without a trip to Cod Rocks for some fish and chips. Grab a greasy bag and a couple of tubs or tartare and set yourself up along shoreline as you soak up the wonders of Geographe Bay, you may even spot a dolphin or two.
If you love a good burger as much as we do, Burger Bones is your go-to spot – their mouth-watering fresh burgers are made from locally sourced ingredients and are sure to satisfy. They’ve got classic menu options offering a burger for every craving and they also mix it up with some specials based on whatever seasonal produce they manage to get their hands on.
Shelter Brewing Co.
This big, beautiful brewery is situated near the famous Busselton Jetty and has been serving up some great eats from their seasonal menus. Peruse their selection of unique brews and sit back in the arvo with a beer in hand while you overlook views of the bay; or pop down in the morning and grab yourself a coffee and a bagel for the best brekky start to your day.
Rocky Ridge Brewing Co.
This is Australia’s first Certified Sustainable & Carbon Neutral Brewery and they are passionate about providing great beer, supporting local and environmental friendliness. Stop into this family-owned business and enjoy a brew from one of their 25 options on tap, or if wine is more your style you can even do some wine tasting.
For a laid-back vibe, a cold beer and a great feed stop in at the Ship Inn. Dating back to the early 1840s, this is one of the oldest pubs in Busselton and a local favourite. They’ve got several dining areas, a beer garden with a play area for the kids, a lounge and a sports bar – plus they’re pet friendly so you can even bring your doggies with you.
Since their opening last year, Alberta’s has been offering up exquisite food in the most perfect brunch spot. Run by former head chef and head gardener at Noma Copenhagen, this place was bound to be a success. This little kitchen and store oozes warmth and comfort, and its walls are adorned with a couple of abstract paintings and greenery to set the vibe.
For all the rooftop bar lovers, Busselton’s first rooftop beer garden at Hally’s should take your fancy. This gorgeous venue offers a chilled-out atmosphere and boasts a beer garden, restaurant, rooftop bar and alfresco area. With a section for every occasion, you’re sorted whether you’re catching sun rays from the rooftop bar or indulging in an intimate dining experience in the restaurant. Dig your tunes? They also host regular live music and open mic nights.
This beach bar and kitchen is an OG and has been situated on the Foreshore for more than 18 years as a go-to spot for both locals and travellers. The stunning location overlooks the waterfront and their tasty dishes never disappoint. After the building unfortunately burnt down in 2021, they have worked hard to have the place rebuilt – stay up to date on socials.
Delicious, hearty mediterranean meals served straight from the oven with love, Al Forno’s pizza and pasta options are molto bene! Part of the southwest’s charm is the hospitality you’ll find in the right places, and Al Forno is filled with friendly faces – and as a result full tables, so make sure you book ahead!
If you’re chasing some more metropolitan, neighbourhood small bar vibes then slide down the pole and straight into the Fire Station – it’s a red hot fave of just about everyone down south. With a focus on craft beer and natty wines, they’ve got a ripper food menu that’ll lock you in for hours. We recommend one of their huge pizzas or a few sneaky bao buns, enjoyed best in the sun or their shaded courtyard area.
A Busselton institution for decades, Vasse Tavern offers a food menu with no fuss, with hearty pub fare like pizzas, parmis and pasta – best washed down with an icy cold pint from their solid 16-tap selection.
Another no frills Busselton bar and bistro, Albies is the place to go if you like to watch your sport while bending the elbow. They’re no slouch when it comes to food either, with some great daily lunch specials and a secret weapon that locals and visitors swear by – the Seafood Pie.
While Busselton has a few southeast Asian options throughout its relatively small town, if it’s Indian your chasing then it’s worth seeking out the hidden gem that is Navratna. Their serving sizes are huge, while the prices are definitely not down south-sized.
Similar to Navaratna there’s no shortage of great Thai options around Busso, but Thai Lemongrass is a strong contender for best on ground. They don’t hold back on flavour or spice, and they might just be rocking the best Pad Thai in the southwest.
Gelato Buonissimo is an award-winning ice creamery, a family owned and run business that has fellow ice cream lovers queuing. It’s not uncommon for it to be so busy they run out of favourite flavours, a true testament to the Italian gelato specialists. It’s also just an insanely cute little shop to pop into.
In the early afternoon head to The Equinox, the pub with the million-dollar views – and to be fair slightly higher prices to match. Relax as the sun sets over the ocean whilst feasting on creamy garlic prawns and a glass of red originating from the Margaret River Region.
Article by Staff / Hannah Howl