Header image by Ryan Chatfield Images.
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
Probably the most iconic thing in Busselton, this 154-year-old jetty stretches out an impressive 1,941 metres has become an institution in this southwest town. You can walk or catch a solar-powered train, go on take 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, 8-metres below the ocean’s surface you can view all the coral, fish and invertebrates in their natural habitat. Read our full guide here.
Photo by @ospreycreative
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.
Photo by @holisticsquid
Possum Spotlighting Trail
Take a stroll along the Possum Spotlighting Trail in the Tuart Forrest National Park. This hike can be enjoyed any time night or day, with benefits of both. Daylight hikes gift you with spectacular wide-reaching views featuring native flora and fauna. Grab a torch and do the trek at night time for a totally different experience. Try your luck at spotting ringtail possum or bushtail possum, both more active and playful at night.
Busselton is not without its troubled history, as evidenced by a trip to the old colonial setting of Wonnerup House. Located between the above-mentioned tuart forest and Vasse wetlands, it was the site of much turbulence between settlers and local Indigenous communities, and the buildings on site detail much of that history as you stroll around.
Please note: As of November 2020 Wonnerup is closed until further notice, check here to see if it has re-opened.
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.
Cape Cultural Tour
Of course if you want to understand Busselton’s history through the eyes of its traditional owners, an Aboriginal cultural experience via Cape Cultural Tours is a must. With them you’ll learn all about bush food, seasonality and the native history of the land through the lens of the Wadandi People.
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 feint hearted but surely 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.
EAT & DRINK
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 some of the best views of Geographe Bay and Busselton Jetty while you dine, it’s hard to go past The Goose. Whether it’s watching the sun rise over a big brekky or the sun set over a monster sea food platter and cocktails, there’s a – pretty obvious – reason this place is packed during the holiday season.
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!
Capel Vale + Match Restaurant
While Busselton is the gateway to the southwest’s expansive wine region (head here for 15 of our fave places), there’s one a little further north between Busso and Bunbury that’s worth checking out – Capel Vale. Their delicious wine selection, combined with a French-inspired menu set amidst stunning gardens make for an irresistible proposition.
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.
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!
A Busselton institution for decades, Vasse Tavern took the recent COVID shutdown as an opportunity for a fresh lick of paint, and having just re-opened we can safely say they’re all the better for it. They’ve kept their food menu no fuss, with hearty pub fare like pizzas, parmis and pasta – best washed down with a icey 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.
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.
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.
Shelter Brewing Co. (Coming Soon)
By the time you’re reading this a huge new brewery will have just about opened up on the Busso foreshore. Licensed for more than 650 people, we’re getting big Little Creatures Freo vibes from the joint – learn more here.
On the Beach Front
From: $197 per night
All Decked Out – 200m to Beach
A beautiful 1950s refurbished three bedroom two bathroom character home. Only 250 meters from the pristine waters of Geographe Bay and 10-15 minute walk to the cafe strip.
From: $180 per night
George’s Place by the Beach
From: $750 per night
Beachside 880 Busselton
From: $232 per night
Little Pearl By The Pier (3min walk from jetty)
Welcome to Little Pearl by the Pier, a short-term accomodation just minutes walk from the iconic Busselton jetty and beaches.
From: $220 per night