Busselton is as one of the premier holiday destinations in Western Australia. Not only the gateway to the famous wine region, but it is also the central point to explore Geographe Bay and the likes of Dunsborough, Yallingup and further south again to Augusta.
At just 2 hours and 40 minutes from the Perth CBD, and with a plethora of dining and leisure and entertainment options it is little wonder that Busselton has twice been voted WA’s top tourism destination. What’s more, is that Busselton is the perfect base when exploring some of the jewels of the South West. The Margaret River wine regions, Eagle Bay, Yallingup and Dunsborough are all short drives from Busselton, making a day trip a very worthwhile activity to enjoy while staying in the South West.
Busselton is experiencing a renaissance in arts and culture in recent times, with the popular tourist town being home to historical attractions and festivals. John Garrett Bussell was Busselton’s first European settler, arriving on the banks of the Vasse River in 1832. It was love at first sight; so captivated by the area that he lived there with his family all his life. The track he hacked from Vasse River to Geographe Bay is Busselton’s main street.
The Busselton Museum, Courthouse and the picturesque St Mary’s Church are all testament to Busselton’s Heritage and a throwback to when Busselton was established as one of Western Australia’s first settlements. Housed in the old prison and courtroom is the modern ArtGeo Gallery and Courthouse Arts Complex, which celebrates freedom of expression, displaying the works of South West and Western Australian artists. The Heritage Park and Trail in Busselton is a self-guided easy walk through the charming coastal town providing information about the town’s rich and colourful heritage. Visit significant landmarks such as the Ballarat Steam Engine, the first steam locomotive used in Western Australia.
The Busselton Jetty
Our Holiday Home units are located just a stone’s throw from the Indian Ocean, a 5-minute walk will see you arrive at the famous Busselton Jetty, which is still the longest wooden jetty in the southern hemisphere, stretching an impressive 1800 meters out to sea. The iconic heritage-listed Busselton Jetty was originally built in 1865. If the nearly 2 km sounds like a bit of a long walk for you, then enjoy the train ride along the solid wooden structure, taking you all the way to the end of the jetty. With excellent fishing spots and equally impressive photography perch’s, the Busselton Jetty is a historic sight that needs to be seen to be believed and should be on every visitor’s itinerary. A train carries passengers over the water for the length of the jetty. Whichever way you make the journey, it would be a rare day indeed that you will not see many a visitor and local dangling a fishing line off the jetty to catch his dinner.
For a completely free activity, and possibly one of the most rewarding… depending upon your luck, drop a line off the Busselton Jetty or find your own lucky spot to land today's catch. The jetty has areas to clean and scale your catch. The jetty is incredibly popular with locals in the evening and offers a great photo opportunity as the sun goes down over the Indian Ocean. The jetty can be fished in almost all conditions for a wide variety of fish from crabs and squid in the shallows to mulloway in April and May, to the back-breaking Samson Fish from out the end almost all year round. Salmon are a chance on their annual migration north, as are some excellent big Tailor which show up around November. Herring are prolific almost anytime, as are Skippy and Garfish. Bonito are regularly sought after on the early summer mornings and a few Blue Fin Tuna are usually seen each year also. Some big sharks regularly get taken out the end by experts spending a summer’s night out the jetty.
Busselton Jetty is not the only place to fish; catch whiting, herring and skipjack right off the beach. Squid and blue manna crabs are specialties and can be caught in abundance during the season. Reach the deeper waters by boat to reel in larger species such as dhufish, salmon, small sharks, crayfish and other reef-dwelling fish. The Blue Water Classic fishing competition attracts international attention during March and April.
The Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse
The Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse offers guided tours also make for a fun day out. The lighthouse was activated in 1904. It is a 20-meter high cylindrical tower built of limestone that still uses its original first-order Fresnel lens made by Chance Brothers. The light flashes twice every ten seconds at night. The tour includes a visit to the Maritime Museum and provides an interesting history lesson to visitors. You’ll come for the historical facts, but you’ll stay for the million-dollar views.
Drive to Margaret River
If you’re feeling peckish and in the mood for a scenic drive, visit Blue Ginger fine foods, Station Street in Margaret River. The fare on offer is incredibly good value, not to mention the sensational coffee. It’s also a great chance to stock up on continental, Asian and wholefoods of the region. If you enjoy your delicious food served with an equally delicious backdrop then Lamont’s, at Smith Beach, Yallingup has your measure. Lamont’s is renowned for its fresh seafood and desserts to die for.
The main street of the Busselton settlement and just a short walk from our units and is home to boutique fashion houses, surf shops, designer homewares and antiques. Fig Tree lane has made a name for itself as the place to of all things fashionable, beautiful and quaint in Busselton.
The calm waters of Geographe Bay make for a serene setting for a day at the beach. With 30 kilometers of coastline we’re sure you’ll find a special spot to spread out a towel and bask in the sun, before enjoying a dip in the crystal-clear water. For those feeling a little more adventurous try your hand at Windsurfing, kayaking, scuba diving or water skiing.
The Ludlow Tuart Forest
Just a 20-minute drive from Busselton, The Ludlow Tuart Forest provides a unique opportunity to enjoy a leisurely drive through the last remaining natural tall tuart forest in the world. Marvel at the beauty of these rare ancient giants that are estimated to be over 300 years old. Take a pleasant walk along one of several walk trails within the forest to experience the peaceful harmony of the natural environment. Wildflowers are a significant feature of this part of Australia’s South West. People flock to the areas surrounding Busselton to view golden feather flowers, the vivid reds and pinks of Boronia and leschenaultia and striking, felt like kangaroo paws in different colours.
Vasse River and Rotary Park is a picturesque setting for a picnic. Situated on the banks of the Vasse River, it’s easy to forget you are in the heart of Busselton as you relax in the tranquil surroundings. Park up under the shade of the trees on a rug or sit at the tables and chairs provided. Enjoy a picnic lunch or barbeque, while the children are kept entertained in the large playground.
Playgrounds for Children
Yoganup Playground is an award-winning adventure playground for children of all ages on the foreshore of Busselton. Children will be eager to try out the climbing tower and curly slide. Combining imaginative play with old fashioned fun, the playground will keep children entertained for hours. Situated on a large expanse of grass there is plenty of room to kick a football around or fly a kite.
The whale watching season has to be seen to be believed. This is an experience that you must witness at least once in your life. Be on hand as the Southern Right Whales and Humpback Whales make their annual trip off the waters of Cape Leeuwin. The season is on between June and September in the Busselton area and then from September to December in the Dunsborough area. After a day of whale watching drop by Driftwood Estate restaurant on Caves road. Driftwood estate is open Thursday to Monday and has an award-winning menu which needs to be experienced at least once.
Native Australian Experience
For the authentic Native Australian cultural experience, a visit to Koomal Dreaming with Josh Whiteland is sure to please. The experience offers culture-based tours, including; bush tucker tastings and bush medicine. Venture into Ngilgi Cave where the good spirit Ngilgi dwells, to hear Dreamtime legends and enjoy a mesmerising didgeridoo performance as part of a unique cave experience. Take a bushwalk with Koomal and learn how to identify traditional plants, foods and medicines relating to the aboriginal six seasonal changes. Discover the art of traditional fire lighting and tool making, and participate in a Didgeridoo Music Session.
Christian Fletcher’s art gallery in Dunsborough is a must-see (Shop 4, Bay View Centro 27 Dunn Bay Road, Dunsborough). One of the premier Australian Landscape Photographers, Christian won the AIPP Australian and Western Australian Landscape Photographer of the Year in 2011. Christian runs photographic workshops nationwide.
Arts and Crafts Galleries
ArtGeo Gallery (Old Courthouse complex), 4 Queen St Busselton 10 am – 4 pm every day
Busselton Art Society, 4 Queen Street Busselton 0411 138 555
Busselton Potter’s Club, 76 Peel Terrace Busselton
Wood Turners Association, Rear of Artgeo Gallery Cnr. Queen St & Marine Terrace
Meetings 7:00pm 2nd & 4th Wed, 10:00am - 4:00pm Saturdays. Workshop Tuesdays, Thursdays,and Saturdays 9 am to 3 pm.
Anniebrook Flower Emporium, 247 Wildwood Road, Carbunup (08) 9755-1155
Cape Lavender, 2 Canal Rocks Rd Yallingup Open 9.30 am – 5 pm every day.
There are many art and craft markets and exhibitions held in the region. The best place to find out is at the visitor centres or note the banners and posters in the townships.
Taste Great Southern
Taste Great Southern shows off the best this region has to offer: exquisite local food and drinks, a stunning natural environment, and a region fast becoming a cultural centre in WA. Taste Great Southern will deliver about 25 unique food and wine events over 10 days, from the end of March to early April each year, providing opportunities for local businesses as well as casual employment in the lead-up to, and during, the event. Local artists and musicians are included in events across the festival, including performances on streetscapes, and at local produce markets, restaurants and wineries. Taste Great Southern shows off the best this region has to offer: exquisite local food and drinks, a stunning natural environment and a region fast becoming a cultural centre in WA.