Welcome to Busselton, Geographe Bay
Geographe Bay and the Margaret River Wine Region incorporate the towns of Busselton, Dunsborough, Yallingup, Margaret River and Augusta. It is an immensely appealing area, where the delicate beauty of nature and the handiwork of man combine to form a unique paradise of unlimited variety.
Come and discover magnificently contrasting spectacles of nature – white sandy beaches, secluded bays, pounding surf, wild caves, rocky cliffs, towering forests and the sloping fields of vineyards our region is renowned for. Fine dining and world class wineries can be enjoyed throughout the region, from Busselton to Augusta.
Wherever you should choose to spend your time Geographe Bay is the perfect escape from the stress and pressures of everyday life!
Busselton, judged WA’s top tourism town in 1995, 1996 & 2005, is the state’s premier seaside resort town. Sheltered from most prevailing winds, it has 30 kilometres of white sandy beaches and is an aquatic playground remarkable for the variety it offers in the tranquil waters of Geographe Bay. The bay is used by fisherman, water skiers, snorkellers, scuba divers, windsurfers and sailors. In the last 20 years, a new industry has developed in the region with the establishment of many vineyards which produce award winning premium table wines. This helps to supplement the traditional industries of dairy, beef cattle, sheep, fruit and vegetable growing and forestry.
In Spring, the wildflowers are magnificent and such varieties as kangaroo paws, cats paws, pink vine, acacias and donkey and spider orchids are in abundance. Busselton makes an excellent base from which to explore the surrounding area, in particular the Margaret River Wine Region, which extends westward from Busselton in the north to Augusta in the south.
Wine and Food
The Margaret River Wine Region is responsible for only three per cent of Australia’s wine production, but commands over 20% of the premium wine market. Visitors will find vineyards dotting the picture-book hillsides throughout the Capes. Each has its own style and ambience. In all, there are over 200 vineyards and 85 wineries – a remarkable number considering that wine was first produced in the region just 30 years ago. Character and quality can be found in fruit-intense chardonnays, rich semillons, robust cabernets, soft merlots and other varietal wines and blends.
Many wineries offer meals with spectacular views over vineyards and tranquil rural settings. Highly skilled chefs, have like the winemakers, been attracted to the region by the desire to work with high-quality local produce. Invariably they are stimulated to produce dishes with flair and imagination!
Dotted in amongst the vineyards, the breweries offering a taste of a different ale. Each produces their own style of brews, with Indian, German and English influences, as well as the traditional lager available- for the more adventurous one particular brewery tantalises the tastebuds with a chocolate beer!
Shelter Brewery is located at the foot of Busselton Jetty and offers a seasonal menu, brewery tours and views over the playground and Geographe Bay Visit Shelter Brewery
Throughout the warmer months, numerous events are held in the region involving sport, wineries, arts and crafts; plus special indoor and outdoor concerts.
Highlights are the Festival of Busselton (Jan), Busselton Jetty Swim (Feb), Geographe Bay Race Week (Feb), Cabin Fever (Jul), CinefestOz (Aug), Busselton Festival of Triathlon (Apr), Cape to Cape MTB (Oct), Fine Wines Festival (Oct), and Ironman Western Australia Triathlon Busselton (Dec)
Regular market days are held throughout the region.
Busselton Jetty Experience
Extending almost 2km out over the protected waters of Geographe Bay, the heritage listed Busselton Jetty is the longest timber jetty (pier) in the Southern Hemisphere. Attracting up to 400,000 visitors per year, the landmark Busselton Jetty is the most popular tourist attraction in the South West region and is an ideal starting point for any visit to the South West Capes.
Closed as a port in 1972, the 142 year old Jetty has since been ravaged by both fire and cyclone. It survives today thanks to the tremendous support of the local community and the hundreds of thousands of visitors annually who choose to stroll its length, fish, swim, scuba dive or snorkel.
A complete refurbishment of the Busselton Jetty to the value of $27m was recently undertaken with the official opening of the ‘new’ Busselton Jetty in February 2011. A small amount of work to the jetty remains to be done but completion is expected early 2012.
During the Interpretive Centre’s opening hours (8am to 6pm in summer and 9am to 5pm in winter) there is a small fee of $4.00 for a Jetty Day Pass for those 17 years and over.
Busselton Jetty Underwater Observatory
Each year, during autumn and winter, the Leeuwin Current brings a narrow band of warm water down the Western Australian coastline. This warm southerly current brings diverse species of tropical and sub-tropical life into Geographe Bay, resulting in coral growth at a latitude of 33 degrees South. This is a remarkable phenomena when compared to the west coast of other Southern Hemisphere continents, Africa and South America, which have no coral growth below 5 degrees South. The Leeuwin Current is responsible for the introduction of an incredibly diverse array of marine life into the Bay, with over 300 individual marine species having been recorded under the Busselton Jetty.
Described as Australia’s greatest artificial reef, the Busselton Jetty is host to an awe inspiring “forest” of vividly-coloured tropical and sub-tropical corals, sponges, fish and invertebrates under it’s 12m wide seaward end. The Underwater Observatory, situated at the seaward end of the Jetty, allows visitors to experience this wonderful marine life- without getting your feet wet! Eleven viewing windows allow you to peer out onto the colourful creatures that live beneath the historical Jetty.
Prior bookings are essential for Underwater Observatory Tours.
Please call the Busselton Jetty on: +61 8 9754 0900.
Busselton Jetty Interpretive Centre
Opened in April 2001 and built some 50m offshore the boatshed styled Busselton Jetty Interpretive Centre gives visitors both a glimpse into the Jetty’s rich past and its exciting future. Open every day of the year (excluding Christmas Day), entry is FREE, and along with changing exhibits of history, the marine environment and art, the Interpretive Centre houses a unique range of souvenirs highlighting the unique underwater theme of Geographe Bay and include timber products crafted from recycled native jarrah decking and piles from the Jetty.
Enjoy the peaceful bush surrounds which are maintained by the Busselton Naturalist Club. The 75 hectares are remnant vegetation of the once widespread coastal plan woodland which has been extensively cleared. The reserve is rich in plants and wildlife and of outstanding conservation value, with over 300 species of wildflowers recorded.
Artgeo Gallery and Courthouse Arts Complex
Built in 1854-1856 and extended in 1873, the building was Busselton’s first seat of justice, comprising of a courtroom, gaol cells, stable, post office and Bond Store (for customs). The historic building has been imaginatively recycled and is now a thriving arts centre with regular classes, workshops and exhibitions. A new regional gallery opened in early 2008 to complement the Courthouse Gallery and The Stables studios.
The Courthouse Arts Complex, open daily 10am-4pm (closed Wed).
SKATE PARK & YOUTH PRECINCT
In 2016 the Busselton Youth Precinct and Skate Park was officially opened to the local community. This great youth and family focused facility is the jewel in the crown of the Youth and Community Activities Precinct east of the Busselton Jetty. The facility was co-funded by the City of Busselton and Lotterywest and designed by CONVIC with significant community input.
The new Busselton Skate Park offers a host of challenges including one of the largest bowls in Western Australia. At 18m long, 10m wide and 3m deep, this massive bowl is suitable for competitions. Those still learning to skate / BMX can utilise the smaller bowl which is 1.2m deep.
The park also has close to 90 metres of free-flow street skating space with a series of elements like kerbing, parking block ledges, skate rails and a smaller quarter pipe. In all the new Busselton Skate Park offers 2000m2 of recreational space geared especially for young people.
BUSSELTON FORESHORE PLAYGROUND
Sea Play on the Bay’s design was inspired by the city’s maritime history and coastal landscape. The centrepiece is an impressive wrecked clipper ship, which is supported by an awesome giant squid emerging from the sand, and a gigantic whale tail water spout. The playground is predominantly nature based, using wood, sand, rocks and metal to create a ship wreck beside the ocean, with elements of water play and pops of colour to truly take this playground to the next level.
A toddlers’ playspace accompanies the main playground, and was designed with accessibility in mind and features sensory-rich play equipment. The playground in on the Busselton Foreshore is surrounded by pine trees and lush green grass, which not only adds shade, but also further pops of colour to frame this one of a kind play area.
Galleries, Arts & Crafts
If you enjoy fine woodcraft, pottery, jewellery and other works of art, don’t miss seeing the region’s finest! The region is home to the greatest number of Artisans in Western Australia, and they draw inspiration for their unique works of art from the beautiful natural surroundings. You can visit them at their place of work, and watch them as they create unique, and even made to order pieces.
Heritage Park and Trail
To learn more about the rich heritage of the town, take the time to visit the Heritage Park and Trail which commences at the corner of Peel Terrace and Causeway Road, opposite the Visitor Centre. The trail includes a range of contemporary sculptures which aim to link the past and present; and includes the acclaimed “Aboriginal Interpretive Garden” as well as a number of historic landmarks such as the Ballarat Steam Engine, Saint Mary’s Church, Busselton Historic Museum and Pioneer Cemetery. Visit the Busselton Visitor Centre to find out more about this interesting trail.
Ludlow Tuart Forest
When travelling towards Busselton from Bunbury; be sure to take the leisurely tourist drive through the Ludlow Tuart Forest and capture the beauty of these rare giants of the forest. This is the only natural stand of tuart left in the world, so enjoy the many picnic areas and forest walk trails and soak up the relaxing and peaceful setting. Evening wildlife spotting trail also available.
For visitors who enjoy sports – golf, bowls, tennis and squash are available. The Geographe Leisure Centre offers gymnasium facilities, as well as an indoor & outdoor pool, spa and sauna. The Busselton Golf Club, Dunsborough Lakes Resort Golf Club and Dunsborough Country Club are open to the public.
Drama lovers will find that the local repertory club presents periodic performances in the Weld Theatre, Busselton.
View the region with one of the many half or full day tours available and choose to travel by classic car, plane, 4WD or coach! Whether you’re interested in nature based activities, photography, wineries, canoeing, caves, camel rides or adrenalin pumping adventure activities – there is a tour to suit your needs. A FREE booking service is available through the Busselton and Margaret River Visitor Centres Click here.
Vasse River & Rotary Park
Named after a French sailor, the river is a delightful picnic area serviced with electric barbecues and adjacent to the Rotary Park children’s playground. Right around the corner you will find the Busselton Museum, with exhibits on local, civic, commercial and maritime history. Busselton Museum
You don’t have to be an expert to fish in the region, as anywhere from the quiet safe beaches, the old jetty or from a small boat should be sufficient to catch yourself a snapper, herring, whiting or tailor. In the warmer weather, paddleboats, sailboards and yachting are popular recreational pursuits. Snorkelling and scuba diving have increased in popularity as people come to realise that spectacular coral can be seen near the Busselton Jetty. The Swan Dive Wreck, just off the coast in Dunsborough is also a great diving location.
Whale watching and deep sea fishing tours are available along with sailing tours and jet ski tours. Excellent boating facilities and support services are available at the new Port Geographe Marina with safe and secure moorings facilities as well as a Tavern & Restaurant.
10km north of Busselton is the Wonnerup House Settlement. First settled by the Layman family in 1834 it is an important surviving example of early farm pioneering. There is a magnificent homestead (1859), and earlier house (1837) which was later converted into a dairy, plus a kitchen, stables, blacksmiths, teacher house and school. These buildings have all been restored with many original items and furniture on display. Don’t miss this National Trust property with its beautiful gardens. Open daily 10am-4pm (except Christmas Day and Good Friday). Entry fee applies. Ph: (08) 97522039.
The wetlands have been listed by the Ramsar Convention as “Wetlands of International Importance” and offer views of prolific birdlife. A hide is situated on the southern side, with the walk trail accessible from Layman Road, nearby to Wonnerup House.
41,041 (2021 Census)
Maximum temperature (avg year): 22 °C
Minimum temperature (avg year): 11 °C
Average Rainfall (avg year): 864mm