The holiday resort town of Busselton lies sheltered along the shore of Geographe Bay. Here, visitors can stroll along a seemingly endless white, sandy beach towards Cape Naturaliste, 30 kilometres to the west. A cycle path runs adjacent to the foreshore making this stunning bay accessible to all. The calm, protected waters of the bay make Busselton a perfect launch pad for water lovers. Here you can swim, snorkel, sail, dive, row, fish or water-ski. The city’s safe swimming beaches and amenities also make it the perfect base for families. Numerous caravan parks located directly behind the beach also make Busselton a great stop-off for travellers with caravans, campers or tents.
The newly refurbished Busselton Foreshore is a lovely place to enjoy a relaxing afternoon with free barbecues, new children’s playground and beautiful views of the bay and Busselton Jetty.
Busselton is best known for its 1.8 kilometre long, wooden-piled jetty which has survived cyclone, storm and fire to retain its status as the longest timber-piled jetty in the southern hemisphere. An interpretive centre at the start of the jetty gives visitors an insight into the history. Visitors can stroll along the 148 year old jetty, or take the jetty train to reach the Underwater Observatory at the end. Described as one of Australia’s most unique ecotourism sites, and its best artificial reef, the marine life under the jetty is gaining worldwide recognition. Previously the privilege of viewing the colourful corals and abundant fish life was limited to divers and snorkellers. Now people of all ages can descend 12 metres to the sea floor to view over 300 individual species of fish, coral, sponges and invertebrates that live in this very unique ecosystem.
On the edge of the Vasse Estuary Wetlands, 22 kilometres east of Busselton is Wonnerup House. Built by the Layman Family, it is an important surviving example of early farm pioneering in Western Australia. There is a stately homestead (build 1859) and earlier house (1837) which was later converted into a dairy, plus a kitchen, stables, and blacksmiths workshop, teacher’s quarters and school for visitors to wander through. These National Trust buildings have all been carefully restored, many with original items and furniture still on display.
Vasse – Wonnerup Wetlands
The Vasse Wonnerup Wetlands have been listed by the Ramsar Convention as ‘Wetlands of International Importance’. More than 75 bird species have been recorded in the area, several of which are rare. The wetlands offer a sanctuary to a range of nesting, resting and migrating birds. A walk trail off Layman Road leads to a bird hide.
The Old Courthouse
The heritage listed Old Courthouse Arts Complex was built in 1854 and is the oldest building in Busselton. Comprising a courtroom, jail cells, stable, post office and bond store, it offers a compelling insight into life nearly two centuries ago. For those interested in history, ask at the visitor centre for information about the Heritage Park and Trail.
Tuart Forest National Park
Situated seven kilometres east of Busselton, the Tuart Forest National Park is part of the only remaining natural tuart forest in the entire world. The trees in this section of the forest are estimated to be 300-400 years old. Enjoy the peaceful forest setting by walking its many trails or using the picnic areas.