The northernmost town in the south west Cape Region, and just 230km south of Perth, Busselton is steeped in local history and makes the ideal base from which to visit the attractions of the Cape Region, in particular, Margaret River. Busselton is Western Australia’s premier seaside resort town and holiday meca with golden beaches, crystal clear waters and abundant water based activities to take part in. Sheltered from most prevailing winds, it has 30km 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 enjoyed by fisherman, water skiers, snorkellers, scuba divers, windsurfers and sailors. In the last 30 years, a new industry has developed in the region with the establishment of many vineyards which produce award-winning table wines. This thriving industry supplements the traditional industries of dairying, beef cattle, sheep and other farming products. 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.
Nowadays a thriving community, the town was one of the first areas settled in WA, and like much of the region, takes it’s name from the early settlers. The history of the area reads like an adventure story, with tales of whaling, forestry accidents, fires, shipwrecks, heroic rescues and even some of the early settlers being speared to death by local aborigines.
One of the outstanding features of the town is the old wooden Busselton Jetty, almost 2km in length. The first stage was built in 1865 and further extensions were made until 1965. Abandoned by the government in 1972 and damaged by fire and cyclones through the years, the jetty is now cared for by a local Jetty Preservation Society and provides a pleasant place to take a stroll, enjoy the fresh clean air, relax, or just dangle a fishing line in the water and hope that no fish come along to disturb your reverie. The Busselton Jetty Underwater Observatory is one of Western Australia’s must-see eco-tourism attractions. Located near the end of the jetty, the Underwater Observatory enables you to view more than 300 species of marine life from the underwater chamber windows 8m below sea level.
Busselton’s Geographe Bay is home to some awesome scuba diving spots as the warm waters of the Leeuwin current create the perfect environment for an abundance of colourful tropical and sub-tropical marine life. Described as Australia’s greatest artificial reef, Busselton Jetty is rated as one of the best dive sites in the country. There’s an amazing forest of brightly coloured corals, sponges, fish and invertebrates sheltering beneath the old karri timber supports, making it suitable for novices and expert divers. All local dive operators take group tours to the area and some offer night dives at the jetty, as well as to the amazing underwater world surrounding the former HMAS Swan. Scuttled at nearby Dunsborough, the Swan was Western Australia’s first prepared wreck and offers a real adrenalin rush. The wreck sits 32m below the surface at its deepest point and a minor list to its left side and abundance of colourful fish make it a classic and interesting dive.
For the water enthusiast, local operators have hire facilities for jet skis, sailing, canoeing, paddle boats and aqua bikes. There is also an archery and mini gold centre, along with a nine hole par three golf course with equipment available. While at Nautical Lady Entertainment World there are a heap of fun things to do – skating, trampolines, bumper boats and racing cars are but a few of their operations.