By: Julie Hosking
Just two and a half hours from Perth, Busselton is a great hub from which to explore more of the South West.
There are also plenty of reasons to just stay local and get to know ‘Busso’ a bit better. Here are some of Busselton’s key attractions.
Ultimate guide to Busselton »
Undersea Walk - Busselton Jetty
The 1.8km Busselton Jetty, the longest timber-piled jetty in the Southern Hemisphere, offers a range of memorable experiences. For something a little different, try a SeaTREK undersea walk.
The first of its kind in Australia, this guided ocean stroll doesn’t require diving or even swimming experience; participants wear a dive helmet and self-contained backpack that make underwater breathing natural and stress-free.
The jetty is open daily but tour availability changes with the seasons (and the weather) so best to check the website.
Climb, swing and zipline through the Ludlow Tuart Forest
The Ludlow Tuart Forest, just 10 minutes out of Busselton, is one of the last natural tall tuart forests in the world and a tranquil spot for a long walk or a leisurely picnic. But for those after an adrenaline rush Forest Adventures South West offers a range of thrill-seeking courses among 3ha of tall timbers.
Swing like Tarzan, balance on suspended bridges, climb ladders and let go on the flying foxes, some spanning more than 150 metres. There’s even a 13-metre base jump. For the biggest rush of all, try the advanced zipline course — climb to 19 metres, the highest point in the park, before a speedy descent through eight consecutive flying foxes over more than 500 metres.
For the biggest rush of all, try the advanced zipline course — climb to 19 metres, the highest point in the park, before a speedy descent through eight consecutive flying foxes over more than 500 metres.
If you’re an RAC member, you can save 10% on tickets for adult and child (minimum age 7). Online bookings are highly recommended.
ArtGeo Cultural Complex
Art and history come together in perfect harmony at the ArtGeo Cultural Complex.
Busselton’s official cultural precinct is so much more than a series of beautifully restored heritage buildings — it’s a lively and energetic hub for creatives boasting artist-in-residence studios, an art gallery, workshop spaces and so much more. It’s a wonderful place to meet talented artists and performers or pick up some local art.
With ever-changing exhibitions and performances, be sure to check the online events calendar to see what’s on when you’re visiting.
If history is more your bag, join a guided heritage tour of the old courthouse, police station, exercise yard, horse stables and bond store. Dating back to 1860, these walls have seen more than their fair share of hardship and while its more notorious residents have long since departed, the guides are full of great stories about the colourful characters and court cases of old.
Open daily, $10 adult, $5 child, bookings essential.
Shelter Brewing Co
Proudly “born and brewed in Busselton”, Shelter Brewing Co is just a hop, skip and a jump from the jetty. Created by two local families, the massive two-storey building on the foreshore houses a brewery, restaurant and function rooms.
With capacity for 650 people, it’s one of the bigger projects Busselton has seen, taking more than six years and $8 million to bring to fruition. The good news is the hard work has paid off, adding a whole new buzz to this popular end of town.
With its spacious interior and casual atmosphere, it’s the perfect spot to relax with a specialty brew or even the homegrown cider. Savour freshly caught seafood or share a woodfired pizza as you watch the sunset over Geographe Bay.
Family and dog-friendly, Shelter is open daily from 10am to 10pm (from 7am for coffee and bagels).
Underwater Observatory - Busselton Jetty
If you’d like a closer look at Busselton's marine life without getting wet, join the Underwater Observatory tour.
It starts with a train ride down the jetty, offering stunning views across the Indian Ocean, before a guide takes you through the observatory and eight metres below the surface to view an artificial reef replete with corals, sponges, fish and invertebrates.
Tours depart on the hour and bookings are essential.
Test your aim at Primal Archery
At Primal Archery you can test your skills with a bow and arrow. While more experienced archers will whiz around the course, beginners are also well taken care of. You’ll be supplied with all the equipment you need, as well as some basic training on how to use it so you have a better chance of hitting those targets.
Choose between a five, 10 or 15-target course (from $15 for three arrows per target). There are also three distances from which to try your luck, so you can up the ante at any time.
Children must be aged over six and accompanied by an adult. Closed shoes are recommended — the archery trail is made of loose, black sand and of course there are times you’re going to miss that target and need to venture under to trees to find your arrow.
Deep Sea Pool - Busselton Jetty
At the end of the Jetty you’ll find the Deep Sea Pool – featuring one of the world’s first electromagnetic shark shields.
You can do a self-guided snorkel tour through the colourful sea life, corals and marine sponges under the jetty (snorkel gear is available for hire) or book a guided tour.
Busselton Jetty day pass: If you want the full monty, buy a day pass. The pass will give you access to dive, swim or walk the jetty.
Book a food and wine tour
The gateway to the celebrated Margaret River wine region, Busselton is not short on dining options itself.
If you never venture further than a stroll from your beachside accommodation to one of the local watering holes or cafés, you’ll be more than happy. But if you want to get a taste of what lies just a little further afield without the stress of driving, book a half or full day tour of this premium food and wine destination.
Most operators visit a handful of wineries and other culinary attractions and include lunch at one of the beautiful restaurants. Prices vary, as do pickup points, so it’s best to stop by the Busselton Visitor Centre to explore options. Failing that, you can always nominate a skipper and drive yourself.
With everything from award-winning wine to rich, dark chocolate and delectable gin — not to mention some of the State’s finest restaurants — within an hour’s reach, the hardest thing will be deciding where to go first.
Go birdwatching in the Vasse Wonnerup Wetlands
Just east of Busselton lies the internationally recognised Vasse Wonnerup Wetlands. One of the State’s most important waterbird habitats, the wetlands welcome 30,000 birds from more than 90 species to its nutrient-rich waters, including tattlers, warblers, stints, turnstones and knots.
Several bird hides dot the paths so twitchers can see their favourites from secluded vantage points. The wetlands vary from broad channels to sheltered, small bays and, depending on the time of your visit, you may also spot egrets, spoonbills, bandicoots and other native wildlife.
The area is also culturally significant to the local Wardandi people, with registered archaeological and spiritual sites. Follow one of the walking trails or bring a picnic to enjoy up by the Malbup Creek hide.
Recreational fishing is also permitted in the Wonnerup inlet and Deadwater, with black bream, mullet and blue swimmer crabs among the likely catch. Netting is prohibited.
Explore by foot or bike
The City of Busselton has more than 200km of walking and cycling paths, so if you want to get a better feel for the area why not leave the car at your accommodation and walk or cycle to local attractions instead?
One of the most popular treks is the paved Geographe Path, which stretches 23km along the foreshore from Busselton to Dunsborough, but you can do as little or as much of it as you like.
The 1.1km paved trail from Meelup Beach, just half an hour from Busselton, to Point Piquet is another easy family walk offering picturesque views along the way. You might even spot a whale during migration season from June to November.
For tips and maps, drop into the Busselton Visitor Centre, open daily apart from Christmas Day. Staff will also be able to suggest bike hire places if you haven’t brought your own. Locted near the jetty, the centre is hard to miss and the place to get all the information for a great stay.
Keep an eye on the website for upcoming events, including foreshore markets, festivals and more, so you can better plan your trip.
Need a place to stay? RAC members get exclusive discounts at RAC Busselton Holiday Park, a family friendly base to explore Busselton and surrounds.* *Terms and conditions apply. RAC member discount not applicable on already discounted rates. Discounts available on direct bookings only made online or via phone. Visit our Parks & Resorts website for more information.
Need a place to stay?
RAC members get exclusive discounts at RAC Busselton Holiday Park, a family friendly base to explore Busselton and surrounds.*
*Terms and conditions apply. RAC member discount not applicable on already discounted rates. Discounts available on direct bookings only made online or via phone. Visit our Parks & Resorts website for more information.
Last updated: February 2021