Busselton was a very early settled farming and timber port in a sheltered Geographe Bay, just south of the larger Bunbury.
It was connected by railway to Perth, as recently as 50 years ago. It is now serviced by wider, faster highways, and is predominately a car oriented location. Although public and private transport is available to the intrepid traveller, car based travel in the area is the dominant mode.
The regions roads are so much faster and by connecting to Margaret River to the south, the by-pass road lies just to the south, and one can travel to Margaret River without 'going into' Busselton, as one had to do so in the past..
The town itself was located on a beachside, and it spread, and spread, and now with the named location Dunsborough to the west, and wetlands to the east, it is a long spread out homage to the beachside environment. Because the town and its spread around the bay is all flat, it is an excellent bicycling area.
The original town located next to the jetty remains busy and central for services.
In the 1970's an enterprising Perth based artist designed a t-shirt satirising the western australian tourist promotion of the time Relax in a State of Excitement with a reply, by putting on the rear of the t-shirt - A Billion flies cannot be wrong.
Busselton and the surrounds have in the past been captive to the swarm of bush flies that gather on the back, and around the eyes of the unwary. Subsequent hats with corks and nets hanging from them are good antidotes if you are otherwise unprepared for them.
Busselton Airport is located around 10 minutes drive inland from town, and sees a few flights a week from Virgin Australia to both Albany and Perth. The airline staff will arrange a taxi for you into town if required. The service may come in handy if you are trying to see the Margaret River region and Albany in one trip out from Perth.
Charter flights are also available, and as with many regional destinations can be competitive with scheduled flights if you are travelling with 3 or more people and all the sale fares are sold.
You can walk from the pier and the beach to town, they are around 200m apart.
Busselton has a local bus service, stretching as far south as the Margaret River region, as far north as Bunbury.
The Capes Shuttle, operates a bus service between Busselton and Yallingup via Dunsborough over the summer school holidays and Easter long weekend. Although advertised as a hop-on, hop-off service, you pay a standard fare each time you board.
The most famous feature of Busselton is the jetty. It long - very long; nearly two kilometres in length. Required originally by the shallowness of the bay, the jetty fell into disrepair following the cessation of commercial shipping.
However, the jetty has been recently restored for heritage and tourism purposes.
- Walk. The pier is open to walk the entire length
- Ride to Rails. The railway was originally part of Western Australia's rail network, connecting to the main line to Perth. These days, a small tourist train will take you to the end of the pier
- Underwater Observatory. There is an underwater observatory at the end of the pier. Silt in the bay can be whipped up by winds, and on windy days the observatory can close for poor visibility.
- Swimming, there is a swimming pier by the side of the main pier, close to shore.
- Snorkelling is good around the main pier.
- Tennis - nice old fashioned grass tennis courts available to hire at the tennis centre by the water.
If you feel like ice-cream, you have a choice of Simmos at the beach, or Gelato in town. The Gelato is homemade and relatively cheap, and they make their own chocolate spoons and bowls.
Busselton has an amazing amount of large licenced cafes, serving modern Australian style cuisine. You have plenty of choice if you take a walk down the main street.
- El Gringo Mexican. The Chimichanga is a specialty, and worth trying if you are into fried Mexican. The con queso isn't, and just tastes like melted cheese.
- The Goose Cafe. Serving reasonably priced meals and the locally produced Yahava brand coffee. Located directly opposite the beach and pier.
- The Equinox Cafe. Also located on the Busselton foreshore. You have the option of a cheap and easy take-away counter or dine in. Great place to pick up some fish and chips to eat on the beach.
- Abbey Beach Resort, 595 Bussell Highway, ☎ +61 8 9755 4600. Check-in: 14.00, check-out: 10.00. Resort near the beach. Luxury hotel and apartment accommodation with a complete range of facilities.
- Cape Naturaliste
- Margaret River
- South East