Margaret River (tours from Busselton), WA, Australia cruises
Your guide to Busselton.
Named after the Bussell family, who arrived in the 1830s, Busselton has grown into one of Western Australia’s most popular tourist destinations. Circled by swathes of wetlands and bordered by tranquil Geographe Bay, where scores of humpbacks and blue whales seek respite on their migrations, Busselton’s white beaches and calm blue waters offer visitors unparalleled swimming. Rocky outcrops and tall forests rise from the water’s edge, while great granite buttresses shield the beaches from the Indian Ocean’s swell. In the heart of the town, Busselton’s beloved jetty stretches out over the turquoise surf, its observatory offering breath-taking views of the reef below.
With its renowned underwater observatory and contemporary galleries, Busselton is a hotspot in Australia’s South West. Ride a steam train along the length of its impressive jetty or swim at one of many pristine sandy beaches. At over a mile in length, Busselton Jetty is the longest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere with an underwater observatory that’s one of only six in the world - a must-see attraction in the city. Be inspired by creative art in The Old Courthouse Complex, a restored courthouse with a fully preserved interior, or visit ArtGeo Gallery, a neo-classical pavilion in the city championing local artists.
Eating and drinking.
From fresh local seafood and contemporary Australian fare to pub classics, Busselton has plenty to satisfy hungry travelers. Its many atmospheric pubs and locally-owned bars are the perfect places to cool off, while a wealth of high-quality coffee shops offer plentiful outdoor seating to soak up the sun. Many of the city’s restaurants and bars can be found along Queen Street, where the mix of eateries offers an international flavor, veering from traditional Chinese and Vietnamese to hearty Italian. There are a couple of options closer to the water’s edge, just off Busselton Foreshore Parade, and many of the wineries in the Margaret River Region also offer food on site.
Busselton is home to a surprising number of stylish modern boutiques and conveniently-located shopping plazas. Busselton Art Society has been celebrating and facilitating local artists since it opened its doors in 1960 while the small shopping center of Busselton Central houses a range of popular Australian fashion brands. Not surprisingly for a city with its pick of beaches, surf shops and outdoor activity retailers have a stronghold in Busselton: ideal if you’ve stepped ashore without your swimmers and fancy a dip. There are also a few good book shops should you need to replenish your reading material or experience an urge to brush-up on Australian history.
Busselton is your gateway to the premium wine region of Margaret River and Ngilgi Cave, a geological wonder where centuries-old stalactites and stalagmites adorn every chamber. Saturated with the country’s finest vineyards, the Margaret River region is so verdantly green it glows. Over 200 wineries occupy the stunning landscape, collectively commanding almost a quarter of Australia’s premium wine market. Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park is another of Western Australia’s native treasures. Named after two lighthouses, its granite coastline stretches for 75 miles. Many of its caves are accessible and the Cape to Cape track offers a scenic walking route along the length of the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge.