Busselton is 240km from Perth, the capital of Western Australia. The town was founded in 1832 by the Bussel Family and today has a population of more than 20,000 people. Busselton was voted Western Australia’s top tourist town three times in 1995, 1996 and 2005.
Due to its proximity to timber logging areas in the Southwest, Busselton first created infrastructure to service a logging port. Construction of the jetty commenced in 1853 and the first section was opened in 1865. Other jetties were also opened up such as Wonnerup and Quindalup, but Busselton Jetty is the only one which still remains. The city had a significant growth period after 1850 and in 1870 the first WA railway was built to transport timber from Wonnerup jetty (North of Busselton) to Ballarat Bridge.
The Jetty was commercially closed in 1972 as it had suffered a lot of damage due to fires and a cyclone. However after years of restoration work, the jetty is now a major tourist attraction, as it is the longest timber-piled jetty in the Southern Hemisphere with a length of 1.8km. In 2003 an underwater observatory was opened to the public.
For the last decade Busselton has been attracting tourists to the region and also offers entertainment for its own community, such as these events throughout the year:
Dunsborough is 249km from Perth and is part of Geographe Bay, which is surrounded by the last sheltered beaches before the South West meets the exposed ocean waters coming from south of the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse.
That is what makes this location so special and appealing for families who can enjoy the safe waters of Geographe Bay and also for surfers who can travel 12km to Yallingup to catch some of the best waves of WA.
Dunsborough’s population is more than 3,300 people. The town was voted in 1999 the best tourist destination and in 2013 was awarded the Top Tourism Award for the category Population Under 5,000.
Another attraction of the region is the proximity of wineries and breweries; these are very popular with visitors to the Southwest who can appreciate some of the finest Australian food and wines.
These are the major events held in Dunsborough:
Yallingup is 34km west of Busselton and is a popular tourist destination with breathtaking beaches, limestone caves, extraordinary surf breaks and surrounded by the Leeuwin Naturaliste National Park.
Yallingup is one of the settlements that the Cape to Cape walking track passes through. There are other beaches that are part of the Yallingup area such as Three Bears, Smiths Beach and Injidup. Another well known tourist destination is the rock formation of Canal Rocks and a natural pool at the northern end of Injidup beach.
Caves House has one of the best beer gardens in the region with regular live music, community markets and outdoor cinemas. The pub was opened in 1904 and was built by the Government of Western Australia to create accommodation for people visiting the Ngilgi Cave. The cave was discovered by Edward Dawson when he was searching for stray horses in 1899.
Yallingup has an extensive range of art galleries, accommodation, restaurants and wineries. Some of the popular places to visit are:
Margaret River is 268km from Perth and today has a population of more than 4,400 people. The town is well known for having one of the best surf beaches in Australia. The Drug Aware Margaret River Pro which happens in Surfers Point, Prevelly is one of the eleven spots chosen to be part of the World Surf League.
With an estimated 140 wineries in the region, the food and wine production attracts more than 500,000 visitors annually. The wineries not alone provide some of the best wines and local produce in WA but also offer great locations for a number of entertainment events.
The town was named by a river which is thought to be named after Margaret Whicher, cousin of John Garret Bussell (founder of Busselton) in 1831. The European settlers migrated to the region in 1850 and by 1870 they started timber logging.
As part of the Western Australia strategy to attract immigrants after World War I the government established farms in the region receiving in 1922 over 100 settlements.
Other major attractions in the Margaret River region are the caves where fossils dating back over 35,000 years have been found. The caves which are open to the public are: Mammoth Cave, Jewel Cave, Lake Cave, Ngilgi Cave, Calgardup Cave and Giants Cave.
For those who enjoy mountain biking Margaret River is part of the Cape to Cape race with beautiful single trails around the Karri forest and the Pine forest. These trails are free of charge and for more details see our Activities section. These are the major events in the region: