Why Visit the Longest Wooden Pier in the Southern Hemisphere?
The Busselton Jetty’s main claim to fame is the fact that at 1.8 kilometres long, it extends a huge distance out to sea. It is the longest wooden pier in the Southern Hemisphere, in fact. I find the walk out to the very end of the pier to be a scenic and enjoyable way to while away an hour or so, especially if you combine the walk with some fishing or a swim.
For the seaside town of Busselton on Western Australia’s tranquil Geographe Bay coastline, the Jetty is the number one tourist attraction. It no longer has any use as a pier for ships, and so these days exists purely for its heritage and character, and for the fantastic fishing, diving, scenic views and people-watching it provides for tourists and Busselton locals alike.
A Few Quick Facts About Busselton Jetty:
- Busselton Jetty is a huge wooden structure extending 1.8 kilometres out from Busselton Beach into the middle of Geographe Bay.
- Building began on the jetty in 1853, and extensions continued to be made to it up until the 1960’s.
- The jetty has not been used for commercial shipping since 1971. These days, it is a tourist attraction and a popular fishing and recreation spot for locals.
- Busselton Jetty is considered one of Western Australia’s top scuba diving sites.
- The jetty was built so long because the seafloor of Geographe Bay slopes gradually and the water is shallow for a long way out.
Busselton Jetty: Things to Do
- Stroll out to the end of the jetty and back
- Or catch the train instead if you don’t feel like walking the 3.6km return trip
- Jump into the deep calm water and go for a swim hundreds of metres out to sea!
- Go snorkeling
- Better yet, go scuba diving. Busselton Jetty is considered one of Western Australia’s best dive sites!
- Take a look beneath the surface of the water, without getting wet, in the underwater observatory at the very end of the jetty.
A Very Long Walk Over the Water
Walking out along Busselton Jetty to be so relaxing and peaceful, and in my opinion definitely worth the time it takes to walk right to the end and back, and the small fee they charge at the entrance to the jetty.
At first it seems as if the views don’t change much, but once you find yourself a long way out from shore you begin to notice that the views are actually pretty special and not something you get to see every day. The Busselton foreshore looks so very far away and on a clear day you can see all the way along the coast east to the very end of Cape Naturaliste.
I really like the feeling of being above the water, far out to sea in Geographe Bay. It’s almost like being on a boat, with 360° views in all directions and no shelter from the wind.
If the weather is stormy or windy it can feel very cold and exposed out on the jetty, but as you can probably tell from the photos on my most recent visit it was warm enough to jump in and have a swim in the deep, clear turquoise water. There are several places where you can easily get back up onto the jetty.
Don’t Feel Like Walking All That Way? Catch the Busselton Jetty Train!
The little red train ambles along at a leisurely pace down the jetty and back again. I think the 45-minute return train ride is a rather pricey at $11 for adults and $6 for children aged 3 to 14, but it is nonetheless very popular – especially for families with babies and toddlers.
Busselton Jetty Diving
The wooden structure of the Busselton Jetty supports a thriving and colourful ecosystem of marine life. I haven’t been scuba diving there but it is certainly on my to-do list as it’s considered one of Western Australia’s best dive sites!
Here’s a great video showing the best of Busselton Jetty beneath the surface:
The Underwater Observatory at the End of Busselton Jetty
On our recent walk on the jetty (the day I took the photos on this page), my sister Laura and I got all the way to the end then decided not to go down and have a look at the underwater observatory. At $29 each, we thought it was just too expensive. I regretted this decision afterwards because we were there in the most perfect windless conditions (I’m sure the visibility would have been perfect!) and I’ve been interested to see what it’s like for years.
The video below gives a good idea of what there is to see from the underwater observatory:
Visiting Busselton Jetty: Prices, Getting There and Other Things to Know
In my opinion both the jetty and the beachfront nearby are worth a visit, if you’re in the area. The Busselton Jetty really is something a bit different from your average jetty or pier! Busselton is right on the doorstep of the Margaret River Region, just a short detour off the main highway on the way Down South from Perth, so it makes sense to stop in for a walk along the jetty to break up the drive on the way there or on the way home.
Busselton Jetty Prices
- A day pass to the jetty (to walk, swim, fish, dive, etc) costs $2.50 for adults (17 and over). Free for kids (16 and younger). This fee does not apply when the interpretive centre is closed.
- The train ride costs $11 for adults aged 15 and up and $6 for children aged 3 to 17
The actual jetty is open 24/7 but the museum and interpretive centre at the start of the jetty is open from 9 to 5 in winter, and 8:30 to 6 for the rest of the year.
Admission to the jetty is free at night when the interpretive centre is closed.
Where is it and how do you get there?
The jetty is located on the Busselton Beach foreshore. To get there, just head straight down Queen Street, the main street of Busselton, to the beach. The jetty is huge and impossible not to notice!
Is it worth the money?
In my opinion it is worth the $2.50 to walk out along the jetty, especially if you make the most of it and do some fishing, swimming or diving/snorkelling while you’re there. I really enjoy the walk, and feel it’s reasonable for them to charge a small fee to use the jetty because it’s an old structure that needs maintaining, and these days has no real use other than for tourism and recreation.
The train ride looks good fun for the kids, but for me it would not be worth paying $11 for. I’m perfectly happy walking, and it seems like a lot of money for a 3.8km journey. But I guess people with limited mobility or caring for small children might feel quite differently about that.
Have you been to the Busselton Jetty? Leave a comment and let us know what you thought of it.
Last Updated: 14th May, 2015.
First posted on 3rd February, 2014 by Bonny.
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