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Top 10 things to do in Busselton & Vasse

• Go about shopping down Fig Tree Lane – home to 25 boutique and speciality shops and cafes – then have a bite to eat at one of our many restaurants down Queen Street.
• Try the region’s finest cabernet, shiraz, chardonnay, sauv blanc and semillon on a wine tour of the cellar doors.
• Take a whale- or dolphin-watching cruise at Geographe Bay and experience the humpback whale song from September to December.
• The Ludlow Tuart Forest is the largest tuart forest in the world, an awe-inspiring place for a shady walk.
• Pick up fresh fruit and vegetables, plus plants, jams, preserves, books and more at the Saturday Vasse Markets on Karloop Road.
• Step back in time at the ArtGeo Cultural Precinct and Old Post Office Tearooms, within walking distance of the Busselton Jetty.
• Mountain bike along Secret Witcher, a fantastic network of bike trails. Then try the Burns Track, The Loop to Nowhere, Straun’s Trail and the Coca-Cola Track.
• Stroll about the grounds of Wonnerup House, a magnificently restored homestead with lawns and gardens set on several acres of farmland.
• Get wet – try deep-sea fishing, swimming, snorkelling, diving and beach fishing in the calm waters of Geographe Bay.
• Devour a delicious gelato on the heritage-listed Busselton Jetty. It’s pretty as a picture and perfect for a long, quiet stroll.
• Catch the train along the Busselton Jetty to the Underwater Observatory, to see up to 300 species of colourful fish.

Travel tips

– Busselton is usually overrun with teenagers during Leavers’ Week in November. If that’s not your thing, best to avoid visiting then.
– Go about shopping down Fig Tree Lane – home to 25 boutique and speciality shops and cafes – then have a bite to eat at one of our many restaurants down Queen Street
– Try the region’s finest cabernet, shiraz, chardonnay, sauv blanc and semillon on a wine tour of the cellar doors.
– Take a whale- or dolphin-watching cruise at Geographe Bay and experience the humpback whale song from September to December.
– The Ludlow Tuart Forest is the largest tuart forest in the world, an awe-inspiring place for a shady walk.
– Pick up fresh fruit and vegetables, plus plants, jams, preserves, books and more at the Saturday Vasse Markets on Karloop Road.
– Step back in time at the ArtGeo Cultural Precinct and Old Post Office Tearooms, within walking distance of the Busselton Jetty.
– Mountain bike along Secret Witcher, a fantastic network of bike trails. Then try the Burns Track, The Loop to Nowhere, Straun’s Trail and the Coca-Cola Track.
– Stroll about the grounds of Wonnerup House, a magnificently restored homestead with lawns and gardens set on several acres of farmland.
– Get wet – try deep-sea fishing, swimming, snorkelling, diving and beach fishing in the calm waters of Geographe Bay.
– Devour a delicious gelato on the heritage-listed Busselton Jetty. It’s pretty as a picture and perfect for a long, quiet stroll.
– Catch the train along the Busselton Jetty to the Underwater Observatory, to see up to 300 species of colourful fish.

Ideas for kids

– Stop in for Devonshire tea or a homemade sausage roll at Wonky Windmill Farm & Eco Park, where you can learn about farm life, and feed an array of friendly animals, including kangaroos.
– Climb to the top of the Climbtastic rock wall on the Busselton Foreshore, and try out the air bungee jumpers.
– From December to February, look out for Aquatastic, featuring water inflatables and a special kids-only zone area, next to the jetty.
– The Busselton Archery & Family Fun Park offers archery under shady trees, with a practice area for novices, plus mini-golf, ozzi bug car rides and a bungee run.

Activities for all the family

Fishing

If you’d like to catch fish rather than look at them, there are plenty off the Busselton Jetty before dawn, but they also bite at dusk. Mulloway, herring, tailor, gardies, King George whiting and samson fish can be hooked halfway down the jetty after the gazebo, while pink snapper, bonito and big sharks can be caught in deeper waters towards the end of the jetty (just before the sanctuary, which sits at the very end). In the evening, grab a torch and go squidding or crabbing. Deep-sea fishing charters are also available, and have excellent catch rate.

Swimming, snorkelling and diving

Water babies are spoilt here – there’s 20km of snorkel-friendly beach in calm, clear waters, home to sea life such as coral and sponges, schools of yellow fin, teeny porcupine fish, extraordinary pineapple fish, rays, octopi and cuttlefish. Charters run out to Four Mile Reef and Bull Eye (a secret section of Four Mile Reef) and some offer night dives so you can see the coral polyps filter feed. The Coral Gardens, 30 minutes out, have the largest plate corals in the southwest. Depending on the season, annoying stingers are often found in the shallows, so wear a rashie to avoid being stung.

Walk, ride, push

With footpaths stretching from Port Geographe to Point Dalling, the 31km Busselton to Dunsborough bicycle path is almost completely flat, and takes in the awesome views of the coastline. The shared path is great for bikes, prams and wheelchairs. A highlight for the kids is riding across the 45m bridge spanning the Toby Inlet. Pack your walking shoes because this is one path you’ll probably want to do every morning.

Drive along an endless beach

Wonnerup Beach has kilometres of sand and clear waters – great for fishing in the cooler months and swimming in the warmer ones. It’s one of the few beaches in the region you can drive along (4WD only), so take a set of Maxtrax and a packed lunch!

Foreshore barbeque

You can’t come to Busselton without having a picnic or a shady barbecue under the magnificent pine trees on the lush lawns of foreshore, overlooking the jetty and Geographe Bay.

Busselton – Dunsborough cycle path

There is nothing more invigorating than an early-morning stroll (or jog!) along the cycle path. All roads lead to great coffee – try the Goose or Equinox at the Foreshore end, or Stilts at the Broadwater end. Accommodation along Busselton’s ‘resort strip’ has direct access to the path, which is just as nice in the evenings as the sun sets over the ocean. Stop in for a local vino or craft beer along the way.

Art hunt

The ArtGeo Cultural Complex on Queen Street is a hidden gem, where you can lose yourself for hours. Originally built in 1856, it is one of the oldest buildings in WA. Dotted among the gaol cells, stables, sergeants’ quarters and courtroom is a treasure trove of locally produced art, including turned wood, jewellery, glass, paintings, sculptures and porcelain. With two studios on site, you can see artists at work, or stop for a coffee and bite at the Old Post Office Tearooms.

The fire station

One of my favourite places to head out in Busselton is The Fire Station. Built in 1936, it actually functioned as a fire station right up until 1990. Reincarnated as a small bar, you’ll find local and rare seasonal brews on tap, and organic and natural wines by the glass. The cider-braised mussels and pulled pork sliders are pretty special, or, for a good value mid-week meal, Tuesday night’s pizza and pint is pretty hard to top.

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Things to do in WA

Image credit: All images – Shutterstock

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