The Busselton Jetty is the longest timber jetty in the world and a beautiful sight to behold. The historic jetty is located in Geographe Bay in Busselton. It stretches almost 2km out to sea and has become an iconic landmark of the city of Busselton.
The jetty has a history that goes back over 100 years. Construction commenced in 1853 and the first section opened for commercial use in 1865. The jetty operated commercially until it was closed in 1972. After its closure, maintenance on the jetty ended. It fell victim to fires, deterioration and rot and was hit by a cyclone in 1978.
Work to rebuild the jetty started in 1978 after a large part of the wooden walk was destroyed by cyclone Alby. In 1987, the Jetty Preservation Society was formed. The jetty was damaged again by fire in 1999 and suffered storm damage in 2004. The jetty was repaired each time and eventually secured a place on the State Register of Heritage Places securing its protection for the future. It underwent a $27 million dollar refurbishment in 2011.
The Busselton Jetty is now a major tourist attraction in Western Australia. In 2001, an Interpretive Centre opened on the jetty. You can purchase gifts, sunscreen, hats, drinks, snacks, artwork, souvenirs and mementoes there. The centre also contains a Cultural Heritage Museum devoted to the jetty's history. Entrance is free.
The Interpretive Centre is open from 8am to 6pm in the summer and from 9am to 5pm in the winter. You can purchase a Jetty Day Pass at the Interpretive Centre. A Jetty Day Pass gives you access to dive, fish, walk or swim off the jetty. A jetty pass for adults over the age of 17 costs $4. Children from 0 to 16 years do not have to purchase a pass and can access the jetty for FREE.
Proceeds from tours and ticket sales go toward helping to continue to conserve the jetty. Tickets are valid all day. Outside of the Interpretive Centre's hours of operation access to the jetty is FREE for everyone.
The jetty has a rail line that will take you on a 1.7 kilometre journey across the waters of Geographe Bay to the end of the jetty. The train has 90 seats available on it and departs from the Interpretive Centre on the hour.
You can purchase train tickets from the ticket booth at the Interpretive Centre. Children under the age of 3 can travel for free but must sit on a parent's lap. The Jetty Train Trip takes 45 minutes to complete. Space is limited so bookings are recommended.
Please visit the Interpretive Centre or ring (08) 9754 0900 to book your spot on the train. Tickets include a return trip and can also be used as a jetty pass. A train ticket for an adult 15 years and older costs $13.50 and a ticket for a child between 3 and 14 years costs $6.75.
It is always pleasant going on a walk down the jetty
The Busselton Jetty is also home to an Underwater Observatory. It is located 1.7km along the jetty and is one of only five underwater observatories of its kind in the whole world. I've been there a couple of times and it really is a one-of-a-kind experience. You can ride the train there and then join a guided tour. You will descend down 60 stairs to a depth of 8m beneath the ocean. Over 300 different marine species live underneath the jetty in a colourful forest of coral and sponges.
The jetty is home to a lot of different types of birds and marine life
Your guide will take you to eleven viewing windows at various levels all the way down to a 9.5 metre in diameter observation chamber. A guided tour of the Underwater Observatory takes 40 minutes and can accommodate 48 people.
Admission to the observatory includes a complimentary return train ride and a Jetty Day Pass. There are six flights of stairs within the Observatory but there is also a lift to allow for disabled access.
A family pass to the Underwater Observatory for two adults and two children will cost you $90.50. A single adult over 15 costs $34.00 and a single child between 3 and 14 costs $17.
In addition to these fun activities, there are a number of other tours and packages and classes you can participate in at the Busselton Jetty from Fishing Clinics to Mermaid Tours, to Underwater Helmet Dives, Guided Walk Tours, Stand Up Paddle Board Classes, Pedal Boats, Underwater Observatory Night Tours, a Deluxe Experience and a Sunset Train Ride with wine and cheese.
Cost:From 8am to 6pm in the summer and from 9am to 5pm in the winter access to the jetty requires a jetty pass. Admission is $4 for adults aged over 17 and is free for children aged 0 - 16 years. The jetty is free to access outside of these hours.