Busselton Jetty Western Australia | Detailed Guide 2022

Busselton jetty runs over the protected waters of Geographe Bay and is the longest timber piled jetty in the southern hemisphere at 1841m long. It’s a popular place for weddings, diving, and swimming. For example, the Busselton Jetty Swim (an internationally recognised event) attracts 3,000 competitors.

Busselton Jetty is a popular tourist attraction with about 200,000 visitors each year and is operated by a non-profit community organisation known as Busselton Jetty Inc. It’s a must-see for any visitor to the area.

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aerial view of busselton jetty western australia
Busselton Jetty aerial view by Tourism Western Australia

Location of Busselton Jetty

Busselton is in the South West region of Western Australia, less than a two and a half-hour drive from Perth.

International and domestic visitors will fly into Perth Airport. Find details about visas, prohibited items, currency, and safety in this Australia Travel Guide and information on arriving into WA and other essential travel information in this Western Australia Travel Guide.

Follow this Perth to Margaret River road trip itinerary for where to stop along the way.

There are car hire booths at Perth airport, but it’s best to pre-book your car rental. Choose from Avis, Budget, Europcar, Sixt, Hertz, Enterprise, and Thrifty.
To compare rental car company prices, I use Discover Cars, an award-winning car rental comparison website. They offer competitive pricing in over 10,000 locations worldwide and are have a high rate of customer satisfaction.

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History of the Busselton Jetty

Construction of Busselton Jetty began in 1864, with the first section open the following year. It has been extended many times since its first opening.

The last commercial vessel to use the jetty was in 1971, and it was closed a year later. The jetty then deteriorated due to wood bores, fires, and rot.

In 1978, a cyclone partly destroyed the jetty, and the government wanted to demolish it.

The community came to the rescue, raising funds to restore it, and a community not for profit organisation was formed.

The WA State Government gave $24m towards the complete restoration of the jetty in 2009 along with $3.1m from the City of Busselton.

busselton jetty interpretive centre at sunset
Busselton Jetty Interpretive Centre at sunset

Does it cost money to walk on Busselton Jetty?

Yes, if you are over 16, you have to pay a fee of A$4 for a Jetty Day Pass to walk along Busselton Jetty. The day pass is available to purchase when the Interpretive Centre is open and gives you access to dive, fish, swim or walk the jetty. It is free when the centre is closed and the jetty is open 24 hours.

The walk takes about 25 minutes each way.

Prams, walkers, wheelchairs and mobility scooters are allowed on the jetty, but the train needs to pass.

people walking along busselton jetty at sunset
Walking along Busselton Jetty at sunset is a popular activity

Interpretive Centre – Busselton Jetty

This iconic blue building sitting at the start of Busselton Jetty is where you can book your tickets for the train and underwater observatory. It also has a wide range of souvenirs at a reasonable price (I have bought presents from here) and essentials like sunscreen.

the blue busselton jetty interpretive centre building
Busselton Jetty Interpretive Centre

Busselton Jetty Train

The jetty train runs the length of the jetty, ferrying visitors back and forth. It was started as a fundraiser back in 1995 and is still going.

The red electric train is powered by 30 solar panels, keeping it on the move for four days. There are 90 seats on the train, with 6 in each carriage.

The return train journey is around 45 minutes, but you can get off and walk to the very end of the pier before going back.

The train journey price on its own is A$14 for an adult, A$8.50 for children (3-17), and A$38 for a family of 2A + 2C. You can use these tickets as a Jetty Pass, which allows you access to the jetty all day.

Select the Wheelchair option if you require your wheelchair or walking frame during the Jetty Train ride or Underwater Observatory. Unfortunately, prams are not allowed on the train due to space confinement, so a baby carrier is recommended.

the red train you to the busselton jetty underwater observatory
The Busselton Jetty train inspired Director Hayao Miyazaki to create the film Spirited Away 

Busselton Jetty Underwater Observatory

Busselton Jetty Underwater Observatory can only be accessed via a tour which operates every hour on the hour and lasts about one hour and forty-five minutes.

For all the information and photos, read this Busselton Jetty Underwater Observatory review.

view of a seal from busselton underwater observatory
The seal we saw from the viewing window at Underwater Observatory

The New Busselton Jetty Underwater Observatory

It was announced at the end of 2020 that the new Australian Underwater Discovery Centre (AUDC) would replace the existing underwater observatory. The semi-submerged whale-shaped building would have a higher capacity than the current one, with larger viewing windows offering panoramic views of the jetty’s ecosystem. The hope is to add underwater dining, underwater sculptures, and marine art, which will enhance Busselton Jetty’s 155-year-old experience.

Unfortunately, due to construction costs rising dramatically, the project is uncertain. The initial forecast of A$32m has blown out to A$49m, making the BJI Board and senior staff investigate all options to see if the project can go ahead.

Busselton Jetty Museum

The Jetty Museum, inside the Interpretive Centre, has two interactive timelines that have touch control with stories, photos, and videos. It is free to enter.

the platform on busselton jetty at sunset

Busselton Jetty Dive

Busselton Jetty is a popular recreational dive spot that allows you to experience the diverse marine life amongst the pylons. The water depth is a maximum of 9 meters and you can easily access it from the jetty without a boat.

If you don’t have your dive ticket, you can still enjoy this adventure by snorkelling or the SeaTREK ® undersea walk (a custom-made ‘breathe-easy’ helmet has been designed to let you breathe completely naturally underwater). Busselton Jetty Undersea Walk is one of the first seabed walks globally to operate without a compressor or air hose.

coral and fish seen from busselton jetty underwater observation window

Deep Sea Pool

Busselton Jetty’s universal access platform has an Ocean Guardian electrical shark barrier installed around it, powered by the same technology subsidised by the WA State Government for diving and surfing.

The world’s first virtual shark net emits electromagnetic pulses that deter sharks and manta rays but do not harm them or other marine life, creating a protected swim, snorkel and scuba dive area.

There’s a pontoon within the Deep Sea Pool in summer too and lockers are available at the Underwater Observatory.

aerial view of painting of whales on the end of busselton jetty
The end of Busselton Jetty by Tourism Western Australia

Busselton Jetty Rules

  • No alcohol
  • No dogs or cats
  • No bicycles, scooters, or skateboards
  • No spearfishing
  • No naked flames
  • No smoking
bedroom with farm views

Busselton Accommodation

Busselton has plenty of accommodation options for all types of travellers, including holiday parks, camping, luxury stays, self-contained and budget.

For all our recommendations of the best accommodation in Busselton, including places we have stayed, click below.

Busselton Tours

Viator have a great range of tours that are competitively priced and offer free cancellation on most experiences.

Other Things To Do in the Margaret River region

For more ideas on the must-see places and attractions in the Margaret River region, please see the following guides:

Western Australia Travel Guide

Save money planning your holiday

Flights: We use different sites to get the best possible price for flights. Check matrix.itasoftware.com to get an idea of the cheapest dates, but you can’t book through this site. Compare the cost of flights with Trip.com and try different routes.

Accommodation: We mainly use Booking.com for accommodation as they consistently have the lowest rates with free cancellation on most properties. We also book through Stayz for private accommodation as they are usually cheaper than Airbnb.

Car Rental: To compare rental car company prices, we use Discover Cars, an award winning car rental comparison website. They offer competitive pricing in over 10,000 locations worldwide and are highly-rated.

Tours: We use third-party sites ViatorGet Your Guide & Klook due to their free cancellation policies, instant confirmation, price guarantees, and mobile ticketing. We occasionally book through Red Balloon too.

Travel Insurance: Cover-More protects the travel dreams and experiences of more than 15 million people worldwide every year (including us!). Part of Zurich Insurance Group, they cover 22 countries across five continents with leading positions in the USA, Australia, Brazil, Argentina, Ireland, India and New Zealand. Protect your trip against several COVID-19 scenarios during the current coronavirus pandemic. 

Busselton Jetty Western Australia | Detailed Guide 2022

FAQ

Can you walk along the Busselton jetty at night?

Yes, you can walk along Busselton Jetty at night. When the Interpretive Centre is closed, admission is free. However,  access to the final 150 m of the jetty is only possible during the Underwater Observatory Operating Hours. 

What is at the end of the Busselton Jetty?

Towards the end of Busselton Jetty is the Underwater Observatory. The last part of the jetty features a mural of a life-sized whale, a selfie direction dial, and a wind vane. It’s also a great place to spot wildlife.

If you found this Busselton Jetty Underwater Observatory review helpful, please consider booking through one of our links. It won’t cost you anything but will help towards the cost of running this site. Thank you.

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