Jurien Bay is a relaxed fishing town in Western Australia and a popular short break destination from Perth. Visitors enjoy the beautiful white sand beaches and surfing, fishing, and snorkelling in the bay’s protected waters. Find out all the things to do in Jurien Bay and let us help you plan your holiday.
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Free Things To Do in Jurien Bay
There are various free things to do in Jurien Bay, whether travelling as a family, couple, or solo. Most activities are centered around the ocean, including swimming, fishing, and snorkelling, but there are also land-based ones like cycling, four-wheel driving, hikes, and a cave to explore.
Jurien Bay Jetty
Take a walk along the second largest jetty in Western Australia at 162m long. There’s even a floating pontoon at the end with ladders down to the water during the summer months.
The area near the jetty has been redeveloped, making it a popular place to socialise and enjoy the sunset and views. The free BBQs and picnic tables along the foreshore are kept very clean, and the kids can have fun on the playground.
The waters of Jurien Bay are sheltered by an extensive limestone reef system parallel to the shore, making it an ideal swimming beach for families.
During summer, a strong sea breeze comes in around 11 am most days, making it extremely windy. Make the most of it with some wind or kite surfing.
Jurien Bay Snorkel Trail
Edit: Reports are now that the trail has been covered with sand and is not visible.
The Jurien Bay Underwater Interpretive Trail features an artificial reef made of reef balls placed on the ocean floor near the remains of the old jetty (about 25 m out).
Jurien Bay Marine Park
Extending from south of Wedge Island (South Rocks) to Dynamite Bay in Green Head, Jurien Bay Marine Park is a haven for the rare Australian Sea Lion. Explore the colourful coral and underwater caves – diving and snorkeling are excellent because islands and limestone reefs shelter the bay. You may hear the clicking of western rock lobsters who live amongst the extensive seagrass meadows.
Boullanger Island, just 1 km offshore from Island Point at the southern end of Jurien Bay, offers superb diving and the seagrass meadow on the western side is a wonderful spot for families to snorkel.
The main attraction is the Australian Sea Lions, only found in Western Australia and South Australia. Around 21% of the WA population live and breed in this area. As always, look but don’t touch wildlife, and remember that feeding them is prohibited.
You can fish in Jurien Bay Marine Park, but special rules are applied in some zones. Ensure you find out the zones before fishing. Apart from the western rock lobster (crayfish), you may be lucky enough to land dhufish, pink snapper, baldchin groper, whiting, mulloway, and Australian herring.
See a map of Jurien Bay Marine Park and information regarding the zones in this Jurien Bay Marine Park brochure.
Lesueur National Park
Lesueur National Park, located 27 km northeast of Jurien Bay, is one of the best places to view Western Australian wildflowers. Visit here around August and September, and you may see some beautiful orchids, including pink enamel, purple enamel, cowslip, blue lady, white spider, and donkey orchids. The park is home to 10% of WA’s known flora (over 900 species) like acacias, hibbertias, leschenaultias, melaleucas, and gastrolobiums.
Keep your eye out for the native birds and the 52 reptile species that live here – you’re bound to see geckoes and legless lizards.
A good way to see the park is on the one-way 18.5 km loop drive, especially in spring when the wildflowers bloom. In addition, there are a few walk trails that leave from the scenic drive:
Botanical Path is a 400 m return trail leading to Iain Wilson Lookout with interpretative signs identifying local plants and indigenous culture.
Lesueur Trail is a 400 m return from the Iain Wilson Lookout to the summit of Mount Lesueur, which offers beautiful views of the surrounding landscape.
Gairdner Ridge is a 2.5 km loop which leaves from Drummond car park through heath and low woodlands to Gairdner Ridge.
Fishing at Jurien Bay
Jurien Bay is a popular fishing spot with holidaymakers and anglers. Fish off the jetty for Snapper, Samson Fish, Mulloway, and possibly Spanish Mackerel.
Jurien Habour provides the chance to catch Herring, Tailor, Silver Trevally, Flathead, and Whiting.
Take your bike with you and cycle the Turquoise Way, a 13.5 km sealed path along the coast from Jurien Bay to the Hill River Mouth. It starts flat but gets a bit hilly in the southern half.
A word of warning, though, be prepared for hundreds of flies in the spring (not a pleasant experience!).
Glow in the Dark Gallery
For something different, visit the Glow in the Dark Gallery, which opens after sunset. The unique art, created by local Kiera, uses mainly aerosol and acrylic and gives a mesmerising photoluminescent display.
Entry to the gallery is free, but Kiera is grateful for any donations (or purchases).
Stockyard Gully Caves
Stockyard Gully Reserve is home to several limestone caves that lead to an underground river system. The name derived from stockman who camped here travelling from Geraldton to Perth and used the gullies as a pen to hold their cattle in the 1950s.
There’s a sign as you enter the cave about dangers – consider your options and note that you enter the cave at your own risk.
A 4wd is required to reach the cave car-parks, and AWD/2WD vehicles are not appropriate due to height clearance needed for limestone rocks and soft sand driving.
You can access the caves from north and south, but the easiest way is from Coorow-Green Head Road in the south and turn onto Cockleshell Gully Road. The north entrance from Coolimba-Eneabba onto Pearson’s Track is recommended for experienced four-wheel drivers only as the path is narrow and rocky. However, we took this route in and didn’t find it that bad.
The easy 1.3 km return trail in Stockyard Gully starts at the Cockleshell Gully Road picnic area and takes you along a sandy gully and into a cool limestone cave. It’s wide and tall, so you don’t feel claustrophobic, but it does require mobility as there are a few rocks to climb to enter the cave.
Make sure you bring a torch as it’s pitch black in the middle of the cave. Look out for the colonies of bats but don’t shine your torch at them.
Natural beehives are at both entrances, so take care not to disturb the bees. They will be more active on hot days (we went in October, and it wasn’t a problem).
Please bring plenty of water with you as it can be sweltering and there isn’t any available in the park. Insect repellent is a good idea for ticks, mosquitoes, and flies.
Sandy Cape is 13 km north of Jurien Bay and can be accessed by two-wheel drives. This beautiful beach offers great swimming, snorkelling, and fishing in its sheltered bay and sandboarding on the dunes.
Take your 4wd onto the beach, but stay between the high and low water line, or try out some 4wd tracks in the area. You can find remains of a WWII radar installation, with two intact shelters, original foundations, and an underground tank at North Head, accessible by 4wd only. Park in the parking area and walk the 300 m to the shelters to preserve this important military heritage site.
Fishing is good at Sandy Cape, where you can catch mulloway, tailor, or whiting in the shallows. However, check the signs as there are restrictions in some places.
There’s a campsite at Sandy Cape Recreation Park with 88 unpowered sites accessible by 2wd. You can also camp in the 4WD areas north and south of Sandy Cape. Bring your own water and pay fees to the camp caretaker.
Gas BBQs, flushing toilets, and cold showers are available in the southern part, and bush toilets are at the northern end. Day visitors are welcome to use these facilities too.
Drive up the coast to Greenhead, about a twenty minute drive. Here you can visit one of the best beaches in WA, Dynamite Bay, or hike one of the walking trails with stunning views of the ocean.
Read more about things to do in Greenhead and Leeman here.
How to Swim with Sealions Jurien Bay
The best way to see these cute sea pups are on a Jurien Bay sea lion tour. Three companies offer you the opportunity to snorkel with the rare Australian Sea Lions or view them from the boat.
As we haven’t been on one of these tours yet, read the reviews by clicking on the links:
Skydiving in Jurien Bay
If you’re braver than me, take to the skies with the multi-award-winning Jurien Bay Skydive. A lot of friends have sky-dived with this company and have been extremely happy with the level of care and experience.
There’s a choice of free-falling from 8,000 feet up to 14,000 on tandem sky dives providing spectacular views (and thrills) of the coast, Jurien Bay Marine Park, and the Pinnacles before a soft landing on the beach.
Tours in Jurien Bay
Jurien Bay Adventure Tours
If you don’t have your own vehicle or prefer to have the knowledge and experience of a tour guide, take a tour with Jurien Bay Adventure Tours. They offer a number of tours, including The Pinnacles, Stockyard Gully Caves, Sandboarding, and Lesueur National Park.
Where is Jurien Bay?
Jurien Bay is 220 km north of Perth, on the Turquoise Coast, and will take you around two and a half hours by road.
International and domestic visitors will fly into Perth Airport. Find details about visas, prohibited items, currency, and safety in this Australia Travel Guide and tips on arriving into WA and other essential travel information in this Western Australia Travel Guide.
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.
How Long to Stay in Jurien Bay
How long to stay in Jurien Bay will depend on what activities you want to do. For some, an overnight stop on a Perth to Exmouth road trip is enough or a long weekend (what we did). On the other hand, some families stay a week and enjoy family time on the beach.
Jurien Bay Accommodation
We camped at the Jurien Bay Caravan Park, but if you don’t want to camp, they have a range of air-conditioned chalets that sleep from two up to seven. The Jurien Bay Tourist Park is in an excellent location right by the beach and close to the bakery, tavern, shops, Jurien Bay Hotel and IGA.
Jurien Bay Motel Apartments have an excellent reputation for their air-conditioned self-contained apartments which feature modern kitchens. Their central location means you don’t have to walk far to the foreshore, shops, and restaurants.
Aqua Shack is a 3-bedroom house located 200 m from the beach. The property has a large garden and barbecue and a fully equipped kitchen that provides guests with a dishwasher, a microwave, a washing machine, a fridge, and an oven. See photos here.
Coastal Paradise features a terrace with sea views, an outdoor swimming pool, and a bar. It can sleep up to six guests in the three bedrooms. So, if it’s a stunning property you’re after with lots of space, then this is the holiday accommodation for you. Read reviews here.
Where To Eat in Jurien Bay
There isn’t a huge range of dining options being a small coastal town, but here is a list of some places to eat in Jurien Bay:
- Jurien Bay Bakery (delicious pies & sausage rolls and good coffee – recommended)
- Sandpiper Tavern (tasty pizzas and great service – recommended)
- Murray St Grill (good reviews on Tripadvisor)
- Family Affair Café
- Jurien Jetty Café
Jurien Bay Weather
In Jurien Bay, summers are dry and warm, while winter is wet and cool. It can be windy year-round but windier during the summer months.
Summer: Average highs around 30°C with lows of 17°C and the lowest amount of rainfall. The water temperature is warmest in February when it reaches about 23°C. January is the windiest month in Jurien Bay, with an average wind speed of 24 km ph.
Autumn: May is the calmest month of the year in Jurien Bay, with an average wind speed of 19 km ph. Maximum temperatures vary between 30°C in March to 23°C in May, when rainfall increases.
Winter: July is the wettest time in Jurien Bay, but over half the month has no rainfall. It is also the coldest with high averages of 19°C and lows of 9°C.
Spring: September has the lowest water temperature at around 19°C. Rain starts to decrease, and days become warmer.
History of Jurien Bay
I would like to respectfully acknowledge the Yued Noongar and Yamaji people, Traditional Owners, and First People of these lands. I would like to pay my respect to the Elders past, present, and future, for they hold the memories, the traditions, the culture, and hopes of their people.
In 1801, Nicolas Thomas Baudin led the French expedition, mapping and naming much of the area. Two years later, two ships (Le Geographe and the Casuarina) sailed up the coast, gathering fauna and flora. Louis de Freycinet, a cartographic surveyor, named the bay after Charles Marie Jurien of the French Naval Administration.
Walter Padbury, a self-made millionaire, was the first European settler to the area in the 1850s.
In 1885, a jetty was built to transport wool, hides, grain, and other agricultural products due to the pastoralism success in the area.
Due to the abundant marine life, Jurien Bay became a small fishing village where dhufish, snapper, and groper were fished from the bay.
By the 1950s, people started building shanties as holiday homes, and Jurien Bay was officially named in December 1956.
The following few years saw the crayfish industry take off and jetties, an airstrip, and factories built.
Today Jurien Bay’s primary industries are cray fishing and tourism.
Tips for Travelling to Jurien Bay
- Avoid driving at dawn or dusk when wildlife is the most active
- Jurien Bay beaches are unpatrolled – be aware of ocean conditions and rips
- Stingers can be in the ocean in summer (especially when it’s calm) – they are painful but not harmful
- Mobile phone coverage is good in town
- IGA Jurien is open 7 days a week from 8 am to 6 pm for groceries
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 Skyscanners 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 Viator, Get 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.
When is the best time to visit Jurien Bay?
As most of the activities are centred around the beach and ocean, the best time to visit Jurien Bay is during summer. However, it can be windy at this time. Autumn is a lovely time of year and spring brings wildflowers (but also flies).
Where should I stop on the way to Jurien Bay?
How far is Jurien Bay from Perth?
Jurien Bay is 220 km from Perth.
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