Busselton is a beautiful little town, and it turned on the sunshine, blue skies and warm weather for us. Yay!
We were told about Busselton’s ‘Holy Mile’ before leaving Big Brook Arboretum. The ‘Holy Mile’ is a stretch of land on a beautiful beachfront divided into 16 campgrounds and leased (since the 1920s) by various ‘not for profit’ organisations, mostly churches. They all accomodate group camps such as youth groups and school groups etc. and most have a handful of sites for caravans. With the waning of church youth camps over the years we suspect they look for added income by inviting caravans and campers. So we checked it out and have spent a lovely few nights at the Anglican Church Campsite. The sites have power and water, there is a laundry, toilet and shower blocks, dump point and you can walk straight onto a beautiful swimming beach. It’s very quiet, 10km from the town centre, and half the price of the caravan parks in town.
The camp is a 23km return bike trip into town and the famous jetty via a fabulous flat bike path (separate blog post).
Busselton Jetty was built in 1865 and extended several times since; at 1.8 km long it is the longest wooden piled jetty in the Southern Hemisphere. The waterfront has recently been revamped and it’s a great place for families. There is a swimming area with shark net and pontoon and shade sails on the beach, cafes and the best playground featuring a shipwreck, which is lit up at night.
A little train runs back and forth from one end of the jetty to the other. To turn the engine around at each end, the engine has wheels with tyres, as well as wheels for the track, so that it can run off the tracks alongside the carriages to move from one end to the other. Very clever.
We visited the Underwater Observatory at the far end of the jetty; apparently it is one of only six in the world. There are three floors below the jetty: from the jetty you go down to the top level where the water is half way up the large windows (intertidal zone), middle level is mid way (pelagic or open-ocean zone) and at the bottom level you are right on the bottom of the seabed (demersal and bethnic zones). At the deepest point the water is only 9 meters, which is why it was decommissioned as a commercial port once ships were being built too big to enter the bay. There is a live webcam through two of the windows 24×7. Check it out here: Live webcam Busselton Underwater Observatory.
We went fishing at night off the jetty and caught some small fish, which we threw back.
Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse is not far from Busselton. It was covered up for restorations when we visited, but the viewing platform has a fabulous 300° view of the Indian ocean.
Near by is the little township of Yallingup with its great surf beaches, very popular the day we went.
Not far out of Yallingup are a number of caves. We went for a tour of Ngilgi Cave, a limestone cave.
Cheers til next time, Helen and Tim.