Since the early 1900’s Busselton has been a popular place for West Australian’s to holiday. It’s little wonder with its calm clear white sandy beaches and its stunning natural coastal scenery. But for a long time, I only thought of Busselton as the gateway to the Margaret River Region, being just a two and a half-hour drive from Perth with a multitude of accommodation choices.
However, after a few recent getaways, I have delved into discovering more about Busselton and been pleasantly surprised to discover there are so many things to do in Busselton for families of all ages including discover historic sites, free beachside activities, and fun theme parks.
Yes, you can still drive further down the coast for day trips, but you don’t need to; I’ve found there are plenty of fun Busselton attractions all within a 20-minute drive of the town centre.
In this Article You Will Learn What to Do in Busselton WA in 2022
- Busselton historic sites
- Free things to do in Busselton
- Busselton beach
- Busselton parks and foreshore
- Adventurous and fun Busselton activities
- Mini golf
- High ropes
- Whale watching
- Things to do near Busselton
- What to do in Dunsbourgh
- Family fun parks
- Stunning scenery
- Things to Do in Yallingup
- Yallingup maze
- The oldest tourist cave in WA
- What to do in Dunsbourgh
- Plan your trip
- Busselton history
- Where to Stay
- Where to find more information
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12 Fun Things to Do in Busselton, Western Australia
Busselton Historic Attractions
1. Art Geo Cultural Complex
As you walk back through town continue your historic education by taking the time to read plaques and statues that are dotted about on the main streets.
Two streets before the foreshore is the original Busselton Courthouse now home to the Art Geo Cultural Complex. This is one of the free things to do in Busselton, to wander through the old gaol cells, the original courtrooms and the old Bond Store that has also been used as the post office and a bank.
Outside you’ll find a six-season Aboriginal bush food educational garden.
- Opening hours: 10am-4pm daily
- Cost: free
2. Busselton Jetty
No trip here is complete without visiting the 1.8km historic jetty, which is the longest wooden pile jetty in the world.
You can learn all about the history of Busselton Jetty and its huge impact on the viability on the growth of the town in the museum located within the Interpretive Centre and Museum.
During previous holidays to Busselton, we have walked the entire length and back. It is quite fascinating stopping to chat with all the various fishermen along the way and read the plaques.
Alternatively, you can take the cute little red train to the end of the jetty, which departs on the hour. At the end of the jetty is the Underwater Observatory which provides 360° views of the ocean floor making it one of the top things to see in Busselton.
Taking the time (and extra cost) to explore the observatory is worth it! You will learn about how the Underwater Observatory was installed and how the marine biologists upkeep the jetty pylons whilst ensuring the coral and marine life are only minimally disturbed. During our tour, we saw beautiful coral and so many large schools of fish swimming by. You also need to remember this isn’t an aquarium this is what is actually happening on the seafloor – truly wonderful.
- Opening hours:
- The jetty structure is open 24 hours/7 days per week
- Interpretive Centre, 9:30-4:15pm Sunday-Friday and 8:30-5.15 on Saturday
- Train departs on the hours, 9am-4pm Sunday-Friday and 9am-5pm Saturday
- Underwater Observatory, 9am-3pm Sunday-Friday and 9am-4pm Saturday
- To walk the jetty: $4/adult
- Train: $16/adult and $9:50/child
- Underwater Observatory (includes train) $37/adult and $22/child
Top Trip Tip: If you are travelling during peak holiday times pre-book tours on the website (it is very popular)
3. Busselton Museum
Continue to learn more about the history of the town at the old Busselton Butter Factory home to the Busselton Museum. The museum is located about five blocks back from the foreshore on the banks of the Sabina River.
Inside you’ll find memorabilia, photographs and displays from around the town that has been painstakingly restored. Outside on the banks of the Vasse River are sheds filled with old farm machinery, an old schoolhouse and a cottage. It is quite a fun trip down memory lane and the kids get to see all sorts of old home appliances that were used from the early days to mid-1900’s
Inside you’ll find memorabilia, photographs and displays about the town and jetty.
- Website: Busselton Museum
- Opening Times: 10am-4pm Wednesday-Monday (closed Tuesday)
- Cost: $10/adult and $5/child
Top Trip Tip: If it looks like there will be bad weather whilst you are in town save this activity for things to do in Busselton when it’s raining
Free Things to do in Busselton
4. Busselton Beach
By early in the 20th century, Busselton and the Geographe Bay had become popular with holidaymakers and it is little wonder with its calm clear waters and white sandy beaches. It is perfect for kids and all ages.
Along the entire length of the beachfront are paved paths for walking and cycling.
Top Trip Tip: If you have a dog there are specific dog beaches
5. Busselton Parks on the Foreshore
At the town centre, the foreshore extends with lots of shaded green grassy fields, cafés, free BBQ’s and lots of playgrounds providing lots of options if you are in Busselton with kids of all ages.
6. Original Foreshore Playground
When we first visited Busselton as a young family, we thought this playground next to Signal Park with lots of rope spiderwebs was very good and it still is. It is surrounded by lots of shady trees and the dog park is just over on the other side of the free car park. Plus, there are free BBQ’s and shaded picnic tables.
7. Sea Play on the Bay
But now there is the new Sea Play on the Bay playground and it is quite something. With large shipwreck and mast to climb, limestone rocks to clamber over netted swings hanging from a giant orange octopus. This is bound to keep the kids entertained for hours.
8. Skate Park
But don’t fear big kids have not been left out, there is a new skatepark with deep skateboarding bowls, hills and ramps to fly over with scooters.
Top Trip Tip: If you’ve left your scooter or bike at home, there is a scooter hire kiosk located nearby
Fun Busselton Activities
Just outside of town with less than a 20-minute drive are lots of family-friendly Busselton activities and adventures for all ages to enjoy.
9. Busselton Primal Archery
We recently tried out Busselton Archery, located about 15 minutes from town, it was so much fun!
Your session begins with a short lesson in safety and how to shoot with a bow and arrow. Then you make your way through the course under the native peppermint trees. Each target is set a different length than the previous and the course gets progressively more difficult.
- Opening hours change depending on the season check the website
- Cost: from $15 for 15 shoots (3 arrows and five targets)
10. Busselton Mini-Golf
At Busselton Primal Archery they also offer mini-golf or you can go to The Par 3 golf course (only 10 minutes from town) which also has a dedicated 18 hole mini-golf course.
We thoroughly enjoy our time playing in the well-designed course situated amongst shady trees and gardens. The two-level course (standard and advanced) comprises of a variety of texted turfs, from smooth putting greens to rough longer turf to simulate that you are in the bush or sand just like in a traditional golf course. Along with different contours, bunkers, rocks, water features and obstacles to putt your way through. Whilst you wait for your turn there are seats and tables to relax as you listen to music.
After you have finished your game, you can enjoy a drink and young kids can frolic in the playground.
- Opening hours: from 8am seven days per week
- Cost: $18/adult and $12/child
11. Forest Adventures and the Ludlow Tuart Forest
Ten minutes north of town in the Ludlow Tuart Forest is the adrenal-filled Forest Adventures.
You can swing, climb and zip line through the forest on the six different high rope and wire obstacle courses.
We enjoy a morning climbing through the trees on the first three of five difficulty levels and the lower zip-lining course. Our morning starts with being kitted out with a helmet and harness followed by a safety induction that includes us learning how to use the carabiners and zip liner roller. We are supervised as make our way doing a practice run through the kids’ level one course. Once completed we are free to embark upon any of the other courses.
The staff are friendly and super helpful if you come into any difficulty as you climb across tight ropes, swing planks, cycle along narrow boards, clamber across ropes and fly along zip lines all situated within the bush setting under the tall Tuart trees.
- Opening hours: Thursday to Monday 9am-5pm
- Cost: $44/adult and $36/child
If you’ve got time before you head back into Busselton stop at the heritage Wonnerup House to learn about one of Busselton’s early settlers George Laymen.
- Opening hours:10am-4pm Thursday-Monday
- Cost: $10/adult and $5/child over five
12. Busselton Whale Watching
The Humpback, Southern Right, Minke and Blue Whales migrate up and down the West Coast of Australia from June to early December. They really are a magnificent sight to see.
When we were most recently in Busselton during the September long weekend, we could see plenty of whales in the distance as we stood at the lookout at Cape Naturalist. But it no way compares to being out at sea watching them up close (we did this in Kalbarri).
If you haven’t been on a whale-watching tour, then you are missing out.
Top Trip Tip: With all adventure activities ensure you wear appropriate clothing and protection for the activity
Things to Do Near Busselton
The towns of Dunsborough and Yallingup are only 20 and 30 minutes’ drive from Busselton respectively.
What to Do in Dunsborough
In Dunsborough you’ll find:
- Xcape at the Cape
- Next Level Monkey Business
- Cape Naturalist Lighthouse
- Sugar Loaf Rock
- Meelup Beach
Xcape at the Cape
Looking for something for those energetic adrenaline junkies.
This is perfect if you are looking for something to do on hot summer days. With a multitude of activities for the whole family including water slides and splash zone, mini-golf, laser tag, ninja tower, climbing walls, and jumping trampolines.
And if it’s a rainy day and the kids need to burn off some energy there is the undercover adventure climbing mountain zone and a games room.
- Opening hours: 10am-4pm daily
- Cost: All days passes from $49/adult and teens, $39/older child (9-12yrs) and $29/child (4-8yrs)
Next Level Monkey Business
This is an alternate high ropes course a little further from Busselton but closer to Dunsborough and Yallingup.
- Opening hours:
- 10am Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday
- Open every day of the school holidays
- Cost: $59/adult, $49 older kids (9-12yrs) and $39/child (4-8yrs)
Cape Naturalist Lighthouse and National Park
We recently took the Cape Naturalist Lighthouse tour. Whilst this lighthouse isn’t as tall as Cape Leeuwin, the tour is still as interesting. We begin by booking in at the first of the three lighthouse keeper cottages. Our tour guide explains what life was like for the lighthouse keeper and their families – the hardships they endured especially in the early settlement years working seven days a week for years on end, not to mention having to be self-sufficient growing all their own produce to eat.
This lighthouse isn’t as tall as Cape Leeuwin as it is built on top of a high rocky outcrop. With magnificent views up and down the coast (including to Sugar Loaf Rock) and in the distance we can see whales frolicking in the ocean.
If you don’t want to do the tour but would still like to visit this section of the Cape Naturalist National Park, there is just a small entry fee.
Cape Naturalist Lighthouse:
- Opening hours: 9am-5pm daily
- Cost: $15/adult and $7.50/child
However, the rest of Cape Naturalist National Park is free. So, before you leave take the time to discover the sights.
Detour down Sugarloaf Road to check out the rock. There is a short boardwalk from the car park to the lookout where you get the best views to take your pictures.
Meelup Beach and Castle Rock
Back on the main road again detour off onto Meelup Beach Road where you will find some of the most pristine calm beaches in Western Australia.
A little further south is Castle Rock for another photo moment.
Cape Naturalist National Park:
- Cost: free
- Need to know:
- No dogs
- Wheelchair friendly
- Toilets available
Top Trip Tip: Don’t forget to pack your swimming bag
Things to Do in Yallingup
In Yallingup you’ll discover:
- Yallingup Maze
- Ngilgi Cave
We’ve been to both of these attractions, and they are well worth the extra thirty-minute drive from Busselton.
The objective at Yallingup Maze is to find your way through to all 4 towers – situated at each corner of the maze. After you have bought your tickets you are provided with red glasses so that you can see additional puzzle clues as you make your way through the timber-lined (some with hidden doors) walkways.
The maze really does test your patience as you can see where you want to get to, but you just can’t seem to find the right pathway. But it’s all good fun and provides a great half-day entertainment for the whole family.
Once you have completed the maze, stay awhile for a coffee in the café and enjoy the many puzzle games scattered about on the tables. Or better yet pack a picnic to enjoy the green grassed grounds. You are still welcome to go into the café a play on puzzle games.
Yallingup Maze has also just introduced a new 18-hole mini-golf course around waterfalls.
- Opening hours: 9:30am-4:30pm Tuesday to Sunday (closed Monday)
- Cost: $18/adult and $15/child
There are several caves to explore in the Margaret River Region. But Ngilgi Cave (pronounced Nil Ghee) is the closest to Busselton and is the oldest tourist attractions in the Margaret River Region – though it still draws hundreds of visitors each day.
Our semi-guided tour begins with a history of Ngilgi Cave which is named after the Aboriginal mythological legend – the good spirit “Ngilgi” who defeated the evil spirit “Wolgine” thus restoring prosperity to the region with lots of water and vegetation.
After learning about the European settler who found the cave and began the first tours of the cave back in 1900, we get to descend 37 metres below the ground.
Inside the cave, the temperature remains a constant 20°C making it perfect to visit either in winter or summer. There are numerous chambers to explore, each accessed via wooden boardwalks and lots of stairs. At each of the locations, there is plenty of signage to explain, how the stalactite, stalagmite, helictite, straws and shawl formations are formed and get fun little snippets of historic stories like in Cupids Corner, where back in the day honeymooners would take a day trip to Ngilgi Cave (over a 16 hour round trip) and they would nip off into this secluded corner for a romantic moment.
There are so many little places within the cave to explore you’ll easily spend over an hour on your tour.
- Opening hours: 9am – 5pm daily (last tour is 4pm)
- Cost: $22.50/adult and $11.50/child
Top Trip Tip: Many of these activities are adventurous ensure you wear closed-in quality walking shoes for stability
Planning Your Visit to Busselton
As you can see there are so many attractions in Busselton to experience and enjoy either on a short getaway weekender or a longer stay in the South West Margaret River Region. So the following tips are here to help you plan your road trip.
The town sits in the area previously known as Undalup by the Wardandi Aboriginal Clan who were the original custodians of the land for 40 000 years.
From the 1600’s European and American ships sailed the waters off Western Australia hunting whales. In the south of WA, Albany was settled in 1826 and to the north, Fremantle and Perth were settled in 1829. As the white settlement explored more of Western Australia a man by the name of Bussell came across the area now known as Busselton and thought it would make good grazing pasture.
Over time more pastoralists came to the area growing wheat, barley and oats along with grazing sheep, pigs and cattle and it officially became a town in 1837. A jetty began being built in 1865 built and from 1858 stock was exported from Busselton Port. 120km away in Manjimup the timber industry was also growing, a railway line was built in 1871 to transport the timber for milling and exportation.
By 1972, Bunbury Port had superseded Busselton Port resulting in the closure of the Port. However, Busselton has remained a vibrant bustling town surrounded by agriculture and viticulture along with a growing tourism industry.
Busselton is located 222km south of Perth. It is an easy two-and-a-half drive on the Kwinana Freeway and Forest Highway. But just don’t forget to make a pit stop at the Bunbury Farmers Market on the way.
If you don’t have a car you can fly but it is very expensive and seriously by the time you have driven to the airport, checked in an hour before your flight, flown down, got off the plane collected your luggage and been driven to your accommodation – you could have already driven down here.
To learn the location of all the Busselton activities mentioned check out this interactive map.
Top Trip Tip: There are timed point-to-point speed cameras between Lake Clifton and Binningup – make sure you stick to the speed limit on your road trip
Where to Stay
You’ll find lots of holiday accommodation options. You’ll find motels, short-stay apartments, caravan parks with chalets and private accommodations*.
We have stayed at and can recommend:
- Big4 Breeze Beachlands*
- Mandalay Holiday Park*
- Abbey Beach Resort (REVIEW COMING SOON)
- Broadwater Resort (REVIEW COMING SOON)
We have also stayed at Busselton Holiday Village as they allowed our dog. But in no way shape or form could I recommend staying here. There was a hole in the bathroom floor, dead bugs all over the window sills, and the couch sagged, seriously I was too scared to sit on it.
The official tourism websites for Busselton and the Margaret River Region include:
You may like to read a travel guide on Western Australia* for more information
Or check out all of Tips 4 Trips articles on Western Australia and the South West. Including these articles and more coming soon on the Margaret River Region:
- Taste Sensations of the Margaret River Region
- Stay at Riverview Tourist Park in Margaret River
- Plan Your Visit to Jewel Cave and Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse
- Discover Why You Should Visit Augusta
- Fun Things to Do in Busselton
- Discover Funky Cowaramup (COMING SOON)
- Explore the Margaret River Caves (COMING SOON)
- Enjoy so Many Things to do in the Margaret River Region (COMING SOON)
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