Cruise in to Busselton by ship! Situated at the northern gateway to the Margaret River Region, Busselton is a beautiful seaside town with the longest timber-piled jetty in the Southern Hemisphere. There’s no better arrival than a sail and anchor in Geographe Bay, to be greeted with its crystal-clear waters and kilometres of white sandy beaches.

The cruise season typically runs from October through to April. Passengers are welcomed at the Busselton Foreshore by an enthusiastic team of local experts and volunteers waiting to provide advice and information on how to make the most of time ashore.

A short stay in Busselton

Each cruise line will offer their guests a selection of carefully curated shore-excursion programs, according to ship schedule. Highlights might include visits to spectacular capes, coastlines and bays, vineyard and winery tastings, enjoy local produce from paddock to plate or the option to explore ancient caves or a working lighthouse. These options are best to book in advance of a visit with your ship to make the most of a stay.

Snorkel or paddle under the famous 1.8km Busselton Jetty, catch a train to its end and visit the underwater observatory, or peruse galleries and workshops filled with work by local artists. The self-guided Busselton Heritage (Walking) Trail takes in several fascinating cultural sites and heritage buildings, including the old courthouse and bonds stores, as well as the Busselton Museum located at the original town butter factory. For a small fee you can download the audio tour to your smartphone and listen to stories from times gone by, as well as access historic imagery and video.

There is also a great range of places to eat and drink. From the timeless enjoyment of fish and chips by the sea, authentic French crepes enjoyed alfresco bistro style, classic country pub fare to craft brews by the bay, and local ice-creameries.

For a taste of the region all under one roof head to Origins Market, where you will find stalls providing tastings of local wine, honey, baked goods, fresh juice, gelato, and much more, along with food trucks and vendors serving a wide range of international cuisines.

If your ship arrival co-coincides with the local Sunday market day, you also have a chance to speak to local farmers and buy seasonal produce direct.

Getting Around 
Busselton is a flat town, making it ideal for walking and exploring on foot. The main high street, shopping and dining district are all within 2-7 blocks of the cruise tender arrival area, and there is plenty to see and do.

Make sure to pick up a copy of the Discover Busselton walking guide and map from the visitor centre or cruise information tent upon arrival from your tender. For larger ship visits of more than 1,000 passengers aboard, a complimentary City Hopper bus will be in service, allowing you to hop on and hop off and some of the key points of interest around the town centre. This service will run from 10am – 3pm or subject to ship schedule.

Public transport between across the region and between towns and points of interest is limited and infrequent. Booking a shore excursion or tailored day out with local, knowledgeable guide will take you to see some of the best of the region, before dropping you back to the foreshore with plenty of time to re-board the ship. Taxis or car hire are another great option, but are best arranged prior to arrival.

 

Guide To Booking a Taxi or Local Driver

For a truly unique experience, couples, extended family or small groups might consider hiring a local taxi or private driver service as a great way to explore more of Busselton and beyond, with the added benefit of learning more about the region and its stories.

There are a number of private charter, car hire and local tour companies available to service cruise passengers, however it is always best to book these services in advance of your arrival to make the most of your day ashore in the region.

How To Purchase & Travel with Local Wine

What’s a visit to Margaret River wine country without sampling some local varietals, or taking home a souvenir bottle (or a case) to enjoy with friends and family when your cruise is over.

Cabernet and chardonnay might be king here, but the combination of the region’s geography, ancient soils and Mediterranean style climate make for a grape growing paradise. The boutique size of the wineries and intimate, personable cellar doors mean you will often get to taste premium wine not always available elsewhere. But travelling with wine can be challenging, so here are some local tips for how to best plan for your purchases and still travel back to the ship with ease.

  • Always check with your ship prior to disembarking, but many cruise lines will allow you to buy a bottle or two to enjoy back on board in the privacy of your cabin, or they might also offer a service where your purchases are checked and returned prior to your final destination
  • Did you know it’s cheaper to freight wine by the dozen? Many wineries offer fantastic cellar door and wine club special offers with free or low-cost shipping domestically. Australia Post also ships internationally to many countries so check with the cellar door.
    Please be aware that wine prices and shipping rates do not include duties & taxes (if applicable) for your country of origin when shipping internationally
  • Look for wineries that participate in the Mixed Case Shipping Program – simply purchase a few bottles from each winery you visit, and the last cellar door will arrange delivery to be made to your door (available in multiples of six bottles)

Buying Local Art & Craft

The region abounds with local arts, woodwork, crafts and produce. Your souvenir or gift purchases during your visit are made with love, time and patience.

Through your purchase you are supporting local businesses and a thriving artisan community. For convenience many galleries or shops may also be able to arrange freight or shipping for you.

Most wooden items are allowed if they are free from bark, insects and signs of insect damage, but must be declared.  To avoid disappointment please be aware of what you can and can’t travel with according to Australian Customs or your policies back home.

Advice from a Local

Speak to a local expert Advice from a Local Our team of local experts

Our team of local experts are here to help plan and book your stay in the Margaret River Region.