Family holiday legacies are made here. The classic elements remain unchanged: the crystalline, protected waters of Geographe Bay. The foreshore lined with the iconic Norfolk Pines. The historic Busselton Jetty, cherished by generations of locals and visitors who have walked along it, jumped off it, snorkelled, dived, fished from it.

The nostalgia here is palpable, harking back to a simpler time – one of free time. Naturally, the bay is front and centre on this trail but scratch a bit deeper into the bountiful hinterland and you’ll find more experiences that hold onto Busselton’s essence and give back even more. The calm of the coastline is paralleled by the adventures found inland, not to mention the quality beer being crafted locally. Expect genuine grassroots cellar doors, one of West Australia’s top produce and artisan markets, a new small bar scene and unforgettable family holiday memories.

The Busselton Bay & Bounty Trail is intended to guide you towards the parts of Busselton you’re looking for and the parts you didn’t even know about. Follow them to the letter or use them as your North Star to get back on track if you’ve wandered off the beaten path (and we hope you do).

 

Your Story Starts Here

1

Geographe Bay

Geographe Bay is like the Margaret River Region’s infinite lagoon, stretching from the edges of Busselton all the way past Dunsborough to the tip of Cape Naturaliste. It is the location of choice for generations of family holidays – for bathing, swimming, kayaking, fishing and more. The beauty of the bay (aside from its crystal clear, turquoise waters) is its protection, oriented away from an oft-prevailing southerly wind, the bay barely has any swell or surf, making it ideal and safe for most ages and abilities. It is the backdrop to daily life between Busselton and Dunsborough.

2

Busselton Jetty

The Busselton Jetty is an absolute icon of the region, as the centre of (and spectacular backdrop to) all the activity and bustle of the City’s foreshore. Generations of family holidays and traditions have played out here, from walking along – or jumping off – it, to diving, snorkelling or fishing. Find your own way to experience the jetty, (at a history-making length of 1.8km) – whether it be visiting the Underwater Observatory (one of only six in the world), taking in the colourful coral and sea life underneath, or riding the famous red electric train to the end. This is an unmissable West Australian attraction.

3

Wonnerup House

At over 160 years old, Wonnerup House, run by The National Trust of Western Australia, is an important cultural and historical site just outside of Busselton, adjoining the picturesque Tuart Forest and Vasse Estuary wetlands. New informative displays explore a history of two worlds colliding, as the peaceful setting of Wonnerup belies a more difficult and turbulent past. Working with Traditional Custodians and members of the Layman family, the National Trust has installed a simple but provocative presentation to encourage visitors to question their knowledge of the past and to consider how we understand truth.

4

Tuart Ludlow Forest

Just inland from Wonnerup Beach, Busselton is bordered by the pure, majestic Tuart Ludlow Forest, a lesser-known nature’s paradise in the region. It is calm and quiet here. The beauty of the ancient tuart trees takes the stage; some 300 to 400 years old, with an average height of 33 metres and girth of 10 metres. There’s a myriad of ways to appreciate the forest, including the Tuart Drive tourist route, walk trails, tranquil picnic spots and a nocturnal possum spotlighting trail (as well as the Forest Adventures high ropes course). Wildlife and flora abound.

5

Forest Adventures South West

There is no better way to enjoy the forest than getting right up into the treetops – enter Forest Adventures! An eight-acre, high rope adventure course park with 77 activities spread over six courses, for people of all ages and abilities. The course combines world-class European standards for safety and design with the South West’s supreme environment, with many of the activities on offer being unique within Australia.

6

The Sophisticated Beast

Busselton can claim its unofficial title as the new beer capital in the South West. The craft beer pop-ups are, well, popping up! And the Sophisticated Beast is a great lo-fi addition, located in the Vasse light industrial area. The small brewery is run by an ex-winemaker with a decade of experience in the region, calling on that industry know-how by incorporating mature wine barrels and grapeskins into the brews. The mundane is avoided, and wild ferments and farmhouse styles are favoured, challenging minds and palates!

7

Whicher Ridge Wines

Whicher Ridge Wines is welcoming and authentic, where every experience is hosted by owner and winemaker Cathy Howard. The sustainable and personal winery is just 20 minutes inland of Busselton and houses a unique and original Wine Sensory Garden as the centrepiece of all visits. The garden helps to describe the flavours tasted in the wine, and teaches how easy it can be to pair food with wine. There is a choice of experiences, including wine tasting, garden tours, hamper picnics, evening soirees and more. The venue is dog friendly, where resident wine dog, Polly, is the star. Yes, this one is a little of the beaten track but well worth the journey.

8

After Hours Wine

After Hours Wine is a small family (and viticulturist) owned and run vineyard. The wines are small-batch, handcrafted and estate grown, with only 2500 cases of wine made each year from eight hectares. Plantings consist of Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Merlot, Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, with precision applied to all operations of the vines. The vineyard lies on the Carbunup River Flat, where vineyard management from the Mathews family has lead to low yielding, but high quality, grapes. The winery is open seven days, with the renowned West Winds Gin also distilled and available on site.

9

Discover Deadly

Whether you have a fascination or fear of scaly critters this renowned reptile centre provides ‘edutainment’ at its finest. Enjoy a fun experience with a difference: meet a friendly python, watch dragons being fed, learn about arachnids, listen to the frog chorus, or simply be mesmerised by the floating turtles. There is a themed nature play including a life-size 3D snakes and ladders game plus coffee available at weekends. The centre holds over 40 different species of reptile, amphibian, arachnid, and birds including a rather spectacular crocodile. Discover Deadly promotes conservation and respect for all native wildlife, it truly is one of Western Australia’s best reptile centres.

10

Flametree Wines

Flametree Wines is one of the only quasi-seaside wineries in the region, ideally located near the shores of Geographe Bay between Busselton and Dunsborough. The soaring cellar door -with its beach-style architecture – has indoor seating, a spacious deck and manicured grounds. There are plenty of options for wine tasting or sharing a produce platter with friends – either outside in the warmer months or fireside in winter. The staff is super knowledgeable and friendly, and the cellar door is a family and dog-welcoming venue (perfect for picking up a bottle en route home from a swim!).

11

Shelter Brewing Co

Although relatively new, Shelter Brewing Co is already a stalwart of the iconic Busselton Foreshore, with it’s the soaring, beer-hall-style dining room, frothing good beers and casual menu. The brewery claims to embody the soul of Busselton in all its efforts, owned and run by two long-time local families. Craft beer is made on-site (quite literally on the shores of Geographe Bay), there’s local wine and spirits on the drinks list, plus regional food made beautifully, with the kitchen featuring an imported woodfired pizza oven from Italy. It’s a new must-stop venue on your Busselton itinerary.

12

Origins Market

Origins Market is something entirely new in the South West: a community of over 60 local producers and makers under one stylish roof in a modern market and food hall environment. If you’re staying in Busselton or nearby, pop down for a morning coffee and pastry; to pick up fresh provisions of cheese, fish or meats; to have lunch, wine taste; take the kids to the indoor playground; the reasons are plentiful. The markets celebrate produce, artisans and gourmet eateries right in the heart of Busselton. Discover new butchers, fishmongers, bakers, brewers, winemakers, chefs, baristas and more.

Further Afield

We have just the thing if your kids need a good night’s sleep and you need them to run wild (or if you do, yourself!) How about a 2200sqm indoor trampoline centre? Gravity Etc lies a 20 minute drive north of Busselton and has been purpose-built for youth and families for maximum physical fun. Features include air-con, a café on the mezzanine level, free wifi, a parent retreat and viewing area, seven different fun zones, private event and party rooms plus a gated free play space for littlies under three.

Local Guides and Transport

Forage Safaris

A staple of Forage Safaris’ experiences is to meet with farmers and producers, in person and on their land. The safaris take in some of the region’s more “hidden-gem” makers, getting off-piste and along the backroads in all-inclusive food and farm experiences. Sustainability and luxury are key principles, with your pick of day trips to choose from and varying group suitability (even for families). Share in the joys of country life without pretension, but definitely with authenticity, personality and enticing picnics.

Gannaways Charters and Tours

Gannaways Charters and Tours has been operating out of Busselton – servicing Perth and the South West – for more than 40 years. If your holiday calls for private group touring, itinerary planning or event transport, Gannaways operates a fleet of luxury coaches and has a professional team ready to help with logistics and preparations. The experienced driving team has a vast knowledge of the Margaret River Region, and is fully qualified with current First Aid and working with children certifications.

Where to Stay

Broadwater Resort

The lush and leafy Broadwater Resort is engulfed by native ‘peppi’ trees along Geographe Bay beachfront, obscuring the bright and beachy rooms, apartments and villas dotted on its grounds. The resort is an oasis away from home, with a heated indoor pool and spa, outdoor pool, lounging and barbecue facilities, e-bike hire and boat-mooring options just to mention a few highlights. The new Tonic By the Bay covers your beach bar, eats and beats needs (and has become a fast-favourite with the locals) serving modern, seafood-inspired cuisine.

Abbey Beach Resort

Experience all the family holiday comforts of Busselton, but from your own slice of ‘millionaire’s row’ at Abbey Beach Resort. The white sandy beachfront at the doorstep is only part of the appeal here – lying just beyond the recognisable three storey rendered building – which holds one to three-bedroom apartments, each with private balcony and spa. Live your best resort life at the biggest accommodation of its kind in the region – complete with pristine Geographe Bay frontage, a restaurant, three bars, two pools, gym and sauna, playground, tennis and squash courts, sports and game hire, barbecue areas and much more.

Advice from a Local

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