One of the most iconic landmarks in Western Australia, The Busselton Jetty has just launched two new unmissable ways to experience the jetty this summer.
At 1841 metres, it’s the second longest wooden jetty in the world. You’ll be heading right down to the end of it, whether you choose to enjoy the new Deep Sea Pool or head off on a Sea Canoe and Seafood Tour.
The Olympic sized Deep Sea Pool is situated out at the end of the jetty, a realm normally reserved for the underwater critters that call it home. With over 300 marine species thriving here, it’s unlike any other pool you’ll have experienced. This underwater world has up until now been enjoyed from the drier confines of the jetty’s Underwater Observatory. Hali Townsend from the Busselton Jetty shares: “Normally lots of people are hesitant to swim out at the end. The addition of the pool has opened the experience up to many more people who might have otherwise been too scared to venture out that far. It’s been very popular, the peace of mind people have is reflected in the booking numbers.”
So how exactly do you set up a swimming pool in the middle of the ocean? Unlike a regular pool, this one doesn’t have any walls. Well, not visible walls. Hali has the low-down.
“The pool has 16 ocean guardians around it, to keep it as a safe spot for swimmers,” she says. “The guardians are like a shark deterrent, each one letting off an electro-magnetic receptor to the sharks. Don’t worry though, only the sharks can hear it! To give you an idea of the sound, it’s very unpleasant, kind of like when you are right up close to the speaker at a big music concert. They learn over time not to come to the area.”
Guests can enjoy the Deep Sea Pool in a couple of different ways; either by booking a snorkelling session or by taking part in one of the very popular undersea helmet walks. That’s right, you can actually go for an ocean bed stroll without any diving experience, thanks to the high tech SeaTREK technology. Bookings for both options are highly recommended, with only four spots available for each walk.
“There is a lot of wildlife to spot,” says Hali. “Along with seals and dolphins there are so many fish. Regular varieties seen include the black-headed puller, yellowtail scad, Australian herring, the leatherjacket species, white barred boxfish, rough bullseye and globe fish.”
If you’d prefer to stay on top of Busselton’s salty waters, then the new Sea Canoes and Seafood Tour is for you instead. Launched this summer along with the Deep Sea Pool, it’s one of the most unique ways to explore the region. You’ll kick off the morning with a paddle and the expert guidance of one of the region’s most knowledgeable guides, Gene Hardy.
Growing up in Margaret River, Gene’s experience and understanding of the region (both on and off the water) is extensive. As managing director of Cape to Cape Explorer Tours, a day spent with him is guaranteed to leave you with a deep understanding of the area.
“The sea canoe tours are fantastic and a give really unique perspective to things,” says Gene. “While we are out paddling, I speak about this area and the interpretation of the geology, the flora, the fauna and the difference aspects of the environment in the South West. That also of course includes the history of the Wadandi people and the early European settler history. It’s all woven throughout the journey out and around the jetty.”
While it’s not necessary to be a pro-rower, a base level of fitness is ideal to enjoy the tour. A bit of arm power is required to propel the see-through Perspex canoes up and around the jetty.
“We stay close together after heading off at about ten o’clock in the morning,” says Gene. “It’s about a 3.6km paddle with plenty of stops along the way so it’s not super-fast, and it’s very enjoyable. It really is a wow moment going around the end of the jetty. It looks like a long way out from the shore, but you paddle down to the end and then come round and look back at the land from the aqua blue ocean. Everyone else is on the jetty looking down wishing they were out here with us. It’s pretty special.”
After all of that action on the water, guests are rewarded with a seafood spread smack-bang on the Busselton foreshore. You couldn’t get a better view of Geographe Bay, and it’s made even better with the feast by Western Growers Fresh laid out under a marquee for the occasion. The lunch features West Australian produce including smoked salmon and rainbow trout from Pemberton, North West prawns, marinated Arthurs Grove olives from Boyanup and of course some local Margaret River wine from Swings and Roundabouts.
“It’s something really iconic,” says Gene. “You can tick off the bucket list a trip to the Busselton Jetty, and the location is just completely unique when seen through this perspective.”