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.”