Why go to Busselton?
Wine and whale watching are two of this recently revived port's standout attractions
Busselton's beaches are lovely, but be on the lookout for stinging jellyfish
This port is a true tourist destination, but it offers some unique and interesting attractions
Busselton Cruise Port Facilities?
Busselton Foreshore is the epitome of the town's beachside vibe, with playgrounds, barbecue facilities, picnic areas, toilets, showers and a network of pathways for walkers and cyclists. It takes on a fairground feel when cruise ships are in town -- with actors in period costume, vintage car displays, a mobile rock-climbing wall and bike and Segway hire services.
You could spend the whole day watching artists in residence in the Visitor Centre and taking in the 360 degree views from its lookout and exploring Busselton Jetty's Interpretive Centre, Cultural Heritage Museum and Underwater Observatory. How about taking a dip in the swimming enclosure, tanning on the sands or relaxing over a meal and glass of wine.
The Visitor Centre features an ATM and free Wi-Fi, and nearby culinary offerings include an ice cream kiosk/cafe and two great cafe/restaurant/bar/takeaway venues with views across the bay. The more traditional Equinox is nestled under huge fig trees, while the more contemporary Goose Beach Bar & Kitchen sits right on the edge of the sand with a lovely long veranda and offers free Wi-Fi. Simmo's, selling ice cream "born, bred and frozen in WA" was voted as one of the top 15 ice creameries in the world.
Good to Know?
At certain times of the year, small transparent jellyfish called "stingers" may be present in the water. While they are not lethal, they can give you a painful sting. Check with residents or the lifeguards on patrol if you are worried.
On Foot: The main road, Queen Street, runs from the Vasse River right to the beach, near where cruise passengers disembark. It is a five-minute walk to the centre of town. The terrain is flat, so it is very easy to stroll and check out the town's historic buildings, shopping precinct and foreshore.
<p>By Bike: The area around Busselton is ideal for cycling with a flat landscape and an excellent network of meandering, coastal bike paths. Bicycles are available for hire from the Busselton Visitor Centre (+61 8 9752 5800) and Electric Bike Hire (+61 0428 522 133).
By Shuttle Bus: A free shuttle bus from Busselton to the small town of Dunsborough, 14 miles (24 kilometres) away, operates on days cruise ships are in port. It leaves every half-hour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and departs from behind Simmo's ice cream bar.
By Taxi: For taxis and maxi-taxis, contact Busselton Taxis (+61 8 9752 2730).
By Hire Car: If you want to go further afield or take a self-guided drive, hire cars are available. Call Avis (+61 8 9754 1175), Dunsborough Car Rentals (+61 8 1800 449 007) or Hertz (+61 8 9791 8911).
By Charter Bus: Numerous charter companies offer small-group tours of the region, from set itineraries to bespoke tours. Make arrangements through the Busselton Visitor Centre (+61 8 9752 5800).
Currency & Best Way to Get Money?
The currency is the Australian dollar. Visit www.xe.com or www.oanda.com for exchange rates. ATMs can be found in Busselton's main street, Queen Street, and there is one in the Visitor Centre on Busselton Foreshore adjacent to the swim jetty where cruise passengers disembark.
English is the official language. One local term you might become familiar with, depending on the season, is the "Busselton wave." No, it's not a new dance move or a friendly gesture. Visit in spring, and you may find yourself doing it involuntarily in an attempt to swat the pesky bush flies that can be a nuisance. If flies are around, volunteers offer fly spray to passengers as they disembark on the beach.
Where You're Docked?
Geographe Bay is shallow, so ships anchor and tender passengers ashore. It's a beautiful ride across the sparkling clear waters of the bay, alongside the historic jetty with its photogenic boatshed-style buildings. Passengers alight at the Cruise Landing Jetty, known as the swim jetty, from where a temporary boardwalk stretches across the sand to the foreshore to ensure visitors do not get sand in their shoes. This is Busselton Foreshore, the town's main beach, so there is no cruise terminal. The Visitor Information Centre, shaped like a lighthouse, is located there, and it's an easy five-minute walk to Queen Street, which runs between the beach and the Vasse River.