Bunbury Tourism & Travel
Bunbury is a major port and business centre of the southwest and a hub of regional development. 173km south of Perth, Bunbury has all the major benefits of city-living commercial opportunities, facilities and attractions mixed into a beautiful, lush seaside setting with a country pace. The fishing, swimming beaches, temperate climate and proximity to the southwests popular towns make Bunbury a popular spot for holidaymakers heading down the coast south of Perth.
After the Swan River Settlement was established in 1829, Captain James Stirling sent out exploration parties to find land suitable for agriculture. Bunbury originally called Port Leschenault was deemed a place of importance and so the settlement was founded in 1836.
The town grew when whalers began using it as a port until they moved to Geographe Bay, just off Busselton. Bunbury quickly became the centre of shipping, transporting wheat and timber from inland. Bunbury then took on the role of holiday destination to miners families taking a break from the eastern goldfields near Kalgoorlie.
During the 1950s, the areas mineral deposits were mined and in the 1970s, an artificial deep-water harbour was constructed leading to Bunbury gaining official city status in 1979.
Today, Bunbury is one of Western Australias largest towns. Major industries for Bunbury are farming and agriculture, wine production, woodchips, alumina and of course, tourism.
Many of the attractions of Bunbury are nature-based, including the Dolphin Discovery Centre in Koombana Bay operated by the Bunbury Dolphin trust. Shore or boat-based interactions are available to get to know the wild dolphins in their natural habitat.
Dolphin Discovery Centre
Largely a volunteer team operates the Dolphin Discovery Centre at Bunbury. The interpretive centre covers many aspects of the dolphins and sitting in the deck chairs watching documentaries on dolphins and listening to the calls of pods of dolphins is an extremely relaxing experience.
Dolphins swim close to the shore on a daily basis, but as dolphins are wild, the appearance of dolphins at the shore cannot be guaranteed.
Volunteers host the dolphins and describe the attributes of many of the dolphins that have graced Koombana Bay for years the volunteers know the individual dolphins by name and are delighted to share their knowledge with all comers to the Dolphin Discovery Centre at Koombana Bay, Bunbury.
Big Swamp Reserve
White mangrove areas around the port of Bunbury are estimated to be 20,000 years old. A 200m boardwalk has been constructed to provide a walk over this amazing coastal vegetation. Birdlife is prolific in Big Swamp Reserve.
Tuart Forest National Park
Close to Bunbury is Tuart Forest National Park, which contains the largest remaining stand of Tuart trees in the world. These slow-growing hardwood trees are unique to the southwest area and are estimated to be 400 years old.
The Ludlow Tuart forest is a fantastic spot for a barbecue or picnic as you unwind under the shade of giant tuart trees. Walk through the forest out to the coast or up to a lookout for fabulous views of Bunbury. It costs nothing to explore the beautiful and diverse species of flora and fauna in this picturesque, rugged forest landscape.
Bunbury offers many locals pubs, restaurants and cafes to experience. Attractions include Kings Cottage Museum with its valuable collection of pioneering material and its recreations of various periods in local history, Boulters Heights with its man-made waterfall and views over the harbour and the Timber Jetty now used for pedestrian traffic, fishing and crabbing.
Donnybrook Bridgetown on the Blackwood River
The apple-growing town of Donnybrook, Bridgetown on the Blackwood River and the forestry centre of beautiful Manjimup are very close by. Bunbury is a major port city that can be used as a great transitional or coastal stopover point for exploring the abundance of attractions in the southwest region.