Monday, December 23, 2013

Busselton Jetty

Bussleton Jetty was officially part of our Margaret River trip, but it is so beautiful and the colours and lines are so stunning that I think it deserves a post of its own. The largest wooden jetty in the Southern Hemisphere, it juts out 1.8km over the waters of Geographe Bay. The bay is shallow and so the long jetty was necessary to transport cut timber to ships. 

Building of the jetty began in 1853 and it was continually extended until the 1960s when it reached its current length. It was closed to shipping in 1972 and  began to fall into disrepair. Threatened by fire, rot and wood borers, it was particularly hard hit by Cyclone Alby in 1978. The townsfolk established a preservation committee to raise funds for its reconstruction. It now features an underwater observatory, a tourist train, and interpretive and poetic panels along its length.

Nicholas Baudin was the leader of the French expedition of 1801, which marks the beginning of European history in the area. He sailed to the coast of Western Australia with his ships the Geographe and Naturaliste, naming Geographe Bay and Cape Naturaliste after his vessels.

Nicholas Baudin

Fish by Nicole Mickle
Fish by Lucy Dougan
I'm not sure which came first; the bronze statue by Nicole Mickle or the nearby prose plaque with words by Lucy Dougan. You can click on the image to enlarge it and read all the words about the girl who loves to frolic in the water. It ends with a description of her dad shaking the sand from her towel for her. 
"And I think it would be nice just for a little while to get wrapped up in that towel in his arms, feel his scratchy chin through my salty hair that dries like big bundles of seaweed. He'll be saying something about how it's not long before we have to do something about fish and chips... and he'll be saying where's my fish girl then, where's my catch of the day..."

Part of the old jetty is preserved next to the new.

The public art sculptures along the jetty are by Alex and Nicole Mickle from Studio 33.

Hoggy paddling round the jetty
The end of the line
Mr Smartypants powering through the water
Waiting for refreshment at The Goose

This barrel on a 30 foot wooden pole was erected in 1836 at the beach front by the first settlers as a means of indicating the best landing place for cargo and passengers. It did service for 34 years before being replaced with a timber lighthouse.

The tub

It simply has to be done!


  1. Love the pictures of the jetty and it's surroundings. Made all the more better (uhm - pretty sure those last two words shouldn't be put together - oh well) by the photographic doctoring. Love Sarah xxx