Located on a peninsula surrounded by water, Bunbury is famous for its white sandy beaches, great fishing and the chance to interact with dolphins. Bunbury has a strong maritime heritage linked to the port.
Attractions and activities to consider on your visit to Bunbury include historic walks, local art and craft studios, galleries, museums, the Dolphin Discovery Centre and unique natural attractions.
View Western Australia’s southern-most mangroves, rare basaltic rock and wondrous tuart forest.
Bunbury has many multi-award winning restaurants, historic pubs and a relaxing cappuccino strip. A wide variety of accommodation is available, ranging from cosy
bed and breakfast establishments to top hotels.
Just beyond Bunbury is the rich agricultural hinterland offering wineries, farm stays, flowing rivers, valleys and a state forest showcasing rare tuart and jarrah trees.
In 1836, seven years after the founding of the Swan River settlement, Governor Sir James Stirling accompanied an expedition in the man-of-war ‘Sulphur’ to explore the Port Leschenault and Busselton regions. Lieutenant Henry William St. Pierre Bunbury, then in charge of a military detachment in Pinjarra, blazed the overland trail to meet Governor Stirling in December 1836 at Port Leschenault.
For that feat, Governor Stirling told the 24-year-old Lieutenant that Port Leschenault would be renamed Bunbury in his honour.
Bunbury recorded in his diary that he thought the district would become a thriving and important part of the colony.
A town site was announced when the Governor named Port Leschenault ‘Bunbury’ but the first town lots were not surveyed till 1841.
Highlighting Bunbury’s waterfront playground, this public open space is now a focal point for many festivals and events. Dragon boaters and rowers are often seen enjoying the inlet.
The old railway station’s days concluded in 1985 when it relocated to Picton Road, where the train departs to Perth twice daily. Visitors are welcome to view the architectural features that include curved rail verandah brackets and detailing on chimneys and windows. The station is now the location of the Bunbury Visitor Information Centre.
Street lighting, seating, sculptures and bollards in Bunbury’s main street have created a focus for the continuing development of the city. The design and furniture in Victoria Street is based on a recognition of Bunbury’s origins as a port settlement. At all times this restaurant and cafe strip is a hive of activity. Many buildings fronting Victoria Street have been restored to complement the area, including the former Grand Central Hotel and the majestic Rose Hotel.
The original lighthouse site used by the early whaling fleet as a vantage point for whale spotting. The 360 degree view from the lookout takes in the Darling Scarp to the east, Koombana Bay, the Leschenault Inlet and looks south over Geographe Bay to Cape Naturaliste.
Formed by volcanic lava flow believed to have occurred around 150 million years ago, the exposed basalt on the beach and down to the water line is one of only two places in Western Australia where this rock can be seen above ground. Beside the basaltic rock is a popular beach fishing spot.
Originally built around 1880 by brickmaker Henry King, the home is maintained by the Bunbury Historical Society as a museum showing domestic life in Bunbury at the turn of the century. Displays and photographs, tools, toys, costumes, etc. may also be seen. The museum is open daily from 2:00 - 4:00pm.
Gaze over Bunbury from this lookout perched high above the city to see water-ways, port facilities and inland views to the Darling Ranges.
A short walk west from the lookout is Bunbury Senior High School which overlooks the Indian Ocean. The school, opened in 1923 by the Premier Sir James Mitchell, has an amphitheatre set into the hillside.
The original lighthouse on Marlston Hill served the port for 33 years until 1903. It was moved to its present site in 1971 to create a prominent Bunbury landmark.
Bunbury’s White Mangroves are estimated to be 20,000 years old and are left over from an earlier tropical period experienced in the south west region. This is the most southern mangrove colony in Western Australia. A sensitively constructed 200m boardwalk follows tidal channels through the mangroves providing visitors with a truly unique environment, attracting over sixty waterbird species. Open and free to visitors at any time.
The Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre is built in the traditional proscenium arch style and provides theatre patrons with perfect acoustics and an excellent view of the generously proportioned stage. It was opened in 1990 by the Duke of Edinburgh.
Australian and international artists perform on stage at this magnificent venue.
The Bunbury Regional Art Galleries have hosted a variety of exhibitions, drawn from many sources including local, state and nationwide. Housed in a distinctive former convent, the Galleries house the Bunbury City Collection, initiated in 1948 by a bequest from the late Sir Claude Hotchin. Open daily except Tuesdays.
Located on the corner of Stirling and Parkfield Streets, this attractive garden lies directly opposite the Bunbury Post Office. Alongside is a memorial to John and Helen Scott, the first farmers in the Bunbury district.
Located on the corner of Victoria and Stephen Streets. Sir John Forrest, Baron Forest of Bunbury, Knight of the Order of the Crown of Italy, surveyor, explorer, politician and peer was WA’s greatest son. In 1979, Bunbury businessmen commissioned artist Mark Lebuse to sculpt Forrest’s head, now in Saint Paul’s Place.
Timber Jetty, Jetty Road off Casuarina Drive
St Mark’s Church — the second oldest Anglican house of worship in WA. The small cemetery attached to the church contains some wooden headstones marking the graves of early pioneers.
Paisley Centre built in 1894 and Bunbury’s only public building to have survived from that era.
Enjoy the tranquillity of Centenary Gardens. The original Bunbury Council Chambers were built in 1896 and renovated in an art deco style in 1935.
The fountain, a floating rotating 1500mm diameter sphere was a gift to the community of Bunbury celebrating the Water Board’s 100 years of service.