Busselton Jetty on a cloudy day

Camping in Busselton: Everything You Need to Know

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Busselton is the perfect location for a family camping adventure. It is a short drive from Perth, past Yalgorup National Park, and only a further 30 minutes on from Bunbury, and located within the Greater Margaret River Region.

It has a multitude of caravan parks and places to stay and plenty of activities to keep you occupied. I have compiled this post to help you plan your own camping trip to Busselton and will offer suggestions on the best things to do in the region and outline some of the camping accommodation options.

Where To Go Camping In Busselton

There are at least a dozen caravan parks and campgrounds in Busselton. Despite the fact that there are so many places to stay they do tend to book out over long weekends and school holidays so book as far in advance as you are able.

There are also lots of other kinds of accommodation as well including holiday rentals and hotels ranging from budget to luxurious.

What follows is some of the most popular camping options in Busselton itself.

Busselton Jetty Tourist Park

Busselton Jetty Tourist Park is in the perfect location for a family camping trip in Busselton. On our camping trip we spent 7 nights at the Busselton Jetty Tourist Park (previously known as Kookaburra Caravan Park). We loved the location, right across the road from the foreshore walking path and 1.8km long jetty and within walking distance of town.

A highlight of the caravan park is the endangered ring tailed possums that live in the trees. They are easy to spot at night (they are nocturnal) are a novelty for the kids and a good prompt to talk with them about looking after our environment.

We enjoyed our stay there and would choose to stay again. We thought that the price was reasonable considering it was a peak period. We payed about $50 per night for a powered site.

Mandalay Resort

Mandalay Resort has camping or cabin accommodation with heaps of top class facilities like a pool with a water slide, a jumping pillow, and an awesome playground.

If Lala was in charge of booking holidays, this is the one that she would choose. It does come with a higher price tag though. You can check their current rates here.

Camp Grace Busselton

On Caves Rd you will find a whole bunch of campgrounds run by religious organisations. They are all located right near the water. They are open to the public but are sometimes booked out for school or church camp events.

Camp Grace comes highly recommended by my Mother-in-law who stays there regularly. The prices are lower because they are a community organisation. You are looking at a premium of $26 per night for 2 adults plus and additional $10 for each child which is not bad for a beachside location.

Other Camping Options in Busselton

There are plenty of other camping options in Busselton and like I said before, it often books out, so the best camp ground for you may be the one that has availability on the dates you want to travel.

If you are looking for a campground that is fun for the kids with all the extras try the Big 4 or Mandalay. If you want value for money and a great location try the Busselton Jetty Tourist Park or Sandy Bay Holiday Park. If you want a budget option then try one of the church run camp grounds like Camp Grace.

Best Things to do While Camping in Busselton

Busselton is very popular for camping because of its beautiful natural surroundings and the large number of attractions in the area. The towns of Dunsborough and Yallingup are also very close and I have included them in the following list of the best things to do while camping in Busselton.

Busselton Jetty

Busselton Jetty is Busselton’s number 1 tourist attraction. The jetty is 1.8km long and includes a number of attractions.

Busselton Jetty on a cloudy day

The Underwater Observatory

The Underwater Observatory sits at the end of the jetty. You are able to take a tour of the observatory where you can descend below the jetty and into the water without getting wet! It is similar to an aquarium but what you are viewing is the natural habitat surrounding the jetty.

It is only possible to do as a part of a tour. Prices vary depending on which tour option you choose but you are looking at approximately $100 for a Family Pass. You can find more information on the Busselton Jetty website.

Interpretive Centre and Entrance Fees

There is a fee of $4 to walk on the Busselton Jetty between the hours of 9 and 5. It is free to enter outside of these hours. You can walk the length of the jetty in about half an hour and it is easy enough to push a stroller. It is also popular for fishing. People were having quite a bit of success catching squid while we were there.

There is an Interpretive Centre at the start of the jetty which is included in your admission fee. You will find information on the history of the Jetty as well as a small gift shop.

Busselton Jetty Train Ride

The main attraction from a child’s perspective is the train ride down the jetty. El Enrique took Lala to enjoy this activity while I had a few hours off when we were camping in Busselton. While I napped and read my book, they lined up to buy tickets ($14 adult and $8 per child). Lala absolutely loved the train.


The Old Courthouse Precinct

For a small town there are plenty of museums and galleries to keep you occupied. Most of them are located on the main street in town, opposite the foreshore, in the Old Courthouse Precinct.

Heritage Buildings and Art Galleries

The Old Courthouse Precinct is set amongst a series of heritage buildings and includes a couple of small galleries, a museum and a gift shop. In the surrounding area outside there are a few statues with accompanying information telling you about some of the history and past characters of the area.

Lala enjoyed the displays in the Art Galleries to the sounds of us saying repeatedly, ‘Look but don’t touch. Look but don’t touch.’ She wanted to know what each picture was called and wouldn’t let us skip even one. We enjoyed our browse and found that the small galleries were a good avenue for local artists to receive some exposure.

The Courthouse Museum and Jail

The Courthouse Museum and Jail was amazing and I would recommend it to any visitor to Busselton. It was fun, educational and held the interest of all of us.

Rick and Em behind bars at the Old Busselton Jail

The Old Courthouse has been preserved and includes a book of stories from when the building was used as a courthouse and jail. My favourite story was about a couple of escapees. One had managed to escape and evaded recapture for about a week. The other was caught pretty much immediately and his excuse for escaping was that he was trying to call the other escapee back! (Yeah right! Nice try!)

We walked through the old jail cells and took some photos. They have a great feature in the jail where you can take your own mugshot with a few signs to choose from outlining the charge. El Enrique was jailed for Drunkenness and Lala was jailed for Disorderly conduct. I was amazed at the accuracy of the charges!

Em holding a sign, Çharged with Disorderly Conduct' at Busselton Lock-up


Busselton Foreshore

Playgrounds and Public Space

The Busselton Foreshore is a hive of activity. There is a new kid’s playground, plenty of green space, toilets and barbeques. Of course, it also offers close access to the beach and the Busselton jetty.

The playgrounds, beach and picnic spaces offer hours of entertainment for the whole family. There are also a few statues and historical markers dotted around the place that offer a glimpse into the past.

Walking Path

There is a long walking path along the foreshore that stretches in both directions for miles. I believe it is possible to walk along this path all the way to Dunsborough.

Riding a bike along the path at Busselton foreshore

Busselton Markets

Near the foreshore, just back from the kids play area and toilet we found the Busselton market. It is not on every Sunday so you will need to check on the council website or look for the signs plastered around town telling you when the next one is on.

We found it was a great market to explore with lots of interesting stalls. Em loved the jumping castle which was $5 for 20 minutes.

Restaurants

There are a couple of nice restaurants on the foreshore as well. We had Pizzas at Equinox one evening, which we enjoyed. Equinox is located right near a couple of huge old fig trees which are stunning and certainly attract the birds.

The Goose restaurant is closer to the Jetty and had a lovely outdoor area. I got a take away coffee from there but didn’t try the food.

There was another takeaway kiosk near the fig trees and Equinox as well, but I don’t remember its name. It was a lot more casual and had the usual take away suspects of burgers, pizzas and fish and chips.

The Visitor Centre

The Visitors Centre includes a room with history of the jetty and local area. I always like to ask about good walks in the area and they gave us some great ideas which you can read about here.

Busselton Beaches

Busselton is located on the Geographe Bay and is known for its beaches. When we arrived Busselton’s beautiful beaches were covered in seaweed but this is not always the case. We met a local who told us that the seaweed had only arrived the week before. Stirred up by a cyclone up north the currents pushed the seaweed to the shore. Such a shame it arrived just before us.

Busselton beach covered in seaweed

The seaweed prevented us from enjoying the beach as much as we usually would on this stay. We still spent plenty of time close to the beach but went a bit further afield for a swim. Yallingup town beach is located on the other side of the Cape which protected it from the seaweed onslaught. We also found Meelup Beach in Dunsborough was clear of seaweed.

The region as a whole offers plenty of options for beachside fun.

Busselton Town Shops

There are plenty of shops and cafes in town for you to enjoy. The main part of town was within walking distance from where we were staying so we went for a wander heaps of times.

El Enrique liked the surf shops. I liked the Leaf Love shop which sold all sorts of indoor plants. Lala likes every shop and consistently asks us to buy her everything she sees.

Walks in Busselton

We settled in to a bit of a routine on this visit. Most mornings we woke up, made a tea or coffee and took it with us for a walk along the foreshore. Lala rode her bike along the path and we would return to camp hungry. Food always tastes better after a bit of physical activity, and the mornings that we did the foreshore walk Lala ate all of her breakfast with no complaints or mucking around. She was ravenous after pedalling those little legs in the fresh air.

Riding a bike along the path at Busselton foreshore

We went on plenty of other walks on this trip and if walking is your thing you can read more about walks in the area here.

Yallingup Beach

Rick and Em enjoying the water at Yallingup beach

Yallingup beaches are known for their surf. On the day that we visited the water was a calm blue and perfect for swimming with kids. Up the stairs there is a carpark and a lookout over the Indian Ocean. There is plenty of green grass and areas to enjoy a picnic.

The highlight for the kids is an awesome playground based on a pirate ship. Lala loved ‘surfing the wave’ at the playground and we found a spot of shade on the grass to sit back and watch her play.

Playing on the crest of the wave at Yallingup beach playground

Ngilgi Caves

The main road that runs from Busselton through Dunsborough and Yallingup is called Caves Rd because the area is known for it’s multiple caves.

Ngilgi Caves used to be known as Yallingup caves. You can choose to explore the cave on your own or do a guided tour. A family pass is $58 or it is $22.50 per adult and $12.50 per child. There are also options where you can buy a multi cave pass.

Yallingup Maze

The admission fee includes access to their Nature playground, bouncy castle and to playing puzzles in their café.

The Maze is constructed from wooden panels and includes a tower that you can climb in case you get lost so you can find your way out. There is no shade over the Maze so it is probably best avoided on a hot sunny day.

Admission is $16 per adult, $14 per child or $56 for a family of 4.

Cape to Cape Track

The Cape to Cape Track starts in Dunsborough at Cape Naturaliste in the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park. The first 3.5km of the track from Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse to Sugarloaf Rock has been made accessible for prams and wheelchairs with a wooden boardwalk.

Em and I pausing for a picture on the Cape to Cape track
Sugarloaf Rock on the Cape to Cape track

The coastline along here is absolutely stunning and well worth the effort. We loved it.

Cape Naturaliste Rd

All you need to do to find countless beautiful beaches, walking trails and wineries is go for a drive along Cape Naturaliste Rd in Dunsborough. This is an absolute paradise that can more than compete with some of the most beautiful places in the world.

We loved Meelup beach. It is perfect for kids, nice calm waters with a few grassed areas and tables so it is a perfect area for a picnic as well. Bunker Bay was also a nice spot for a swim and a picnic. You could pick any of the beaches along this stretch of road and you can’t go wrong. 

Simmo’s Ice Creamery

Do yourself a favour and and visit Simmo’s Ice Creamery. We stopped there for an ice cream and paid $6 for an adult 2 scoop ice cream (but each ‘scoop’ was really about 4 scoops in one!)

They had about 60 flavours to choose from and we sampled 5 of them between the 3 of us and we were all happy.

Simmo’s is not just an ice cream shop. It had a massive garden with a kids playground, a bunch of coin operated kids rides, a playground, a jumping castle, mini golf and even a barbeque for people who wanted to make a day of it and bring their own lunch.

A jumping castle slide at Simmo's Ice-creamery
Fun rides at Simmo's

A definite highlight in the area with plenty to do. Not bad for the cost of an ice cream.

We can definitely recommend Busselton as a great area to go camping, or for any other sort of holiday. If you are looking for more camping inspiration within Western Australia, check out my WA Posts here. If you are heading south you might consider Walpole or Wave Rock. Heading North of Perth, there are heaps of options between Perth and Geraldton.

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Comments

  1. Busselton is definitely a town on my ‘must do’ list for when I eventually make it from the East Coast to the West Coast. I’m keen to explore the jetty and although I get claustrophobic, I’d still like to do the underwater area. You’d definitely need to prebook camp sites inside the school holidays. It’s good to hear that there are plenty of other things to explore with the kids while you’re there.

    1. Hopefully, you can make it to the west coast soon. So much better now that the borders are open again!

  2. This looks like a great area to visit! The views on the coast are beautiful! It would be so fun to visit the courthouse museum and jail and get a mugshot!

  3. Wow, it looks like a lot of fun, interesting activities beyond camping itself. Great for keeping busy families entertained. I’m sure the visit to the jail and getting a mugshot would be kick for families to do.

  4. Looks like such a fun place to go on holiday especially with family. I definitely would visit The Underwater Observatory. How fun to go under the water without getting wet. I am terrified of diving and also get motion sickness easily, so this is a fantastic option for people like me 🙂

  5. This looks like such a beautiful area, I’ve always wanted to visit more of WA and especially the Margaret River area since going to Perth in 2019! Exploring the Ngilgi Caves sounds like a great activity for families and I just love the small town vibe of Busselton. I’ll definitely keep it in mind for when borders reopen!

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