15 February 2018
15 Must Dos in Bunbury
The new cool-cat in the tourism scene, Bunbury is bursting with must-do adventures.
Ease yourself in with Bunbury’s street and public art, the largest collection in regional Australia. Get your copy of ReDiscover and Outside the Box Street Art Map by Six Two Three Zero and find inspirational urban art and whimsical characters painted by leading WA artists on 20 electrical boxes scattered through the CBD. Bunbury is also home to Australia’s best performing entertainment centre –BREC; BRAG, the largest WA regional art gallery, Australia’s biggest music festival, and performing arts organisations including the South West Opera Company and Philharmonic South West. With legend festivals, mind-blowing art, or awesome warehouse music events, your cultural Charaka will be blessed.
Wander down one of Bunbury’s most-loved streets. It’s known for cute, independent shops, restaurants, small bars and great street-side people watching. For dinner, Market Eating House is a perennial, local favourite and a West Australian Good Food Guide 2017 Top 25 Casual Dining Restaurant. Foodies should also venture to the Marlston Hill Waterfront or East Bunbury near the Parade Hotel.
Koombana Bay is home to a large population of bottlenose dolphins and serves as a resting area and breeding ground. A group of around 100 to 150 dolphins is regularly seen in the bay and surrounding waters. Join the team at the Dolphin Discovery Centre for an intimate swim with wild dolphins in their natural environment. If you’re not keen on getting wet, take a 1.5 hour Dolphin Eco Cruise within Koombana Bay.
The city is eminently manageable by foot, but Bunbury is a great place to explore by bike too - Bunburians love the outdoors so the city has a plethora of walking and bike trails. For an epic ride, take a Fat Bike Beach tour with Melo Velo. Leaving their bike shop come cafe at 5pm, the ride takes you into the beautiful Maidens, around an awesome loop and then back into the CBD along the beach.
A new majestic sculpture watches over Koombana Bay in Bunbury Geographe. Discover the Wardandi Boodja a five-and-half-metre steel bust sculpture representing a Noongar face created by local artists Alex and Nicole Mickle of Safehaven Studios alongside design engineer Mike Kimble. More than a year in the making, the bust commissioned by the City of Bunbury was officially unveiled in February 2019.
Photo credit - Chris Himing - 360 World Photography
No visit to BunGeo’s capital is complete without a little shopping spree. Go forth and explore the boutiques hidden in old warehouses, down side streets and more. As the South West’s shopping capital, you will also find an array of high street shops, department stores and more.
The serene Koombana Bay is one of only a few north-facing Australian beaches and with its new foreshore redevelopment its popularity, particularly amongst families is skyrocketing. Our resident dolphins love it too! On the other side of the CDB, Bunbury’s Back Beach is the place to go for bodyboarding fun, or for those who like clothing optional head south to Mindalong.
The streets of Bunbury’s CBD are filled with history and mystery. From a school attended by former WA Premier Sir Newton Moore, the family home of Western Australia’s most famous pioneering family, impressive buildings built by a convict’s son, 80s inspired Alan Bond architecture, to sacred sites of our Noongar first settlers. Make sure you stop at the Bunbury Museum & Heritage Centre too.
Bunbury’s Mangrove Walk is a truly spectacular way to stretch your legs. The mangroves are a freak occurrence and the southernmost mangroves in Western Australia. Then, continue around the Leschenault Inlet, a serene waterway with a dual-use walkway that winds past the mangroves and toward a restaurant-fringed shoreline. Finish up at the Marlston Waterfront Precinct – see the bust of French Explorer Nicolas Baudin and read about the city’s rich maritime history. Did you know that Koombana Bay holds the remnant of at least 13 shipwrecks!
12. Get on a high with a Scenic Flight. A scenic flight with the Bunbury Aero Club is a guaranteed boast-worthy trip. It’s the best way to see the BG, with 30 min or 1 hour options. You can design your own flight plan or, upgrade to a Trail Introductory Flight and learn to fly while you’re at it.
Set sail for a day on Ocean West Charters – they have a range of options including short bay cruises with the dolphins of Koombana Bay, to weekend holidays. Anchor for lunch, take a swim, or relax on the deck and soak up the sun. Or, join a crew at Koombana Bay Sailing Club for their Wednesday night twilight sail. If a slower pace is more your style, cruise the Koombana Bay and the Leschenault Estuary on the Elandra by Three Water Cruises. Have a truly memorable undersea experience, diving on Lena Ship Wreck with Octopus Garden Dive Charters. Finally, try the fastest growing water sport that’s also loads of fun. On the shores of Koombana Bay, SUP Bunbury is a team of local SUPaholics run by ASI accredited SUP Instructor Mel Hynynen. If you’ve mastered your SUP board and ready for your next challenge then test your balance with SUP Yoga.
Taste black apples straight from the tree and wash your hands with foaming wattle leaves on an Aboriginal Heritage Tour. Local Noongar Tour guide, Troy Bennell has made sure the tours are in-depth and honour his Indigenous heritage.
This place is legendary; so much so, many Perth ‘golden-triangle’ residents travel the two-hour drive to shop. The produce here – much of it sourced from surrounding farms – is mostly organic and explodes with flavour. Grab gourmet pies, the most amazing local and French cheeses, hand-pressed juices to go, and oh so much more. Alternatively, whet your appetite at a wonderful bi-weekly ode to all things fresh and artisanal at The Bunbury Markets Queens Gardens.