One of the joys of our trip to Western Australia was to be able to walk along the Bussleton Jetty which stretches a mile out to sea. A great way to start the day and blow the cobwebs away!!
“Busselton Jetty is the longest wooden jetty (pier) in the southern hemisphere,stretching almost 2 km out to sea from the town of Busselton, Western Australia. Because the shallow waters of Geographe Bay restricted ship movement, a long jetty was required so that the cut timber could be transported to the ships.
In 1839 Governor Hutt appointed “the place in Geographe Bay opposite the Settlement at The Vasse to be the legal place for the loading and unloading of goods”. Construction of the jetty – originally known as the Vasse Jetty – commenced in 1853 after persistent pressure by settlers. In 1865 the first section, approximately 176 metres, of the jetty became available for ships to moor. In 1875 an additional 143 metres was added to the original structure, as over 10 years’ accumulation of drift sands had made the water too shallow for mooring. The jetty was continually extended until the 1960s when it reached its current length of 1841 metres.
The jetty also features a rail line along its length, which operated commercially as part of the railway line into Busselton from Bunbury.” Wikipedia
At the end of the Jetty is an underwater observatory where you can view the sea life through windows. Fascinating ….
“The culmination of 10 years of planning and fundraising resulted in the opening of the Busselton Jetty Underwater Observatory on 13 December 2003.
Located 1.7 kilometres from shore at the end of the Jetty, the Underwater Observatory has been designed to accommodate up to 40 people at one time. Descending 8 metres beneath the waters’ surface, visitors can view the amazing corals and fish life through eleven viewing windows, at various levels within a 9.5 metre diameter observation chamber.
Described as Australia’s greatest artificial reef, the Busselton Jetty, with more than 300 individual marine species, is host to an awe inspiring “forest” of vividly-coloured tropical and sub-tropical corals, sponges, fish and invertebrates. Each year during autumn and winter, the Leeuwin Current brings a narrow band of warm water down the Western Australian coastline.
This warm southerly current is responsible for introducing an incredibly diverse array of tropical and sub-tropical species into Geographe Bay, resulting in coral growth at a latitude of 33 degrees south. This is a remarkable phenomenon when compared to the western coastlines of other southern hemisphere continents such as Africa and South America which have no coral growth below 5 degrees south.” Busselton Jetty 2011