Busselton Underwater Observatory

You are all going down to the bottom of the sea – safe and dry inside a tunnel. You start to descend the ramps and stairs that lead downwards. There are thick acrylic windows all around you. You can see the underside of the jetty, and the barnacles clustered on the wooden piles. A few steps further and you are below the surface of the water. You glimpse a school of silver trevally flashing past, beautiful white corals, orange sponges, a starfish… The kids’ noses are pressed to the windows, and there’s a loud squeal when the dark shape of a shark glides past.

Price range

MID-RANGE

Contact details

Busselton Jetty

Queen St, Busselton; (08) 9754 0900
 
 
Tour only; hourly departures

Don't Miss

■ The starfish, nudibranchs, sea cucumbers and small fish hidden amongst the coral and sponges.

Fabulous Facts

The jetty piles act as a wonderful artificial reef, and the warm currents of water flowing down this coast encourage an incredible diversity of tropical and sub-tropical marine species to thrive here. These include vividly coloured corals (which do not usually occur so far south), cuttlefish, octopus, stingrays, Port Jackson sharks and wobbegong sharks. Away from this artificial reef, the sea floor is covered with seagrass meadows that can be viewed through a special window.

Insider Tips

■ There is an interpretive centre at the beginning of the jetty where you pick up or purchase tickets. Watch images from the underwater camera here for a live preview of what is happening down below.

■ Only 40 people can be accommodated in the underwater observatory, so bookings are essential.
 
■ The observatory is located near the end of a 1.8-kilometre jetty. There is a little train that runs along it, and the fare is included in the entry to the observatory.
 
■ If you wish to walk, be sure to wear good walking shoes and appropriate clothing. It can be cold and blowy on the jetty.
 
■ Allow enough time to get out to the observatory for your tour. It takes about 25 minutes to walk.
 
■ The tunnel descends to 8 metres below sea level and there are 11 viewing windows at various levels.
 
■ The website has a kids’ section under Marine Research, and you can print out a colouring picture of sea creatures you might see at the jetty.
 
■ Fishing is permitted off the jetty.

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