Your ultimate guide to Busselton and its surroundings during winter
Winter in Australia's South West is a time to escape reality, recharge, and reconnect with loved ones while exploring the captivating offerings of the region. With an abundance of incredible experiences, including whale watching, truffle hunting, gastronomic delights, invigorating hikes, and more, the winter season in Busselton promised unforgettable moments.
Where to stay
Nestled near Geographe Bay's serene waters and a picturesque swimming beach, BIG4 Breeze Holiday Parks - Busselton is the perfect place to stay. This family-friendly holiday park offers a range of accommodation options from self-contained luxury bungalows, villas, chalets, and cabins to spacious caravan and camping sites. The park provides a host of kid-friendly activities such as playgrounds, NEOS 360 play zone, paddle board and pedal kart hire, a splash and play zone, and a swimming pool - ensuring endless entertainment for the little ones.
What to do
Winter is prime whale watching time in the South West. Humpback and southern right whales begin their migratory voyage north from mid-May to August, tracking the coastline from Albany to Bunbury and beyond.
If you would rather stay on land and try to spot some whale action, try the Busselton Jetty. Walk or ride the Jetty Train to the end of the jetty, almost 2km offshore you'll be in the perfect place to spot them.
Walking part of the Cape to Cape Track is another perfect place to spot some whales. The track follows the Leeuwin-Naturaliste ridge, which is bordered by the Cape Leeuwin and Cape Naturaliste lighthouses and provides breathtaking views of the ocean.
Perfect all year round, Forest Adventures South West is a high ropes adventure course park. There are 77 activities spread over six courses of varying height and difficulty, set among the treetops of Ludlow Tuart Forest. There is something for everyone to enjoy in a safe, fun and fulfilling experience.
The high ropes sessions run for two hours, and prices begin at $36 for children and $44 for adults. Be sure to book in advance to avoid disappointment. There is also plenty of picnic space available, so make sure to pack a picnic to enjoy after your adrenaline-filled fun.
The Busselton Jetty is the longest timber-piled jetty in the southern hemisphere, lengthening for 1.8km over Geographe Bay. This is a must-see for any traveller passing through the South West, and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Western Australia.
Board the train and take a ride along the jetty to the end to the Underwater Observatory. The iconic red solar-powered Jetty Train is the ideal way to experience the Busselton Jetty. The Jetty Train tour promises to provide something for everyone, from catching a glimpse of dolphins frolicking to observing local fisherman snaring their catch of the day.
Explore one of only six operating Underwater Observatories in the world. Discover Geographe Bay's depths by diving eight metres below the water's surface to see some of the 300 different marine creatures spotted.
There is plenty of great hikes in the South West region, and there's no better time to explore during winter when the air is crisp.
Bibbulmum Track is the most well-known hiking trail in the region, extending 1000km from Kalamunda to the historic town of Albany along the south coast.
Formally known as 'Rails to Trails', Wadandi Track is open to walkers and cyclists and showcases the heritage of the former Busselton and Flinders Bay Railway. The track will take you through some of the most stunning natural bush, farmland and vineyards.
Wanting something more coastal? The Meelup Reserve Trail is a stunning tranquil 7km coastal walk along the north-facing Geographe Bay. A moderately easy walk, the track comprises mainly of limestone and granite paths decorated with white sandy turquoise bays and pristine bushlands.
The Cape to Cape Walk is 123km long and runs along the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge, from the lighthouses of Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin. The highlights of the walk are remarkable coastal and forest scenery, a range of cliffs, caves headlands and rock formations set amongst the ever-changing display of wildflowers and vegetation.
The South West's waterways bounce back into life over the winter months, with an abundance of water from the rain.
Only a short walk across a 25m suspension bridge over Beedelup Brook, you will be able to admire the Beedelup Falls. You will get great views of the falls from the bridge or timber boardwalks and platforms.
Feeling a little bit more adventurous? Hike for one hour through the bushlands to Quinninup Falls. Admire the coastal scenery along the walk before arriving at a steep sand dune before the falls.
The seasonal falls, Capel Ironstone Gully Falls is best during a wet winter, where the water cascades over the 9m ledge. There is also a picturesque picnic area to stop after.
The Western Australian truffle season runs from June to September. The rich soils and cool climate in Manjimup are perfect growing conditions for black truffles.
Get out and get your hands dirty to discover what lies beneath the surface and to see why these pieces of South West gold are being used in local truffle products as well as being exported to some of the finest restaurants in the world.
Follow one of the farmers and their truffle dogs between the rows of oak trees, on a tour with Australia Truffle Traders.
Where to eat and drink
The South West region is one of the superior wine-producing regions in Australia because of its close proximity to the ocean and Mediterranean climate producing near-perfect grape growing conditions for winemakers.
More specifically, the Margaret River region is a prodigy, earning success, prestige, and international praise at a young age. The region is already internationally recognised, with almost 100 cellar doors to experience.
The Flametree Winery and Cellar Door is situated on the picturesque shores of Geographe Bay and offers a relaxed and informative wine-tasting experience. The winery is kid and dog-friendly with a spacious lawn area to enjoy.
Family-owned and operated vineyards, Palmer Wines is one of the pioneer vineyards in the region. The underfloor heating will keep you cozy in winter.
For a truly unique wine-tasting experience, visit Whicher Ridge Wines located in a quiet rural setting off the beaten track. The highlight is the Wine Sensory Garden, where you can learn how to describe the flavours in the wine and the simplicity to pair a wine with food.
Lentedal Vineyard Estate is the place to go for a warm welcome, great wine, good food and friendly farm animals. The family-owned boutique winery is kid and dog-friendly, so the perfect day out for the whole family.
Busselton is a haven for beer lovers, with an ever-growing number of breweries to try out.
Located at the end of the Busselton Jetty, Shelter Brewing Co the perfect place for a fresh, tasty beer and a good feed. They make their own craft beer on site, which is then poured fresh straight from the serving tanks.
Rug up next to a fire while taking the in the views of the approaching storms at Wild Hop Brewing Co. The crew at Wild Hop Brewing Co have created a place for the whole family to enjoy. There is a rotating tap list and menu, giving you another reason to come back again to try something new.
Eagle Bay Brewing Co is a microbrewery, restaurant and vineyard hidden away on a family farm, with stunning views over the rural landscape and the Indian Ocean. They are a family-owned business that is eager to share their enthusiasm for handcrafted brewing, winemaking, local produce, fresh ingredients, and delectable cuisine. Enjoy a lively atmosphere while relaxing for a fantastic meal or late afternoon beverages with amazing beer, wine, food, hospitality, service and atmosphere.
Beerfarm is an independently owned Australian brewery, who work with both the land and environment to create good times and even better beers. Beerfarm is committed to reducing their footprint every step of the way and improving sustainability practices wherever they can.
Origins Market is a unique market located in the heart of Busselton. They've created a community of Western Australian producers by showcasing fresh vegetables, local artisan products, and gourmet meals. Open Thursday to Sunday each week, with Night Markets every Friday and Saturday night.
Cabin Fever is a 10-day destination winter festival hosted in the Margaret River region in July. Through a series of unique activities offering regional products, award-winning wine and beverages, live music, art, and entertainment, the festival celebrates the varied range of experiences available throughout the Margaret River region.
With more than 40 events including food, fire, and fine tunes, you'll find winter feasts and rich wines.