The Busselton Jetty in Western Australia is the longest wooden jetty (pier) in the southern hemisphere at 1841m
(nearly 2km). The area was first settled in 1834 when whaling began to flourish off the south-west coast. American
whalers would come into Geographe Bay with their square-rigged sailing ships to seek supplies and safe anchorage.
As a result, in 1839, Governor Hutt appointed Geographe Bay as the legal place for loading and unloading goods.
Lighters (flat-bottomed boats) were used to load and unload goods from the ships anchored in the bay.
Pressure From Settlers
In 1853, after pressure from settlers, an official sanction for the erection of a jetty in the bay was approved.
However work on the jetty didn't commence until 1865. Local hardwood timber was used to construct the 158.4m long
rough wooden jetty. Sailing ships docked up to the jetty and horse drawn carts carried goods to and from the
By the late 1870's drift sand began to build up under the jetty making it difficult for ships to dock and
forcing extent ions to be built. A 129m extension was added to the head of the jetty and then another five
extensions were added between 1884-1896. In 1911 the horse-drawn carts were replaced by steam engines which were
used for the next fifty years until the introduction of diesel engines in the 1960's.
The final extension to the jetty was made in 1960, bringing the total length to 1841m. State ships ceased to use
the jetty by the late 1960's and in 1973 the jetty was officially closed to shipping. After the closure,
maintenance was discontinued, leading to its deterioration.
In 1978, Cyclone Alby destroyed a large section of the jetty and it looked like the jetty would be demolished.
Local outcry eventually persuaded the State Government and the Shire Council to provide funds for its repair and
preservation and in 1987, the Jetty Preservation Society was established to provide community fundraising
campaigns. With overwhelming support and donations from the public they have raised over $9 million for the
preservation and for development projects for the jetty. In 1999 a fire destroyed nearly 65m of decking which was
repaired from funding from government bodies and the general public.
Today the jetty has an underwater observatory, a jetty train, Interpretive Centre and shops which attract over
200,000 tourists annually.
Links To Other Well Known Jetties in WA
One Mile Jetty
Flinders Bay Jetty
Hamelin Bay Jetty