No longer the industrial outcast of South Western Australia, Bunbury has transformed itself into a vibrant and cosmopolitan playground with a fascinating maritime and agricultural history and an exciting future.
Surrounded by stunning coastlines, verdant valleys, wineries, national parks and bushland and home to a growing number of top-class eateries, trendy shops, world-class attractions and family-friendly activities, Bunbury is now firmly on the map as a ‘must-visit’ destination.
It’s an aquatic playground, a nature-lover’s paradise, a treasure-trove for history buffs, a favourite amongst foodies, a wine connoisseur’s dream and a thrill-seeker’s paradise. There’s something for everyone and the choice is vast.
To whet your appetite and help you plan your itinerary for your next visit to this South Western gem, here’s our pick for the top 5 must do’s in Bunbury:
Dolphin Discovery Centre
Bunbury has a reputation as one of the best – and most beautiful – places in the world where humans can interact with wild, yet friendly dolphins. Its spectacular Koombana Beach is home to the Dolphin Discovery Centre, which recently underwent a multi-million dollar upgrade to provide visitors with the most memorable experience with these magnificent marine mammals. You can do a swim tour or take an eco cruise and you can find out more at www.dolphindiscovery.com.au.
Bunbury Museum and Heritage Centre
Discover the fascinating story of Bunbury’s maritime history though interactive exhibits, modern technology and historical objects and artefacts at the new museum and Heritage Centre. And if unravelling the past interests you, don’t miss the 12km Heritage Trail loop which incorporates 28 notable sites in the city area, including the old Railway Station (home to the Tourist Bureau) and the second oldest church in WA, St Mark’s which was built in 1842. Visit www.bunburymuseum.com.au for more information.
For an authentic ‘back-to-nature’ experience, head to Mangrove Cove in the beautiful and untouched Leschenault Estuary. For the energetic, there’s a 5km circuit around the Leschenault Inlet where you’ll find Western Australia’s southernmost mangroves and over 60 species of water bird or you can take a more leisurely stroll along the 200m scenic boardwalk which winds its way into the heart of the mangroves. You can find more information about walking trails in and around Bunbury at www.trailswa.com.au.
Explore the art scene
There’s a new artistic energy in Bunbury and it shows. From colourful street art and sculptures to the ever-changing exhibitions at the distinctive pink buildings (a former convent!) of the Bunbury Regional Art Galleries (BRAG), there’s always something fun, challenging, exciting and interesting going on in the city’s art scene. Find out more about what’s on in the six different gallery spaces at BRAG by visiting www.brag.org.au.
Bunbury Wildlife Park
Home to a wide selection of scaly, furry and feathered Australian wildlife including marsupials, birds and reptiles, a visit to t he Bunbury Wildlife Park is a fun day out for the whole family. Feed the birds in the free-flight aviaries, get up close and personal with a kangaroo and let the kids enjoy the awesome playground while you enjoy some refreshments in the cafe (or bring your own picnic!). And if you want to stretch your legs and get back to nature, the walking tracks and bird hides of the Big Swamp wetlands are just across the road. It’s open 7 days a week from 10am to 5pm on Prince Phillip Drive, Bunbury and you can find out more at www.bunburywildlifepark.com.au.
There are plenty of fabulous places to see in Bunbury and always lots on the go to keep everyone entertained. There are also many proud locals who’re more than happy to share their city with you and show you the sights, so check out some of the free guided walking tours on offer.
The locals will also happily share their secrets about the best places to eat in Bunbury and you’ll find that beachfront eatery, Aristos, is top of everyone’s list. Known for its phenomenal seafood, tender Harvey Beef steaks, Italian specialties and gourmet pizzas, friendly service, spectacular beachside location and surprisingly good prices, Aristos is a ‘must-do’ in Bunbury.
Whether you’re after a light lunch, a special seafood dinner or a seaside sundowner, Aristos’ bayside location, welcoming service, varied menu and consistently high quality has made it a favourite for locals and visitors alike. To make a reservation, check out the menu or find out more about this Bunbury icon, visit www.aristosbunbury.com.au or give them a call on 08 9791 6477.