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History of the Jetty

 

The Busselton Jetty is one of the most recognizable icons in Western Australia. It currently stands at 1841 metres in length making it the longest wooden piled jetty in the Southern Hemisphere. It is now used exclusively for tourism and recreation but it has a colourful past as a working jetty.

In the early years of European settlement in the Busselton/Vasse region, agriculture was the main commercial activity undertaken. Crops such as wheat, barley and oats were grown, although wheat quickly became the most successful. Livestock such as sheep, pigs and cattle were also raised. Some of these stocks were exported from the area as early as 1858. The timber industry was also underway at this time with the government offering large concessions and special timber licenses in 1850. This led to the first of the region’s timber mills being built in Quindalup in 1858.

American whalers also recognized Geographe Bay as a bountiful source of whales and these sailors regularly dropped off large amounts of whale oil and picked up supplies from the settlers of the South West. A light beacon was erected in 1836 as a navigational aid. This beacon consisted of a spar – 10m high with a barrel containing a lamp on top. This rudimentary light house was affectionately known as ‘The Tub’ and was located north of the Marine Terrace and Queen Street junction.

Download the full Busselton Jetty timeline here.