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Underwater Observatory

Underwater Observatory

Discover the depths of Geographe Bay, descend 8 metres below the water's surface to view some of the 300 different marine species sighted beneath the Busselton Jetty!

Explore one of only six underwater observatories in the world at the Busselton Jetty.

Your Underwater Observatory tour starts with a relaxing train ride on the Stocker Preston Express along the length of the Jetty with 360-degree views across Geographe Bay. One of our friendly tour guides will greet you at the end of the Jetty to guide you through the Underwater Observatory. As you descend 8 metres below the oceans surface you will be lead through the natural wonders that lie beneath the Jetty where it’s piles create Australia’s greatest artificial reef host to an inspiring forest of vividly-coloured tropical and sub-tropical corals, sponges, fish and invertebrates. 

Discover more than 300 individual marine species in their natural habitat through eleven viewing windows at various levels within the 9.5 metres diameter observation chamber.

Each year during autumn and winter, the Leeuwin Current brings a narrow band of warm water down the Western Australian coastline. This warm southerly current is responsible for introducing an incredibly diverse array of tropical and sub-tropical species into Geographe Bay, resulting in coral growth at a latitude of 33 degrees south. This is a remarkable phenomenon when compared to the western coastlines of other southern hemisphere continents such as Africa and South America which have no coral growth below 5 degrees south.

Access to the Underwater Observatory is only possible via two tours, one of which (Full Tour) departs on the hour from the Interpretive Centre (at the base of the Jetty) and take approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes to complete. The other is what we like to call a “Mini-Tour” and this begins at 5 minutes past the hour (at the end of the Jetty) for a safety briefing and requires the visitor to walk out to the UWO for a 15-minute, self-guided tour and walk back again afterwards. 

We do recommend starting you walk 30 minutes past the hour to allow for the 1.841km walk. Please note the Mini-Tours usually end at 25 minutes past the hour with the return train to shore departing 30 minutes past the hour meaning our friendly tour guides can sell you a one-way ticket back to shore if need be!

There are six flights of ten stairs within the Observatory however there is a lift which allows access for mobility impaired.

Translation sheets for tours are available in the following languages – Chinese, Japanese, Indonesian, French, German, Dutch, Italian, Korean and Polish.

Bookings are recommended and can be made by clicking Book Now, at the Interpretive Centre or over the phone on (08) 9754 0900.

Winter at the Underwater Observatory
An Underwater Sensory Experience

Winter at the Busselton Jetty is an experience unlike any other, where you can stand in the middle of the ocean under the crashing waves and ominous winds, letting your senses take control and guide your underwater journey. 

The Underwater Observatory tour starts with a relaxing train ride on our fully enclosed & solar powered Stocker Preston Express, 1.8km along the length of the longest timber piled Jetty in the Southern Hemisphere with 360-degree views across Geographe Bay. One of our friendly tour guides will greet you at the end of the Jetty to guide you through our Underwater Observatory that is only 1 of 6 in the world!

As you descend 8m below the waves you will be led through the natural wonders that lie beneath the Jetty, where the piles create Australia’s greatest artificial reef featuring an inspiring forest of vividly coloured tropical and sub-tropical corals, sponges, fish, and invertebrates, all of which experience drastic and visible changes during winter. 

Discover more than 300 marine species in their natural habitat through eleven viewing windows at various levels within the 9.5 metre diameter observation chamber and learn about the seasonal movements of sharks, whales, and other marine creatures during this time. At the seafloor, give our Virtual Reality goggles a go – you’ll get the chance to experience another spectacular season in our Sea of Discovery.

Come and explore an underwater world that remains hidden to most during winter, listen to the sound of the monstrous waves through our underwater microphone and watch in awe as you come face to face with mother nature at her fiercest as she crashes into the Underwater Observatory windows, making for one-of-a-kind sensory experience!