Cruise in to Busselton by ship! Situated at the northern gateway to the Margaret River Region, Busselton is a beautiful seaside town with the longest timber-piled jetty in the Southern Hemisphere. There’s no better arrival than to sail and anchor in Geographe Bay, then be greeted by crystal-clear waters and kilometres of white sandy beaches on your tender ride to shore.

A short stay in Busselton

Busselton is the perfect stepping off point to visit the Margaret River Region’s vineyards, ancient forests and caves, spectacular coastline. Visit nearby friendly townships of Dunsborough, Yallingup, Cowaramup, Margaret River, Augusta and everywhere in between.

Cruise ships visit the Margaret River Region from November to April with passengers welcomed at the Busselton Foreshore by an enthusiastic team of local visitor centre experts and cruise volunteers. Make sure to say hi and seek advice for making the most of your time ashore.

Each cruise line will offer their guests a selection of carefully curated shore-excursion programs, matched to the ship schedule. Highlights might include visits to spectacular capes, coastlines and bays, vineyard and winery tastings, enjoy local produce from paddock to plate or the option to explore ancient caves or a working lighthouse. These options are best to book in advance of a visit through the ship to make the most of a stay.

Busselton Highlights

Snorkel or paddle under the famous 1.8km Busselton Jetty, catch a train to its end and visit the underwater observatory, or peruse galleries and workshops filled with work by local artists. The self-guided Busselton Heritage (Walking) Trail takes in several fascinating cultural sites and heritage buildings, including the old courthouse and bonds stores, as well as the Busselton Museum located at the original town butter factory. For a small fee you can download the audio tour to your smartphone and listen to stories from times gone by, as well as access historic imagery and video.

Drinks & Eats
There’s also a great range of places to eat and drink to sample the best of local produce, wine or craft beer. From the timeless enjoyment of fish and chips by the sea, authentic crepes enjoyed alfresco bistro style, classic country pub fare, craft brews by the bay, and local ice-cream with milk sourced from a local dairy. Wine stores and local breweries are also accessible on foot from the cruise landing point.

For a taste of the region all under one roof head to Origins Market, where you will find stalls providing tastings of local wine, honey, baked goods, fresh juice, gelato, and much more, along with food trucks and vendors serving a wide range of international cuisines. Busselton Central offers a number of alfresco eateries from a morning coffee and brunch to sushi or gastro pubs.

If your ship arrival co-coincides with the local Sunday market day, you also have a chance to speak to local farmers and buy seasonal produce direct.

Getting Around Busselton
Busselton is a flat, compact town ideal for walking and exploring on foot. The main high street, shopping and dining district are all within a 5-20min (2-7 blocks) of the cruise tender arrival area.

There is plenty to see and do so make sure you pick up a copy of the Discover Busselton walking guide and map from the visitor information team on arrival.

For larger ship visits, with more than 1,000 passengers aboard, a complimentary City Hopper bus will be in service from 10am – 3pm*. Hop on and hop off at some of the key points of interest around Busselton town centre.

*Subject to change according to ship schedule.

Being regional, public transport between towns and points of interest is limited and infrequent. Booking a shore excursion to catch some of the regional highlights is the best way to guarantee making the most of your time ashore.

Private, tailored days out with a local, knowledgeable guide will take you to see some of the best of the region, before dropping you back to the foreshore with plenty of time to re-board the ship.

Taxis or car hire can be another great option, but are best arranged prior to your visit to avoid disappointment.


Guide To Booking a Taxi or Local Driver

For a truly unique experience, couples, extended family or small groups might consider hiring a private driver service as a great way to explore more of Busselton and beyond, with the added benefit of learning more about the region and its stories, or tailoring an itinerary to your needs.

There are a number of private charter and local tour companies available to service cruise passengers, best booked in advance of your arrival.

How To Purchase & Travel with Local Wine

What’s a visit to Margaret River wine country without sampling some local varietals, or taking home a souvenir bottle (or a case) to enjoy with friends and family when your cruise is over.

Cabernet and chardonnay might be king here, but the combination of the region’s geography, ancient soils and Mediterranean style climate make for a grape growing paradise. The boutique size of the wineries and intimate, personable cellar doors mean you will often get to taste premium wine not always available elsewhere. But travelling with wine can be challenging, so here are some local tips for how to best plan for your purchases and still travel back to the ship with ease.

  • Always check with your ship prior to disembarking, but many cruise lines will allow you to buy a bottle or two to enjoy back on board in the privacy of your cabin, or they might also offer a service where your purchases are checked and returned prior to your final destination
  • Did you know it’s cheaper to freight wine by the dozen? Many wineries offer fantastic cellar door and wine club special offers with free or low-cost shipping domestically. Australia Post also ships internationally to many countries so check with the cellar door.
    Please be aware that wine prices and shipping rates do not include duties & taxes (if applicable) for your country of origin when shipping internationally
  • Look for wineries that participate in the Mixed Case Shipping Program – simply purchase a few bottles from each winery you visit, and the last cellar door will arrange delivery to be made to your door (available in multiples of six bottles)

Buying Local Art & Craft

The region abounds with local arts, woodwork, crafts and produce. Your souvenir or gift purchases during your visit are made with love, time and patience.

Through your purchase you are supporting local businesses and a thriving artisan community. For convenience many galleries or shops may also be able to arrange freight or shipping for you.

Most wooden items are allowed if they are free from bark, insects and signs of insect damage, but must be declared.  To avoid disappointment please be aware of what you can and can’t travel with according to Australian Customs or your policies back home.

Advice from a Local

Speak to a local expert Advice from a Local Our team of local experts

Our team of local experts are here to help plan and book your stay in the Margaret River Region.