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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Australia 2014: Busselton - Out & About

A Morning at the Market

The next day we were up bright and early, all ready to go for the nearby Sunday market in the town of Vasse, where we hoped to stock up on some homemade food products and other interesting knick knacks.
The Sunday Market at Vasse, just half an hour away from Busselton.
My mum-in-law was happy to buy some lovely homemade cakes,
which the boys happily devoured.

Of Ice Cream & Other Delights

Although there were a few good buys at Vasse, those didn't seem to satisfy us; the boys at least were up for an ice cream - especially on such a hot day. So we headed off to the famous Simmo's Ice Creamery, which was said to be a "must go" place for the kids. We were, however, a tad disappointed as the quality of the ice cream was not nearly as good as the ones we ate at both the Swan Valley and at Harvey Cheese. The service was also wanting, and we were rather put off by the policy that customers are not allowed to sample flavours before making purchases. But what Simmo's lacked in its service, it made up for in the large playground area located within its premises.
Z enjoying his lovely chocolate ice cream.
A lovely playground area for children to burn off the sugar from the ice cream.
We loved the wooden equipment in the playground.
Simmo's even engaged a visiting entertainer to set up a camel ride. While the price
of A$8 per person was a little steep, the boys were thrilled at the experience.
E was of course happy to have a free ride on his personal "camel".
A contented 2yo at the end of the afternoon.

Fishing at the Busselton Jetty

As the day drew nearer and nearer to its close, we decided to head back nearer our resort. The Busselton Jetty, just a stone's throw away, was the perfect end to a busy day. My mum-in-law was itching to get some fishing done. But because we had not applied for a fishing permit, we could not fish in any enclosed water bodies (fishing permits can be applied online but you need at least two weeks for approval to be granted). We were, however, allowed to fish off the coast or off the jetty. So it seemed appropriate for us to take our chances with the fish there.

The Busselton Jetty is also apparently the longest timber-piled jetty in Western Australia, which makes for an interesting visit even if you're not into fishing. This is what the official Buseelton Jetty website says about the site:

Just two and a half hours drive south of Perth, the Busselton Jetty is situated at the northern gateway to the Margaret River Wine Region, in the seaside resort town of Busselton.

Extending 1.8 kilometres over the protected waters of Geographe Bay, the heritage listed Busselton Jetty is the longest timber-piled jetty in the Southern Hemisphere. As one of the most popular tourist attractions in Western Australia, it is a must see for any visitor to the Capes Region.

Construction of the Busselton Jetty began in 1865. Beginning as a mere 161 metres, sand drift resulted in an additional 131 metres being added in 1875. Further extensions were made throughout the following 90 years creating the remarkable 1.8 kilometre length.

After more than a century of use and servicing over 5000 vessels, the Busselton Jetty officially closed as a Port in 1973. Once closed to shipping, government maintenance ceased.

Following the decline of government funding and the crippling effects of Cyclone Alby in 1978, a community group was formed to raise funds for much needed restoration and maintenance. Between 1987 and 2003, the community organisation now known as the Busselton Jetty Environment and Conservation Association (BJECA) raised sufficient funds to replace 50% of the Jetty structure, establish the train service and construct the iconic Underwater Observatory and Interpretive Centre.

In 2011 a $27 million refurbishment of the jetty structure was completed. $24 million was contributed by the Western Australian State Government with the balance contributed by the Shire of Busselton and BJECA.

The Busselton Jetty stands as a monument to the spirit and dedication of the Busselton community.

Sundown by the Busselton Jetty
The local birds waiting for their chance at an evening meal.
Our little boy was so happy to walk along the jetty.
A happy Daddy-Son moment.
The boys with their doting grandparents.
"Where are the fish?", the 2yo asks.

Our 4yo was also eagerly looking for the fish.
A warm brotherly moment.
Looking out.
All ready for the fish.
Casting the rod.
Our 2yo tries his hand at fishing.
Fisherwoman May
The first fish.
Leaving my in-laws to continue their serious task of fishing, we decide to head back to the car.
But not before taking some lovely family photos. 
This is our 2yo with bis beloved Mummy.
My lovely wife. Looking ever so sweet.
The lovely waters of Geographe Bay. Stunningly gorgeous at sundown.
Sunset view of the jetty.
A scene from the lovely park just at the edge of the jetty.
It was soon dark and we headed back to our resort, with my in-laws very pleased with the herring that they had caught - the little fish were to become a lovely meal for another day.

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