Busselton Jetty

Busselton, Western Australia | C.1853

Photo Credit: @archi_techt

Busselton Jetty is the longest wooden pier in the world, stretching nearly two kilometres out to sea from the town of Busselton, Western Australia. Because the shallow waters of Geographe Bay restricted ship movement, a long jetty (Australian for pier) was required so that the timber cut further inland could reach shipping routes.

The original structure unveiled in 1853 was nowhere near as long as the pier that stands today. Extensions over the next century would bring it to its modern length.

On October 17, 1971, the last commercial ship visited the Busselton Jetty. It was permanently closed to shipping the following year by Governor’s Proclamation after well over a century of use. Once closed, government maintenance of the jetty ceased and it began to deteriorate, converged on by wood-eating insects, fires and dry rot.

The destruction came to a head when Cyclone Alby swept down the Western Australian coast and destroyed the end of the pier. Townspeople banded together to try to save the structure, and eventually persuaded the State Government and the Shire Council to provide some much needed funds for repair.

In 2011, a $27 million refurbishment  was completed. $24 million was contributed by the Western Australian State Government, with the rest covered by the Shire of Busselton. Today, tourists visit the jetty to ride the train line running along its decks to an underwater observatory, which was added to the end of the structure in 2003.

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