Bunbury, Western Australia

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This article is about the city of Bunbury. For the local government area, see City of Bunbury.
Western Australia
Bunbury 03.jpg
Panorama of Bunbury from lookout tower
Bunbury is located in Western Australia
Coordinates 33°20′24″S 115°38′21.2″E / 33.34000°S 115.639222°E / -33.34000; 115.639222Coordinates: 33°20′24″S 115°38′21.2″E / 33.34000°S 115.639222°E / -33.34000; 115.639222
Population 68,248 (2011)[1] (27th)
 • Density 492/km2 (1,270/sq mi)
Established 1836
Area 138.7 km2 (53.6 sq mi)
Time zone AWST (UTC+8)
Region South West
State electorate(s)
Federal Division(s) Forrest

The port city of Bunbury is the third largest city in Western Australia after the state capital, Perth, and Mandurah. It is situated 175 kilometres (109 mi) south of Perth's central business district (CBD). The port services the farming, mining and timber industries of the south west originally connected via an extensive rail network.


Thomas Colman Dibdin, A view of Koombana Bay, 1840, hand coloured lithograph, National Library of Australia

The first registered sighting of Bunbury was by French explorer Captain Louis de Freycinet from his ship the Casuarina in 1803. He named the area Port Leschenault after the expedition's botanist, Leschenault de La Tour. The bay was named Geographe after another ship in the fleet.

In 1829, Dr Alexander Collie and Lieutenant Preston explored the area of Bunbury on land. Then in 1830 Lieutenant Governor Sir James Stirling visited the area and a military post was established under the command of Lieutenant McLeod, but it only lasted six months.[2] The area was renamed Bunbury by the Governor in recognition of Lieutenant Henry William St Pierre Bunbury, who developed the very difficult inland route from Pinjarra to Bunbury.[3][4] Bunbury township was mentioned in the Government Gazette in 1839, but lots in the town were not surveyed until 1841. In March 1841 lots were declared open for selection.[2]

The population of the town was 2,970 (1,700 males and 1,270 females) in 1898.[5]

Rail transport[edit]

The Pinjarra to Picton Junction section of the South Western Railway line was completed in 1895, connecting Bunbury to Perth, and also to the coal and mineral deposits and agricultural areas to the north and east of Bunbury.

The railway roundhouse and marshalling yards (located at what is now Bunbury Centrepoint shopping centre) were a vital service centre for the south west railway operations of the day. The railway station served as the terminal for the longest lasting named service in Western Australia – the Australind passenger train between Perth, transporting its first passengers on 24 November 1947 and connecting to a newly established bus network distributing passengers all over the South West.

By 1983, the railway into the city (closely following Blair Street's alignment) was considered an eyesore by the local council and developers, who wished to take advantage of the newly elected Burke Labor government's pledges to make Bunbury an alternative city to Perth.[citation needed]

A new station was constructed at Wollaston 4 kilometres (2 mi) to the southeast, and the last train to use the old station departed Bunbury on 28 May 1985 with the new terminal commencing operations the following day.[6] The railway land was then sold and Blair Street realigned. The Australind passenger service was then substantially upgraded in 1987.

At present there are two departures and two arrivals at Wollaston every day of the week. The former railway station is now the Bunbury Visitor Centre and is the main bus station for TransBunbury services. It is also a stop for Transwa and South West Coach Lines bus services.

Bunbury Historical Society's King Cottage Museum[edit]

King Cottage was built around 1880 by Henry King and was owned by his family until 1923 when it was sold to the Carlsn family. In 1966 it was purchased by the City of Bunbury and subsequently leased to the Bunbury Historical Society. The rooms of the cottage are furnished to fit the period from the 1880s to the 1920s. The artefacts displayed are part of the Society's collection reflecting the way of life for a family in Bunbury during that period.[7]

Lord Forrest[edit]

Main article: John Forrest

The first Baron Forrest of Bunbury, (Lord Forrest) was to be the title bestowed on Bunbury born John Forrest, who was an explorer, surveyor and the first Premier of Western Australia. He led three expeditions into the interior of Western Australia. The first in 1869 was in search of Ludwig Leichhardt; the following year he surveyed the route of Edward John Eyre across the Nullarbor Plain to Adelaide. In 1874 he led a party from Geraldton to the overland telegraph line between Adelaide and Darwin in search of the source of the Murchison River and pastoral land in the interior of Western Australia.[8][9]

In 1890, when Western Australia gained rite to self-rule from Britain, Forrest was elected unopposed to the seat of Bunbury in the Legislative Council and was appointed as the first Premier of Western Australia. Forrest's government embarked on a large scale public works expansion under the direction of engineer C. Y. O'Connor, including the building of Fremantle Harbour and the Goldfields Water Supply Scheme. On 13 February 1901 Forrest resigned as Premier of Western Australia and member for Bunbury so he could contest the seat of Swan in the first federal election. On 29 March 1901 Forrest was elected to the first Australian Parliament, where he remained until he resigned due to cancer in March 1918.[8][9]

On 6 February 1918, Forrest was informed that he was to be raised to the British peerage as Baron Forrest of Bunbury in the Commonwealth of Australia and of Forret in Fife in the United Kingdom. Forrest died on 2 September 1918 while travelling to London, to receive treatment and hoping to take his seat in the House of Lords. However no Letters patent were issued before his death, so the peerage was not officially created. According to Rubinstein (1991), "his peerage is not mentioned or included in Burke's Peerage, The New Extinct Peerage, The Complete Peerage, or any other standard reference work on the subject."[8][9]


Bunbury is situated 175 kilometres south of Perth, at the original mouth of the Preston River and near the mouth of the Collie River at the southern end of the Leschenault Inlet, which opens to Koombana Bay and the larger Geographe Bay which extends southwards to Cape Naturaliste.


Bunbury has a Mediterranean climate (Köppen classification Csa) with warm summers and cool winters.

Climate data for Bunbury, Western Australia
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 40.6
Average high °C (°F) 29.7
Average low °C (°F) 15.4
Record low °C (°F) 6.0
Average precipitation mm (inches) 11.2
Average precipitation days 2.4 1.9 3.5 9.2 12.8 17.7 18.7 19.0 17.7 9.8 6.8 3.8 123.3
Average relative humidity (%) 44 43 46 55 59 64 65 66 64 58 52 48 55
Source: [10]


TransWA provides rail and coach services: Australind train, GS3, SW1 and SW2 to Bunbury and services south from Bunbury and South West Coach Lines provides coach services to and from Bunbury. Town services are run by TransBunbury[11] with 10 routes.

The Eelup Roundabout was named by the Royal Automobile Club of Western Australia as the worst regional intersection in Western Australia and has since undergone a $16m upgrade, which included eight sets of traffic lights[12] (which were switched on in the early hours of Monday 21 May 2012) and extra lanes for each entrance. The government was criticised for breaking a 2008 election promise to build an overpass and underpass.[13][14]


A nightscape of Bunbury Regional Library (Left) looking toward Victoria St. Bunbury Tower is visible in the background.
Victoria Street

The local government of the City of Bunbury has a population of 32,499. In 2007 Bunbury was recognised as Australia's fastest growing city for the 2005/06 period by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).[15][16] Bunbury's climate is similar to that of Western Australia's capital Perth.

Bunbury's lighthouse and Marlston Hill's lookout tower
Location Western Australia

The Bunbury CBD is located primarily on Victoria Street, while Blair Street is the major road through all of the Bunbury area and has a large number of businesses and retail outlets situated along it. The Bunbury Tower, colloquially referred to as the "Milk Carton" for its distinctive shape and blue-and-white colours, is the major feature of the city centre's skyline. It was built in 1983 by businessman Alan Bond. Also prominent are the old lighthouse and lookout tower in the Marlston Hill district, which has been a focus of the city's cultural and commercial growth since the late 1990s.

Recently a new hotel residential complex was built overlooking the estuary. The foundations and main building are built upon an old grain silo.[citation needed]

Bunbury has sister-city relationships with Setagaya, Japan, and Jiaxing, China. In 2008, Bunbury-Jiaxing Business Office was established to boost business opportunities between the two regions by assisting with communications and facilitating trade.




AM band

  • 6EL 621 kHz AM – Easy Listening format. Different from its Easy Listening Network partners in the Eastern states. Has local advertising. Part of Spirit Radio Network.
  • ABC South West WA (6BS): 684 kHz AM – News, talk and sport. Broadcasts breakfast and morning programs from Bunbury.
  • RadioWest 963 kHz AM – Adult Contemporary for the 40+, with news feeds and sport from 6PR in Perth. Mostly 60s, 70s, & 80s (which in turn is part of the LocalWorks network).
  • Vision Radio Network 1017 AM – Christian praise and worship music and talk.
  • 6MM 1116 kHz AM – Easy Listening Format from Mandurah
  • ABC Radio National 1224 kHz AM – Speciality talk and music.

FM band

  • ABC Classic FM 93.3 MHz FM – Classical music.
  • Triple J 94.1 MHz FM – Alternative music.
  • Hot FM 95.7 MHz FM – Hit Music.
  • 96.5 Harvey Community Radio
  • 97.3 Coast FM


Television services available include:

The programming schedule is mainly the same as the Seven, Nine and Ten stations in Perth with variations for News bulletins, sport telecasts such as the Australian Football League and National Rugby League, children's and lifestyle programs and infomercials or paid programming.

GWN7 had its origins in Bunbury as BTW-3 in the late 1960s and then purchased other stations in Kalgoorlie and Geraldton, as well as launching a satellite service in 1986 to form the current network. GWN7's studios and offices are based at Roberts Crescent in Bunbury, with its transmitter located at Mount Lennard approximately 25 km to the east. The station produces a nightly 30-minute news program for regional WA at 5:30pm on weeknights.

WIN Television maintains a newsroom in the city, however the station itself is based in Perth. The WIN newsroom provides regional coverage for sister station STW-9's Nine News bulletins at 6pm each night and 4:30pm on weekdays, which are simulcast on WIN.

On 28 July 2011, new digital television services from GWN and WIN commenced transmission.[17] A new stand alone Network Ten affiliated channel branded as Ten West was the first of the new digital only channels to go on-air. The other new digital only channels that are also now available in Bunbury include 7Two, 7mate, Go!, GEM, One HD and Eleven.

Subscription Television service Foxtel is available via Satellite.


Bunbury Herald, South Western Times and Bunbury Mail are local newspapers available in Bunbury and surrounding region.

Newspapers from Perth including The West Australian and The Sunday Times are also available, as well as national newspapers such as The Australian and The Australian Financial Review.

Notable people[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ WAHLQUIST, Calla (6 April 2011). "City unprepared for population boom: Mayor". Bunbury Mail. Retrieved 8 April 2011. 
  2. ^ a b asprott. "Town names". www0.landgate.wa.gov.au. Retrieved 2015-12-01. 
  3. ^ Reed, A. W. (1973) Place Names of Australia, p. 48 Sydney, NSW: A. H. & A. W. Reed, ISBN 0-589-07115-7
  4. ^ Cammilleri, Cara (1966). "Bunbury, Henry William St Pierre (1812–1875)". Australian Dictionary of Biography 1. Canberra: Australian National University. Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  5. ^ "POPULATION OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA.". Western Mail (Perth). 22 April 1898. p. 23. Retrieved 28 May 2012 – via National Library of Australia. 
  6. ^ "Greater Bunbury Strategy" (PDF). Government of Western Australia. Retrieved 19 February 2015. 
  7. ^ "Bunbury Historical Society, King Cottage Museum". Bunbury Historical Society. Retrieved 21 November 2008. 
  8. ^ a b c Serle, Percival (1949). "FORREST, SIR JOHN, first Baron Forrest of Bunbury (1847–1918),". Dictionary of Australian Biography. Project Gutenberg Australia. Retrieved 21 November 2008. 
  9. ^ a b c F. K. Crowley (1981). "Forrest, Sir John [Baron Forrest] (1847–1918)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Canberra: Australian National University. Retrieved 20 November 2008. 
  10. ^ "Climate statistics for Bunbury". Australian Bureau of Meteorology. 
  11. ^ TransBunbury
  12. ^ https://www.mainroads.wa.gov.au/ABOUTMAINROADS/OURROLEREGIONS/SOUTHWEST/PROJECTS/Pages/EelupRoundabout.aspx
  13. ^ "Roundabout lights a 'bandaid' fix". ABC Online. 22 May 2012. Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  14. ^ "Liberals make $500m Bunbury election pledge". ABC Online. 21 August 2008. Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  15. ^ "3218.0 Regional Population Growth, Australia". Australian Beureau of Statistics. 27 February 2007. 
  16. ^ "3218.0 Regional Population Growth, Australia", produced by the ABS on 27 February 2007.
  17. ^ http://www.tvtonight.com.au/2011/07/regional-wa-ready-to-switch-on-new-multichannels.html
  18. ^ "Essendon Football club – Leon Baker Profile". 2008. Retrieved 3 June 2008. 
  19. ^ Genine Unsworth, ABC South West WA, "Export: Paul Barnard", 12 June 2002. Accessed 2 October 2007.
  20. ^ "Australians at the 1996 Atlanta Paralympics: Swimmers". Australian Sports Commission. Archived from the original on 20 January 2000. Retrieved 18 May 2014. 
  21. ^ Pope, Brian (2005). "Cuper, Mary Ellen (1847–1877)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Australian Dictionary of Biography, Supplementary Volume. Retrieved 30 March 2015. 
  22. ^ Bainger, Fleur. "Bunbury girl scores Mad Max part". Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
  23. ^ Bolton, Geoffrey Curgenven (1981). "Forrest, Alexander (1849–1901)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. G. C. Bolton. Retrieved 30 March 2015. 
  24. ^ John Ward, Cricinfo, "Murray Goodwin – a short biography", 20 September 1999. Accessed 2 October 2007.
  25. ^ "West Coast Eagles Football club – Player Profile – Adam Hunter". 2008. Retrieved 3 June 2008. 
  26. ^ Bolton, Geoffrey Curgenven (1988). "Sholl, Robert Frederick (1848–1909)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 11. Retrieved 30 March 2015. 
  27. ^ "Australians at the 1996 Atlanta Paralympics: Athletes". Australian Sports Commission. Archived from the original on 20 January 2000. Retrieved 18 May 2014. 
  28. ^ a b Staples, A. C. "Rose, Edwin (1863–1948)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. ANU. Retrieved 30 March 2015. 
  29. ^ Bolton, G.C. "Sholl, Richard Adolphus (1847–1919)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. ADB. Retrieved 30 March 2015. 
  30. ^ Bolton, G.C. "Sholl, Robert Frederick (1848–1909)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. ANU. Retrieved 30 March 2015. 
  31. ^ "Shani Waugh - European Tour - Golf - Yahoo Sports". Retrieved 6 January 2016. 

External links[edit]