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Western Australia, Australia

Bunbury 03.jpg
Panorama of Bunbury from lookout tower

Bunbury is located in Western Australia
Population: 68,248 [1] (27th)
Density: 492/km² (1,274.3/sq mi)
Established: 1836
Area: 138.7 km² (53.6 sq mi)
Time zone: AWST (UTC+8)
  • 175 km (109 mi) SSW of Perth
  • 108 km (67 mi) S of Mandurah
  • 52 km (32 mi) NE of Busselton
  • 47 km (29 mi) SW of Harvey
  • 39 km (24 mi) NW of Donnybrook
Region: South West
State District:
  • Bunbury
  • Collie-Preston
  • Murray-Wellington
Federal Division: 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. Later Lieutenant Governor Sir James Stirling visited the area and a military post was established. 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.[2][3]

The population of the town was 2,970 (1,700 males and 1,270 females) in 1898.[4]

Rail transport[]

Transwa Australind at Bunbury Passenger Terminal, 2014

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.

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.[5] 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[]

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.[6]

Lord Forrest[]

Baron Forrest of Bunbury

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.[7][8]

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.[7][8]

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."[7][8]


Bunbury is situated 175 kilometres south of Perth, 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
Precipitation mm (inches) 11.2
Avg. 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
humidity 44 43 46 55 59 64 65 66 64 58 52 48 55
Source: [9]


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[10] with 10 routes.

The Eelup Roundabout, named by the Royal Automobile Club of Western Australia as the worst regional intersection in Western Australia, has undergone a $16m upgrade, which included eight sets of traffic lights[11] (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.[12][13]


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).[14][15] 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, often called 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.

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.


  • Australind (Shire of Harvey)
  • Carey Park
  • Clifton Park (Shire of Harvey)
  • College Grove
  • Crosslands
  • Dalyellup (Shire of Capel)
  • Davenport
  • East Bunbury
  • Eaton (Shire of Dardanup)
  • Gelorup (Shire of Capel)
  • Glen Iris
  • Halifax
  • Kingston (Shire of Harvey)
  • Kinkella
  • Leschenault (Shire of Harvey)
  • Mangles
  • Marlston Hill
  • Millbridge (Shire of Dardanup)
  • Pelican Point
  • Picton
  • Settlers (Shire of Harvey)
  • South Bunbury
  • Stratham (Shire of Capel)
  • Treendale (Shire of Harvey)
  • Usher
  • Vittoria
  • Waterloo
  • Withers
  • Wollaston



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 Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) – ABC1, ABC2, ABC3, ABC News 24 (digital channels)
  • The Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) – SBS One, SBS Two (digital channels)
  • GWN7 (Golden West Network), an affiliate station of the Seven Network
  • WIN Television, an affiliate station of the Nine Network
  • Ten West, an affiliate station of the Ten Network (provided jointly by Prime Television and WIN Television)

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.[16] 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[]

  • Leon Baker, AFL footballer for Essendon Football Club, played in 1984 and 1985 Premierships[17]
  • Paul Barnard, AFL footballer for Essendon Football Club, played in 2000 Premiership[18]
  • Natalie Barr, current Sunrise news presenter
  • Jamie Bennell, West Coast Eagles AFL Player
  • Noel Brunning, GWN News Anchor
  • Tracey Cross, Australian Paralympic swimmer[19]
  • Mary Ellen Cuper, Aboriginal postmistress and telegraphist[20]
  • Courtney Eaton, Mad Max: Fury Road - Fragile[21]
  • Troy Elder, Australian field hockey player
  • Alexander Forrest, explorer, politician and investor[22]
  • John Forrest, First Premier of Western Australia and cabinet minister in Australia's first parliament
  • Cameron Gliddon, Cairns Taipans NBL Player
  • Murray Goodwin, Zimbabwe, Western Australia and Sussex cricketer[23]
  • Ben Howlett, Essendon Football Club AFL Player
  • Adam Hunter, West Coast Eagles Ex-AFL player[24]
  • Neville Jetta, Melbourne Football Club AFL Player
  • Ron Krikke, 1985 and 1993 Australian Sprintcar Champion, known as the "Bunbury Express"
  • Bob Maumill, 882 6PR radio presenter
  • Aristos Papandroulakis, television Surprise Chef
  • Kyle Reimers, Essendon Football Club Ex-AFL Player
  • Robert Frederick Sholl, pearler and investor[25]
  • Barry Shepherd, Australian cricketer
  • Bruce Wallrodt, Australian Paralympic athlete[26]
  • Mark Worthington, Cairns Taipans NBL Player, 2008 and 2012 Olympian
  • Edwin Rose, pastoralist president Royal Agricultural Society of WA[27]
  • George Canler Rose - pioneering Kimberley pastoralist[28]
  • Richard Adolphus Sholl, Member of the WA Legislative Council 1886-90, member of Legislative Assembly 1890-97[29]
  • Robert Frederick Sholl, Western Australian representative at the Australasian Federal Convention 1897[30]


See also[]

  • TransBunbury
  • City of Bunbury


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

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