Snorkeling and Scuba Diving the Busselton Jetty: What You NEED To Know

I would have to say that snorkeling and scuba diving off the end of the Busselton Jetty is such an awesome experience!  With family living in Busselton we often venture down there during the summer months and heading out for a snorkel or dive around the jetty pylons is always on the list!  

For those that are keen to do the same, check out the below article I’ve put together with all the info you need.

child snorkelling under busselton jetty
My son heading off to explore underneath the Busselton Jetty

How to get to Busselton Jetty?

Busselton Jetty is located directly in Busselton’s main foreshore precinct.  If you’re coming from Perth you’re looking at a 2.5 – 3 hr drive south of Perth city. The jetty itself stretches approximately 1.8km out over Geographe bay making it one of, if not the largest jetty in the southern hemisphere.

Where is the best place to snorkel or dive on the jetty?

kids swimming under busselton jetty

From my experience, the best place to snorkel or scuba dive is at the end of the jetty, just before you reach the underwater observatory.  This area has the easiest access to the water and the dedicated platform allows you to go directly under the jetty rather than the other platforms that are more to the side of the jetty.

Note, if you, your family members, or your friends are not confident swimmers then I would recommend that you head in closer to the shore and build up your confidence snorkeling or diving in around the shallower depths where you can stand.  Once you are confident, you can then look at heading out to dive or snorkel at the end of the jetty.

Platforms and ladders: How to enter the water

scuba divers getting ready to dive off busselton jetty

At the end of the jetty, just before you reach the observatory, is a lower platform specifically designed for both snorkelers and scuba divers who wish to explore under the jetty.

This platform has a ramp that goes down to the platform which is perfect for those that have opted to transport their gear in a trolley.

Once you head down the ramp you’ll soon be taken under the jetty where it opens up to a platform area with a number of ladders for entering and exiting the water.

View of the dive platform under busselton jetty
Five different ladders to enter the water

The platform has ample space for a number of divers and/or snorkelers to be able to get ready and rig up before entering the water.  However, as it can get busy during the weekends I’d recommend to only take what you need out there and ensuring your gear is well contained in say a bag or trolley so everyone else has enough room.

underwater ladders on busselton jetty
Two main ladders from the scuba diving platform down to the ocean floor

When it comes to entering the water you have a few different ladders that cater to those that wish to enter with flippers or, or without flippers.

scuba divers at the bottom of the ladders
Scuba divers at the bottom of the ladder

What should I expect to see under the jetty?

old pylons under busselton jetty wa
Some older pylons that have been cut during jetty upgrades

When I first entered the water, the first thing that amazed me was how awesome all the jetty pylon structures looked.  Not only the existing pylons holding up the jetty, but you also see several older pylons that are still standing or have fallen onto the sea bed.

close up of pylon under busselton jetty
Amazing coral forming over one of the old jetty plyons

As you then start to explore the area and swim around the pylons you’ll notice that these pylons aren’t just plain old pylons, that each pylon has become home to a vast range of different marine species and underwater corals.

barnacles on busselton jetty
Barnacles and other marine life growing on one of the old pylons

If you look closely at the pylons you’ll see all sorts of marine life hiding amongst the corals and sponges on the pylons, including small fish, crabs, starfish, barnacles, small octopuses, and much more.

herring swimming under busselton jetty
A school of herring taking cover under busselton jetty

When you start looking around the pylons you’ll then notice that the pylons act as shelter for a variety of different fish and even squid!  When diving and snorkeling on the jetty I’ve often come across species such as herring, skippy, king george whiting, yellow tail, dhufish, sambos, and much more.  At the base of the pylons, it’s not uncommon to see other species hiding amongst the sand including different types of rays and even blue manna crabs.

child exploring busselton jetty

Probably one of the best things I saw was a shoal of tiny squid, there were about ten of them scooting in and around the pylons seeking cover.  In addition to this we also had a seal cruise around us once…was great to see such healthy marine life under the jetty!

skippy and bream under busselton jetty

How deep is it off the end of Busselton jetty?

two scuba divers exploring busselton jetty
Great example of how good the visibility can be… I was swimming along and could so two scuba divers swimming below me.

The depth of the water at the end of Busselton jetty is approximately 7m.  When the visibility is good you can easily see 10m+ which is perfect as those that are snorkeling on the surface can see what’s happening down on the ocean floor.

What is visibility under the Busselton jetty like?

Generally, I’ve always found the water clarity and visibility at the end of the jetty to be pretty good.  As long as weather conditions are in your favour you should be able to see plenty under the jetty.

swimming over scuba divers under busselton jetty

When it comes to checking the visibility a good indicator of what the current viz is like is to check the Busselton jetty webcam on the morning of your snorkel or dive.  

Also, when you arrive at the jetty kiosk you can also ask the friendly staff behind the counter that have a pretty good idea what it’s like.

What weather conditions are best for snorkeling or diving the Jetty?

An ideal example of good conditions. Here you have a low swell, along with low off shore winds.

There are two factors you want to consider before heading out to snorkel or dive the jetty.  These would be the swell and the wind.  

When it comes to swell the lower it is the better the visibility will be, however as Busselton jetty is located with Geographe Bay chances are the swell will always be relatively low (anything under 1m is ideal!)

When it comes to wind, from my experience, as the jetty faces north, the best conditions are usually when you have a light southerly wind blowing that is no more than 10 knots.  With such a wind direction, this means that the wind is blowing offshore which helps to keep the water nice and calm, resulting in much better visibility.

In addition to the swell and the wind, although not a major factor, ideally you want the sun out as it’s pretty awesome when you get the rays from the sun shining down amongst the pylons!

What time of the day is best to go?

You could go for a dive or snorkel any time of the day, though from my experience, weather conditions are usually more favourable in the mornings and if you get there before 8.30 am you don’t have to pay the jetty entry fee;)

How do I get my dive gear out there?

dive trolley on busselton jetty
This is the trolley we use to take our snorkeling gear out to the end of the jetty

If you’re snorkeling then no doubt you’ll be able to carry your snorkeling gear in a backpack, however, if you’re scuba diving you may like to consider a trolley by which you put your tanks, BCD, regs, etc in and walk out there pulling the trolley behind you.

If you’re thinking about catching the train?  Sorry… unfortunately, due to safety regulations, dive gear is not allowed to be transported on the train.

Can you snorkel or scuba dive around the observatory?

Unfortunately, there is a 10m exclusion area around the underwater observatory hence you’re not allowed to swim up to the observatory.  You’ll notice as you head north towards the observatory, there is a sign on the last row of jetty pylons so always ensure you stay on the south side of these pylons.

Does it cost to snorkel or dive off Busselton jetty?

No, there are no additional costs for diving or snorkeling off the Busselton jetty, however, you will still have to pay an entry fee to get on the jetty, which at the time of writing this article, is $4 a ticket.

Can you hire dive gear near the jetty?

Yes, Busselton Jetty Dive hire out dive gear.  For more information check out their webpage here.

Anything else I should know?

Probably the only other comment I could make is that with the platform being under the jetty (in the shade) it can get pretty cold out there especially when the wind is blowing so consider packing a jumper or some dry clothes that you can change into afterward.

Final thoughts

I thoroughly enjoyed snorkeling off the end of the Busselton jetty and would highly recommend it to other west aussies or visitors to our state that are looking for a great snorkeling adventure that is located in our beautiful southwest.

More information

Be sure to check out the below links for more information on diving or snorkeling the Busselton Jetty:

Keen to learn more about Busselton, Western Australia? Check out the links below:

Or, if you would like to see other destinations within the same region as Busselton, check out the Margaret River and South West region page.

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