11 Reasons to Visit Jurien Bay in Western Australia
Just 2.5 hours north of Perth in Western Australia is a town on the coast called Jurien Bay. This small town is brimming with things to do and treats me to a true Western Australian experience every time I visit.
It’s location is perfect for you whether you are planning a weekend get away from Perth or visiting as part of a larger trip up or down the West Coast.
There are times when you stumble across a little place that’s so gorgeous you want to keep the secret for yourself. But that’s not really fair of me, I suppose, so I’m happy to share why I would recommend a visit to Jurien Bay.
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A brief history
The original landowners are the Yuat Aboriginal people and Europeans began exploring this area as far back as the early 1800s. Jurien soon became a well-known for fishing and goods such as wool was traded following the establishment of the original wooden jetty.
By the 1960s, the town of Jurien Bay had been established and the cray fishing industry was booming, leading to the development of the area.
Things to do in Jurien Bay, WA
Here are my 11 favourite things to do to get you inspired.
1. Go sand boarding at Sandy Cape
On the doorstep of Jurien Bay are many beautiful sand dunes and none are more fun to explore than Sandy Cape.
Just a short drive north of Jurien Bay is a campground right on the beach where you can try your hand at sand boarding. Picture snowboarding but on sand and you have the right idea. As scary as it might sound, this is fun for all ages as you can choose to sit or stand on the board from as high up or low down on the dune as you choose.
Either way, grab your friends and get the cameras ready as you’ll be guaranteed a few laughs as you watch everyone’s efforts.
Once you’ve worn yourself out sand boarding, take the short walk up to the lookout boardwalk at the top of the dunes for beautiful coastal views towards Green Head.
2. Explore The Pinnacles
No visit to Jurien Bay would be complete without a stop off at the fascinating Pinnacles desert in Nambung National Park.
This area is strewn with finger-like limestone shards that date back millions of years. Drive around the 4km loop track in the park and make sure you get out to wander through this extra-terrestrial-esque landscape.
For an different experience, try arriving at either sunset or sunrise. I visited the park during the daytime and at sunset and they were both beautiful occasions.
It’s easy to get to The Pinnacles from Jurien Bay. Just head south out of town along Route 60 as if you were driving back down to Perth. Nambung National Park is 45km south of Jurien Bay, just 17km past the next town called Cervantes.
You’ll have to pay an entrance fee to enter the park. Here you’ll find a visitor centre with information about the pinnacles, picnic areas, walking and driving trails. For more information visit the Nambung National Park website.
3. Have Yourself An Adventure Tour
If you’re looking for more of an active day out, Jurien Bay Adventure Tours offer many different packages for day trips ranging on 4WD tours to exploring local caves such as the beautiful Stockyard Gully.
If you’re travelling alone it’s a perfect way to see the area with a group of people and saves you from driving yourself around as you can relax with a friendly, local guide.
4. Try A Segue Tour
For a unique way to explore Jurien Bay you could try your hand at a segue adventure. Follow your guide as you zip along the shoreline whilst learning about the history of the area.
Chariots of Hire run Windrunner Tours along the foreshore of Jurien and can take you and your mates for a unique spin around the area.
5. Try Stand-Up Paddle Boarding
On a calm morning get yourself down to the foreshore to rent paddle boards from Jurien Bay Adventure Tours and hit the water. This is the perfect opportunity to test your balance and I know you’re going to love the feeling of gliding across the aquamarine ocean.
I had never tried paddle boarding before but I absolutely loved it!
6. Go Snorkelling At The Beach
Did you know that there is a snorkel trail accessible from the main beach?
Just metres offshore, located by the pillars of the old wooden jetty, there are 70 artificial reef balls submerged that stimulate coral growth. Take a dip and see what you can discover.
There is an information sign up on the promenade area that explains the formation of the snorkelling trail and what you may be able to see there. If you’ve forgotten your snorkels then you can hire them from Jurien Bay Adventure Tours or purchase new ones from the IGA store in town.
7. Meet The Locals
With ocean this blue it’s no wonder that most of the action happens out on the water.
Boating, fishing and stand-up paddle boarding are popular activities here. If you have access to a boat then there are several islands off the shore of Jurien that are worth sailing to. I visited Essex Rocks, a marine wildlife sanctuary that is home to a colony of sea lions. You can’t disembark on the island for obvious reasons but you can watch the sea lions relaxing on their own private island and if you’re lucky they will even come and swim around your boat.
No boat? No problem! Get in touch with Turquoise Safaris for fishing and boat charter trips.
I love any kind of animal encounter on my travels and I get lots of joy from seeing animals in their natural habitat. Watching these cheeky little sea lions frolicking in the waves was such a pleasure. The Australian sea lion can most commonly be found in the waters off the coast of Perth, Jurien Bay, Albany and Esperence.
8. Walk or Bike Along the Coastline
There is a beautiful walking path along the coastline called the Turquoise Way that is perfect for families, cyclists and dog walkers alike.
If you join the path from Dobbyn Park by the jetty you can either walk just over a kilometre to the marina, past the section of beach where the skydivers swoop in overhead, or you can walk almost five kilometres in the opposite direction towards the Beachridge estate. This is the perfect place to spot the different islands off the coastline.
Whenever you get weary, just duck off the path and straight on to the beach to relax by the ocean. I guarantee you’ll have the place to yourself.
I spent many an hour walking along the track on a spare morning at Jurien Bay. I liked the fact that there were little shelters dotted along the path on the edge of the beach, perfect for you if you want to stop and take in the waves crashing on the shore.
9. Go Skydiving
For adrenaline junkies that can’t seem to sit still, even when on holiday, Jurien Bay holds the perfect antidote.
Skydive Jurien Bay is one of only a handful of places in Australia that offers beach landings from a 14,000 feet jump. What better place to challenge yourself to the ultimate adrenaline rush?
Perfect views over the ocean greet you the moment you leave the plane.
10. View the Wildflowers In Western Australia
Would you have guessed that there are more than 12,000 species of wildflowers in WA, making it the world’s largest collection? Add this to the fact that 60% of Western Australian wildflowers are found nowhere else on Earth and you know you are onto something special.
In the Springtime, this region is dotted with beautiful blooms that bring visitors from across the world to marvel at their diversity. I loved learning more about the wildflowers on a tour of a local farm, complete with damper bread and billy tea.
One of the best places to see wildflowers in the area is Lesueur National Park. This is just a 20km drive to the north east of Jurien Bay along a sealed road. It is home to a staggering 900 species of plants! You can enjoy several bushwalks and picnic areas in the park, or you can choose to drive the Lesueur Scenic Drive through the park.
Please note, you have to pay to enter the National Park and there are no campsites available here. For more information, Lesueur National Park’s website gives you a breakdown of the fees.
11. Eat And Drink in Jurien Bay
No holiday would be complete without great food and Jurien Bay has you covered with a range of options to suit all taste buds.
My favourites have to be the Sandpiper Tavern that has friendly, relaxed atmosphere with an ever changing, fresh menu plus a newly installed pizza oven offering a huge selection of handmade pizzas.
For a morning coffee and cake my top tip is the Jetty Café on the foreshore, which serves beautiful coffees just metres from the beach.
If you’re on a budget or only travelling through, there are places to picnic in Dobbyn Park on the shore front along with a sheltered BBQ area.
Lucky number 12… Relax at Sunset
Ultimately, you’ve come on holiday to relax and unwind. Nothing says chill more than a glass of something cold and a gorgeous sunset.
Put your feet up and watch as the sun slips into the Indian Ocean and start planning your holiday again for next year.
You pretty much have a great view of the sunset wherever you are in Jurien Bay. If the weather is still (it can get quite windy!) then it’s worth an evening stroll on the jetty.
How To Get To Jurien Bay, Western Australia
Jurien Bay is a 2.5 hour drive north of Perth on the Indian Ocean Drive (route 60). Leave the city in the direction of Joondalup and keep heading north. There are several little towns nestled by the coast to call into on the way up, plus plenty of scenic lookouts.
One town to definitely call in at is Cervantes. This is only 17km south of Jurien Bay and the Cervantes Lobster Shack is an interesting place for a quick visit to learn about how they fish for the lobster in this area, plus pick up some lunch in their brightly coloured outdoor seating area.
You can also drive the inland Brand Highway (route 1), which is more accessible from the eastern suburbs of Perth. This takes you through towns such as Badgingarra along the way.
If you don’t have a car then don’t worry, TransWA run a bus service to Jurien Bay from Perth. The bus drops you off at the Caltex petrol station in the town. This is a great budget option for solo travellers or backpackers who don’t have their own transport.
Map of Jurien Bay
Where To Stay in Jurien Bay
Jurien Bay offers several accommodation options, including pitching your own tent or sleeping in your caravan or cabins at the Jurien Bay Caravan Park.
The Jurien Bay Hotel Motel provides motel rooms at reasonable prices. Here you can grab a drink in the bar and relax with a pub style meal.
There are also many B&Bs and guest houses all over Jurien Bay that means you’ll never be short of accommodation options.
I use a website called Booking.com to search for availability and you can filter the results by property type and budget.
Fishing in Jurien Bay
Jurien Bay is a popular spot for fishing and although I am not an angler, I know of a lot of people who visited the area and enjoyed going fishing. Any time you walked along the jetty you would spot a person or two fishing off the end of the pier, and the numerous beaches and headlands in the area provide plenty of locations for you if you enjoy fishing.
More information on Jurien Bay
I loved visiting Jurien Bay’s library, which also houses the Turquoise Coast Visitor Information Centre. The visitor centre is obviously a fab place to pop in to collect all kinds of local information. If you are travelling and don’t have access to Wifi, you can also connect here in the air conditioned surroundings.
You can find this on the main street as you come into town – 67 Bashford Street – opposite the supermarket, bank and post office.
The visitor centre is run by Dandaragan Council and is open Monday – Friday 9am to 5pm.
Have I tempted you to visit Jurien Bay? What’s your favourite thing to do here?
Do you have your own little spot that you just love to visit? Share your best kept secret with me!
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