Bunbury, Western Australia facts for kids

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Bunbury
Western Australia
Bunbury 03.jpg
Panorama of Bunbury from lookout tower
Population: 75628  (23rd)
Area: 222.5 km² (85.9 sq mi) (2011 urban)
Time zone: AWST (UTC+8)
Location:
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).

Bunbury was first established in 1836, and was named in recognition of Lieutenant Henry William St Pierre Bunbury.

The city's administrative area, Greater Bunbury, includes four local government areas, and extends between Yarloop in the north, Boyanup to the south and Capel to the southwest.

The port of Bunbury services the farming, mining and timber industries of the south west.

History

Pre-European history

The original inhabitants of Greater Bunbury are the Indigenous Australian Noongar people. The people hunted and fished throughout the sub-region prior to the first European settlement in the 1830s.

Early colonial period

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

The first registered sighting of Greater 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 on Greater Bunbury's western shores was named Geographe after another ship in the fleet.

In 1829, Dr Alexander Collie and Lieutenant Preston explored the area of Bunbury on land. In 1830 Lieutenant Governor Sir James Stirling visited the area and a military post was subsequently established; it only lasted six months. 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. Bunbury township was mentioned in the Government Gazette in 1839, but lots in the township were not surveyed until 1841. In March 1841 lots were declared open for selection.

By 1842 Bunbury was home to 16 buildings including an inn. Thereafter, a growing port serviced the settlers and the subsequent local industries that developed.

One of the major industries to open up to cement the importance of Bunbury as a port was the timber industry. Timber logs would be floated down the Collie River to be loaded aboard ships headed to the Northern Hemisphere or to South Africa where the hardwood timbers were used for railway sleepers.

In 1884 the Government decided to construct a railway from Bunbury to Boyanup, 16 miles (26 km) long. When the line was completed in 1887, the contractor who had built it obtained a contract to control and work it, which he did with horses. The line was eventually taken over by the Government in 1891 and operated with locomotives. The inconvenience of a railway isolated from the capital gave rise to agitation and in 1893 the South Western Railway was constructed between East Perth and Picton, connecting Greater Bunbury and Perth. The Boyanup line was extended to Donnybrook, Western Australia in the same year. The railways connected the port of Bunbury to the coal and mineral deposits and agricultural areas to the north and east of Greater Bunbury.

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

In 1903 a breakwater to further protect the bay and port area was completed.

Federation to present day

The Old Bunbury railway station served as the terminal for the Australind passenger train between Perth, transporting its first passengers on 24 November 1947. The last train to use the station departed on 28 May 1985 with a new station opening at East Bunbury, 4 kilometres (2 mi) to the south-east the following day. The railway land was then sold and Blair Street realigned.

Geography

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.

Climate

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
(105.1)
39.7
(103.5)
39.5
(103.1)
33.4
(92.1)
29.2
(84.6)
23.8
(74.8)
22.4
(72.3)
24.0
(75.2)
27.3
(81.1)
32.9
(91.2)
36.0
(96.8)
39.2
(102.6)
40.6
(105.1)
Average high °C (°F) 29.7
(85.5)
30.0
(86)
27.7
(81.9)
24.2
(75.6)
21.1
(70)
18.4
(65.1)
17.2
(63)
17.5
(63.5)
18.4
(65.1)
20.9
(69.6)
24.3
(75.7)
27.3
(81.1)
23.1
(73.6)
Average low °C (°F) 15.4
(59.7)
15.9
(60.6)
14.1
(57.4)
11.8
(53.2)
9.3
(48.7)
8.2
(46.8)
7.0
(44.6)
7.4
(45.3)
8.4
(47.1)
9.3
(48.7)
12.1
(53.8)
13.6
(56.5)
11.0
(51.8)
Record low °C (°F) 6.0
(42.8)
6.0
(42.8)
2.2
(36)
2.4
(36.3)
-0.1
(31.8)
-3.0
(26.6)
-2.1
(28.2)
0.1
(32.2)
-0.3
(31.5)
0.2
(32.4)
2.1
(35.8)
3.2
(37.8)
-3.0
(26.6)
Precipitation mm (inches) 11.2
(0.441)
6.3
(0.248)
15.1
(0.594)
35.2
(1.386)
95.6
(3.764)
144.9
(5.705)
143.1
(5.634)
117.1
(4.61)
86.4
(3.402)
31.3
(1.232)
26.1
(1.028)
20.7
(0.815)
722.5
(28.445)
Humidity 44 43 46 55 59 64 65 66 64 58 52 48 55
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

Demographics

In 2007 Bunbury was recognised as Australia's fastest growing city for the 2005/06 period by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

At June 2015 the estimated urban population of Bunbury was 75,628. At the 2011 Census the median age was 36. It is estimated that by 2031 the population of the Greater Bunbury region will exceed 100,000 people.

In Bunbury (Significant Urban Areas), 74.0% of people were born in Australia. The most common other countries of birth were England 6.3%, New Zealand 3.4%, South Africa 1.8%, Scotland 0.8% and Philippines 0.7%. 88.1% of people only spoke English at home. Other languages spoken at home included Italian 1.0%, Afrikaans 0.8%, Tagalog 0.3%, Filipino 0.3% and Mandarin 0.2%.

In the 2011 Census the most common responses for religion in Bunbury (Significant Urban Areas) were No religion 27.2%, Anglican 22.7%, Catholic 22.2%, Uniting Church 3.7% and Christian, nfd 3.3%.

The most common occupations in Bunbury (Significant Urban Areas) included Technicians and Trades Workers 20.4%, Professionals 15.0%, Clerical and Administrative Workers 12.9%, and Labourers 12.5%. In 2011 Bunbury had an unemployment rate of 4.9%.

Culture

Arts and entertainment

A number of cultural organisations are located in Bunbury, including:

  • Bunbury Regional Art Galleries
  • Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre, with theatre, film and live performance
  • Stirling Street Arts Centre

The Bunbury Historical Society is located in the historic King Cottage, which was built around 1880. In 1966 the cottage was purchased by the City of Bunbury and subsequently leased to the Society. The rooms of the cottage are furnished and artifacts displayed to reflect the way of life for a family in Bunbury in the period from the 1880s to the 1920s.

Tourism and recreation

There are many tourism and recreational opportunities in Bunbury. Some of the most popular attractions include

  • Dolphin Discovery Centre
  • Bunbury Back Beach
  • Koombana Bay
  • Bunbury Wildlife Park
  • Leschenault Inlet

It is also very close to the Ferguson Valley.

Sport

There are a number of sporting clubs in Greater Bunbury.

Gallery

Images for kids


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