Jurien Bay

Jurien Bay is a typical seaside community to the north of Perth devoted to recreational fishing, tourism and professional crayfishing. It is a typical, low-key, 'get away from it all' holiday town with a superb white sand beach and a small shopping centre. There is a considerable retirement element in the town now. It is situated at the southern end of Jurien Bay which stretches over 9 km from Island Point at the south to North Head. The waters of the bay are sheltered by a string of islands and reefs which lie just off the coast. Built on the low lying sand ridges beside the beach, the settlement of Jurien Bay is full of cottages which have been constructed to supply the needs of weekend anglers.

Jurien Bay Marine Park

An underwater world of caves, grottos and overhangs covered in colourful sponges, sea squirts, shellfish, corals and multitudes of fish. Meadows of seagrass grow in the shallow lagoons inside the reef. It is popular with scuba divers, snorkellers, swimmers, fishers, and has some great spots for windsurfers and surfers. The Park surrounds major sea lion and seabird breeding areas.

Drovers Cave National Park

Numerous caves are known to exist within the park boundaries, many are locked with screens to keep visitors out in the interest of public safety and to prevent vandalism. Drovers Cave was well known to early explorers and stockmen; the location of the site near to the Canning Stock Route meant it was often visited by drovers, hence the name. Other caves found within the park include Hastings (known to contain fossils), Moora, Old River and Mystery caves.


Stockyard Gully Cave

The cave was created by an underground river system; two of them are easily accessible - Stockyard Tunnel is 300 m long and requires no gear except for the torch; Stockyard Cave is 800 m long, but slime and mud often coats most of the boulders, making them extremely slippery.

Nambung National Park

Contains one of Australia’s most fascinating landscapes - The Pinnacles Desert. Out of the shifting yellow sands rise thousands of huge limestone pillars, standing in stark contrast to the surrounding low heathlands typical of this coast.


Fishing

Jurien Bay is recognised as the finest location on the central coast for catching snapper, dhufish (i.e. tandan) and baldchin groper. For this reason the WA Deep Sea Classic is held here every year.

Crayfishing

By the 1960s it was clear that the town's development was going to be inextricably tied to the crayfish industry. New jetties were erected, an airstrip was constructed so that produce could be flown south to Perth, and factories were built. The reputation of the Western Rock Lobster is such that the crayfishing is now a multi-million dollar industry sending shipments regularly to Japan and the USA.

Locals estimate that the population of the town nearly doubles in the crayfishing season. There is a regular community of 70 boats which increases to up to 150 boats in the season. The town's new marina (the only one between Perth and Geraldton) was completed in 1988.


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Where is it?

266 km north north west of Perth.


Brief history

Jurien Bay was first surveyed by James Harding, Harbour Master of Fremantle, in 1865, A site was reserved for shipping and landing in 1887. A church, built there in 1931, was demolished by the Army in 1942 because it was feared that, as a local landmark, it might assist the Japanese in making a landing prior to invading Perth. The area was used by campers and fishermen prior to the Government gazetting a townsite in 1956. The townsite was originally named Jurien Bay, but was changed to Jurien in 1959. In 1999 it was changed back to Jurien Bay, as this name had always been and had remained in common use.

Jurien Bayay was named by French explorer Nicolas Baudin, of the survey ship Naturaliste, on 1st July 1801 after Charles Marie Vicomte du Jurien (1763-1836), Commander of the French Navy. He served through the revolutionary and Napoleonic wars and became a peer under Louis Philippe.

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