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Living in Bunbury
Perth might be the migrant magnet for the vast western half of Australia, but Brits have also discovered the delights of living in Bunbury, a small city to the south

Kate Baddeley looks at the attraction of living in Bunbury.

Bunbury in the south-west area of Western Australia is a great place to call home, with a Mediterranean climate, sandy-white beaches and beautiful native forests. The city is located 175 kilometres south of Western Australia's state capital Perth. It's easy to see the appeal of living in Bunbury - it is a pleasing and relaxed place with the services and amenities of a large city and the slow pace of small seaside town.

Bunbury is the third-largest city in Western Australia, behind Perth and Fremantle and is currently home to 29,000 residents, although the greater Bunbury region which incorporates Dalyellup, Gelorup, Eaton and Australind, has a total population of 54,000. Bridie and Malc Jenner emigrated to Bunbury last October. Malc who had already visited Bunbury, says, "In those days Bunbury was a small industrial town with a picturesque beach and bay, but when we started our research we discovered it had grown a great deal and was now a thriving city".

Bunbury is ideally situated for day trips into the south-west tapestry region and surrounding areas such as the Margaret River Wine Region, Blackwood River Valley and Southern Forests. "If you like the idea of living in Western Australia but don't fancy the Perth city life, then I would suggest you consider Bunbury. You'll be pleasantly surprised," Bridie enthuses.
Outdoor Life

Bunbury is bordered by the Indian Ocean, Koombana Bay and Leschenault inlet which naturally provides ample water sport opportunities • whether you are into body boarding, surfing, kite boarding or windsurfing • the city has magnificent stretches of beaches and port and harbour facilities. Many of the attractions of Bunbury are nature-based, including the Dolphin Discovery Centre in Koombana Bay operated by the Bunbury Dolphin trust. Shore or boat-based interactions are available to get to know the wild bottlenose dolphins in their natural habitat. The dolphins regularly feed in the inner harbour and you can even snorkel alongside them.

The Ludlow Tuart Forest is a fantastic spot for a barbecue or picnic as you unwind under the shade of giant tuart trees. Walk through the forest out to the coast or up to a lookout for fabulous views of Bunbury. It costs nothing to explore the beautiful and diverse species of flora and fauna in this picturesque, rugged forest landscape. Sport is an important part of life across the south-west, and the South West Recreation Complex at Hay park has been built to accommodate Bunbury and much of the region's playing needs. Literally acres of playing fields combine with a modern centre including a gym and health club, heated indoor pool, squash courts, and other court surfaces.
Wining and Dining

A colourful 'cappuccino strip' of sidewalk caf•s and a variety of eating places has developed along the Central Business District's Victoria Street. These caf•s and the many award-winning restaurants and historic pubs ensure the atmosphere buzzes from dawn to dusk. Many restaurants are open early and close late, with the remainder open in the evenings from around 6pm and for lunch around 12•2pm. There's an array of fast-food options both within the city area and in the Bunbury suburbs, and Bunbury is fairly well known for its family-run pizza stores in the city area. There are also plenty of contemporary restaurants, often situated in scenic coastal spots, "One of our favourite eating places is Extensions, a restaurant over-looking Back Beach and the Indian Ocean. It really is fantastic to sit and enjoy the view", says Bridie.

Bunbury is the shopping capital of the south-west. There are three major shopping centres within the CBD as well as arcades, department stores, fashion boutiques and specialty shops. Bridie adds, "You'll also find the Bunbury Farmer's Market, an indoor farmer's market where you can buy top-quality fruit and veg offered by local farmers."

The town is very compact and almost everything of interest can be reached on foot • the beach, shops, cinemas, sports centre, pubs and night clubs are all conveniently located with lots of parking. The entertainment and cultural capital of the south- west, the Bunbury Entertainment Centre dazzles audiences with opera, drama and comedy from around the nation. Modern art by famous local artists Mary Knott and Russell Sheridan together with nautically themed streets add to the atmosphere in the streets.

Bunbury has plenty to do and see for children of all ages, the Big Swamp Wildlife Park has rare white kangeroos, possums and parrots which you can hand feed. While history lovers could easily fill their days visiting the city's many historic buildings which include King Cottage in Forest Avenue which now houses a museum.
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Read other associated articles:
Bunbury: Life outside Perth
A trip to Western Australia
Happy in Bunbury
30 May 2007

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