Pier without peer gets virtual diving

The sun sets over the Busselton Jetty. Photo: Nell Van.

The Busselton Jetty is offering a series of virtual tours giving online viewers an opportunity to experience the attraction from home during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The 155-year-old tourist jetty is the longest in the southern hemisphere and is home to one of six natural aquariums in the world, allowing visitors a glimpse of the Indian Ocean eight-metres-deep. 

CEO of Busselton Jetty Inc, Lisa Shreeve says the unprecedented closure of the jetty in March inspired staff to offer visitors a new virtual experience, using technology and their experienced tour guides.

Two live streams are held at 9am and 2pm daily, when a marine science team guides viewers through the underwater observatory before offering a question and answer session. 

“The camera is focussed on the windows so we can tell people what is happening outside while incorporating the history as part of the tour as well as any future developments,” Shreeve says. 

The $11 tours have attracted people from around the world, with online visitors from the US, India, Germany, Canada, Malaysia and Singapore. 

“It’s giving us publicity and the ability to stay relevant, hopefully these people will put Western Australia and Busselton on their bucket lists so that when things do open up again, they visit.”

As well as live ‘virtual’ tours, there are 14 pre-recorded online tours available on demand, where viewers can access guided tours for free.

Shreeve says online visitors can access day and night underwater observatory tours and marine education workshops as well as a series of virtual exercise classes offered to encourage people to join from home. 

“We have got running, walking and dancing on the jetty as well as yoga and personal training weight sessions.”  

“We are trying to do some new things that will positively contribute to people’s mental and physical health while we wait to reopen,” she says.

Shreeve says the 17-year-old observatory is currently undergoing an upgrade during the closure.

“When we re-open, people will be able to go in and see some new technology, mechanical panels and marine artwork.”

Here you can find more information and where to access the virtual tours.