Jurien Bay is a coastal town 220 miles north of Perth in the Wheatbelt region of Western Australia. In 2021 the population was 1985.
This coastline was mapped in 1801 by Nicolas Baudin, who named the spot for Charles Marie Jurien, a French navy bigwig. A sheep-farming town (little more than a few shacks) appeared in the 1850s, the first jetty was built, and Jurien Bay morphed into a fishing village. Better roads from the 1950s enabled it to grow, specialising in crayfish (Western Rock Lobster, Panulirus cygnus), and the airstrip from the 1990s facilitated their rapid global export. This is still a busy trade in town. but being close to the big city Jurien Bay has also become a holiday resort.
Jurien Bay is a 2½ hr drive from Perth. The quickest route is by the coastal Indian Ocean Drive past Lancelin and Cervantes. You could also take Brand Hwy to the turn off at Jurien Bay Rd.
Integrity Coaches run three evenings a week from Perth, taking 3 hours via Joondalup, Lancelin and Cervantes.
1 The Roadhouse is the stop in Jurien Bay. The buses have a 30 min rest stop then head off into the night to Green Head, Leman, Dongara, Geraldton, Carnarvon, Coral Bay, Exmouth, Port Hedland and Broome.
Transwa buses run inland on Brand Hwy. They can drop and pick-up at the turn off, but you're better taking the Integrity Coach to connect with their services, for instance in Geraldton for Kalbarri.
The town is small enough to walk around but most sights are at some distance. You need your own wheels with 4WD for these.
- 1 The jetty is the 162 m fishing and strolling pier completed in 2011. (Boats don't come in here, they use the marina.) Two old jetties were wrecked by storms in 2003: one was completely dismantled to make way for the new, but some wooden piles of the other remain 200 yards north.
- 2 North Head is a scenic peninsula with remnants of a wartime radar station.
- 3 Drover's Cave National Park is four miles north of town. Many caves are screened off to prevent vandalism and casual visitors coming to grief. The must-see is Stockyard Gully, with a 250 m limestone tunnel that you walk through. No entrance fee but you need high-clearance 4WD to reach it; no dogs.
- 4 Lesueur National Park, Cockleshell Gully Rd, ☏ +61 8 9688 6000. 24 hours. This is an extensive park but the most accessible is the 18.5 km sealed driveway off Gairdner Rd, as marked on the map. It has a profusion of wildflowers, at their best after the rains in early summer. Bush walks include Lesueur (3.5 km), Yued Ponar (6 km) and Yonga (26 km), plus a 50 m wheelchair loop. Mount Lesueur provides a good view of the bay. $15 per car.
- 5 Boullanger Island is the largest and closest of the archipelago of the Marine Park. The island is named for the cartographer on Boudin's 1801 survey, and home to a rare marsupial mouse.
- Jurien Bay Marine Park stretches along the coast from Green Head in the north to the boundary of Nambung National Park in the south. It extends three miles offshore, taking in a long submerged limestone ridge, which here and there forms small islands. The signature wildlife are the sea lions; you might also see dolphins or migrating whales. The ridge is easily reached by boat trips, see below, for scuba-diving, snorkelling and fishing. There's little reason to land on the islands and some are off-limits.
- 6 Sandy Cape is a stretch within the Marine Park for recreational activities such as kayaking. It's an attractive cove with camp grounds, accessible by 2WD.
- Coastal trail from the jetty goes 32 km north to Dynamite Bay at Green Head.
- Skydiving: Skydive Jurien Bay offers tandem rides (strapped to an instructor) from 14,000 ft, and AFF courses if you want to go solo.
- Boat trips: Jurien Bay Oceanic sail from the marina for fishing and snorkelling with sea lions.
- Fishing: commercial fishing is only interested in the high value crayfish, leaving plenty of dhufish, snapper and groper for casual anglers.
- Golf: Jurien Bay Country GC is on Bashford St east of town by the airstrip.
- IGA is the big supermarket, on Bashford St. It's open daily 08:00-18:00.
- Fuel is available 24 hours at the Roadhouse, with a smaller filling station nearby.
- Roadhouse has a Subway.
- Joy's Thai Kitchen is authentic stuff. It's by the Roadhouse, open W-Sa 4PM-8:30PM.
- The Oneh, 12 Murray St (behind Roadhouse), ☏ +61 8 9652 2114. M Tu 5PM-9PM, W-Su 10:30AM-3PM, 5PM-9PM. Asian fusion restaurant earning great reviews.
- Jurien Fish & Chips is next to the Roadhouse.
- Lesueurs Gallery Cafe near the Roadhouse gets poor reviews.
- Sandpiper at 12 Roberts St does good pizza, open F-Tu 11:30AM-2PM, 5:30-8PM.
- Beach Cafe by the jetty is open M-Th 6AM-6PM, F-Su 6AM-10PM.
- Seaside Cafe is within IGA Shopping Centre.
- Sandpiper is the town tavern, see above.
- Kakka Alley Brewing, 12 Gypsum St (north of airfield), ☏ +61 427 537004. M-Th noon-5PM, F Sa noon-8PM, Su 11AM-6PM. Micro brewery, beach-themed pub and pizzeria just off main highway.
- Jurien Bay Tourist Park, 1 Roberts St, ☏ +61 8 9652 1595. Near the jetty, a well-run site with sleeping options from unpowered campsites to chalets, pet-friendly. Facilities include BBQs, campers kitchen and kids playground. Hook-up $42.
- Jurien Bay Motel, 5 White St (block south of Tourist Park), ☏ +61 8 9652 1022. Central, mixed reviews for cleanliness and catering. Double $130.
- Jurien Bay Motel Apartments, 7 Murray St (behind Roadhouse), ☏ +61 8 9652 2062. Good clean spacious rooms equipped for self-catering. Double $160.
- Jurien Bay Beachfront Holiday Units, 12 Grigson St (200 yards southwest of Tourist Park), ☏ +61 467 073862. Good affordable self-catering rooms. Double $165.
- Ocean Bay Chalet 18, 18/2 Casuarina Cres (400 yards north of Roadhouse), ☏ +61 428 927087. Clean self-catering accommodation.
As of Jan 2023, the town has 4G from Optus and Telstra, but patchy coverage on the approach roads and nothing from Vodafone. 5G has not reached this area.
- Green Head and Leeman are north along Indian Ocean Drive, then at Dongara the highways re-unite.
- New Norcia to the east has a 19th century Benedictine abbey, still active.
- Pinnacles Desert 45 minutes south of Jurien Bay is an otherworldly vista of limestone pillars.