Exploring someone else’s city: Bunbury

“What’s she doing in Bunbury??” you may ask. Well, you know those COVID figures of cases and hospitalizations?…they’re real and some of those patients are aged 38 instead of 98- and one of them is my son. So, there was a quick scramble onto a plane and over to Western Australia. He’s much, much better now, and I’ll be heading home on Monday. But in the meantime, there’s walking to do and places to see, other than a hospital ward.

I decided that I’d walk to the hospital and went via the Big Swamp, which was absolutely teeming with wild life and birds. There has been lots of building development on what must have been swampland in the past. There are South Western Long Necked Turtles in the swamp, which cross the road to nest in a dry watercourse on the other side of the road. In a bit of an evolutionary blip, they can’t withdraw their necks into their shells, so they are pretty defenceless against predators.

I wonder if this is the last Civic Video store (now closed) still standing? Someone had a sense of humour with the parking bays.

I visited the Bunbury Museum and Heritage Centre in what had once been the Boys School, built in 1886 to replace an older convict-built structure. They had a nice little exhibition about ‘The Blind Man of Bunbury’- K. C. Lewis who ran a canvas goods store in Bunbury between 1955 and 2021.

Then up to the Art Gallery in the former Sisters of Mercy Convent School. There was a little exhibition called ‘Museum of Loss’ which attracted my attention. They had left one of the nun’s rooms intact. A pretty sparse life.

Then a walk up to the Pioneer Park, which had been the site of the first cemetery. Most of the paperwork over who had been buried there had been lost, so they don’t really know who is buried there. I had hoped that there might be gravestones, but there were only interpretation panels telling of the history of the graveyard itself.

Then across the road to the beach- absolutely beautiful. I was fascinated by the Back Beach Sea Baths which were built in the 1930s, but only lasted a few years before being destroyed by the waves. Still, those foundations have held on for nearly 90 years.

My phone tells me today I walked 8 kms but it feels much more than that!

9 responses to “Exploring someone else’s city: Bunbury

  1. I’m sorry to hear that your son fell victim to Covid, we think mine did too, but he was tested in that chaotic period when everyone needed test results to holiday in Qld and there was an 8-day delay in processing the test. It came back negative, but if it wasn’t Covid, it was a strange new illness that looked a lot like Covid. But he was ‘lucky’, he managed to stay out of hospital.
    Is everyone else in the family ok?

    • His wife caught it first, and then he caught it on Easter Sunday. Strangely their three year old daughter didn’t catch it, even though she was sleeping in the same bed. They test you every 24 hours if you are visiting the hospital. I had every finger and toe crossed with the first RAT because it would have been a long way to travel only to end up in isolation myself!

  2. Good to hear your son’s health has improved.

    I thought we may have visited Bunbury and perhaps we did, but the town that came straight to my mind was Busselton.

  3. artandarchitecturemainly

    We lived in WA for a few years and loved it, but I had assumed that a lot had changed in the decades since. Thank goodness for the Sisters of Mercy Convent School, Pioneer Park and Bunbury Museum and Heritage Centre.

    And speedy recovery for the son.

  4. What a walk you did Janine. Thanks for sharing what you saw. Love your historian’s eye, right down to the video store. Great pics.

    I’m sorry for the reason you had to go – but am glad all’s well now.

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