Western Australians are often humorously referred to as Sandgropers and the coastal area of Bunbury, like the capital city of Perth, gives some explanation to the nickname.
The pristine white beaches actually extend well beyond the beaches with the coastal plains of the south west being made up of light, sandy soils. Further inland this will change to a loamy mix but digging holes (if this is your fancy) in the Bunbury residential areas is not a problem!
Bunbury is bordered by the Indian Ocean, Koombana Bay and Leschenault inlet and naturally enough water sports, port and harbour facilities as well as a growing seafoods industry, feature highly in the local lifestyle and economy. Bunbury's port is Australia's ninth largest port by volume and by 2020 should be rated within the nation's top five.
Western Australia is Australia's largest state, comprising about one-third of Australia's land mass and occupying over 2.5 million square kilometres in area. WA is divided into 10 regional areas - the South West, Mid West, North West, Peel, Wheatbelt, Great Southern, Goldfields-Esperance, Pilbara, Gascoyne and Kimberley.
Bunbury and its neighbouring suburbs have a population of 52,000 and Bunbury is one of Australia's fastest growing cities. Bunbury is the commercial hub to WA's "South West", an area that is home to the Margaret River wine region and major coal, alumina and mineral sands industries; a region that boasts around 8,000 businesses and a GDP of over $5 billion. Presently it is about a 2 hour drive from Perth to Bunbury, but this will be reduced by 30 minutes on the completion of the recently announced Bunbury Highway or Peel Deviation.
Overall Bunbury is one of those undiscovered jewels of the modern, western world. It has all the modern amenities and infrastructure one would expect, is free of disease and has first class medical services, a raft of education possibilities and is comparatively a very affordable place to live. There are no regular natural disasters likely to occur and perhaps a criticism is that maybe it lacks some excitement.
But for those who enjoy the lack of excitement of earthquakes, mudslides or typhoons and the security of being in safe, isolated retreat from world events mixed with a pristine natural backdrop, then Bunbury is the place to visit or make home.
Bunbury’s climate can best be described as Mediterranean.
There’s a hot summer with cooling afternoon sea breezes and a winter bringing cooler temperatures and rain that supports diverse agricultural industries.
Whilst summer officially runs December to February, you can generally expect the hot months to be January and February with lovely warm and sunny days October to December and March through April. The official summer temperature averages are 14º Celsius to an average daily maximum of 28º.
In winter the average daily temperatures range from a 9º minimum to a maximum 19ºC.
There’s an average 900mm of rain each year and the number of “wet” days will run somewhere between 120 to 150 days per year, usually from May through September.
Today, as locals try to make sense of the established Western seasons, it is worthwhile examining the traditional Noongar seasons that divided the south west's climate into 6 rather than 4 separate seasons.
The Noongar year has six seasons, the first being from December to January. This season is called Birak where hot, easterly winds blow during the day and Noongar people used to burn sections of scrubland to force animals into the open to hunt.
From February to March, during Bunuru, the dry weather conditions meant Noongars moved to estuaries where fish constituted a large proportion of the seasonal diet.
During Djeran, in April to May, the weather was becoming cooler with winds from the south west. Fishing continued and bulbs and seeds were collected for food.
During the coldest season, Makuru (June to July), Noongars moved inland to hunt areas once rains had replenished inland water resources.
In Djilba, as the weather was becoming warmer from August to September, roots were collected and emus, possums and kangaroo were hunted.
In Kambarang, when rain was decreasing during October to November, families moved towards the coast where frogs, tortoises and freshwater crayfish were caught
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