Visitor Information

History

Jurien Bay is situated 266 kilometres north of Perth. The region developed as a result of the rock lobster (crayfish) industry. Jurien Bay was known to the Europeans in the seventeenth century, however was not mapped until an expedition in 1803 led by Thomas Nicholas Baudin and Louis-Claude Desaules de Freycinet, mapped and named much of the area. The two ships Le Geograph and the Casuarina, sailed up the Western Australian Coast line collecting local Flora and Fauna. From these ships Freycinet a Cartographic Surveyor, surveyed the area and named it Jurien Bay after Charles Marie Jurien from the French Naval Administration. Mount Lesueur was named after Charles Alexandre Lesueur who was the ships artist on Le Geograph and Mount Peron was named after the ships Naturalist and Botanist, Franois Peron.

Despite the excellent mappings there were three major wrecks off the coast in the 1890s alone, one ship called the Lubra sank in January 1898. The boiler can see be seen at low tide between Favorite and Osprey Islands.

The first settlement of Jurien Bay occurred in the mid 1850s when Walter Padbury took land around Jurien Bay and Walters nephew, John Grigson, managed the property and became the first pioneer in the area. The pastoralist success in the area led to the jetty named Walter Padburys Jetty being erected in 1885, this provided access for wool and hide transport. The jetty was destroyed by fire and the remains were covered in sand, however the remains were re-discovered in the 1970s and its location is marked by a large rock and plaque at the Old Jetty Site at the end of Hastings Street.

By the early 1900s the waters around the area were being fished for groper, dhufish and snapper. By the 1950s people began to build permanent residences which were nothing more than shanties made out of corrugated iron rather than proper dwellings.

Jurien was officially named Jurien Bay on the 21st of December 1956. By the 1960s it was clear that the towns development would be based around the crayfish industry and due to this new jetties and a factory were built. An airstrip was also built so that shipments could be flown direct to Perth.

Jurien Bay has a reputation for one of the best locations on the Central Coast for catching snapper, baldchin groper and dhufish, bringing fishermen and women from all over the State.