Bunbury – an eccentric diversion

I never quite understood Bunbury. It appeared to be an odd place for such a large town, located at the long end of a journey to Perth. Near enough to tempt a day trip to the city, far enough to be inconvenient to workers, Bunbury sat as a town apart. Not exactly metro, but never quite country either.

I visited Bunbury a few times, often on the way to and from Perth when I lived in Bridgetown, but the longest stint was two weeks as country relief. An Oceanside town, Bunbury was the gateway for travellers heading south, particularly Margaret River and the South West of Western Australia. It did introduce me to the new sensation of travelling long distance by train in Australia, but even that was a ‘meh’ experience.

A busy town, I found it too full of hustle to be relaxing. I always felt like if I was in the town it had to be for a reason. Compare that to, Mount Gambier say, where there was nothing to it for a quiet walk or chucking a mainey (is that even a thing outside of South Australia?).

The beaches were pleasant, and I enjoyed lengthy walks up and the down the coastline when I worked there. There was something of a partying culture in the town, and I got the opportunity to go out nightclubbing (something I hadn’t done since leaving the UK). The experience made me feel old, and nostalgic for better days, when going out to nightclubs was fun, and didn’t seem so unusual and tiresome.

It’s probably an unfair appraisal of the town, but I found it difficult to fathom its reason for being. I wouldn’t want to live there; it was probably a good town for families wanting some amenities, but without the effort of a city. For me, it was always something more of place I was travelling through (annoyingly slowly, at about 80km on the ring road), and while not bad memories, they aren’t particularly fullsome in their praise, much like the town itself.

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