Jurien Bay, Western Australia

Jurien Bay is a coastal town in the Wheatbelt region of Western Australia, 220 kilometres (137 mi) north of Perth facing the Indian Ocean.

The coastline around Jurien Bay was first known to Europeans in the 17th century. In 1801–03, an expedition under the command of Nicolas Baudin sailed along the Western Australian coast. Louis de Freycinet, a cartographic surveyor on the expedition, named Jurien Bay after Charles Marie Jurien (1763–1836) of the French naval administration. The area was visited by a number of English explorers from 1822 onwards.[1] The bay was first surveyed by Captain James Harding, the harbourmaster of Fremantle, in 1865, with a more extensive survey made by Staff Commander W. E. Archdeacon R.N. in 1875.

The first settlement was established in the mid-1850s by Walter Padbury. A jetty was constructed in 1885–87 due to the success of pastoralism. In the early 1900s, a temporary fishing village was built around the Jurien jetty and the coastal waters were used for catching dhufish, snapper and groper. Permanent residences were only built in the 1950s; however the buildings were only corrugated iron shanties instead of properly-built dwellings. Initially the settlement struggled to grow due to a poor and unreliable water supply and the isolation of the area at that time.

The townsite was surveyed and was gazetted as Jurien Bay on 21 December 1956; it was renamed Jurien in 1959, but reverted to its original name in 1999. Crayfish (also known as Western Rock Lobster) are abundant in the area, and the town's development soon became influenced by the crayfish industry. New jetties, factories and an airstrip were constructed so that crayfish goods could be flown south to Perth. Crayfishing has now become a multimillion-dollar industry, sending goods regularly to Japan and the United States.

The Jurien Bay "Blessing of the Fleet" festival commenced in the mid-1990s to commemorate the start of the crayfishing season in November each year. Following the opening of Indian Ocean Drive (the coastal route linking Perth) in 2010, the event was re-badged as the Indian Ocean Festival.

Today, the town is experiencing a house building boom, as its population and popularity as a holiday destination grow. The principal employers in the town are housing and building construction, retail, tourism, and crayfishing. Local residents claim that the town's population more than doubles during the holiday season. The completion of Indian Ocean Drive, has afforded faster access to the Perth Metropolitan area as well as the neighbouring towns of Leeman, Cervantes and Green Head. The town has many facilities including a community resource centre, supermarket, police station, family resource and child daycare centre, skatepark and sporting facilities, recreational jetty, restaurants, small boat harbour and marina, sealed and lit airstrip and a medical centre; it also has a district high school, and is visited twice a week by a bus service from Perth operated by Integrity Coach Lines.[2]

In 2016 the Turquoise Way trail[3] (shared use path) was extended southwards from the town to the Hill River so as to create a recreational cycling and walk/run course of 14.2 km.[4]

Jurien Bay is the seat of government for the Shire of Dandaragan and is the largest community in that shire.

^ "History of country town names – J". Western Australian Land Information Authority. Archived from the original on 14 March 2022. Retrieved 18 March 2007. ^ "Perth to Broome". Integrity Coach Lines. 3 June 2014. Retrieved 3 June 2014. ^ "The Turquoise Coast Walk Trail". ^ "Media Statements - New path to put Jurien Bay on the cycling map". Archived from the original on 18 May 2018. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
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