The port city of Bunbury is the third largest city in Western Australia after the state capital, Perth, and Mandurah. It is situated 175 kilometres (109 mi) south of Perth's central business district (CBD). The port services the farming, mining and timber industries of the south west originally connected via an extensive rail network.
The first registered sighting of Bunbury was by French explorer Captain Louis de Freycinet from his ship the Casuarina in 1803. He named the area Port Leschenault after the expedition's botanist, Leschenault de la Tour. The bay was named Geographe after another ship in the fleet.
In 1829, Dr Alexander Collie and Lieutenant Preston explored the area of Bunbury on land. Later Lieutenant Governor Sir James Stirling visited the area and a military post was established. The area was renamed Bunbury by the Governor in recognition of Lieutenant Henry William St Pierre Bunbury, who developed the very difficult inland route from Pinjarra to Bunbury.
The population of the town was 2,970 (1,700 males and 1,270 females) in 1898.