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Explore Town

Albany

Visitor Centre:
Albany Visitor Centre
Old Railway StationProudlove Parade
Phone: 08 9841 9290
Fax: 08 9842 1490
Visitor website: www.amazingalbany.com.au
General:
Albany was first settled in 1826, two years before Perth. Not only does Western Australia’s first white settlement boast one of the best natural harbours in the world, it has within its shire boundaries spectacular coastal scenery, perennial rivers, dense karri forests, rich farmland and the state’s most temperate climate.
Albany is 408kms south-east of Perth on a stretch of coast which looks out to Antarctica, several thousand kilometres to the south. The hub of the varied Great Southern Region, Albany has some 30,000 privileged people who enjoy permanent residence in the state’s most popular tourist destination.
It matters little whether the tourist desires safe swimming spots, surf beaches, bush walks, fishing, wining and dining, sight seeing, sport, adventure or good old fashioned relaxation, Albany will cater to every need.
The town enjoys regular air and coach services from Perth.
Albany has 934mm (or 37 inches) of rain annually most of which falls between April and October. It has a cool Mediterranean climate with rare heat waves and even rarer frosts. Every season has its attractions - from awesome storms in winter, wildflowers in spring, and long summer days that are warm enough for swimming but not so hot as to curtail other activities, such as sport. March to May however, is regarded as the best time to visit Albany - an experience everyone should have at least once! Clear skies, cool nights and calm seas.
In comparison to the rest of the state, the long rainy season engenders the area with a green, pleasant aspect for much of the year.
Attractions:
King George Sound
King George Sound can be found 3.5kms east of Albany. This large area of water, discovered by Captain George Vancouver in 1791, is fronted by Middleton Beach.
Princess Royal Harbour
The oldest part of Albany faces this harbour, which is a huge protected expanse of water ideal for all forms of boating.
Middleton Beach
A beautiful, unpolluted beach with nearly 5kms of fine white sand offering everything from safe swimming for children to surfing and wind surfing for the more adventurous.
Looking out from Middleton Beach two large granite islands, Michaelmas and Breaksea, loom on the eastern horizon.
Bibbulmun Track
Situated at the western end of the Albany Visitor Centre, the Bibbulmun Track is a 964km walk trail extending from Kalamunda (in Perth’s suburbs) to Albany. It takes the walker through some of the most beautiful areas in the southern part of the state. The track can be accessed at several points between Albany and Denmark, the distance between these two towns is 85-90kms with overnight huts every 20kms.
Emu Point
At the end of Middleton’s broad expanse sits Emu Point, a long promontory which juts out between the Sound and Oyster Harbour, another protected waterway. Emu Point is good for fishing and an ideal spot for children with clear shallow water and a pleasant location for picnics.
Sam the Seal Monument
Sam the New Zealand Fur Seal who over the years had trusted and befriended thousands of locals and tourists who visited him at Emu Point was senselessly slaughtered by an unknown person in an act of ultimate betrayal in February 2006. Sam’s death was covered by national and international media and even drew comment from the Prime Minister, such was the impact of this betrayal.
A memorial service and scattering of Sam’s ashes attracted a crowd of 450 people. An appeal conducted by local tour operator Captain Jonathan Jones has seen 2000 donors contribute to a life sized bronze memorial being erected at The Jim McIlvenie Park, Emu Point Boat Pens. Visit the memorial and experience how Sam affected so many.
Torndirrup National Park
To the south of the town and Princess Royal Harbour lies a long narrow peninsula, much of which is taken up by the world famous Torndirrup National Park.
The northern edge of the peninsula is protected from the elements and is home to the town’s yacht club, race course and scattered settlement.
On the southern side there are numerous natural attractions and the area is buffeted by some of the roughest seas on the globe.
The Gap & Natural Bridge
The Gap is a sheer chasm which visitors can view from the safety of a steel cage. View the seething mass of foam, spray and crashing surf 30m below.
The Natural Bridge is a large piece of granite which has been eroded by huge seas to form a fantastic arch. It is near The Gap thus allowing maximum enjoyment of this spectacular site.
Blowholes
Further along the coast you will find the Blowholes — a series of fissures in the granite which make loud hissing noises and spurt water into the air when large waves are forced, under pressure, through the rock.
Scenic Drives
From the centre of town, motorists can enjoy a superb coastal vista by driving east along Stirling Terrace. This drive leads to Middleton Beach where another scenic drive begins and can be followed past the wildlife sanctuary of Lake Seppings to Emu Point.
Returning to town, the famous Dog Rock can be seen. This granite boulder bears a
remarkable similarity to a dog’s head and few can resist the opportunity to click the camera.
Another scenic drive can be enjoyed by following Frenchman Bay Road which skirts Princess Royal Harbour. This takes the motorist to the delights of the Torndirrup National Park and finishes at Frenchman Bay - a popular, protected beach flanked by trees and barbecues.
A third scenic drive exists to the east of the town and crosses the verdant, rolling farmland of the Two Rivers region and terminates at delightful Two Peoples Bay.
Scenic Walks
There is a scenic walk and cycle path from Middleton Beach around Marine Drive starting at Ellen Cove, the first part of which is a board-walk past the Point King Lighthouse and finishing at the Pilot Station. Another walk is from Middleton Beach to Emu Point.
Danger! The South Coast has claimed many lives and you are urged to keep to gazetted paths and keep an eye out for ‘king waves’.
St. John’s Church
Located in York Street and surrounded by pleasant gardens, this Anglican house of
worship is the oldest in the state and dates back to 1848. The church contains items much older.
The Old Gaol
Nearby is the Old Gaol which is now a museum, housing items of both historical and natural interest.
Old Farm Strawberry Hill
A unique landmark located within the town precinct, on Middleton Beach Road, Old Farm Strawberry Hill was the home of Sir Richard Spencer.
Part of the original building, dating back to 1831, has been preserved and visitors can relax in the lovely gardens every day of the week. Closed during the month of June, Christmas and Boxing Day.
Brig Amity
‘Amity’ is located near the WA Museum - Albany, on the shores of Princess Royal Harbour. Major Edmond Lockyer established the first British settlement in WA.
Major Lockyer sailed from Sydney in the Brig Amity and landed at Princess Royal Harbour with 23 convicts and a handful of militia on Christmas Day in 1836.
A full scale replica of the ship now sits on the edge of a lagoon just to the west of the museum. Tourists can see for themselves the cramped conditions endured at sea in those tough times.
Old Post Office
Another fine example of nineteenth century Albany architecture is located on Stirling Terrace and was erected in 1869 as a civic centre, town hall, council chambers, court house and post and telegraph office.
Patrick Taylor Cottage
This building was erected in 1832 and is the oldest still standing in Albany.
The museum has been furnished in authentic period style by the Albany Historical Society, housing over 2,000 items including historical documents, photographs, period costumes, old clocks, silver-ware and other items dating back to Albany’s earliest days.
Two People’s Bay
Two People’s Bay is a sanctuary for the Noisy Scrub Bird which, until recently, was thought to be extinct and the Gilbert’s potoroo.
Albany Heritage Park
Albany Heritage Park is a 260 hectare parkland reserve. It surrounds the summits of Mount Clarence and Mount Adelaide and stretches from the Port of Albany to the shores of Middleton Beach. The Park is the ultimate heritage destination, offering a unique blend of natural, cultural and historical attractions: from the wonder of wildflowers, to Aboriginal and European cultural sites including pre-federation military installations at Princess Royal Fortress and the National Anzac Centre.
National Anzac Centre
In late 1914, over 41,000 Australians and New Zealanders left Albany, bound for the First World War. This is their story. The National Anzac Centre is dedicated solely to honouring the Anzacs of the First World War. Set within Albany Heritage Park, the Centre offers visitors a deeply personal connection with the Anzac legend revealed through interactive multimedia displays, unique artefacts, rare images and film and audio commentary.