ALBANY – THE AUSTRALIAN TRAVELLER GUIDE
A place rich with convict history, rugged coastlines and perfect beaches, Albany will teach you the horrific past of the Australian whaling industry. Thankfully, the only whale shooting that is done today is through the a camera!
WHERE TO STAY
Albany has places for everyone when it comes to accommodation. One place in particular that is simple but comfortable is the Norfolk Sands. It falls somewhere within the mid-range budget category, but the price is not to be sneezed at. The hotel is within walking distance of Middleton Beach and there is a café next door, open for breakfast.
WHAT TO DO
For those who love scenery and pretty views, Albany is the perfect holiday destination. There are historic buildings, the Desert Mounted Corps Memorial and dozens of walking trails with priceless scenery along the way. Go on a whale watching or diving tour or hop on board the Kalgan Queen, a glass bottomed boat. Take a tour of the old whaling station at Whale World, but be warned is can be a bit unnerving.
For days where you just want to stretch out with a towel and a good book, take a trip to Misery Beach. Quite unlike its name, Misery Beach is beautiful and never crowded, so it’s perfect as a secluded sun-baking spot.
Or for something more physical, a walk through Torndirrup National Park to the Blowholes is well worth the effort.
WHEN TO GO
Albany has four very distinct seasons that change the area considerably. In summer, visitors can take advantage of the pristine beaches and relaxing atmosphere, making it a real holiday hotspot. Autumn is renowned for being ‘feast season’ and as the leaves change colour, walking tracks come alive. Although Albany is sheltered from the wind, winter can still get very cold, especially at night. From May to October, Humpback and Southern Right Whales migrate to the area, taking shelter close to the coastline. Then as the weather warms up again with spring, the whales disappear but an abundance of flowers in the area go into bloom.
Located 409km from Perth (five hour drive), your best bet is to fly. Skywest flies between Albany and Perth daily. Love’s buses are available in town during weekdays and Saturday mornings. If you’re looking for a rental car, they are available from the airport and locally from Rainbow Coast Car Rentals.
For more information about Albany, go to: westernaustralia.com
Soon after the outbreak of the First World War in August 1914, when troops were called to mobilise from both Australia and New Zealand, Albany – a tiny, unassuming town in south-west WA – was chosen as the unlikely locale for the biggest fleet the Commonwealth had ever assembled. And, come November, when we will be remembering the centenary, there’s arguably no better place to commemorate the ANZAC legacy than here (words Megan Arkinstall). When Henry Lawson visited Albany in 1890, he described it as a town that “will never change much – it is a pretty town, but vague....
Nestled into a hillside overlooking Middleton Beach, this quaint little cottage is shabby chic at its finest – think crisp white walls, sparkling chandeliers, wingback chairs and patchwork quilts. But contrasting these old-world touches are some serious creature comforts, like the huge plasma TV and iPod docking station. There are two queen-sized bedrooms to choose from – one of which has a twin sleep out attached, and a cute children’s bedroom making it a perfect summer stay for young families. A 10-minute walk down the hill will land you at Middleton Beach, popular for surfing, fishing, snorkelling, even kite surfing....
AT's guide to the best cheap accommodation for summer and Christmas holidays Albany Why do we rate it? Rugged coastline and a dramatic convict past gives this town a point of difference. Where is it? 417km south-east of Perth, it’s a 5hr 30min drive on the Albany Highway. Where to stay Middleton Beach Holiday Park has deluxe spa villas for couples wanting something a bit spesh, or two-bedroom ensuite cabins, chalets or camping sites. Chalets and B&Bs back from the beach are plentiful. Try B&B by the Sea for balcony seaviews or heritage-styled Vancouver House. How much is it? Middleton...
Australian Traveller Magazine’s 100 Great Australian Holiday Homes As Great Australian Holiday Homes go, Maitraya, about 25 minutes east of Albany in southwest WA, is far more “mansion” than perhaps anything else on our list. Entirely self-contained, it’s designed to house several Brady Bunch-sized families, as well as corporate groups and functions. Set on 500 acres of ocean-fronted bushland surrounded by national parks, the house itself encompasses 6000m2 and has eight bedrooms, 11 bathrooms, a two-level wine cellar, gym, 13m indoor pool, glass-covered conservatory, 20-seat theatre – and that’s before you even get to the private airstrip, cricket pitch, tennis...
An interesting mix of busy industrial town and old seaside port, Albany attracts people with its dramatic coastline, calm harbour and annual whale watching. One of the first towns settled by Europeans, a ship full of convicts and soldiers sailed into King George Sound in 1826. A replica of the brig now stands in the Princess Royal Harbour to acknowledge the town as being one of the oldest in WA. There are many hstoric walks going past buildings and museums that tell of life in Albany in the 1800s. There’s the trail to Possession Point, where WA was claimed by...
For the southwest WA coastal town of Albany, whale hunting represents the area’s oldest industry, stretching back as far as the 18th Century when as many as 850 whales met their grisly end per season. The last whale to be killed at the site of the Cheynes Beach Whaling Company – incidentally, Australia’s last commercially operating whaling station – was on November 20, 1978. It was only two years later that Whale World was established on that very spot, making it the only museum of its kind in the world to be housed in a formerly fully operational whaling...
AT’s Rob Gordon goes tree crazy in southwest WA, visiting as many forest behemoths as he can in a single day. When you travel through southwest WA you see some remarkable things. Austrians in socks and sandals. Huge road trains. Thick-legged Germans with fibreglass walking poles. And trees. Lots of trees. Heading north from Albany or southeast from Margaret River you’ll see plenty of big, brown tourist signs, all encouraging tree visits. It’s like they’re shouting at you: visit as many trees as you can! That suits us, since I’m travelling with my father. He works hard and hates wasting time,...
Once Australia's last-operating whaling station, Whale World in Albany has now closed and is a whaling museum that is especially popular among tourists. Long before European settlement, opportunist whaling ships used the southwest coast of Australia as an untapped source of wealth, and this continued in Albany until 1978, when a combination of strict anti-whaling regulations and the fact that no-one wanted whale oil any more forced the Cheynes Beach Whaling Company at Frenchman’s Bay to shut down. The site is now Whale World, and with a bit of imagination you can return to a time when the area would...
Banksia Farm and Garden - only place in the world, where all 77 species can be found The magnificent and multihued Banksia: iconic Australian wildflower; important source of nectar for honeyeaters and pollinating creatures; inspiration for the terrifying Banksia Men of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie fame; a favourite and hardy garden plant; ranging from low shrub to towering 30m-high tree; found in all but the most inhospitable areas of the country – and distinctively one of those rare plants that regards our harsh bushfire seasons as merely another chance to regroup and spread its seed. How marvellously Australian can you get?...
The smallest marsupial is no longer extinct! You can find most 40 of these little rare creatures at the nature reserve near Two Peoples Bay. At Two Peoples Bay in southwest WA in 1994, a PhD student by the name of Elizabeth Sinclair and her field assistant Bridget Hyder made an astonishing discovery while studying quokkas in the region. Or perhaps that should be a rediscovery, since they actually found what turned out to be a few Gilbert’s Potoroos that were thought to have become extinct 115 years earlier! The beautiful nature reserve at Two Peoples Bay is now the...
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