Albany, a Port City in the Great Southern Region of WA, sits on the rugged coastline drawing tourists all year round who are looking to escape the rat race. Nestled between the waterways of the Princess Royal Harbour and King George Sound, Albany is just over an hour's direct flight from Perth or five hour's drive along the Albany Highway. With so much to see and do in Albany, you'll need to stay for at least a week.
Discover the History at the National Anzac Centre
Albany is the site where over 41,000 Australian and New Zealand troops left Australia heading for the battlegrounds of the First World War in late 1914. Today the National Anzac Centre in Albany Heritage Park is solely dedicated to honouring these Anzacs, many of whom never made it home. The centre offers visitors the ability to learn about the First World War through the Anzacs themselves. The interactive multimedia displays, rare images and films complimented by audio commentary tell the personal stories of those who fought for our country.
Go Whale Watching from Albany's Historic Whaling Station
Western Australia has one of the longest whale watching seasons in the world. From July to October the whales frolic in the food-rich waters near Albany. Sometimes they come so close to the shore that you can see them clearly through binoculars or from one of the viewing towers along the coast. One of the best places to see the whales from is Albany's Historic Whaling Station at Discovery Bay. It was the last operating whaling station in Australia and the only museum of its kind to be housed in a former whaling station. Take a tour of the whaling factory, enjoy the interactive museum, view actual whale skeletons and board the fully restored whalechaser. It's a great day out, especially for the kids.
Explore the Walking Trails around Albany
You'll find walking tracks and nature trails almost everywhere in Albany. Take in almost two centuries of history along the Amity Trail. The 30 minute self-guided tour explores the town's convict prisons, taverns, cottages and grand National Trust residences as well as many of the other colonial buildings now housing museums, galleries and restaurants. The Middleton Beach Boardwalk Trail boasts amazing views over King George Sound, or for the more serious walker, the Bibbulmun Track will take you all the way to Perth. It's one of the world's great long distance walks stretching almost 1,000kms.
Dine Your Way Around Albany
Albany's food scene is super fresh with so many gourmet providores and organic food producers supplying the local restaurants. You'll be spoilt for choice with seasonal menus on offer and internationally recognised award-winning wines to match. Make sure to visit the bustling Farmers Markets open each Saturday to pick up some locally grown produce including farm fresh yabbies, trout, freshly shucked oysters, boutique goat's cheese and olives. There's also arts and crafts stalls and live music to listen to and much more! For an afternoon treat drop, into some of the famous wineries around town, sample the locally made beer and taste WA's first single malt whiskey.
Visit Albany's Stunning Beaches
Some of the finest beaches Australia has to offer can be found in Albany. Middleton Beach is the most popular with families as it's the closest beach to the city and has lots of shops and cafés nearby. With small to medium sized waves perfect for surfing or boogie boarding plus a jetty and pontoon for jumping off, you can see why it's so popular. Frenchman Bay in King George Sound is a sheltered beach with gentle waves perfect for swimming, snorkelling and safe rock fishing. Or for something a little wilder, just out of town you'll find Torndirrup Peninsula with dramatic cliffs and rough waves when the swell is up.
Exploring Albany can all be done from the comfort of the Quality Suites Banksia Gardens
on the Albany Highway. The accommodation Albany offers a range of rooms for small or large groups, two BBQ areas, an undercover children's playground and plenty of dining options nearby.