Things to do in Albany
Albany and its surrounds, with a dramatic coastline of rocky granite cliffs, beautiful white sandy beaches, deep blue ocean, karri forest and wildflowers, offer some of the most awe-inspiring scenery in Australia. Set around Princess Royal Harbour, Albany’s breathtaking and rugged beauty creates a fitting backdrop to discover its history of whaling, convicts and settlers for a sensational South West adventure.
Explore beautiful, secluded beaches and rivers renowned for swimming, fishing, surfing, diving, snorkelling and kayaking, plus spectacular and pristine national parks at Torndirrup, Porongurup and Stirling Ranges. Enjoy whale watching (from late May to October), bush walking trails, shopping, gourmet food and wine, farmer’s markets, museums, art galleries and studios. Visit famous tourist attractions such as The Gap, Natural Bridge, Blowholes, Wind Farm and The Brig Amity.
Discovered in 1791, the port city became the first European settlement in Western Australia in 1826 and is rich in history, from the full scale replica Amity sailing ship, to the gaol built to house convicts. But long before this time, there is evidence the Aboriginal Noongar people lived in this area 45,000 year ago, and what is now the Albany Highway, was once a track they travelled to trade with other families in Perth. Albany is also rich in war history, as the last place where our fleets of ANZAC troops departed sailing to Gallipoli, and the Light Horse War Memorial and Princess Royal Fortress War Museum are dedicated to these brave soldiers. It is also the site of the first ANZAC Day Dawn Service Ceremony ever held in Australia in 1923.
The pristine environment and national park ecosystems lend themselves to unique wildlife, including marsupials, reptiles and seabirds. Diving and snorkelling are popular, with the HMAS Perth and Cheynes III dive wrecks lying on the ocean floor, as well as waverider sports brought on by the impressive surf conditions of the powerful Southern Ocean, and plenty of fishing spots off beaches, rivers and deep sea.
Albany houses the last operating whaling station in Australia to close in 1978 and is now famous for whale watching, with hundreds of humpback and southern right whales, as well as the rarer orcas and blue whales, travelling along the coastline during winter and spring.
For a day excursion, take a tour to the world-famous Denmark or Margaret River wine regions for their renowned cellar door tastings.
Running from Albany to Mundaring, the Munda Biddi Bike Trail claims the title of the longest continuous off-road cycle trail of its kind in the world. The 1000km trail has been built through an undeveloped natural corridor of forests, bushland, gentle terrain and scenic river valleys.
For hikers, The Bibbulmun Track is one of the world’s great long distance walk trails, stretching nearly 1000km from Albany to Kalamunda, a suburb in the hills on the outskirts of Perth. It passes through the heart of the scenic south west terrain, taking walkers through towering karri and tingle forests, down mist-shrouded valleys, over giant granite boulders and along breathtaking coastal heathlands. The Bibbulmun Track offers a wide range of experiences, from a gentle stroll to enjoy the peace and beauty of the natural environment, to an epic eight week adventure.