Things To Do In Albany
The city of Albany is situated between two hills on the south coast of Western Australia surrounded by streams, channels, and beaches. The city was originally named the Frederick town in honor of the Duke of York, Prince Frederick. The town was established since January 1827, and considered as the one of the oldest towns in Australia. Albany has a unique geological attraction called “The Dog Rock”. There are no traffic lights in Albany and the town’s main traffic flow is managed by roundabouts. The Albany town hall was opened in 1888; it is just one of the many buildings that survived the late 1800s. Another interesting attraction and a must see place is the Replica of the Brig Amity. To enjoy its features, take the audio guided tour and you will learn how interesting life was during that time on these ships. It is very impressive and an absolute hit with children.
Before visiting any tourist attraction in Albany, it is imperative to pass by the Albany Heritage Area Visitor Center first. It is the first stop in the city and the center serves as a local museum that tells the history of the town of Albany and the first European settlers that landed in Australia. There are also guide maps on how to get to the old prisons and the variety of historic, cultural interest, and amusing attractions around Albany. The center is located in a lovely wooden house near Broadway Avenue and opposite the Rose Garden. It helps visitors to choose the attractions accordingly and how to make their visit to Albany worth the time and effort.
When To Go:
Albany experiences a calm atmosphere all year round and blessed with four distinct seasons. The winter season (June to August) gives immaculate beach climate with temperatures ranging from 25 to 32F. The warm weather and calm atmosphere have earned Albany its notoriety for being an ideal holiday destination that is famous for the food, winery tours, and a variety of outdoor activities to do. The month of June is also an ideal time to engage in humpback whale spotting. The blue whales on the other hand are more common and easily spotted from the months of May to June.
These are the peak months to enjoy the good weather and natural wildlife attractions around Albany. If mild weather is what you aim for, visit during the months of April and October, which is another ideal time to visit the city. Avoid the month of May until the first week of June because, the possibility of having storms and frequent rain shower occurs during these times.
These are the premier attractions and things to do in the city of Albany:
Little Beach - Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve
The Little Beach- Two Peoples Bay Nature is one of the best beaches you will ever see in Albany. The water is turquoise blue and the sand is so fine giving a powder like impression along the ocean. It is located on a nice little bay and you can see the wide coastal area of Albany from left to right. The crystal clear water, perfect white sand, makes it a true postcard setting!
If you go near Albany, go to the Little Beach and you will not regret it. Although it is located 30 km away from the city center, it has remained the most visited beach in the area. The rock pools are ideal for children because of the shallow waters, it’s exciting to walk around the rocks when the waves are calm, and this is also an ideal site for fishing and snorkelling.
National Anzac Centre
The National Anzac Centre is a very informative site for those who are interested in the military successes and defeats of the Australian soldiers. The location is perfect, the structure is interesting and the view from the top is always worthwhile. The information boards about the war and the soldiers are thought provoking and encourage a visitor to contemplate and spend a few quiet moments in memory of the fighters.
The audio guide gives a brilliant and poignant interpretation of how the ships were scattered on this same spot in the ocean where almost 40 thousand soldiers and passengers were deployed on the first and second convoy only to lose their lives out there in the ocean (King Sound Beach). Be sure to check out the lookout point, it is a very emotional place and a good three hours must be spent to understand the story behind this tragic moment in history. The site is produced and maintained impeccably and well worth the visit when in Albany.
Desert Mounted Corps Memorial
The Desert Mounted Crops Memorial is worth a visit and knowing its historic significance to the people of New Zealand and Australia who fought for the freedom of their country. In addition to that, there is a magnificent view of the entire bay.
It is made and strategically situated on top of a hill. The site is one of the most brilliant memorials done in honor of the World War I Expeditionary Forces of both countries. Climbing the stairs to reach this memorial is well worth the effort. It is the perfect place to take time and give a solemn reflection of the bravery of the soldiers who risked their lives in the name of independence.
The Middleton Beach is a stunning and widely visited beach near the city center of Albany. This large white sand beach is popular with families and always very busy. There are lots of amenities to enjoy and the beach infrastructure is truly impressive.
The shoreline is filled with restaurants, places to have picnics and a barbecue party, playground for kids, trees with ready hammocks, parks, promenade paths or walkways, and fantastic views of the ocean anywhere you stand. If you want to go whale watching the ideal time to explore this beach is from August or October (the whale spotting season in Albany).
Albany Wind Farm
Accessible via a short trail, you will marvel at the views on the hilltop lookouts of the Albany Wind Farm. The impressive panorama of the city and the information narrated by the guides about the construction of these wind turbines make this place very interesting and worth seeing when in Albany.
If you visit during the right time for whale hunting or spotting, you can see the huge whales and their young making their way through the coast of Albany from this point. Another interesting fact, this site and the giant windmills help produce 80% of the source for local power of the city; an inspiring example of how renewable sources of energy benefits the people and help preserve the environment at the same time.
The Gap and Natural Bridge
The Gap and Natural Bridge is a blend of fascinating rock formations at sea in the Torndirrup National Park. If you like nature and unique landscape attractions, this is a worthwhile detour. Seeing this arch carved by the waves and near the natural bridge is a captivating experience. Created by the passage of time, this incredible scenery is not to be missed in Albany.
It's a great tour for those who want to discover more of the real geographic beauty of Australia. Access is only possible by car; wear light jacket and bandana because the wind tends to be stronger, especially in the afternoon. This is where nature carved its own design and breaks all the elements of geography. If you are near the site, you will witness the crashing sea waves as high as a multi-storey building, soaring through a narrow cleft with water spraying everyone standing on the cliff side of this natural bridge.
Albany Whale Tours
The Albany Whale Tours is an exceptional experience if you want to have a memorable tour of a whale hunting/chasing journey in Albany. The tour begins with a 20 minute talk about the behavior of the whales in the ocean and safety precautions once the boat gets near these huge animals. The captain is great, passionate about his job and he did not hesitate to extend the 2 hour tour aside from bringing the guests to the vicinity of the whales. In addition, it offers if you ever do not have the opportunity to see whales during one of the tours, another chance to see them in the free days of your stay in Albany.
What makes the whale spotting tour more endearing is when he pulls out his flute (whales love music) play a little tune and 5 minutes later, two whales will appear on the horizon and swim around the boat (yes, like magic!). Their years of experience chasing down whales in Albany helped develop this technique and satisfied clients who want to see the whales’ activity during the hunting season. It is a unique experience that is framed all throughout by a loving and attentive service with coffee, biscuits, fruit juices and so on. John and his team of skippers are great and this whale tour is absolutely recommended.
Emu Point is one of the striking beaches in Albany where you can enjoy good food and the best views of the ocean. You can take pictures of the wonderful panorama and the cool shallow sea (you can wander along the water with pleasure). This beach is equipped with a recreation area and amenities like toilets, picnic tables and benches. The giant eucalyptus trees can be seen along the beach.
It's nice to come here with your family during weekends have a picnic or BBQ party, and play beach volleyball. There are bike paths and bikes for rent if you want to reach the other beaches adjacent to the Emu Point. You can rent or bring your own vehicle and not worry about where to park because there is ample space and sufficient parking available.
The Old Gaol And The Museum
The Old Gaol and Museum is a small place that presents the history of the old prison in Albany. The small cells of the prison are housed in this museum to show the elements of the local history the colonial years in Albany. It is a very informative place and the staff assigned to explain the story behind the creation of this museum gives a detailed story that captivates the attention of his audience. The entrance fee is $5 and you learn a lot of things about the early settlers of Albany. Dummies are even placed in each cell to make the narrative more realistic.
The presentation gives a clear idea how the penal system was enforced during that time. The guide tells the story of the inmates who were once incarcerated here, and it's pretty much interesting because the tour guide interacts with such humor and charm all throughout the duration of the tour. He also has a ready answer for all the questions regarding the museum and the exhibit. If you like piece of Australian history and an entertaining tour inside an old prison cell, this is the right place. You can visit the Replica of the Brig Amity, which is just a stone's throw away from this old jail. There are refreshments given for free at the end of the tour.
Discovery Bay Tourism Experience
The Discovery Bay Tourism Experience is where the famous Whaling Museum is located. Inside, you can see huge whale skeletons preserved and meticulously maintained up to this day. A visit to the old whaling boat is also included in the package tour of this museum. It is a fun and interactive museum that kids will definitely enjoy when in Albany.
In this museum you will realize that the whaling adventures have been in existence since the old times and you will be surprised on how the older generation heads out into the ocean to look for whales that are commonly found in this side of Western Australia. You will also get a very good impression on how the whales' suffered and ultimately face an agonizing death with the crude implements used during the old times. There is no entrance fee, but a small donation is asked for the maintenance of the museum. There is also an exhibit of the variety of whales found in Australia.
Great Southern Distilling Company
The Great Southern Distilling Company is where the best whiskey in Australia is distilled and manufactured. The entrance fee is very affordable, but the premium whiskey produced here is certainly not cheap. However, the wine tasting charges $5 per shot glass and it is truly worth it. The fee is worth it and you’ll get to know why it is very much valued here in Albany.
The award winning wine is incomparable to the other wines around the world. The quality of the wine produced in this area. This exquisite wine factory employs the help of the local residents and modern equipments and there are tours conducted about their distilling process and winery facilities. You will be impressed by the passion and dedication invested by this affluent family in Albany regarding winemaking and helping their fellow men. This place is highly recommended and be sure to include this distillery in your travel itinerary of Albany.
The Earl of Spencer
This landmark establishment is not to be missed when in Albany, it is one the oldest structure that was established since 1884 and where you will experience an authentic service and offering of great food. Taking the time for a beer and a snack in this old pub is an idea to be taken seriously. At The Earl of Spencer, the food is great, the beer is no exception, and the atmosphere is very relaxing and a good way to treat yourself or your family after a visit to the major tourist attractions of this remarkable city in Western Australia. The spectacular harbor views and the live band that performs here every weekend are just a few of the reasons why this place deserves a visit. The price of the food is affordable and you get huge servings and the feeling of being at home because of the nice interior and relaxed ambience of the lounge area.
They also have a menu that is specially designed for kids and offered at a fair price. The staff is equally entertaining and can give you tips on the best places to stay and what attractions to see while in Albany. It has a spacious courtyard that can be visited after a meal. By day, it looks so simple, but at night, the place truly comes alive with live music and amusing hosts who keeps the crowd entertained while enjoying good food.
The best part in the tour of Albany is discovering its colorful history and meeting hospitable and friendly locals along the way. The beaches are impressive and ideal for families and couples who need a relaxing getaway for their honeymoon adventure. The geographic attractions also prove how blessed this city is for you can find nature parks with rocky cliffs facing the Australian peninsula in a postcard like impressions. If you’re looking for the best holiday destination along the Western Australia region, include Albany in your wish list of places to see with a variety of things to do and memories to create with.
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