‘Picturesque’... ‘The best climate in the west’... ‘A beautiful place’... that’s how some travel writers have described the historic town of Albany, located on the coastline 408 kilometres south of Perth. Western Australians certainly think so, as for years Albany has been their favoured intrastate holiday destination. Part of the reason for this is its climate - Albany’s average summer temperature is 27.4 degrees, and in winter it’s 17.9 degrees.
Albany sits on gorgeous Princess Royal Harbour, overlooking King George Sound and a dramatic coastline to the west and out to the Stirling and Porongorup ranges to the east. It was once a roistering whaling port, but the days when 850 whales per season were taken are long gone.
These days the whales have a far better time of it, and from the town jetty whale-watching cruises are available, allowing you to see the magnificent southern wright and humpback whales on their annual migration route. The prime time of the year is August to October.
Historic buildings in the township now house museum exhibits about Albany's past with everything from costume to household goods. Visitors can also see full size replica of the Amity
, the brig that brought the first white settlers to the area in 1826.
The fishing in the bays and estuaries of the area is excellent, as are the beaches. For those who prefer their activities of the non-marine variety, there are numerous National Parks dotting the region, providing ample birdwatching and bushwalking opportunities, and a thriving local wine industry.
: Strauss Festival (August), Great Southern Wine Festival (October), Vintage Blues Festival (December)
Things to do:
Albany Whaleworld - Once a whaling station, it now houses a museum, providing a look back at Albany's grim whaling past. Cheyne's Beach Whaling Station on Frenchmans Bay.
Historic Walks - around the colonial buildings in the township - brochure available from Tourist Information Centre
Whale watching Cruises - daily from the jetty from August to November
In the Area:
Fishing - recommended at Emu Point, Oyster Harbour, Jimmy Newhill's Harbour
Deer-O-Dome - deer farm, 6km north
Mt Romance Sandalwood Oil Company - 12 km north
National Parks - there are many national parks surrounding Albany including West Cape Howe NP for outdoor activities , Torndirrup NP for rock formations and whale watching from the cliffs, Vancouver Peninsula for heritage trails and wild-life watching