Albany Western Australia
Whaling Museum, Sandal wood Factory, beaches,National Parks!
Albany Western Australia is 480 kilometres south of Perth. Once a whaling town and the oldest European settlement in Western Australia this lovely small city with a population of approximately 33,000, sits on Princess Royal Harbour and has a stunning coastline with the sea a myriad of merging blues.
With wineries scattered through the surrounding Great Southern Range, a sandalwood factory and the whaling station now a fascinating museum..........Albany Western Australia is a lovely destination and a good base to explore the surrounding countryside. Nearby Denmark is a good day trip.
Torndirrup National Park
Only a 15 minute drive from central Albany this beautiful National Park has fascinating rock formations .The Gap and Natural Bridge formed by years of erosion by the sea, are particularly impressive.
The sea can get very rough here and it is wise to take care and not venture too close. You can do a 40 minute return walk down to see the blowholes !You may see whales along this coast from the cliffs....especially in winter.
My top "must see" Albany WA destination.....this was Australia’s last working Whaling Station, which has been converted into a very interesting museum. You will learn the history of Albany Whaling,
- audio visual displays
- View a selection of artifacts and whaling history
- Wander around the "Cheynes IV Whalechaser" ship once used for whaling, and get a real feel for what life must have been for the crew
- Watch movies in the novel three silos converted into theatres
- Be impressed by the whale skeletons.... including the state’s largest Pygmy Blue Whale skeleton on display. At 22 metres it is huge! It washed up on a beach in South Albany Western Australia.
You can enjoy a meal or snack in the on site café.
Sandalwood Factory – Mt Romance
Whether you drive yourself or take a tour the sandal wood factory in Albany Western Australia is well worth visiting. You can take a guided tour around the factory and learn abut the processing for distilling the oil and making of other products. Competing with India the more subtle Australian sandalwood oil is used worldwide in perfumes. There is a huge range of cosmetics, lotions, and other sandalwood products for sale. You can also treat yourself to a massage – known as The Cone, the Gong and The Bowl' a combination of healing, scent and sound therapy for an hour of relaxing unique self indulgence.
Brig AmityThe original Amity sailed from Sydney on 9th November 1826, eventually arriving at Princess Royal Harbour on Christmas Day after a difficult voyage.The crew which included convicts was to create a settlement around King George Sound. The Amity operated in Tasmania until wrecked in Bass Strait on an uncharted sandbank in June 1845. This replica built in 1979 is an interesting historical view of these men's journey.
Middleton is a beautiful white sand beach and is a good place to find accommodation with the camping ground which has basic but well equipped cabins on site on the beach front as well as normal camp sites. There is an indoor pool on site.
Denmark is a lovely town with a lot of craft shops, a popular weekend market and the main attraction for us.... the Barometer Museum is housed in the Visitors Centre. This has a display of all kinds of barometers, with the worlds tallest Bert Bollie barometer as part of the collection. You actually walk up a flight of stairs to watch the actions of this amazing barometer. This wonderful display was gifted to Denmark by a Dutch immigrant who brought his collection with him.
I can recommend the coffee at the LillyPilly café in the main street and if you love pies you must try the home made pies from the award winning Denmark Bakery.
Great Southern Wineries
Albany and the surrounding Great Southern Region has over 100 wineries. Specialising in Chardonnay and Pinot Noir which grows well generally...the five different regions also have their own wines that grow well in their region due to soils and weather.
Many of these wineries also have excellent restaurants attached to their winery.
A tour of the Great Southern Wineries is a great way of exploring this scenic area.
Many people go to Western Australia especially to see the stunning wildflowers which flower from August through to October. Orchids, kangaroo paws, milkmaids, mountain bells as well as the many other native Australian flowers can be seen in the Stirling Ranges,Porongurup's, and Fitzgerald River National Parks which are are popular wildflower regions.
See Best Walks for Viewing Wildflowers HERE
The Bibbulmun Track is nearly 1000kms and runs between Kalamunda and Albany, Many people come to the area specifically to walk at least part of this track that has several accesses you can drive to. You can get accommodation meals along the way. There are also campsites for walkers that are NOT accessible by car. You must earn the right camp there by walking part of the track.
With 8 maps and 2 Guidebooks you can plan to walk the track independently or if you prefer go with an organized tour group where accommodation and meals are included.
It is essential to have the necessary maps, and a compass is recommended as while the track is well marked, it is easy to miss markers where you cross roads . You do need to read up on the track information and I recommend you follow the advice to notify your plan to stay overnight. Read the FAQ’s HERE.
The Albany climate is Mediterranean. The winds that come off the sea are locally known as the "Albany Doctor" and have a major influence on the weather generally including the humidity levels.
Albany has a good selection of motels especially on the waterfront and several hotels in the central city.There are more motels and the camping ground at Middleton Beach.There were also 3 backpackers that we came across that were quite central.
The Visitors Center based on the Waterfront was the best place to find out about accommodation. They are very helpful and will arrange it for you if you haven't prebooked.
MORE AUSTRALIA LINKS
Camel Ride on Lighthouse Beach
Travel in Australia
The Great Ocean Road
Campervan Rental Australia
Tangalooma - Moreton Island
Travel Guide Books Australia
Great Southern wineries
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