Albany WA holiday & travel guide Albany WA holiday & travel guide

The ultimate travel guide toAlbany

It was Albany in Western Australia’s southwest where WWI troops from Australia and New Zealand first gathered before sailing to join the Allied forces in Europe and Africa. Locals woke one morning in October 1914 to large ships – which eventually deposited 30,000 troops and 7000 horses – cruising into King George Sound and the Princess Royal Harbour. Today that history, plus that of its traditional owners, the Menang Noongar people, is told at museums, monuments and buildings across the city. Once you’ve finished visiting these, see the city’s beaches, bays and natural sights, or, settle into a lively pub or beachside restaurant for a pint and a hearty feed, both served with a side of more history or a salty sea breeze. That’s Albany for you.

Top things to do in Albany, WA

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Nature & beaches

Don’t miss The Gap and Natural Bridge in Torndirrup National Park where you can step onto a viewing platform 40 metres above surging seas. Also in the national park are the Blowholes, reached by a 1.6-kilometre-return walk. Beach-wise, consider Emu Point Beach at Oyster Harbour for kids; Milddeton Beach for soft, white sand; and Little Beach in Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve for a hidden gem.

History & architecture

To learn about Albany’s ANZAC connection, wander along York Street and Stirling Terrace where the troops marched daily. Check out photos of scenes from back then at the Museum of the Great Southern, which overlooks the Princess Royal Harbour. In addition to sharing stories of the early settlers and convicts, the museum also tells those of the traditional owners of the land, the Menang Noongar people.

At Albany Heritage Park, visit the National ANZAC Centre to hear about what life was like for the Australians and New Zealanders on board the first two convoys.

Also worth seeing are the three lighthouses in the region. You’ll find Cave Point Lighthouse in Torndirrup National Park, a five-minute walk from The Gap. Point King Lighthouse is located off Marine Drive. And Breaksea Island Lighthouse is reached by a two-hour high-speed boat trip.

Attractions & activities

Apart from the Museum of the Great Southern, another great museum to check out is the Albany Convict Gaol & Museum where you can get a good idea about what life was like for the Imperial convicts transported to Albany to be skilled labourers.

For culture from the car, drive slowly along the Chainsaw Sculpture Drive, lined with local art. And head to Albany Wind Farm to see how the city is doing its part to help the environment, as well as to be treated to sweeping views of the city and West Cape Howe National Park.

To get an overview of the area and see the Vancouver Peninsula, the King George Sound and The Gap from above, book a scenic flight. To see sights on land, book a tour with Kalgan Queen Scenic Cruises, King George Sound Safari or Albany Ocean Adventures.

Keen for a game of golf? Tee up at Albany Golf Club, an 18-hole course that’ll have you feeling like you’re in Scotland.

Best accommodation in Albany, WA

Caravan parks

Albany has roughly half a dozen caravan parks. Albany Gardens Tourist Park is just one kilometre from the city centre. BIG4 Middleton Beach Holiday Park has a solar-heated outdoor pool, an indoor hydro spa and a mini theatre. And BIG4 Emu Beach Holiday Park is beachfront and surrounded by native peppermint trees. Acclaim Albany Holiday Park, Rose Gardens Beachside Holiday Park and Albany Happy Days Caravan Park are also in the area.

Hotels & motels

For a city stay, check out Six Degrees Albany CBD Boutique, Best Western Albany Motel & Apartments, Albany Foreshore Guest House or My Place Albany. Dog Rock Motel is a short stroll from the city and a five-minute drive to Middleton Beach. Prefer to be on the coast? Pelicans Albany has units, villas and even a luxury home along Middleton Beach. And Emu Point Motel & Apartments and Emu Beach Chalets are steps from Emu Beach.

Other accommodation

Albany Backpackers YHA has affordable bed and room rates, as well as a convenient city-centre location. As does 1849 Backpackers. Albany Bali Style is Albany’s answer to indoor-outdoor Indonesian-style living. The Beach House at Bayside, between Middleton Beach and Emu Point at Middleton Bay, offers boutique accommodation with free bike hire and included breakfast. Maitraya Private Retreat is an eco-retreat sleeping up to 16 people, while The Nullaki Eco-Retreat is two-bedroom and Wolfes Landing Eco-Retreat is three beds.

Restaurants & cafes in Albany, WA

For beachside dining, choose Three Anchors in Middleton Beach, or Due South or VIEW Restaurant, both on the Albany Town Jetty. For a pub feed, eat at The Earl of Spencer Historic Inn, The Albany Hotel or The White Star Hotel. And for good coffee, drop by Kate’s Place, Vancouver Street Café or The Alkaline Café.

Lime 303 at Dog Rock Motel serves creative, modern Australian and seafood. Rustlers Steakhouse and Grill has steaks and ribs in a cosy venue filled with local art. And Dylans on the Terrace dishes up burgers and comfort food in a laidback, diner atmosphere.

If you’re in town for a while and have access to a kitchen, pick up fresh fruits and veggies, as well as local products like jams, bread and fish at the Albany Farmers Market, held every Saturday.

Getting to Albany, WA

Albany is roughly a five-hour drive from Perth. The most direct route is via Albany Highway, but if you have more time, head there via Margaret River. Transwa offers coach service between Perth and Albany via Bunbury and Walpole. Prefer to fly? Rex Airlines flies from Perth to Albany.

Best time to visit Albany, WA

Albany’s climate is generally warm and temperate with significant rainfall throughout the year. In summer, temperatures range from 20 to 25 degrees Celsius, with February being the warmest month. In winter, the average temperature is 15 degrees, with August being the coldest month and July the wettest.

Tours & packages for Albany, WA

Busy Blue Bus Tours organise all different kinds of tours around Albany and its surrounds, from its six-hour Tastes of the Great Southern, which will see you indulging in award-winning wine, cheese and whisky, to its four-hour Albany History + Highlights tour, which will see you touring the National ANZAC Centre and visiting one of Australia’s earliest homes before relaxing at Middleton Beach with a coffee and cake. Other tour providers include Albany Segway Tours, SA Nature Tours and Albany Whale Tours.

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