The City of Albany is set on the rugged south coast of Western Australia and is the southern terminus of the Bibbulmun Track. Albany has one of the most beautiful natural harbours in the world and a dramatic convict history. Step back in time and explore convict jails, old taverns, whaling ships and settlers’ cottages and grand National Trust homes in beautifully landscaped grounds.
Albany is the first European settlement in Western Australia and because of this, the area is bursting with history but also has unlimited natural attractions which draw many tourists to this diverse region.
Albany boasts some of the finest foods and premium wines in the area and if your stay falls over the weekend, you can sample some of the freshest produce at the weekly Farmers and Boatshed Markets. Fine selection of seasonal fresh fruit and vegetables, fish, meats, dairy products and seafood is available and this is where you will find the locals on a Saturday and Sunday morning.
Albany has plenty of interesting history, but one of the more significant, which is relativity unknown to the passing tourist, is the ANZAC connection.
In 1914, several convoys carrying ANZAC troops to Gallipoli and Western Front assembled in King George Sound. For many, Albany islands, rugged cliffs and brilliant white sandy beaches were their last sight of Australia. The Light Horse Memorial stands defiant on Mt Clarence and is well worth the visit for the views alone.
Discovered by Captain Vancouver in 1791 and settled in 1826, around 50 colonial buildings have survived – now housing museums, art and craft galleries and restaurants. The best way to take it all in is to follow the Amity Trail, a 30 minute self-guided walk that takes you past historical buildings of note.
Tour the old whaling station, jump aboard a whaling boat and don’t miss the Brig Amity - a replica of the ship that brought Albany its first settler and convict cargo.
Mt Melville and Mt Clarence have stunning views over the beautiful Princess Royal Harbour and King George Sound - or walk the 3km Middleton Beach boardwalk trail around the Sound.
The whaling industry shut up shop in 1978 and whale watching has taken its place. Humpback and Southern Right whales can be observed near the bays and coves of King George Sound from July to October. Watch from the shore or take a whale watching cruise to see these magnificent creatures close up. Albany also offers top-notch fishing, sailing and hiking.
There’s so much to see and do in Albany that we highly recommend spending at least a couple of days there at the start or finish of your walk.
Up the Track
Denmark is a 60km drive west of Albany which takes approximately 45 minutes along the South Coast Highway. The walk between Albany and Denmark (83.5km) usually takes five days.
For travel details to Albany view the Section by Section guide.