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Things to See and Do in Albany, WA - Listed by Location
Albany Attractions In and Around the Town Centre
The town centre itself is one of the Albany attractions for visitors to see, because it has many interesting old colonial buildings, museums and historic places.
This is the main street of Albany town. It's a pleasant street with views down to Princess Royal harbour, shops, cafes and restaurants.
The Brig Amity Replica
If you turn right at the bottom of the York Street Hill and follow the shores of Princess Royal Harbour, you'll see a sailing ship up on dry land next to a lake. Built in 1975/76, this is an exact replica of the Brig Amity - the ship that brought the first of Western Australia's white settlers to Albany from Sydney. It landed on the shore at Princess Royal Harbour on the Christmas Day 1826, not far at all from the replica's location. For a gold coin donation, you can walk around the ship on the decks and below.
This familiar Albany landmark looks an awful lot like the head of a golden retriever, but it's actually just a huge chunk of granite poking up out of the ground by the side of the road. Someone's even painted a collar on it. You'll see it any time you drive along Middleton Beach Road - it's impossible not to notice!
The following Albany attractions are an easy bike ride, or at most, a short drive from Albany's city centre:
Albany's main beach, right in the middle of King George Sound and a 5 minute drive from the middle of town. Good for swimming, picnics, walks and if you're very lucky, whale watching.
See more...Middleton Beach Albany
Emu point at the entrance to Oyster Harbour is a delightful swimming and picknicking spot with calm, clear water, pelicans and a playground. There is a marina close by and a beautiful small beach on the ocean side of the point.
East of Albany - Attractions
A journey east to Two Peoples' Bay or Waychinicup makes for a memorable and adventuruous daytrip from Albany. There are some great places to camp, especially if you have a 4WD.
To the east of Albany, the coast is stunningly beautiful, rugged and largely deserted, all the way to Esperance and beyond. This area offers endless opportunities for 4WD, camping, fishing and surfing along what I believe must be the most wild and beautiful stretch of coastline in the world.
A long and spacious white-sand beach. Good surfing and boogie boarding, and swimming when it's not too windy. There's a lovely safe and sheltered place for a swim at the far western end of the beach. You can take a 4WD down the beach access path, which follows the shoreline of Taylor Inlet.
Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve
The Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve is home to two endangered creatures that are all but extinct everywhere else - the Noisy Scrub Bird and the Gilbert's Potaroo. The reserve has a landscape of windswept coastal heath with a few lakes and hills. The main reason to visit the exceptionally beautiful Little Beach and Waterfall Beach, or to launch a boat at Two Peoples Bay and go fishing.
Two Peoples Bay
A huge beach with a shady picnic area at the far south-western end, where a walk trail to Little Beach begins. The bay is open and windy but protected from the largest of Southern Ocean waves by its east-facing orientation. There is good fishing from the rocks between the Two Peoples Bay beach and Little Beach, or from a boat out in the middle of the bay.
This one is my favourite Albany beach of all. It is stunningly beautiful in all weather conditions with crystal clear turquoise water and views across Two Peoples Bay to Mount Manypeaks. Not far to the south of Little Beach is a small shallow lagoon completely enclosed by rocks with some surprisingly good snorkeling.
Idyllic Waterfall Beach is a short walk from Little Beach. A close second for my favourite Albany beach, there's no better place for a swim and a picnic in summer.
This beach in between Two Peoples Bay and Normans Beach is in a smaller bay with some protection from the biggest ocean waves by its north-facing orientation. It a nice secluded spot for a swim, and the fishing is good, too. Behind the beach are some ramshackle fishing shacks that add a bit of character to the place.
Normans Beach is a wild, usually deserted beach east of Two Peoples Bay. It is watched over by Mount Manypeaks.
Normans Beach Campsite
Free camping set back a short distance back from Normans Beach amongst tea trees on the shore of Normans River. There's also free camping at Betty's Beach nearby.
Waychinicup National Park
From the Mount Manypeaks Nature Reserve in the west to Cheynes Beach in the east, Waychinicup protects Mount Manypeaks, the coastline and its hinterland. Camping, fishing, swimming, exploring, 4WDing, canoeing and bird watching are the things to do there.
Albany Attractions South East: Frenchman Bay and the Torndirrup Peninsula
Drive along Frenchman Bay Road right around to the far side of Princess Royal Harbour to the beautiful swimming beaches and spectacular views of the Vancouver and Flinders Peninsulas.
So many of the best and most well-known Albany attractions are in this area that it will take you at least a day to see and do them all. If you do only have a day in Albany or are just passing through, you should make it a priority to see the Torndirrup National Park!
Torndirrup National Park protects a spectacular part of the Albany coastline, the Flinders Peninsula. Of all Albany attractions, this national park is a must-see. It's charactarised by windswept coastal heath and amazing granite landforms edged by tall cliffs and wild surf, but also has a few beautiful white-sand beaches. Albany attractions within the Torndirrup National Park include the Gap, Natural Bridge and the Blowholes.
See more...Torndirrup NP
The Albany Windfarm
At the Albany Windfarm, 18 massive wind turbines are perched 80m high above the sea. Walking paths lead right up to the base of the wind turbines and down to the seacliffs. The Bibbulmun Track passes along the clifftops here in the form of a boardwalk offering some spectacular views of the wild south coast and amazing sunsets.
A wooden staircase descends the cliffs beneath the wind farm. At the base of these cliffs is a rocky platform pounded by ferocious surf, and a few small patches of beach. The fishing here is excellent, but watch out for the king waves.
The Natural Bridge is an arch of granite beneath which large waves crash. Along with the Gap, it's the most visited feature of the Torndirrup National Park. The Gap is just a short walk over the rocks from the Natural Bridge.
The Gap, a narrow chasm in the tall sheer-sided cliffs of Torndirrup National Park, is spectacular on a rough day. Big waves surge into the Gap and crash against the cliffs, sending water and spray high into the air. Even on a calm day, the views from the clifftops and the Natural Bridge a short walk away make this a must-visit place.
Cable Beach bears the full brunt of the southern ocean swells, so is usually a dangerous beach for swimming but a spectacular and spacious beach for long walks and fishing.
The Albany Blow Holes
Ocean waves surge and gurgle beneath a rock platform, and on rough days water and seaspray are forced up through a narrow crack in the granite with an angry sounding roar.
Jimmy Newells Harbour
This pretty inlet must be the only calm, sheltered place on the trechorous Torndirrup South Coast. It's a good place for fishing, and I would like to try snorkeling there one day.
Stony Hill is a high point in the Torndirrup National Park, named for the granite boulders on the hill. A short walk trail leads to the top, from which you can see beautiful views over King George Sound and the Torndirrup National Park, and beyond.
Salmon Holes is a beautiful Albany Beach - peaceful and good swimming on a calm sunny day, dramatic with crashing waves on a rough windy day. Superb fishing from both the beach and the rocks. This is a beach where you must be particularly wary of king waves. Even if it looks calm, don't swim far out to sea and stay well clear of the water if you're up on the rocks.
Bald Head and the Flinders Isthmus Walktrail
Bald Head is the very end of Flinders Peninsula. There's an excellent 16km-return walktrail from Salmon Holes along the isthmus to Bald Head with interesting rocks to explore along the way and spectacular ocean views.
Misery Beach has a secluded, end of the world feel to it. It's a peaceful place for a swim or a walk. Climb the huge wall of granite at the northern end of the beach for some beautiful views of King George Sound (beware - it's very steep and harder to climb down than up!).
Whale World is a museum all about whales, whaling and, in particular, the history of Albany's whaling industry. It's location is the site of the old whaling station in King George Sound that ceased operating in 1978, and many of the original buildings and structures remain, including the Cheynes IV, a whaling ship.
Goode Beach and Mistaken Island
This is beautiful long beach is one of my favourite Albany beaches. It has nice clear blue water and smallish waves - just perfect for swimming. The northern end of the beach is especially nice. About 100m offshore from here is Mistaken Island, and around the corner are some rocks to explore. The snorkeling in the deep water off these rocks and along the south side of the island is really good.
Frenchman Bay Beach
This beach, in between the Albany hamlets of Goode Beach and Frenchman Bay, is another lovely spot for a swim. Like Goode Beach, it too has a grassed area with BBQ's at one end. It's very close to Whale World and makes a good place to stop for a swim and a picnic on a day out in the Torndirrup National Park.
Fisheries Beach (Whaling Cove)
A small, calm bay deep in King George Sound that's a peaceful place to relax. It's a nice place for a swim if you don't mind swimming over seaweed, and the fishing off the rocks around the corner is good. The Point Possession Heritage Trail starts here. There are some interesting balsaltic rocks at the Point Possession end of the beach. Unofficial nude beach.
Point Possession is a long, narrow isthmus with a beach on either side, leading to a low, rounded granite hill at the end. It's a scenic spot with Views of King George Sound, the shipping channel, Princess Royal Harbour and Albany Port. Whales sometimes pass through the shipping channel, very close to the point. Point Possession is where George Vancouver claimed Australia's West for Britain.
The Point Possession Heritage Trail
Starting at Fisheries Beach, this trail leads out to the end of Point Possession. Walk along Barker Bay and Bramble Beach and through Camp Quaranup, explore the rocks and watch out for whales along the way.
The beach on the King George Sound side of the Point Possession isthmus.
A calm and peaceful, sea-weedy beach on the Princess Royal Harbour side of the Point Possession isthmus.
Camp Quaranup was built in 1875 as a quarantine station for new immigrants to WA. The quarantine station closed in the 1950's but the old buildings remain. These days, its rooms and dormitories are used as accommodation for school camps and other groups. It has a jetty and views across Princess Royal Harbour, and is a point along the Point Possession Heritage Trail.
Albany Attractions to the West, Towards Denmark
West Cape Howe National Park
West Cape Howe National Park is a spectacular, wild and rugged place, largely inaccessible without a 4WD. Most of this coast is edged by huge, dramatic granitic and black dolerite cliffs that plunge down into the wild surf, or to narrow, trecherous beaches. The southernmost point in WA is found here, at Torbay Head. Activities: 4WDing, rock climbing, hang gliding and hiking.
Shelley Beach on the eastern edge of West Cape Howe National Park is dramatically positioned beneath a tall, steep hill from which hang gliders launch. Looking out across the bay you can see the cliffs of Torndirrup National Park and the turbines of the Albany Windfarm. The Bibbulmun Track passes Shelley Beach, and you can camp there without paying a fee. The lookout above the beach offers spectacular views.
Lowlands Beach is a smallish beach in a deep bay edged by granite headlands. Depending on the conditions of the day, it can be a good swimming spot, though care should be taken because it's unprotected from the open ocean. It's also a popular rock fishing location. Whales are sometimes seen from here during the season, and there's a whale watching lookout and info sign next to the carpark.
The beautiful town of Denmark, WA is only half an hour's drive west of Albany and makes a great daytrip. Things to see and do in Denmark include
Greens Pool, the Elephant Rocks, Elephant Cove and
Madfish Bay in William Bay National Park, wineries and galleries along Scotsdale Road, Ocean Beach, Wilson Inlet and bushwalks and scenic drives through
the karri forest.