Incredible Things To Do In Albany WA in 2023 by a local

There are plenty of things to do in Albany WA, or Kinjarling, as the traditional landowners know it. Albany is a popular destination for Western Australians during school holidays and long weekends as it is a safe, peaceful town with stunning natural beauty.

This Great Southern town is full of history, delicious food, and gorgeous beaches with a range of fabulous accommodation to suit everyone.

Albany’s most popular activities include fishing, surfing, swimming, diving, hiking, four-wheel-driving, and sampling the region’s world-class wine.

Being locals of WA, we have visited Albany numerous times and have a list of our favourite things to do there.

Updated January 2023.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links (of which we use) so we may receive a small amount of commission if you buy something through them. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. You can read the full disclaimer here.

We use Viator to book tours due to its lowest price guarantee and free cancellation on most tours and activities.

Nearly Free Things To Do in Albany WA

There are plenty of free things to do in Albany Western Australia to keep you occupied during your trip, or you could sit back and relax on one of the many spectacular beaches.

Torndirrup National Park | Torgadirrup

If I could choose only one place to visit in Albany, Torndirrup National Park would be it.

You might see the spelling as Torgadirrup; this is the name given by the local Aboriginal community, who are the traditional custodians of this country. The Mirnang people have a Dreamtime story that shows how important the area is to them. Two brothers argued over a woman, so the elders sent them to The Gap. One brother was good with the boomerang, while the other was good with a spear. They stood on either side of The Gap and threw their weapons, striking each other, causing both to fall into the water. The brother hit by the boomerang turned into a shark (the fin is the boomerang), and the other brother turned into a stingray.

Torndirrup National Park shows off the rugged Albany coast so well. It has to be the best outdoor activity in the area, and there’s a lot of high competition. The area has sweeping views over the Southern Ocean, which stretches south to Antarctica.

Sitting on the Torndirrup Peninsula, it is only a 15-minute drive south of Albany Town Centre and accessed along Frenchmans Bay Road.

If you don’t have a vehicle or would prefer to have the knowledge of a guide with you, look at The Gap and Natural Wonders by Busy Blue Bus Tours.

Entrance fees apply to this park, so it’s not free but very cheap. All the information can be found on the Parks and Wildlife site. If you plan to visit a few National Parks, we buy an annual pass through the RAC WA as members get 50% off.

Torndirrup National Park is known for its spectacular beaches, breathtaking hikes, and unique wave-carved rock formations. The Torndirrup National Park Map is an excellent way to get your bearings and plan your route.

Spring to early summer is a spectacular time to visit when the wildflowers blanket the ground, but summer is great for the beaches.

Please note that no dogs are allowed in Torndirrup National Park.

cliffs and a rocky coastline with deep blue ocean in Torndirrup National Park
Torndirrup National Park near the Natural bridge

The Gap and Natural Bridge

The Gap and Natural Bridge are the most popular attractions in Torndirrup National Park. Therefore, I suggest doing them first before hoards of people arrive, as it’s a better experience when it’s quieter.

The Gap has a 24-metre drop where the ocean has carved out a rugged granite channel. The noise of the sea here is incredible, and it’s impressive to watch.

The rocks are granodiorite and gneiss, which formed many kilometres below the surface under extreme temperatures and pressures due to the collision between Antarctica and Australia. This caused the Earth’s crust to buckle and a large mountain belt to form.

turquoise white water gushing through a gap in huge granite boulders at the gap albany
The Gap – Torndirrup National Park

Just along the sealed path is the Natural Bridge. The mighty Great Southern Ocean has shaped this rock formation. It’s astounding to see the strength of the waves crash into the granite boulders and rush under the bridge.

Make sure to stick to the pathway and do not try climbing onto rocks. This coastline is known for king waves, and the ocean is treacherous. There have been six deaths and five serious incidents here since 1973.

a natural bridge formed from waves ansd weather eroding the rocks near albany wa
The Natural Bridge

Stony Hill

Stony Hill, Torndirrup National Park, is a 500m circular walk with 360-degree views. You can see Peak Head and the Great Southern Ocean facing directly south. Princess Royal Harbour and King George Sound can be seen north.

view of bays with sandy beaches and the blue ocean from stony hill albany
View from Stony Hill

Jimmy Newells Harbour

Jimmy Newells Harbour (in Torndirrup National Park)has a lookout that provides breathtaking views of the natural inlet that lies 95m below. The ocean has dug a channel 120m deep, 400m long, and 150m wide. The views and colours are astonishing and well worth the short 100m walk along the paved path.

The harbour is named after Jimmy Newell, a convict brought to Albany in 1826 on the Brig Amity by Major Lockyer. Newell was part of Lockyer’s expedition to establish a settlement in King George Sound and arrived on Christmas Day. After serving his time, Newell’s family joined him from Tasmania, and they remained in the area. One day Jimmy was fishing and got caught in an unexpected storm but managed to shelter in the harbour. Records show that he died in Albany in 1855.

a natural inlet with blue sparkling water and green sloping hills from jimmy newells harbour lookout
Jimmy Newells Harbour lookout

The Blowholes

The blowholes are another popular attraction in Torndirrup National Park.A sign near the start advises whether the blowholes will likely be ‘blowing’ when you’re there. It didn’t look like they would be when we visited, but we decided to do the walk anyway.

The trail is 1.6 km return along a paved path and then over granite rocks. Again, there are signs to indicate where the blowholes are but do not stand over as air, water, and loose debris blow through the holes at high pressure and cause injury if you are too close. Also, you should be aware that the sloping rock below the blowholes is extremely slippery when wet and is much steeper than it appears.

huge rocky headland with views of a sandy bay at blow holes albany
Blow Holes not blowing!

In my opinion, unless you know the blowholes will be blowing, I wouldn’t bother with the trail. The walk is downhill on the way and uphill return, and it seems a lot longer than the 800 m each way.

a sign about how to see the blowholes in albany
Sign at the Blow Holes car park

Albany Wind Farm

The Albany Grasmere Wind Farm is just off Frenchman Bay Road and is worth a look while in the area.

The 18 wind turbines produce clean, renewable energy equivalent to 80 percent of Albany’s annual electricity needs. It is free and open to the public every day.

a wind turbine with blue sky at albany wind farm
Albany Wind Farm

Albany Heritage Park

The Albany Heritage Park encompasses Mount Clarence and Mount Adelaide and contains many historical and cultural attractions.

Desert Mounted Corps Memorial sits at the top of Corndarup, Mount Clarence. It is a duplicate of the original statue erected in 1931 at Port Said, Egypt. The granite blocks are part of the original monument and still have the bullet marks from the original memorial. The memorial was erected in Albany after being recast in 1964. The views from here over the Princess Royal Harbour and King George Sound are incredible. This is the location of the ANZAC dawn service held every year. The walk from the car park is up some stairs and along a path lined with memorials.

view from up high over trees to king george sound with green islands in the distance albany
Views over Princess Royal Harbour and King George Sound from Desert Mounted Corps Memorial

Padre White Lookout is a walkway at the top of Mt Clarence. It marks where Padre White, the Rector of St John’s Church in York St, led his parishioners in 1930. This is claimed to be the first-ever Dawn Service on ANZAC Day in Australia.

Apex Lookout is on the way back along Apex Drive. There are lovely views of King George Sound, Princess Royal Harbour, and even as far as Middleton Beach and Emu Point. Look out for the King Skinks on the rocks below.

The Princess Royal Fortress, Mount Adelaide, is one of Australia’s best outdoor military museums. It is one of two pre-federation fortresses constructed to protect intercontinental trade routes. It was decommissioned in 1956, like other coastal defences throughout the Commonwealth. All buildings are open to the public.

Take time to explore the historic gun emplacements and the extensive naval gun collection. There is a range of artefacts, including the original gun turrets from the HMAS Swan and HMAS Torrens, both of which served in the Royal Australian Navy. Children enjoy this part!

Albany outdoor museum of military guns and missiles on a cloudy day, one of the best things to do in Albany wa
Princess Royal Fortress, one of Australia’s best outdoor military museums

The Princess Royal Fortress Married Quarters are semi-detached stone cottages with iron roofs built in 1899 for married personnel.

stone cottage with wooden verandah and pink hydrangeas at Princess Royal Fortress
Princess Royal Fortress Married Quarters

The Princess Royal Fortress also contains two underground magazines, the Princess Royal Battery and the Plantagenet Battery. They were constructed in 1892 and used to store cordite required to fire the large coastal guns. You can wander through the magazine and see the solid walls and original floors.

The Convoy Walk leads to Convoy Lookout with views over King George Sound. On the walk up, you will pass 21 markers containing information about the ships in the First and Second Convoys, including the names and images of the troopships and escorts.

You can view the Albany Heritage Park Map here.

Gull Rock National Park

This small national park near Albany gets its name from a small island off Ledge Beach. Parts of the park offer spectacular views of Breaksea and Michaelmas Islands, King George Sound and Torndirrup Peninsula. The beautiful white sandy beach of Boiler Bay (the east part of Ledge Beach, also known as Gull Rock Beach) is protected from south-easterly winds and perfect for swimming in calm conditions. Here you can see the top of the shipwreck Awhina which sticks up from the ocean floor and is a good snorkel spot.

You can also fish off the rocks to catch leatherjackets, herring, whiting, skippy squid, silver bream, and salmon. However, care must be taken and rules apply as per the Fisheries department.

calm boiler bay gull rock national park with turquoise clear water and rocks with the top of a shipwreck poking up through the ocean
Boiler Bay in Gull Rock NP

From Albany, take the Lower King Road north which turns into Nanaraup Road, turn right on Gull Rock Road and follow the signs into the National Park. There is about 8 km of gravel road, but it is suitable for all vehicles.

There aren’t any facilities in Gull Rock National Park, including toilets or bins. So please take any rubbish home with you.

the secluded white sand little beach of two peoples bay backed by green hills at ledge point
Ledge Point Gull Rock National Park

Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve

Two People’s Bay is about 25km north-east of Albany. It is known for its beautiful beaches and the rediscovery of the presumed extinct noisy scrub bird in 1962.

The Visitor’s Centre, before you reach the beaches, is packed with information on the area. There are toilets and picnic tables, where you access the walking trails.

Entrance fees do apply as per Torndirrup National Park.

Most people head straight to Little Beach, the most photographed beach in this region. The view as you walk down to it is stunning. The turquoise ocean gleams against the white sand, and the granite boulders stand out in contrast. There are fantastic views towards Mt Manypeaks and Waychinicup National Park to the north.

a white sand beach with huge orangey granite boulders and turquoise ocean lapping onto the sand
Two People’s Bay – Little Beach

Salmon Fishing

You can see Salmon Holes from the lookout. However, if you want to access the beach, a winding stairway leads down from the lookout.

It is named after the Australian Salmon that frequent these waters during the annual salmon run. From July to January, Western Australian Salmon reside along the South Coast. Like their favourite food, Pilchards, they prefer cold water and feed offshore in the cold layers of water. Then in February, the salmon “run” west to the Indian Ocean to breed. The south-flowing tropical Leeuwin Current helps spread the salmon eggs along the entire southern coast of Australia.

Salmon Beach is one of the best beach fishing spots in the south-west region of Western Australia. However, it is now compulsory to wear a life jacket if you’re going onto or accessing the rocks at Salmon Holes. Tragically, 13 people have died since 1983 after being washed off the rocks here. More information, including licences and rules, can be found on the Fisheries website.

the pretty small white sand bay called Salmon Beach with calm turquoise clear water with rocks on the coastline
Salmon Beach

Albany Public Art Trail

Download a copy of the Albany Public Art Trail Map to find the artwork as you walk around the town.

street art on red building of a man with sunglasses in Albany WA
So the wind won’t blow it away by Stormie Mills

Mt Melville Lookout

You can access a tower that provides fantastic views over the port and art silos from a small car park. Entrance is free and provides a different perspective of the area. Even though it’s not as nice as the other lookouts, it’s worth a stop if you drive past. We walked up there for sunset – a pleasant walk with beautiful views.

views of bushland and the ocean at sunset with an orange sky from Mt Melville Albany
View from Mt Melville Lookout at sunset

Public Silo Art Trail

The Public Silo Trail is a series of murals on the region’s grain silos. The self-drive covers over 1,000 km through Northam, Ravensthorpe, and Merredin.

You can see the ruby sea dragon (Phyllopteryx dewysea) on the silos down at the port.

3 wheat silos with a huge red sea dragon painted on them
Ruby the red sea dragon, part of the wheat silo art trail

Albany Beaches

Misery Beach

Misery Beach in Torndirrup National Park is the most spectacular beach in Albany, possibly even Western Australia. In fact, it recently took the award for the best beach in the country by Tourism Australia for 2022!

The sand is soft and squeaks when walked on. The water is a bright turquoise blue that is stunning against the white sand. This sheltered bay is a great spot to swim or snorkel. Despite us visiting in the summer school holidays, the beach was surprisingly quiet. It’s an ideal place to relax and take in the beautiful views of King George Sound and its rugged coast. I don’t know why it’s called Misery Beach, as it’s the opposite. It could date back to the whaling days when the whales’ blood would be washed up here. Pure misery!

white sand Misery Beach with calm turquoise ocean on a partly cloudy day
Misery Beach

Cable Beach

A giant boulder was incredibly lifted onto Cable Beach (Torndirrup National Park) by the force of the waves. It is pretty hard getting down to the beach from the car park; from the staircase, rocky boulders continue down onto the beach. Swimming is not recommended at Cable Beach due to the strong currents.

Frenchman Bay

Frenchman Bay is located outside Torndirrup National Park but still on the peninsula. It is another stunning bay with soft sand and clear water. There’s a boat ramp and a lovely BBQ grassed area with clean toilet facilities. If you are an advanced diver, The HMAS Perth is one of the best wreck dives in Australia and lies beneath the water here.

Frenchman Bay a beautiful white sand beach with calm turquoise water
Frenchman Bay

Whalers Cove – Fishermans Beach

Whalers Cove is on the east side of Vancouver Peninsula, towards Torndirrup National Park, facing King George Sound.

view of coastline and green scrubland of vancouver peninsula albany wa
Vancouver Peninsula

The road is sealed, and from the car park, two paths lead down to the beaches. I have read that the one on the left is optional clothing (although we didn’t find that to be the case), or head to the small beach on the right. You can easily climb over the gently sloping rock that divides the two beaches.

Fishermans Beach is dog-friendly and has bush toilet facilities.

white sand fishermans beach in whalers cove with blue ocean and people swimming and enjoying the beach
Fishermans Beach Whalers Cove

Middleton Beach & Ellen Cove

Middleton Beach is the closest beach to the centre of Albany. It’s popular with families as it has soft white sand and is suitable for swimming and snorkelling. The kids especially love the floating pontoon out in the ocean at Ellen Cove (the far southern end).

Middleton Beach is our choice when looking for accommodation in Albany.

Unfortunately, the Ellen Cove shark net had to be removed recently due to deterioration. However, the city of Albany is looking to replace it and have it installed by summer. Albany Surf Life Saving Club also patrols the beach in summer for that added security.

Along this part of Middleton Beach, there are toilets, showers, a playground, and a café. The grassed area is shaded by trees, so perfect for a picnic.

The Ellen Cove Boardwalk runs along the coast and provides stunning views over King George Sound and Middleton Beach. The 6km one-way trail goes from Ellen Cove and ends in Stirling Terrace Albany. It’s a dual path used by pedestrians and cyclists and hugs Mount Adelaide. If you are here between June and October, keep a lookout for humpback and southern right whales that migrate through Albany.

Talking of wildlife, if you hear rustling in the bush or see a black reptile up ahead, it is likely to be a King Skink (they are common around Albany).

Middleton Beach stretches 4.5km up to Emu Point in the north.

calm Middleton Beach with a wooden jetty leading out into the blue ocean with a sandy beach and trees lining the esplanade
Ellen Cove, Middleton Beach

Emu Point

Emu Beach starts at the southern end of the wall, facing south. It’s a 400m sandy beach that is usually calm. However, beware of a strong current flowing in the deep channel outside the breakwaters.

a wide sandy emu beach with a green hill in the background
Emu Beach

Emu Point Beach is a sheltered beach located just inside the entrance to Oyster Harbour on the northern side of Emu Point. It is ideal for children as it is calm and shallow with a pontoon. There’s also a shaded picnic area, playground, car park, and boat ramp. Emu Point Beach is a beautiful place to kayak and fish too.

Pelicans are usually around here, waiting for anglers to throw some scraps. But, if you see only one, it will most likely be Percy, who always seems to hang around here.

Neither beaches have life-saving patrols, so be careful in the water.

a pontoon with lots of people looking at a pelican swimming
Emu Point Beach Pontoon

Look for the Sammy the Seal monument that pays tribute to the beautiful seal tragically killed by a nasty person with a long-bladed instrument on the beach where he usually rested. Read the lovely story of his friendship with Johnathan ‘Captain Kalgan’ Jones.

a statue of sammy the seal in emu point
Sammy the Seal monument

Just up from Emu Point, Oyster Harbour is fed by two rivers; the King River and the Kalgan River. It’s a commercial fishing harbour along with oyster and mussel farms.

There are two bridges over the Oyster Harbour estuary, one over the Kalgan River on Nanup Road and the other over King River on Lower King Road. Take this route to drive from Middleton Beach to Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve.

shallow crystal clear water with a green hill in the background at emu point beach
Emu Point Beach

Little Beach, Two People’s Bay

It’s a lovely walk along Little beach, and stairs lead up to a path at the far end of the beach. If you follow this, it leads to Waterfall Beach. However, we found it hard to climb down the rocks onto the beach with the children. Also, the waterfall wasn’t running because it was summer, so we just sat on the rocks and admired the beach from above.

King waves frequently hit Little Beach, which are forceful and deceptive. The water is deep, close to shore, and this beach is not patrolled. Also, in the height of summer, the flies are awful. Despite being fantastic, I couldn’t stand it that long here. Bring some insect repellent with you, as that may help.

crystal clear water in a small white sand waterfall beach with rocky outcrops in the background
Waterfall Beach

Albany Hiking Trails

Bald Head Walk Trail

Bald Head Walk Trail is a challenging 12.5km return trail providing incredible views of the Southern Ocean and King George Sound. Known as one of the best hikes in the South West, the trail climbs and descends along the narrow ridgeline of the Flinders Peninsula. This coastal trail is for advanced hikers, and a high degree of fitness is required. Allow 6-8 hours to hike over Isthmus Hill to Flinders Peninsula and on to Limestone Head and Bald Head.  The terrain is steep and challenging in sections. Our family walked part of it (Dave has run the whole length), but it was too hot in summer, so we will return to do it one autumn.

baldhead trail leading high up a large hill on a peninsula with stunning beaches either side in albany
Bald Head Trail

Port to Point Trail

The Port to Point Trail is just over 12 km of dual-use path starting in the city centre and ending at Emu Point. Along the way, you’ll see the port with stunning views of King George Sound, Ellen Cove, Middleton Beach, and the stunning coastline. You can walk, or an easier option is to cycle.

map of the port to point trail albany
Port to Point Trail

Albany Wind Farm to Mutton Bird car park

If you feel energetic, the Bibbulmun Track runs through the wind farm. The day walk to Mutton Bird car park is 13.5 km one way. This trail offers different options to experience astonishing coastal views, spectacular carpets of wildflowers, as well as the site of these spinning giants.

Heritage Trail, Two Peoples Bay

The Heritage Trail is a 4.6km class 4 (moderately difficult) walk. It starts at the Visitor Centre, winding through the peppermint woods and then back along the beach. If you want to go further, a 5 km return spur leads to Little Beach.

Bluff Knoll

Hike to the top of the highest peak in the Stirling Range and the most popular trail in the national park, often ranked as one of Australia’s best hikes. You should allow three to four hours to complete the trail, and it does require a certain level of fitness. We climbed it with our twins, who were nine at the time.

Bluff Knoll is an hour’s drive from Albany.

Read more about it in our Bluff Knoll Stirling Ranges post.

view of grassy hills and mountain range bluff knoll
View hiking up Bluff Knoll

Castle Rock Trail & Granite Skywalk

Another fantastic hike is Castle Rock, around a 35-minute drive from Albany in the Porongurup National Park. Allow two to three hours to tackle this Grade 5 hike, and be aware that you need to climb large boulders and a ladder to access Granite Skywalk. It’s a fun hike with incredible views from the skywalk – one of our favourite hikes.

metal viewing platform on the top of agranite peak at castle rock
Granite Skywalk Platform

Albany Attractions & Tours

Boat Cruise

Boat cruises depart from Emu Point. The Albany Wildlife and Scenic Cruise is a sheltered water cruise with no open sea, where you may see Pelicans, Eagles, Hawks, and an abundance of birdlife and Kangaroos in the wild up close and personal. The tour includes tea, coffee, and hot Damper with a full commentary.

The glass-bottomed Kalgan Queen Scenic Cruises has a 5/5 rating on TripAdvisor from nearly 200 guests. You cruise the sheltered waters of Oyster Harbour and the ancient Kalgan River while listening to a commentary about the history and wildlife.

Click on the links to learn more and find out up-to-date prices.

Whale Watching

Spot whales during the southern migration season from June until early October. The best chance of seeing them from shore is from Kings George Sound and Torndirrup National Park.

However, the best way to experience these incredible mammals is on a whale watch cruise.

humpback whale tail flip western australia

The National ANZAC Centre

The National ANZAC Centre is the most recent addition to the Princess Royal Fortress site. Here you will learn about ANZAC and follow personal stories through the state of the art technology, multimedia, and historical artefacts.

Each visitor can assume a serviceman’s or woman’s identity and trace their journey through the Great War in an immersive learning experience. Entry ticket is valid any time during opening hours; access to all buildings within the Princess Royal Fortress is included.

a white building with a sign saying anzac centre overlooking water with islands
National Anzac Centre

Albany Whaling Station

The historic Whaling station is an intact whale processing factory and whale chasing ship – fully restored. Unfortunately, I couldn’t bring myself to visit, but many people have said it is fascinating.

a skeleton of a  bluewhale
Albany’s Historic Whaling Station at Discovery Bay Albany by Tourism Western Australia

Wilson Brewing Co

Visit the family-owned and run Wilson Brewing Company for one of their craft beers; you won’t be disappointed. It has a small beer garden (there are plans to extend it) with a relaxed indoor seating area. Matty Wilson is passionate about producing top-quality beer using as much local produce as possible. Their core range includes favourites like summer ale, a light session extra pale ale, draught bitter, pale ale, blonde ale, dark ale, and ginger beer (the dark ale was fantastic). The brewery also has a seasonal range – at the moment, they have a dark pale ale brewed with Akoya pearl oysters; now, that’s my type of beer!

the interior of wilson brewing with sofas wooden tables chairs and pool tables
Wilson Brewing

The Great Southern Distilling Company

If spirits are more your thing, visit Great Southern Distilling Co’s cellar door for a tasting flight of their craft spirits, or grab a table and enjoy some local produce from their menu. 

You can also book a distillery tour, giving you a peak into making premium single malt whisky in Western Australia. Tours are free, or you can pay A$25 to include three standard tastings.

252 Frenchman Bay Rd

line of bottles of whiskey
Whiskey Range at The Old Distillery Albany by Tourism WA

Wineries

Monty’s Leap was established in 2017 and has a cellar door, restaurant, wheelchair access, picnic facilities, and kids’ play area. Their wines include Pinot Noir, Semillon Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Shiraz,  and Sparkling, Rosé.

Wignalls Wines on Chester Pass Road offers Rosé, Sparkling, Cabernet Merlot, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, and Shiraz. The family estate has won over sixty trophies and gold medals since 1982.

Oranje Tractor Wine is a solar-powered, environmentally-forward, organic winery on Link Road producing Sauvignon Blanc, Sparkling, Fortified, Dessert, Merlot, Riesling, Shiraz, Tawny and Rosé.

tasting plate with white spoons filled with various tasters
Tasting plates at Oranje Tractor Wines near Albany by Tourism Western Australia

The Sandalwood Shop

Visit Australia’s largest sandalwood retailer at their distillery, which includes the Sandalwood Café and Gong Relaxation Space. The well laid out shop has some unique Sandalwood products, perfect for gifts for family and friends.

The Sandalwood Café serves coffee made from locally roasted coffee beans, delicious cakes, and light lunches.

For a truly indulgent experience, book a one-hour gong relaxation session.

 2 Down Rd, Albany

Kid-Friendly Things To Do in Albany

Brig Amity

This full-size replica of the Brig Amity is a fun thing to do with children in Albany. The original vessel carried settlers and convicts to establish the first European settlement on the west coast of Australia in 1826.

It allows you to experience what it was like aboard a convict ship and what they had to endure. You can explore the upper and lower decks, but some spaces are very low (perfect for kids, though). It’s a fun way for children to learn about the first European settlers here.

This replica ship was built in 1975 and is situated a few hundred metres from where Major Edmund Lockyer and the party of 45 arrived on Christmas Day 1826, officially being the first people to land and settle in WA.

The Amity left Albany and supplied another new colony along the Swan River (now Fremantle and Perth). She was wrecked off Flinders Island, Tasmania, on 18 June 1845.

It is best to call ahead on 9841 4844 as opening and closing times may vary. It is closed on Anzac Day until 1 pm, Good Friday, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, and New Year’s Day.

The cost in January 2023 was A$5 per adult, A$2 per child, A$4 Concession, and A$12 for 2 adults & 2 children.

You can find The Brig Amity Replica on Princess Royal Drive, close to the city centre.

two girls on a brig steering the big wheel
The Brig Amity

Guided Segway Tour

Kids over 35 kg can enjoy a fun tour of Albany on a segway. This one-hour tour provides headphones to hear your guide’s commentary clearly as you make your way around Albany Heritage Park and Middleton Beach.

Emu Point Playground & Beach

Emu Point is popular with families who enjoy the calm water, sandy beach, and facilities. The playground is right on the beach, with grassed areas shaded by trees and barbecues (the playground itself is not shaded, though).

It’s not the biggest playground but has enough to entertain the little ones with swings, a climbing net, a slide, and a stand-up see-saw.

Historic Buildings in Albany WA

As King George Sound was the site of Western Australia’s first European settlement, it offers plenty of historical sites to discover. 

Albany Town Hall

Albany Town Hall is located at 217 York Street, the main street in town. It opened in 1888 and was where WA’s first regional meeting of State Parliament took place.

an old stone building with clcok tower and wooden door
Albany Town Hall

The Old Post Office

The Old Post Office (1834) was formerly the post office, customs office, and the overland telegraph base station. The University of Western Australia Albany now occupies it.

Stirling Terrace, (East end), opposite Spencer Street.

a historic red brick building with clock tower
The Old Post Office

St John’s Church

St John’s Church started construction in 1841 and was built mainly by British convicts. This Anglican church of St John the Evangelist was the first to be consecrated in WA.

an old style church made of stone
St John the Evangelist

Vancouver Arts Centre

The Vancouver Arts Centre was built in 1887 and was the former Albany Cottage Hospital. George Temple Poole, a colonial architect, designed the building. It remained a hospital until 1962. 

85 Vancouver Street, Albany WA 6330

Albany Convict Gaol & Museum complex

The complex was built in 1852 for Imperial convicts shipped to WA. Women’s cells, the Great Hall, and more warders’ quarters were constructed between 1872 and 1875.

Lower Stirling Terrace, Albany WA 6330 (opposite the Police Station)

an historic stone building with wooden window frames and iron roof
Albany Convict Gaol & Museum complex

Albany House

Albany House, built around 1878, was designed by George Inskip and features wrought iron balconies. The Victorian regency building is an early example of a Union Bank of Western Australia regional branch.

119-125 York St Albany

a white victorian regency style historic building with white wrought iron verandahs
Albany House

Museum of the Great Southern

The renovated museum overlooks picturesque Princess Royal Harbour on the site of the first European settlement in WA. This Albany museum includes exhibitions, public programs, educational programs, and information on the region’s unique natural and social history.

You can read the stories of the Menang Noongar people and the influence of Mokare, a young Noongar warrior.

The Residency building was completed in 1850 and was a store and office for the convict-hiring depot. When that closed in 1872, it became home to the local government administrator until 1953. It had various tenants until 1975, when it was opened as a museum. It was the first branch of the WA Museum outside the metropolitan area.

Residency Road, Albany WA 6330

The Court House

The Court House entrances were built in 1896 and are a unique example of the architecture of that period. You can see it on Stirling Terrace (West).

Patrick Taylor Cottage

The cottage, built in 1832, is the oldest dwelling in Western Australia. This 11 room wattle and daub home is furnished as it would have been in that era. It’s a must-see attraction for visitors.

37 Duke St, Albany WA 6330

a red brick building
Albany Court House

Earl of Spencer Tavern

This is one of the oldest taverns in WA. Built in 1874, it was originally a boarding house established by Richard Nesbitt. In 1925, it was converted into a shop and owned by the family until about 1978. The Inn was renovated in 1988 to its original charm.

The Royal George Hotel

The Royal George Hotel was built in 1885 and is an example of Victorian Free Classical architecture.

Wesley Church

Wesley Church, on Duke Street, was built in 1890. It’s Victorian-style with gothic elements such as pointed arched entrances, a tall spire, and pointed arched windows.

Lastly, see if you can find Dog Rock on your walk around Albany town centre.

black and white old building with brown roof
Women’s Rest Centre

Day Trips from Albany

Mount Barker

Pop into the country town of Mount Barker on your way to/from Albany or after hiking the Castle Rock trail. There are a few options for food, then wander through the town to see some cute buildings.

There are some great wineries to visit if you want to purchase wine for your evening. A couple of our favourites include West Cape Howe and Plantagenet Wines.

an old tavern with white verandah in mount barker western australia
Plantagenet Hotel Mount Barker

Denmark

Denmark is a 40-minute drive from Albany and offers stunning beaches, picturesque wineries and spectacular surroundings. The town is known for its scenic drives through farmland, ancient forests and outdoor adventure activities.

The Denmark Animal Farm & Pentland Alpaca Stud is a great attraction for young children.

Read about all the amazing things to do in Denmark for more information.

huge granite boulders that resemble elephants looking out to sea with turquoise water and green grass
Elephant Rocks Denmark

Walpole

Walpole is a bit further than Denmark, but still doable as a day trip. The drive is around 90 minutes from Albany. Here you can wander among the incredibly cool tingle trees and ancient forest or see them from above on the Tree Top Walk. Walpole is one of our favourite places in Western Australia, where the forest meets the ocean.

See what there is do in Walpole and plan your day!

girl walking along the steel platform of walpole tree top walk
Tree Top Walk Walpole

Tours from Albany WA

If you don’t have your own car or would rather take a tour, Viator has some great ones. We use them as local prices are guaranteed, and they offer free cancellation.

Bremer Bay Orca Tour

Book a tour to see killer whales in the wild if you’re lucky enough to be in Albany from January through March. It’s one of the most incredible experiences we’ve had.

From Albany, it will be a long day but worth the experience. The tour will get cancelled in bad weather, and the Southern Ocean is notorious for its large waves.

Read about our adventure on the Bremer Bay Orca Tour here.

orca up close in the southern ocean bremer bay
Orca (killer whale) seen from our Orca Tour in Bremer Bay

Albany Maps

Albany Visitor Centre provide local maps and leaflets on Albany attractions. They can also provide up to date advice on closures, weather, and upcoming events.

221 York Street, Albany

Albany Events

Vintage Car Rally Albany

The two-day Albany Classic features a collection of vintage cars and motorbikes. In 2022, the event had the Mt Clarence Hill Climb, Albany Classic “Around the Houses”, entertainment and car displays.

This event usually takes place over the June long weekend.

Albany Weather

During Summer (Dec-Feb), high temperatures average 22°C and minimums about 15°C. Summer is the driest time of year. The sea temperature is warmest from January to March at just over 19°C.

In winter (Jun-Aug), the maximum average drops to 16°C and the minimum 8°C. Winter is also the wettest time of year.

My best time to visit Albany would be January, February, March, April, October, November, or December. 

a white weatehrboard house with verandah and grassed area and wooden seats at the front

Albany Accommodation

Albany has many self-contained accommodation options to suit all budgets, but not any 5-star hotels or resorts. For more information, read this article on the best accommodation in Albany.

We’ve stayed at Middleton Beach Caravan Park a couple of times. It is right on the beach, a 10-minute drive from the centre of Albany. It was perfect as it had kitchen facilities and a bathroom, plus it was only a short walk to cafes. We booked it through booking.com as they had the best rates. See what price you can get it for today here.

Another time, we stayed at Banksia at Middleton and booked again through booking.com. It’s in a perfect location in the heart of Middleton Beach. The apartment was clean with full kitchen facilities, and the bedrooms and bathroom were upstairs. Unfortunately, the décor is a bit dated, and the pipes groaned whenever the water was turned on. Also, the air conditioning is downstairs, so we found it hot upstairs (we stayed at the hottest time of the year).

Where is Albany WA?

Albany is a town in the great southern region of Western Australia’s South West. Despite being a port city, it is a popular tourist destination with stunning white sand beaches and incredible natural wonders. Albany is located 418km southeast of Perth, the state capital.

aerial view of albany port and harbour with boats and ships docked
Aerial shot of Albany by Amazing Albany

How to get to Albany from Perth

International and domestic visitors will fly into Perth Airport. Find details about visas, prohibited items, currency, and safety in this Australia Travel Guide and tips on arriving into WA and other essential travel information in this Western Australia Travel Guide.

Flights from Perth to Albany

Currently, only REX (Regional Express) is flying to Albany from Perth. The average flight time is just over an hour and costs around $280 return. The prices rise considerably at peak times, like the WA summer school holidays.

The downside to flying is that a vehicle is needed to get to most of Albany’s best places. Also, the only option from the airport is a taxi or car hire. Therefore, budget on renting a car when you get there.

Car Hire

There are car hire booths at Perth airport, but it’s best to pre-book your car rental. Choose from Avis, Budget, Europcar, Sixt, Hertz, Enterprise, and Thrifty.

To compare rental car company prices, I use Discover Cars, an award-winning car rental comparison website. They offer competitive pricing in over 10,000 locations worldwide and are have a high rate of customer satisfaction. Another option is Rentalcars.

Drivenow is a good resource to compare campervan hire in Western Australia as it includes all the large companies like Britz, Maui, Jucy as well as smaller ones.

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You can either travel the direct route via Albany Highway or take the longer but more picturesque way through the Margaret River region. This in-depth post about the two road trips from Perth to Albany provides essential information, tips, and itineraries for your drive to Albany, including where to stop on the way.

Perth to Albany Bus

TransWA buses run from East Perth to Albany and take about 6 hours. Return tickets start at $67. As with flying, it is best to hire a car upon arrival in Albany.

Luxury Scenic Flight from Perth to Albany

If you have A$2500 to spare, book this scenic flight from Perth to Albany which includes lunch in Denmark, a scenic drive, entrance to the Tree Top Walk, Elephant Rocks, the Old Whaling Station and ‘The Gap’ and ‘Natural Bridge’.

views of conspicuous beach and ocean from the lookout

The Ultimate Perth to Albany
Road Trip

A Perth to Albany road trip through the spectacular Margaret River region should be on every traveller’s bucket list. Stop at the very best places Australia’s South West has to offer.

How far is the Perth to Albany drive?

It’s a 415 km Perth to Albany road trip and will take around four and a half hours without stops. This direct route is via Albany Highway (also called State Route 30) and is a relatively straight road and sealed all the way.

Read: Perth to Albany Road Trip for more information.

street art of the williams wool truck on the way from Perth to Albany
Williams street art

Albany Name

The area’s name in the Nyungar language is Kinjarling, which is said to mean “place of plenty”, most likely referring to plenty of rain.

Albany was originally a military outpost named Frederick Town in honour of the son of King George III, Prince Frederick, the Duke of York and Albany.

On 7 March 1831, it was formally proclaimed part of the Swan River Colony, and in 1832 Governor Stirling named the place after the Duke of York and Albany.

aerial view of rugged green coastline with calm crystal clear water in Albany Western Australia
Aerial view of Albany coastline by Amazing Albany

Albany History

I would like to respectfully acknowledge the Minang Noongar People who are the Traditional Owners and First People of these lands. I would like to pay my respect to the Elders past, present, and future for they hold the memories, the traditions, the culture, and hopes of the Minang People.

Minang People have occupied this region for over 50,000 years and traditionally lived in the coastal regions during the summer months, then moved inland for shelter in winter.

Albany was sighted by several European visitors long before it was settled by the British:

1627 Dutchman François Thijssen

1792 Frenchman Bruni d’Entrecasteaux

1801 Englishman Matthew Flinders

1826 Frenchman Dumont d’Urville

Major Edmund Lockyer arrived onboard the Brig Amity from Sydney in 1826 to become the first European settlement in Western Australia. Noongar often led explorers through the area as their intimate knowledge of the land and its waterways was invaluable to the British. Many of the original walking tracks used by Minang Noongar eventually became roads.

One Minang Noongar, Mokare, became an intermediary, guide, and good friend of several settlers to the region, particularly Captain Collet Barker. Mokare died in June 1831, most likely from influenza introduced by the British, and was buried close to what is now the Albany Town Hall. 

As time passed, tensions grew, and violence erupted as Europeans made their way further inland, using up resources and intruding on Noongar land. You can read more about the Minang history and culture on the Noongar Culture website.

The Gold Rush in the 1890s brought more settlers. During this time, many of the historic buildings were built along Stirling Terrace.

The whaling industry started due to the lack of minerals for mining and inadequate opportunities for farming and didn’t stop until 1978.

What are Albany’s Primary Industries?

Albany’s primary industries are tourism, fishing, timber, and agriculture.

From 1952 to 1978, whaling was a major source of employment, but (thankfully) the Whaling Station closed operations in 1978. It is now a whaling museum and features one of the ‘Cheynes’ whale chasers used for whaling in Albany.

Population of Albany WA

According to the 2016 census, 33,145 people were living in Albany.

How Big is Albany WA?

Albany covers an area of 297.2 km².

Western Australia Travel Guide

Save money planning your holiday

Click on the links which will take you direct to the website.

Flights: We use different sites to get the best possible price for flights. Check matrix.itasoftware.com to get an idea of the cheapest dates, but you can’t book through this site. Compare the cost of flights with Kiwi.com and try different routes.

Travel Guides: As well as using online resources, like other travel blogs, I like to flick through a paper travel guide too. I either rent them from our local library or buy them from Bookdepository if I want to take it with me.

Accommodation: We mainly use Booking.com for accommodation as they consistently have the lowest rates with free cancellation on most properties. We also book through Stayz for private accommodation as they are usually cheaper than Airbnb.

Car Rental: To compare rental car company prices, we use Discover Cars, an award winning car rental comparison website. They offer competitive pricing in over 10,000 locations worldwide and are highly-rated. Another option is Rentalcars.com

Campervan Rental:Drivenow is a good resource to compare campervan hire in Western Australia as it includes all the large companies like Britz, Maui, Jucy as well as smaller ones.

Tours: We use third-party sites ViatorGet Your Guide & Klook due to their free cancellation policies, instant confirmation, price guarantees, and mobile ticketing. We occasionally book through Red Balloon too.

Travel Insurance: Cover-More protects the travel dreams and experiences of more than 15 million people worldwide every year (including us!). Part of Zurich Insurance Group, they cover 22 countries across five continents with leading positions in the USA, Australia, Brazil, Argentina, Ireland, India and New Zealand. Protect your trip against several COVID-19 scenarios during the current coronavirus pandemic. 

Incredible Things To Do In Albany WA in 2023 by a local

If you found this travel guide on the best things to do in Albany helpful, please consider booking through one of our links. It won’t cost you anything but will help towards the cost of running this site. Thank you.

33 thoughts on “Incredible Things To Do In Albany WA in 2023 by a local”

  1. The more I read about WA the more I want to visit. It sounds so beautiful and the history is intriguing. And by the way I love the way you acknowledge the Aboriginal community in your posts 🙂

    Reply
  2. really loving your WA posts. they are so detailed!! perfect travel guide for our trip we will take one day!! Also love all the pics, they are fantastic for us armchair travellers who cant get there just yet!

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  3. A really great article – informative, detailed and well structured. I am falling in love with Albany! Such beautiful beaches and a wonderful landscape, but a fascinating history too. So much to see! Like you I am not sure about visiting a whaling station, but I suppose it is history and a learning opportunity.

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  4. What a beautiful area – awesome guide to explore. I would especially love to hike at Torndirrup National Park and check out those geological formations.

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  5. I love how you start this post with all the enticing white sand beaches and glorious blue waters and then suddenly there’s a military museum and a trail with old grain silos? Lots of things to do here – I think it’d be really fun to visit!! Pinned it for later 🙂

    Reply
  6. What a wonderful and very detailed list! I loved the breath-taking nature of Torndirrup National Park. I wish I’ll hike there someday. Also the white sand Middleton Beach looks beautiful. Thanks for sharing this wonderful post.

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  7. It seems that Albany’s rugged coastline is perfect for creating a fitting backdrop to a different dramatic Australian outback. I can imagine whale spotting and sensational cliff-top walks at Torndirrup National Park while immersing with aboriginal spirituality and mystique.

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  8. What a pretty place to visit in Western Australia, and clearly with plenty to offer visitors. Whale spotting would be a dream for me; I’ve only ever seen it in wildlife documentaries lol! Hoping to visit WA and Australia one day.

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  9. Wow! The beaches and coastline are absolutely stunning! I would love lounging on the beaches and especially like that Misery Beach is one of the best despite its name. That’s so great that you include the history of the people who originally occupied Albany too.

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  10. Another top notch guide Wendy. Have to remark about Misery Beach. Unusual how something that seems so pretty gets such a name. History is funny like that.

    Reply

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