A Guide To Albany, Western Australia

As the oldest settlement in Western Australia, the city of Albany has a rich Indigenous and European history.

Where is Albany?

Albany is the southernmost city of Western Australia which is located approximately 410 kilometres south of Perth. A port city, Albany lies on the south coast of Western Australia in the Great Southern region. From Perth you can generally expect a four and a half to five-hour drive, or alternatively a direct flight will take just over an hour.

Albany History

In 1826 the first European settlement in Western Australia, known as Frederickstown, was established by the British. The settlement was a penal colony named after Frederick Augustus, the Duke of York and Albany. By the year 1832 it was known as Albany and had become an important whaling base throughout the 1840s. By 1978, when the whaling base was closed, it was the last surviving shore-based whaling station in the Southern Hemisphere.

Indigenous History

Before European settlement in the 1800s, the Albany region was inhabited mainly by Menang Aborigines, a subsection of the Noongar people. The area was known as Kinjarling which translates to ‘place of rain.’ Evidence of Indigenous presence in the Albany area dates back around 25,000 years.


Albany is unique in its whaling history and is thought of to be one of the only places in the world where evidence of pelagic, bay and shore-based whaling practices exist. Early whaling techniques date back to pre-European settlement times, but most notably shore-based operations have been recorded from around 1836 at Doubtful Island Bay. From here, shore-based operations were recorded at Two People Bay, Torbay, Cheyne Beach, Barker Bay and countless others. By 1952, the Cheyne Beach Whaling Company began its practices at Frenchman Bay and continued until November 1978. When the operations ceased, the Cheyne Beach Whaling Company was the last whaling station to shut down in Australia.

ANZAC History

Albany also has a rich ANZAC heritage and is well known for being the departure point for two convoys of troops bound for the first World War in December 1914.


Albany is also thought of to be the home of the first ever dawn service. According to the church registry on the 25th of April 1930 at 6am, a commemorative dawn Eucharist was held to honour ANZAC day. Wreaths were laid at a nearby war memorial, and it is believed that some of the congregation walked a bush track to the top of Mt Clarence and observed a boatman laying a wreath in King George Sound.


Continuing this rich heritage into the present day, Albany is now the home of the National ANZAC Centre, opened in 2014, which honours the ANZAC soldiers of World War One.

Historical Sites

With a rich history in relation to the ANZACs, there are a few historical sites that carry great significance to that period.


ANZAC Peace Park


The ANZAC Peace Park is a site for the interpretation of Albany’s role as a departure point during the First World War. The site features a Pier of Remembrance, Memorial Wall, interpretive elements, lights, seating and landscaping. The project also included establishing a Lone Pine Grove, performance areas and installing lighting throughout the park. ANZAC Peace Park also has plantings and seedlings from the Aleppo pine trees, located at Lone Pine Gallipoli, marking the direct connection between the two cities.


National ANZAC Centre


Opened in November 2014 by the Prime Ministers of Australia and New Zealand, the National ANZAC Centre is a state-of-the-art facility. The centre utilises multimedia, interaction and historical artefacts to establish a personal connection with the past, while paying tribute to those who served.


Interpretive content that forms part of the interactive experience was developed in conjunction by the Western Australian Museum and the Australian War Memorial. This content is delivered via interactive visual and audible displays and is known for commemorating the war through the stories of the ANZACs, opposed to pro or anti-war sentiments.

What Is There To Do In Albany?

Packed with stunning beaches, abundant marine life, breath-taking national parks and a historical township to explore, you’re bound to find something to do in the Albany region.

Hiking Trails

Albany boasts a range of spectacular bush walks throughout the local national parks. Some popular trails include the Bald Head Walk Trail, located in Torndirrup National Park, and the Albany Windfarm Loop which connects to the Bibbulmun Track. Information about the various trails can be found at the Albany Visitors Centre, who can give you some local knowledge on the difficulty of these walks.

Explore Torndirrup National Park

Torndirrup National Park is also home to some of Albany’s most famous natural attractions, including The Gap, Natural Bridge and the Blowholes. The Gap features a viewing platform approximately 40 metres above sea level where you can see the surging waves crash into the rocks below. The views of the Southern Ocean, Bald Head and West Cape Howe from this location are stunning.

Check Out The Brig Amity

The Brig Amity is a full-scale replica of the first ship that brought European settlers to the region. Located on the Princess Royal Harbour foreshore, the Brig Amity offers a great experience for the whole family. Young kids are just the right size to explore the lower decks, while Mum and Dad can enjoy learning more about the history of the ship and the period in which it arrived.

Cruise Down The Kalgan River

The Kalgan River is the world’s oldest continuously flowing river, and you can experience its beauty on a glass-bottom vessel. Learn about the area’s historical significance, look out for local wildlife or sit back and relax on a scenic four-hour cruise.


If you’d prefer to go at your own pace, canoes and kayaks can be hired to explore the river. The full kayak trail length is approximately 10 kilometres, but you can paddle parts of the river from different starting points.

Why Choose Wellington & Reeves?

Like the city of Albany, we also have a proud history in WA’s Great Southern. Established in 1948, Wellington & Reeves is one of the oldest and most reputable real estate agencies in the region. We are a local team who know and live in the area, and we take great pride in providing property solutions for our valued clients. If you’re in need of real estate services across the residential or commercial sectors, get in touch with our friendly team today!

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