Enjoying a Mediterranean climate, the city of Albany is one of Western Australia’s finest holiday destinations. Not too hot, but far from cold, and boasting some exceptional beaches, it’s a great place to unwind.
Albany is also a city that is filled with history. Being one of Australia’s oldest ports, it has accumulated an array of fascinating buildings and stories. The old gaol has been meticulously restored, giving a flavour of what life was like when the area was a penal colony, and tourists can wander around the Princess Royal Fortress and the old Government Residency building as well.
However, this is really a stunning beach destination. Right in the middle of the Rainbow Coast, the city makes for a jumping off point to reach pristine bays to the north and south. Surf at Cable Beach or enjoy a coastal hideaway at Two Peoples Bay, where a waterfall pours down into the pure blue waters.
There are other sea-themed attractions besides the beach. A visit to Whale World allows visitors to find out about one of the area’s historical industries and full day-long fishing charters can be arranged for keen anglers. Divers can also descend to the wreck of the HMS Perth.
Hikers and mountain bikers will find that the Torndirrup National Park is hard to resist, and its dramatic granite rock formations are one of the area’s great natural sights. It is even possible to tackle some of the epic Bibbulmun Track which stretches all the way to Perth, and provides some stunning views.
Back in town, Albany has a fine golf course, ten pin bowling and other indoor activities at the Amusement Centre and a wide range of restaurants and bars to cater for all tastes.
Albany enjoys a milder climate than Perth to the north, but can still be hot during the summer months (November to March), which is also peak season. Try to visit in the spring or autumn for warm weather and a warm welcome. April or October would be ideal times to visit. However, between May and August, the area is known for its rainfall, which may put some visitors off (while ensuring that accommodation will be cheap).
The historical district can only really be navigated by foot, and this is the best way to ensure that nothing is missed. Albany also has a superb network of bike paths, so renting two wheels will be a good choice, and many beaches can be accessed by bike as well. For more distant attractions a rental car is highly recommended.