The beautiful town of Albany is located right near the most southerly point of Western Australia. The town is blessed with beautiful scenery on every side, an abundance of national parks and loads of history. You’ll find plenty of interesting and unique things to do in Albany, if you haven’t visited yet then you really should add it to your list!
I have been lucky enough to visit Albany many times over the years. I have personally explored, visited and returned to all of the places mentioned below. A visit to Albany makes for a lovely long weekend escape from Perth and also an excellent addition to your Perth to Esperance road trip itinerary.
Opening hours and costs are listed for attractions which feature them, if there are none listed then none exist at the time of writing. Read on to discover all of the reasons why you should make a point of visiting Albany W.A.
Table of Contents
Getting from Perth to Albany
We recommend driving as most attractions require a car to reach. However if you wish to simply relax and maybe take a local tour then there is the option of a bus or flight. There are also local car rental agencies in Albany if you wish to avoid the drive down from Perth.
Perth to Albany By Car – Albany is 420km from Perth and will take you about 4.5 hours to drive. Follow our Perth to Albany road trip guide to plan the ultimate adventure.
Perth to Albany By Bus – TransWA operates a coach service between East Perth and Albany Railway Station. This will cost $66.65 one way or $133.30 return. There is usually a morning departure at 9am and an evening departure around 3pm.
Perth to Albany Flight – A flight from Perth to Albany takes 70 minutes and there are usually several departure times daily. As with all flights, prices can vary significantly, however it will usually set you back around $150 one way.
Accommodation in Albany
See below for some top picks in Albany. Staying in town is a good option here as you will have access to many options for food and drinks. There are however some great self-catering options right on the beach and still close to town.
In Town – If you want to stay near the town centre with access to all the cafes, restaurants and shops then check out Dolphin Lodge. This highly rated spot is right between the town centre and the main beach. It is good value for a self contained apartment in this location.
If you want an entire house then take a look at Evelyn House. This beautifully restored cottage is right in town and features chesterfield sofas, a fireplace and beautiful jarrah furniture.
Beachside – If you’ve got kids and need to keep them occupied or just want to be right at the beach, then there is a Big 4 Holiday Park at both Middleton Beach and Emu Point. There are swimming pools, games rooms, hot tubs, BBQs and ocean views on offer.
20 Best Things to do in Albany, W.A
The Gap and Natural Bridge
These amazing natural formations are a 20 minute drive from the town centre, in Torndirrup National Park. When people ask what to do in Albany, this is usually the first thing locals will suggest.
The Gap is a huge gash in the high rock walls fronting the ocean, with a viewing platform perched out over the edge. Viewing this site during a big swell makes for an amazing experience, with waves crashing into the narrow channel and exploding in a shower of foam.
The bridge spans a similar but wider gap, formed by wave action eroding the rock below. It’s an impressive sight as the waves surge below with the same tidal action that formed the bridge over millions of years.
There is a viewing platform to get the best perspective on the bridge and it is accessed by the same pathway that runs from the carpark to the gap. Both attractions are only a 30sec walk from the carpark.
Standard W.A. National Park Entry Fees – Covered by W.A. Parks Pass
Vehicle with up to 12 occupants – $15.00, Concession – $8.00
Motorcycle – $8.00
Albany Wind Farm
The Albany Wind-farm was commissioned in 2001 and features 18 turbines. These super impressive feats of engineering are a sight in themselves, but they aren’t the only reason for visiting this area.
The wind-farm is located on a stunning stretch of coastline with steep hills dropping to the ocean below. There is a boardwalk along the top of the high coastal cliffs which takes you all the way down to the ocean if you’re game.
There are a couple of different viewing platforms where you can watch the beautiful and tranquil sight of the swells endlessly rolling in.
Uphill from the small information station is another viewing platform overlooking the turbines. It offers one of the best sunset vistas in W.A.
There is also a walking trail where you can come close to the base of the turbines and look up at the dizzying sight of the huge blades cutting through the air.
National Anzac Centre and Princess Royal Fortress
The National Anzac Centre is located on Mt Adelaide, which is connected to the larger Mt Clarence. It overlooks the ocean where the Anzacs departed on their fateful voyage.
The centre was completed in 2014 to celebrate 100 years of ANZAC history. It houses a beautiful modern museum and is also located within the Princess Royal Fortress.
A fortress was originally built on this site before Australia was even founded as a nation, and is one of only two such structures. You can explore the grounds which feature gun batteries, barracks and bunkers.
From the fortress it’s only a short drive to the peak of Mt Clarence. Here you’ll find a Desert Mounted Corps memorial and Padre White lookout. This lookout has great views over Albany and the harbour.
On the way back down you can also stop at the Apex Lookout which offers views of Middleton Beach. There are facilities and a nice café at the National Anzac Centre.
(National Anzac Centre only, admission to Fortress is by donation)
Adult – $25.00, Concession – $21.00, Child (5-15yrs) – $11.00, Extra Child (5-15yrs) – $6.00, DVA/Service Card – $12.50
You can buy your tickets in advance at this link.
National Anzac Centre – Daily: 9am to 5pm
Princess Royal Fortress – Daily: 9am to 4pm
Middleton Beach and Ellen Cove Boardwalk
Middleton Beach is considered the main beach for Albany and is a perfect place for a nice calm swim. The Ellen Cove Boardwalk starts from one side of Middleton Beach and wraps around the headland where Mt Clarence drops into the ocean.
As you ascend, your reward is amazing views back over Middleton Beach and out into King George Sound. This sound is a main stop on the Humpback and Southern Right whale migration. The boardwalk offers an amazing chance to spot these majestic creatures from several lookouts.
You can also walk to or from the National Anzac Centre and join the boardwalk. Alternatively check out this segway tour which will take you between the beach and the tops of Mt Clarence and Mt Adelaide. There is a nice café overlooking Middleton Beach near the beginning of the boardwalk.
Two Peoples Bay
The Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve is home to some of the most picturesque beaches in Western Australia. The perfect white sands and the gently curving bay look amazing and offer endless spots to spend the day in your own slice of paradise.
The adjoining Little Beach has become a top spot for photographers due to a perfect arrangement of rocks in the middle of the small bay. There is a nice shady BBQ area between the two, as well as public toilets.
If you’re up for some exercise then the Two People’s Bay Heritage Trail is a fantastic 6km return hike which is not too taxing.
A local’s tip is to visit the far side of the bay if you want to camp close to the park. Here you will find two free camp grounds, the East Bay camp ground and Betty’s Beach camp ground. From Betty’s Beach Rd you also get amazing views from up above Two Peoples bay.
Hike the Stirling Ranges
Located about an hour and a half drive out of Albany is the stunning Stirling Ranges National Park. Here you will find Western Australia’s second highest peak as well as several other great hikes.
The main attraction is of course Bluff Knoll, towering over the national park at a height of 1099m. The climb is strenuous but follows a well-marked trail and is achievable by anyone of moderate fitness.
The views from the top are sublime and are well worth the effort. For those who are not able to climb to the top, there is a scenic drive and several great view points around the park.
There are other climbs in the park but most are quite challenging. Toolbrunup has a really interesting trail and amazing views for those who like some scrambling. Talyuberlup trail will give you views out to the other half of the park and has some interesting rock formations at the top.
WA Museum and Brig Amity
Albany is host to a branch of the WA Museum and has a great little setup of local themed exhibits and history. There are several different buildings/areas and it’s well worth a look.
The Eclipse building hosts interactive displays and temporary exhibitions and is great for those with kids. The nearby Residency building houses a gallery with historical photographs. They also have some aboriginal history and local information.
The best part however is the replica of a ship from the early 1800s called the Brig Amity. On board you can tour the entire ship and find out what life was like for the convicts transported to Australian shores.
Daily: 10am to 4pm
The Old Convict Gaol
Next to the museum you will find Albany’s Old Convict Gaol, which has been restored into a well done and interesting museum.
The gaol dates from 1852 and was used originally to house convicts. They were brought here to establish the first settlement in Western Australia. The gaol continued to see service all the way up until the 1930s.
The gaol is set up with scenes of what life was like inside and there is an interesting collection of historical photographs from the local area. They have also started doing ghost tours at night as the place is supposedly haunted.
Adult – $5.00, Concession – $2.50, Child (Over 6) – $2.50, Child (Under 6) – Free, Family – $12.00
Daily: 10am to 4pm
Albany sits within the Great Southern Wine Region. This encompasses Albany, Denmark, Mount Barker, the Porongurups and Frankland River. Check out four of the best wineries in the area on this guided tour, including a delicious lunch.
The region is producing some really nice wines which can be hard to find in the regular retail stores. A tasting trip around this region definitely has the potential to add some new favourites to your list.
A stay out in the Porongurups is highly recommended. This way you can make the most of the wineries by taking in the beautiful mountain views with a couple of glasses.
Hike the Coastal Trails
Albany is surrounded by stunning coastline and one of the best ways to see it is by hiking the beautiful coastal trails.
The Bald Head Walk Trail – If you look at a map of Albany you’ll see a point jutting way out into the Southern Ocean, this is known as Bald Head.
It’s a long hike at around 12.5km return, but it gives you an exhilarating feeling of standing at the edge of the world. The end point on the exposed granite ‘head’, buffeted by the wind, watching the waves crashing against the coast is a primal sight.
Point Possession Heritage Trail – This trail leads you to one of the most beautiful beaches in the area. It has a fantastic stretch where you walk down the middle of a narrow peninsula with ocean on either side.
The top end of the loop overlooks the mouth of the harbour and has views back onto Mt Clarence. It’s also a great place to spot some whales if you’re there in the right season.
Two Peoples Bay Heritage Trail – A 5km return trail that takes you to a viewpoint over the beautiful bay. Also included are the highlights of Little Beach and Waterfall Beach.
The hike is relatively easy and the best place to start is from the visitor’s centre. Make sure you bring some swimming gear!
Peak Head Walk Trail – This hike is close to the Bald Head trail in Torndirrup National Park. It’s a shorter version so you get similar views with a smaller investment of time.
The hike is named for the large granite boulder at the end. Throughout the hike you’ll have rugged coastal views and the peak at the end offers a great overview of the park.
Dive the HMAS Perth
This decommissioned naval vessel was sunk in the Albany harbour area in 2001 for the purpose of creating an artificial dive reef. There is an underwater interpretive trail and the area has developed an impressive variety of marine life.
There are plaques giving information about the various marine species and if you’re lucky you can also see some of the local seals playing in the area. During whale season you can listen to the music of these amazing creatures.
Southcoast Diving Supplies is the local dive shop and can arrange dives here and to other local areas. They know the best conditions for the dives and can safely take you within the wreck and to the best spots for marine life.
From around the end of May until October, King George Sound in Albany acts as a resting and calving area for Humpback and Southern Right whales.
This incredible natural sight is so easily accessible in Albany and there are so many great view points to take it in.
You can get up close and personal with one of the several tour operators in town. With them you can go out for a cruise into the sound and watch the whales’ surface and breach.
If you visit in late April and early May then you have a chance to see the new born calves in close company with their mothers.
Climb Castle Rock
In the beautiful Porongurups, you cannot miss the fantastic Castle Rock hike. There is a large car park at the beginning of the trail from where you start the relatively steep 4.5 km return trail.
The climb involves areas of scrambling up rocks with metal handholds and climbing a 7 metre ladder. It should therefore only be attempted by those with adequate fitness.
The hike passes through beautiful dense forest, along winding trails. Once at the top, the Granite Skywalk is a glass walkway that takes you around the massive boulder that makes up the ‘castle’ at the top.
Head up around sunrise or sunset for the most amazing views over the endless farmland surrounding the national park. If you want a nice relaxed experience then check out this tour which includes transport, lunch and a wine tasting!
Albany is a top spot for fishing all manner of species. The annual salmon run is a real highlight and attracts people from all over.
Every autumn the salmon migration takes them along the south west coast and Albany has several top spots for bagging one.
A fishing competition occurs every year and you enter it by downloading the ‘Salmon Slam’ app on your phone.
Check out this flyer for some tips on the best locations and how to be safe while fishing the dangerous but beautiful Albany coast.
Discover Albany’s Best Beaches
There are a crazy number of beaches to choose from within a short drive from Albany, or indeed within the town itself. There’s something for every interest whether it be surfing, fishing, kayaking or swimming.
The main beach in town is Middleton Beach and it is nice and calm for swimming and relaxing. The picnic areas, playgrounds and café make it the perfect family spot. Emu Point is on the other side of town with similar facilities and is also good for swimming.
Further afield you can’t miss the previously mentioned Two People’s Bay. Another great spot is Islet Point at Nanarup Beach. You have to park and walk about 10 minutes down the beach but it is worth it for the beautiful secluded little bay.
Shelley and Sandpatch beaches are great for seeing spectacular coastal cliffs. The steep hillsides drop precipitously into the ocean, broken by small, pretty beaches.
Vintage Car Rally
Every year Albany hosts the ‘Around the Houses’ classic car race. As the name suggests, this event involves a whole lot of super cool vintage sports cars racing around the closed off streets of the town centre.
The event attracts around 150 cars and many thousands of spectators. The event also encompasses a small festival, with stalls, music and kids activities. The cars are usually displayed on the main street after the event so you can have a look.
The dates change on a year-by-year basis, so for the most up to date information on the event you can check out the website here.
Explore the King and Kalgan Rivers
Situated on the northern outskirts of Albany, these two rivers both meet their end in the huge bay of Oyster Harbour. You can access them from many locations along their path. There are also some purpose built boat ramps near the main roads.
The caravan parks and guest houses near the rivers often have their own river access and facilities for hiring kayaks and canoes. A particularly nice one to book is the Kalgan River Chalets and Caravan Park. Situated right on the banks of the river with plenty of kangaroos roaming around, you’ll have the option of renting your own little chalet or parking your RV in a scenic spot.
The pleasant, tree lined riverbanks make for a perfect relaxing paddle. There are reserves with excellent birdwatching and areas for hiking along the way. You can also catch freshwater fish to supplement a perfect picnic stop on an isolated bank.
Albany’s Historic Whaling Station
The grim history of whaling in Albany can be explored in this well done museum, complete with real whaling ship. Whaling ships operated until as recently as 1978 from this station before the industry thankfully ended.
You must remember the past so that you can avoid repeating the mistakes in the future and this kind of museum provides a good place to develop an awareness of humans’ impact on the natural world.
On the same site you can also find a small wildlife park with a collection of marsupials, as well as a wildflower garden.
Adult: $32.00, Concession: $29.00, Children (6 to 15yrs): $12.00, Children (under 5 yrs): Free, Family of 5: $75.00
Daily: 9am to 5pm
Patrick Taylor Cottage and the ‘Old Farm’
For the history buffs, you can explore some of the living history of European settlement in Western Australia. The Patrick Taylor Cottage is the oldest surviving dwelling in Western Australia, preserved today as a museum.
The ‘Old Farm’ was already named thus back in 1890 and is the oldest farm in Western Australia. The site has a beautiful new visitor centre where you can learn about the site and have a coffee in the lovely surrounds.
The places management is separate, so unfortunately there is no ticket that encompasses both. If you only wish to visit one then see the Old Farm as it is a nicer visit.
Cottage – Adult: $5.00, Child/Concession: $2.50, Family: $12.00, Under 6: Free
Farm – Adults: $10.00, Concession: $7.00, Children (5yrs and over): $5.00, Children (under 5 yrs): Free, Family of four: $25.00
Cottage – Daily: 11am to 3pm
Farm – Weekdays: 10am to 3:30pm – Weekends: 11:30am to 3:30pm
4 Wheel Driving
Many of the beautiful beaches around Albany are accessible to 4WD vehicles, enabling you to access some lesser visited areas. Drive far enough and you can have a huge stretch of beach completely to yourself.
There are also a number of inland tracks and unsealed roads of varying difficulty. Some require only a basic 4WD vehicle whilst others will require a serious 4WD. Remember to research the beach or trail you wish to visit to avoid getting bogged!
For some ideas, check out Torbay Inlet, Muttonbird Beach and West Cape Howe National Park. There are so many amazing places to drive on the sand and find beautiful, secluded camp sites. Be aware you will need to be able to self-rescue as these spots can be quiet on weekdays.
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