Surrounded by the beautiful Princess Royal Harbour and breathtaking King George Sound, the picturesque and thriving city of Albany is steeped in history, heritage and culture. Encompassing breathtaking views, visitors to the region will enjoy the spectacular marine life, captivating coastline and amazing array of local arts, crafts and culinary delights.
Lonely Planet lists Australia’s South West region as one of the world’s Top Ten regions in 2010
Lonely planet has listed Australia’s South West region in its 2010 Best In Travel Guide as on of the World’s Top Ten regions to visit.
Award winning wineries, pristine coastline, whale watching and untouched wilderness are some of the reasons people are attracted to the region. Lonely Planet goes on to say “While word is out about the southwest, distance still dissuades many Aussie east-coasters – take the opportunity to make it here before they do”.
Enjoy Albany Year Round
Wildflowers abound all around Albany throughout the spring.
Discover the art and creativity of the region at the Southern Art and Craft Trail, the Spring Writers Festival and various exhibitions around the beautiful countryside in studios, galleries and other community venues.
Visit local farms and markets to taste nationally renowned produce. Explore the city to find traces of Western Australia’s first settlement.
See Whales passing by on their return south, do a spot of fishing or head to the beach for a surf.
Explore Albany’s beautiful beaches tucked in around the coastline. Swimming, snorkelling or lazing on the beach overlooking the view, you can explore, discover and relax.
City streets are a buzz with shopping, great food and festivities and tourist attractions have their doors wide open welcoming visitors into the historic heart of the city, the rustic charm of the rural outskirts, and the pristine nature of the national parks.
Albany gears up for fun and feasting as Autumn approaches!
The Taste Great Southern Festival brings visitors to the beautiful coast and rural surrounds of Albany to meet chefs, food authors and local artists and is a celebration of the quality regional produce.
Explore Albany’s many walk trails, a kayak up the Kalgan River or tour around the significant historic attractions.
The southern coast is rugged and stunning in winter with swell from the southern ocean breaking over granite and roaring onto open beaches. Sheltered from the wind and swell are many bays, tranquil and glassy.
From late May until October visiting Humpback and Southern Right Whales migrate north spend time playing in King George Sound, close to the coastline. Get up close on a tour, then return to the warmth of Maitraya’s fireplaces.
Enjoy the exhibitions showing in local galleries, indulge in spa treatments or immerse yourself in the local history.
Ten reasons to visit the Albany Region
1. Pristine Beaches
Australia’s South West is host to some of the most incredible beaches in the world. Clean white sand, deep blue water, uncrowded shores – international visitors will be blown away by the breathtaking coastline of the South West region.
Emu Point and Oyster Harbour are great for boat owners, fisherman and swimmers of all ages. Deep sea fishing charters and cruises depart Emu Point on a regular basis.
2. Wildlife and Birdlife
More than 200 species of birds can be found in the Albany region. Several rare and endangered species survive in the coastal heathlands east of Albany and most of the birds endemic to WA can be readily seen in the area. The rare and endangered Noisy Scrub Bird, previously thought to be extinct, is known to be located in the national parks surrounding Maitraya at Two People’s Bay.
Wildflowers are one of the best kept secrets of the region. Of the 10,000 plant species which naturally occur in Western Australia, over half are found throughout the south-west region. The peak wildflower season is from August until December.
3. Natural Landscapes and National Parks
The Fitzgerald National Park, West Cape Howe National Park, Porongurup National Park and Torndirrup National Park are among the many national parks in the region that offer visitors some of the most spectacular scenery and an abundance of wildflowers in untouched bushland. Visitors to Torndirrup National Park should be sure to visit the “Natural Bridge” – a natural rock formation in the shape of a bridge sculpted by the Southern Ocean. It certainly is a unique sight to see.
Enjoy the rugged limestone cliffs, scenic coastal drives and the rich flora that make up Albany’s majestic natural landscapes. The ocean views are every artist’s and photographer’s dream!
4. Scenic Walking Trails
Take some time to get close to nature and enjoy some of the many scenic walking trails scattered through Albany and surrounding areas. As well as being exposed to an abundance of birdlife, wildflowers and plant life, you may also be able to spot rare species of quokkas, numbats, possums, wallabies and kangaroos.
5. Fresh Local Produce
The South West region of Western Australia is famous for its farm-fresh local produce, including organic fruit and vegetables, eggs, cheeses, bread, honey, milk, jams and preserves, organic poultry and fresh flowers.
The Albany Farmers Markets were named to be “one of the best growers’ markets in the country” by a food critic from the West Australian and draw thousands of visitors to the region every year. In 2008, the Albany Farmer’s Markets were recognised as the “Outstanding Farmer’s Market” by Vogue Entertaining + Travel. For lovers of fresh produce, these markets are a must see!
6. Award-winning Wineries
The rich soil and dense weather of the area provide the ideal conditions for wine-making, and hence the South West is rapidly establishing itself as one of Western Australia’s premier wine producing regions.
Take a tour of the Mount Barker, Frankland, Denmark and the Porongurup areas and taste some of these critically acclaimed wines. There are also a number of olive groves, berry farms and honey producers in the area.
7. Whale Watching
Albany is known as a world-class site for its whale watching and visitors can expect to see both humpback and southern right whales from lookouts in the region between June and December. It’s likely that you’ll spot dolphins, sea lions and penguins playing in these coastal waters too. Visitors may also be interested to go to Whale World – a museum and information centre where you can see and learn all about whales.
For guests staying at Maitraya, whales are frequently seen breaching on the private beach in front of the house.
8. The History
The port city of Albany was Western Australia’s first European settlement and boasts a rich cultural history which can be explored at local museums and historical sites. History lovers will find colourful historical records going back thousands of years specific to the Albany region.
There is a strong ANZAC history in albany. The first and second ANZAC convoys left from here. Read more about the ANZAC connection at Historic Albany.
Marine enthusiasts simply must visit King George Sounds, where the famous dive wreck of the HMAS Perth has been since 2001.
9. Only a 1 hour flight from Perth
Just over a one hour flight from Perth, Albany is a close and convenient holiday destination for local and international visitors alike, providing a great base for those wanting to explore the entire South West region. For those travelling by car, it takes the same time to drive Albany from Perth as it does to Margaret River – it’s a scenic and direct route that showcases the beautiful South West of Australia.
10. The People
Visitors to the region are often overwhelmed by the generosity and hospitality of the people in Albany. It’s the relaxed lifestyle and “community feeling” that attracts visitors to Albany, time and time again.