Photo: Albany Western Australia
Albany on the South Coast of Western Australia is a great place to base yourself to explore this stunning part of the state.
Whale watching, spectacular natural formations, historical towns, its convict past and the vast wilderness areas with vast National Parks and Reserves along the coast make this a prime destination for visitors seeking a nature-based holiday.
The South Coast region is accessible from Perth. A popular touring route is to drive south west from Perth (approx 4.5 hours) through Williams, Kojonup and Mt Barker. This allows you some time to explore the countryside, then Albany and the coast, then back via the south west coastline, through other popular places to visit including Margaret River.
At the nearby coastal Torndirrup National Park, there are granite mountains that meet the sea. Whenever the surf is up, spectacular blowholes shoot the waters of the surging seas up into the air.
Located on the King George Sound, Albany is the oldest of Western Australia’s settlements, preceding that of Perth when a military outpost was established here in 1826 to try and protect Britain’s interests on the Australian continent.
Prior to that, the Aboriginal Mineng people occupied the region surrounding King Sound, with evidence of settlement dating back almost 20,000 years. The traditional owners at first were suspicious of the new settlers, but their prior acquintance with other Europeans helped them overcome their intitial fears - the Mineng at first lived in peaceful co-existence with the Europeans.
The later migratory waves, looking for gold, farming and everything else they could think of were to spoil that relationship.
Whalers began to use Albany to hunt whales for their precious oil. Whale species head north in winter (June - July - August) as the Antartic region begins to get even colder. They head east and west when they approach the continent and follow the coastline up to their breeding grounds north of Australia.
Which makes for great whale spotting. During their season, they can be seen both from the shore and at sea. Whale Watching cruises operate during the spotting season.
Scenic drives and day trips can be made from Albany, to the Porongurups, Bremer Bay and the Stirling Range.
At the Stirling Range, in spring, there are spectacular and colourful wildflowers in bloom. There are over 1,000 species here, some of them unique to the area.
There is good camping facilities at Stirling Range, other accommodation throughout the region includes caravan parks along the beachfront, holiday serviced units and apartments, farmstays and bed & breakfasts.
See more about Perth Australia.
To the West, the South West of WA is great to visit any time of year, with delicious cuisine, great wineries, wonderful beaches, rugged coastline and towering forests.
See more on South West Western Australia.
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