From dramatic and breathtaking granite coastlines and wildflower-filled landscapes to the region’s rich history and heritage, the charming town of Albany is beautiful with its diverse offerings of sensational things to see and do. It maintains a colonial flavour of the first European settlers in Western Australia with its colonial buildings standing proudly as museums, galleries and restaurants.   So if you're looking for adventure, relaxation and even a piece of history and culture, a trip to Albany should be on your bucket list.

 

Here are 15 amazing reasons why a visit to Albany is a must!

 

1. York Street

 

York StreetPhoto: bosso.com.au

 

Albany’s main thoroughfare, the charming York Street is lined with shops, cafes and restaurants while boasting a lovely view of the Princess Royal Harbour.

 

 

 

2. Old Convict Gaol Museum

 

Old Convict Gaol MuseumPhoto: Ozimages

 

Have a fascinating look at the era of convicts in the 1800’s at the Old Gaol Museum. Wander through the cell blocks reading the plaques about the colourful and dark history of the gaol. You can even book yourself into the special night tour and keep an eye out for ghosts said to haunt the place! Built by and for convicts in 1852, the Old Convict Gaol served as a convict hiring depot, a civil prison and was even used as a storage shed before being turned into a museum.

 

3. National ANZAC Centre

 

National Anzac CentrePhoto: nationalanzaccentre.com.au

 

Be moved and pay tribute to the Australian and New Zealand forces who served in World War I at the extraordinary National Anzac Centre, Australia’s most important cultural pilgrimages. Overlooking the stunning bay, the National ANZAC Centre lets you experience the World War I legend that shaped a nation. The state-of-the-art museum uses multimedia, interactive exhibits and historical artefacts to create a deeply personal connection with the past.

 

4. The King George Sound

 

King George SoundPhoto: Anita T.

 

Take in the incredible and spectacular views of The King George Sound, one of the finest natural harbours of Western Australia’s south coast. With its inlets, small islands and harbours, it forms a scenic and picturesque landscape. The best way to explore the area is to go on a scenic cruise but you can also drive to the west-end side of the peninsula. From there you can enjoy a majestic view of the Princess Royal Harbour and the King George Sound.

 

5. Albany Heritage Park

 

Albany Heritage ParkPhoto:  tourism1000

 

Go on an ultimate heritage destination that offers natural, cultural and historical attractions- from wildflowers to Aboriginal and European cultural sites including military installations at Princess Royal Fortress and the National Anzac Centre. Explore the park by car, bike or foot to discover the wonders of the Great Southern, including the region’s highest lookouts offering breathtaking views to the Stirling Ranges, Princess Royal Harbour and King George Sound.

 

6. Little Beach at Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve

 

Little BeachPhoto: 101bestbeaches.com

 

With its crystal clear turquoise water and spectacular views across Two Peoples Bay to Mount Manypeaks, Little Beach is stunningly beautiful. Postcard perfect, its pristine sand and calm waters recently made it as one of Australia’s best beaches.

 

7. Albany’s Historic Whaling Station

 

Albany’s Historic Whaling StationPhoto: BertandCathie

 

Join a tour of the Historic Whaling Station and explore an intact whale processing factory and whale chasing ship that is fully restored. Hear about how it was in the whaling industry from days gone by. This interactive museum of whales is the only experience of its kind in the world. You can also spot migrating humpbacks and blue whales from the shore or see them up close on board a whale watching cruise.

 

 

 

8. Brig Amity

 

Brig AmityPhoto: amazingalbany.com.au

 

Walk up the deck and step back in time aboard the impressive Brig Amity to find out what life was like aboard a convict ship in 1826! The Brig Amity is a full-scale replica of the original vessel which brought the first white settlers to Albany.

 

9. Albany Wind Farm

 

Albany Wind FarmPhoto: ialmostforgot

 

Witness the majestic giant windmills at the Albany Wind Farm, and the miraculous 360-degree views afforded by the surrounding walk trails. The stunning scenic coastline is breathtaking along with the powerful wind turbines which is one of the largest in Australia. Sitting atop an escarpment, the wind turbines produce 80% of the electricity requirements of Albany.

 

10. Torndirrup National Park 

 

Torndirrup National Park Photo: thewest.com.au

 

This wild and rugged coastal park is known for its spectacular wave-carved rock formations including the famous Natural Bridge, The Gap and the Blowholes. From towering granite cliffs to white sandy beaches, amazing views and wonderful walks, Torndirrup National Park is definitely one of the most impressive and diverse national parks in Australia.

 

11. Great Southern Region Wineries

 

Great Southern Region WineriesPhoto: proximo.com.au

 

Drop into some of Albany’s most famous wineries for a wine tasting. Taste the award-winning wines and spirits including farm fresh yabbies and trout, olive and sandalwood products. Try the freshly shucked Albany oysters, boutique goat cheese and much more!

 

12. Middleton Beach

 

Middleton BeachPhoto: amazingalbany.com.au

 

With its gentle waves and close proximity to York Street, Middleton Beach has become one of the most popular beaches in Albany, especially for families. Fish off the Middleton Beach jetty or just sit and enjoy the fresh air. You can also eat at nearby cafes or embark on a walk up Ellen Cove Boardwalk. Middleton Beach is also a popular whale-watching spot.

 

13. The Old Farm at Strawberry Hill

 

The Old FarmPhoto: The Old Farm

 

Take a leisurely walk through the restored two-storey stone house called The Old Farm. Established in 1827, The Old Farm at Strawberry Hill is the oldest farm in Western Australia. This National-Trust owned farm features antiques and artefacts that belonged to the original owner. It is home to the first Government Resident in Albany, Captain Sir Richard Spencer RN and his descendants.

 

14. Great Southern Distilling Company

 

Great Southern Distilling CompanyPhoto: Experience Oz

 

Have a taste of Western Australia’s first single malt whiskey at the Great Southern Distilling Company. Perched on the Royal Princess Harbour in Albany, they have been distilling handmade Australian Whisky and spirits including brandy, gin, absinthe and grappe. Chosen not only for the picturesque views, Albany became the distillery’s home for the cooler, marine environment and wealth of barley, peat and the crystal clear water that go into their boutique Limeburners and Tiger Snake whiskies.

 

15. Albany Farmers Market and Albany Boatshed Markets

 

Farmers MarketPhoto: foodiecravings.com.au

 

Get your baskets ready and fill them with Albany’s fresh gourmet and seasonal products. On Saturday or Sunday mornings, Albany hosts bustling farmers markets which offer the freshest local produce and seafood, live entertainment and arts and crafts. The range of products includes not only fruits and vegetables but also organic beef and lamb, free-range pork, bacon, ham and chicken, honey, bread, cow and goat yoghurt, olive oils, eggs, preserves and much more!