Your Ultimate Guide to Albany
20th July 2020
Albany in a nutshell
Surrounded by rugged coastline and out-of-this-world beaches, Albany is a fabulous getaway option for those living in Perth. Placed on the southern tip of Western Australia, this sweet little city was the first European settlement in Western Australia. At the time of this settlement, Albany became home to a convict population and then hosted a long-lasting whaling industry.
It is safe to say that Albany in Western Australia has a rich past, and its fascinating heritage is very much visible today. Resultantly, on top of dramatic seaside scenes and abundant nature, in Albany you can expect to find over 50 charming colonial buildings, each housing museums, galleries, restaurants and more.
An ideal getaway from Perth
The Albany Highway offers people based in Western Australia’s capital a simple 5 hour route to the coastal city. Naturally then, when it comes to seeking Weekend Escape spots in Western Australia, this place is an absolute favourite. There are lots of things to do in Albany, for families, couples, adventure-seekers and solo travellers. Bountiful beaches allow for exploration and lazy days spent in the sun, meanwhile access to the magnificent ocean in this stunning part of Western Australia, opens up possibilities for surfing, diving, fishing and swimming. On top of this, in Albany you can also find world-class wines and a selection of excellent restaurants, bars and cafes are around every corner.
If you’re seeking a getaway destination this year, Albany offers pretty much everything you’d need from a WA Weekend Escape. Book a couple of nights at one of the many hotels in Albany and head south. Leave the rest up to us. This Ultimate Guide to Albany will provide you with everything you need to know about the WA coastal paradise. Below, find information about what to do in Albany, where to eat in Albany and finally where to stay in Albany.
To discover our recommendation for accommodation in Albany, scroll to the bottom of this Ultimate Guide and click the link to reveal our top choice!
Things to do in Albany
Head to some Albany beaches
It has already been made very clear that Albany is famous for its captivating coastline and serene beaches. Therefore, during a weekend in Albany, it’s likely that you’ll want to spend some time at the beach. Popular Middleton Beach is utterly stunning and provides everything you’d want from a lazy afternoon at the seaside. Soft white sand and gentle rolling waves also make this spot very family friendly.
For picturesque views – some of the best in Western Australia – head to Little Beach at Two People’s Bay Nature Reserve. Voted one of the best beaches in Western Australia, you can’t go wrong. Emu Point Beach is another of the most beautiful beaches in Albany. Calm shallow waters provide kayakers with perfect conditions.
Go to the Albany Farmers Market
The freshest of seafood, meats, eggs, vegetables, fruits, dairy and much more, can be found at Albany Farmers Market. Locally grown and exclusively from Western Australia, the produce here is seasonal, whilst the community atmosphere is very friendly. Head here on a Saturday morning and wander through the market, chatting to locals. Grab a few souvenirs and enjoy the fabulous tastes of Albany back at home in Perth.
Explore the Albany Wind Farm
Albany is one of the windiest parts of Western Australia and the Albany winds frequently blow in the afternoon. This makes the spot ideal for renewable energy. Near Albany itself, a number of wind turbines have been installed across two wind farms. In total, 18 wind turbines stand tall as a statement of the local eco-friendly attitude. Roughly 109,000 tonnes of gas emissions are saved each year due to the establishment of these Albany wind turbines. Head six kilometres out of town and explore the wind farms as you hike along the rugged coastline. Observe the magnificent wind turbines that line the shore up close as they work their magic, even on days with relatively light winds.
Go to Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve
A trip to Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve has to be on your list of things to do in Albany. Flourishing with wildlife and luscious greenery, the nature reserve is a section of perfectly pristine coastal scenery. The sound of birds and all kinds of living creatures create a vibrant atmosphere here and a handful of natural, empty beaches add to the feeling of wildness. A visit to Little Beach or Waterfall Beach will be as close to paradise as you can get in the South West. Take a hike here, or opt for morning lounging on the beautiful white sands of some of the best beaches in Western Australia.
Discover Tornidirrup National Park
Another fabulous spot to explore some of Albany’s nature and dramatic coastline is at Tornidirrup National Park. Rugged and wild, the coastal spot is famous for its interesting natural rock formations. These include a handful of Blowholes as well as The Gap. One of the most famous things to see in Albany, The Gap is a huge cavern within which powerful waves crash, causing a big splash and an impressive sight. Stand 24 metres up and look down into the swirling seas. Walk through the national park and find numerous lookouts where you can gaze out to sea. Throughout the park, you’ll find blankets of brightly coloured wildflowers, all framed with the gorgeous backdrop of the deep blue.
Visit the National Anzac Centre
At the National Anzac Centre, learn a little about the Australian and New Zealand soldiers who fought in WWI. Explore the museum filled with interactive exhibits and historical artefacts. The National Anzac Centre has sought to tell the story of the world wars through the voices of soldiers themselves, making for a very emotional and personal experience. For those interested in architecture, even the building itself is striking. Contemporary, dramatic design and a view out to sea make for a very interesting spectacle.
Hike a part of the Bibbulmun Track
One of the world’s greatest hikes can be found starting (or ending) in Albany. The Bibbulmun Track, stretching across the lengthy distance from Perth to Albany, is roughly 1000km long. Winding through the very heart of the most scenic parts of South West, Western Australia, the track meanders through the country of the Nyoongar people. Taking six to eight weeks, it’s unlikely you’ll be walking to Albany for your Western Australia weekend escape. However, you can visit the track and hike a small section. The final stages of the walk – along the south coast of Western Australia – are stunning. Involving tracks across long pristine beaches, this final section is great just to join for a day, in order to explore some of the sandy WA coastline.
Try some Albany wines
One of the best thing to do in Albany, is to try some local wines. With a fabulous reputation for excellent quality wines, the Great Southern Wine region in many ways rivals its famous wine-region neighbour, Margaret River. Orange Tractor Wine is a beautiful place to start. Known to be sustainable, organic and fond of all things natural, the wholesome atmosphere of this place shines through. A wonderfully rustic tasting room and extensive organic gardens make for a truly romantic Western Australian setting.
Named as one of the twenty five best cellar doors in Australia, Wignall Wines is a must-visit in Albany. Only six kilometres from the centre of Albany, this quaint Albany winery offers a rural setting and has a large lawn and garden area. A diverse selection of high-quality wines are available. Pop down and treat your tastebuds to a taste of the Great Southern Wine Region.
Sip on some whiskey at a distillery in Albany
If you’re into whiskys, or simply looking for something a little different, head to Great Southern Distillery’s cellar door in Albany. Open all week, the cellar door looks across the waters of Princess Royal Harbour. Learn a little about spirits from staff who live and breathe all things whisky. Opt for a tasting of Limeburners Whisky, Tiger Snake Whiskey and Giniversity Gin as well as other bespoke spirits. Alternatively, choose to have a light lunch or a whisky tasting paddle, paired with scrumptious local produce.
Take the Albany Heritage Walk Trail
To explore the town of Albany and to learn about its rich history and bountiful heritage, take the Albany Heritage Walk Trail. With 17 sites of interest along the way, you’ll discover things you might not otherwise notice. Meandering through the town, the trail leads you past the harbour and past numerous sites. Stop at the Old Gaol – initially constructed in 1850 as the Albany convict hiring depot – and let your imagination run wild within the walls of this haunting piece of Australian history. Also on the Albany Heritage Walk Trail, stop to see the oldest “surviving dwelling” in Western Australia. Built in 1832, the house is surrounded by a sweet little garden.
Go whale watching
Before heading to see the whales in the wild, you might like to look around Albany Whale Museum, which uncovers the intricacies of the whaling industry that dominated in Albany for many years. Ending as late as 1978 due to a collapse in the price of whale oil, the whaling industry thrived here in South West Western Australia from the beginning of European settlement.
Having learned a little about this somewhat dark historical occurrence, you will want to see some whales as they frolic freely in the wild. Albany is a great place to go whale watching during the winter months. Humpback and Southern Right whales come very close to the Albany shores for annual calving each year between June and October. Head to Bremer Bay or Point Ann for your best chance to catch a glimpse of the majestic creatures.
Go surfing in Albany
The coastline in the South West of Australia offers some truly amazing surf, and has been a surfing Mecca for many years. A surfing lifestyle has been ingrained into local culture for around 50 years here, all the way from Margaret River to Albany. Whilst in Albany, try a trip to Muttonbird Island. Suitable for beginners as well as those with a bit of practise, this is a beautiful spot to give surfing a go. Meanwhile, giving lessons in Blossoms Beach, Bremer Bay, as well as Ocean Beach (only 30 minutes away in Denmark), Mike from South Coast Surfing Lessons could help you learn the basics. Why not immerse yourself in the south west and give surfing in Albany, Western Australia a try?
Restaurants and cafes in Albany
Cafes in Albany
During a trip to the South West, you’ll likely be in search of a great coffee or a tasty snack to keep you going throughout the day. At The Alkaline Cafe – a vegetarian cafe packed with wonderful treats and excellent hot beverages – you’ll be spoiled for choice. A cosy Scandinavian vibe and plentiful plants scattered throughout, give this casual hang-out a very relaxing feel. Alternatively, at Vancouver Street Cafe, find delicious cakes and treats, wonderful coffee and friendly staff. Set on an Albany street corner, Vancouver Street Cafe has a very relaxed atmosphere and feels completely homely.
Restaurants in Albany
For some pub classics, as well as some Asian inspired and Spanish inspired dishes, head to Six Degrees. Live music on almost an everyday basis, as well as a wonderful selection of beers, ciders and wines make this place super lively. Eat outside under a parasol and watch the world go by at Six Degrees. Alternatively, for out of this world Indian cuisine, head to Albany Indian Tandoori Restaurant. Delectable favourites such as butter chicken and lamb korma are crafted to perfection here.
For something utterly special, a lunch or dinner at Garrison will do the trick. Gorgeous coastal views make for an idyllic lunch setting at one of the best restaurants in Albany. Sharing dishes across the menu encourage you to try a multitude of different dishes. Meanwhile, the fresh local produce used in all meals is served up by passionate and skilful chefs. If you’re after a trusted establishment and a hearty dinner, Angus & Co. Bar and Grill is the ideal choice for you. At this modern restaurant, contemporary twists are applied to scrumptious classics such as burgers, schnitzels, steaks and salads. Head here for a relaxed atmosphere and delicious, hearty cuisine.
Book your trip to Albany
It takes five hours to get from Perth to Albany by car, making a two night escape perfectly feasible. Albany in Western Australia is famous for gorgeous beaches and rocky coastline, wild natural landscapes and a quaint, small town atmosphere. A Weekend Escape to Albany might be just what you’re after. Looking for hotels in Albany? Take a look at our recommendation. Get your choice of accommodation in Albany just right.
Centrally and conveniently located, ibis Styles Albany Hotel, is a great choice of accommodation in Albany. Offering a range of comfortable rooms to suit both business and leisure travel needs, the hotel is set within green gardens and provides a tranquil spot for your WA Weekend Escape. With spacious rooms on offer – including family rooms – you’ll find exactly what you need here. ibis Styles Albany is the perfect base to discover the gorgeous city down south.
Grab yourself a comfortable room at ibis Styles in Albany this winter and spend a weekend exploring the dramatic and heavenly coastal city of Albany.