Albany is just over 400 kilometres south-east from Perth. It is a dramatic part of Australia's coastline with rugged mountains that touch the sea. Here are essentials to see and do.
Stirling Range National Park. This is just one of the terrific wilderness spaces to explore. The Stirling Range is the only major mountain range in the southern half of Western Australia. It has rugged peaks and rich diversity. It's known for its wildflowers, there are over 1500 species in the park, some of which only grow there, so it is recognised as one of the most important site for flora in the world.
Whale watching in Albany. Albany is known for whale-watching. Southern-right whales, and humpbacks travel the coastline from June to October. There are several tour boat companies that can take you out onto the water, but you can also glimpse the whales from shore. Walk the Ellen Cove Boardwalk, a six-kilometre walkway following from Point King around the Princess Royal Harbour to the Albany CBD. There is a whale watching look-out along the route.
The National Anzac Centre. The National Anzac Centre opened on November 1st 2014, exactly 100 years since the first convoy of soldiers left Albany for the beaches of Gallipoli. The centre uses interactive and multi-media technology to walk visitors through the story of the soldiers in the Great War.
It may be one of the furthest-flung corners of Australia, but Albany is a worthwhile stop on a Western Australian road-trip. It is 412 kilometres from the state capital of Perth, so expect a four and a half hour drive. It is serviced by a newly upgraded airport, and Virgin Australia flies between Albany and Perth daily. It has fascinating history, it is the oldest permanently settled region in Western Australia, older than Perth or Fremantle by a couple of years. It's a port city, and was the departure point for the Anzac soldiers from Australia to Gallipoli.
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