Visitors Commonly spend a day on the Torndirrup Peninsular sightseeing. Must see attractions in the area include a distillery, Albany Wind Farm, The Gap and Natural Bridge lookouts, Sharpe Point in the wildflower season, Stony Hill, Frenchman Bay, The Bald Head Walk and the half day experience exploring Discovery Bay's Historic Whaling Station, Botanic Garden and Wildlife Park. Pictured below, The Gap lookout, extending metres over the granite cliffs to view the dramatic coastline and waves. Image by Parks and Wildlife WA.
The King George Sound at Albany was the site of Western Australia’s first European settlement, settled several years before the Swan River Colony in Perth. Albany’s safe anchorages attracted many sailing ships in the early years of exploration of the Australian coastline. European settlement began in 1826 (at the location then known as King George Sound) and Albany grew into a thriving port during the 19th and 20th centuries. It served as a gateway to the Eastern Goldfields and, for many years, it was the colony's only deep-water port, and a place of importance for shipping services between Britain and its Australian colonies.
Albany plays a central role in the ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) legend, being the last port of call for troopships departing Australia in the First World War. Albany was the last place in Australia that the ANZACs saw (and in most cases, ever saw) and is therefore a prominent memorial. The first ever recorded Dawn Service was conducted by Anglican Chaplain Padre White (44th Battalion AIF) on 25 April 1923 atop Mount Clarence, and has been held ever since with several thousand people participating each year. November 1, 2014 marks 100 years since the largest detachment of ANZAC troops departed Australia, many never to return.
Historic Albany Sites
Albany’s past has been carefully restored and preserved and is now on display to educate, amaze and entertain visitors of all ages. The old whaling station, Discovery Bay is now a fascinating museum and is well worth a visit. Climb aboard the Cheynes IV whaling vessel or visit the Giants of the Sea exhibit. It is not uncommon to see whales breaching and playing close to the station, where they once were harvested.
The impressive ship on the Albany foreshore is a full-scale replica of the Brig Amity, which brought the first settlers and convicts to Albany in 1826 on Christmas Day. Climb aboard and go below the decks to follow the story of the Amity’s journey from Sydney to King George Sound. Image by Gan Eden Photography.
Views from Padre White lookout above the Desert Mounted Corps War Memorial on Mount Clarence are magnificent and provide a reminder of Albany’s link to the Anzac legend.
Festivals and the Arts
Albany hosts numerous festivals, exhibitions and fairs throughout the year. Fine wine, music, wineries, cafés and art galleries complete the areas cultural offerings. Well known architect George T. Poole designed the building which now houses the Vancouver Arts Centre which has artistic workshops and exhibitions. The new Albany Entertainment Centre opened in December 2010. It features unique architecture and a 620 seat theatre with scenic views of the Princess Royal Harbour. The centre plays host to national and international shows. Be sure to see what’s on during your stay. Image by Alison Paine.
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