Take one of the world`s great natural harbours, rated as the biggest, safest, deepest and most sheltered on the coast of Western Australia anywhere south of Shark Bay. Add superlatives about scenic and townscape beauty, garnish with touches from the history of what was the first settlement in the west, and you begin to know something about Albany.
Albany port has evolved along the northern shore of Princess Royal Harbour, an embayed inner segment of King George Sound discovered and named in 1791. Settlement followed in 1826, when the brig Amity from Sydney landed a small detachment of soldiers with a working party of convicts, to establish formal possession of the West. Today`s attractions include a full scale reproduction of the brig on the foreshore site of the landing.
Albany is a heritage town, and looks the part, with services essential to modern tourism, ranging from a commuter airport, hire cars and buses, to top-rated medical care, and even internet cafes- have a cappuccino while using the email.
All of this is set in a region famed for its thousand-million-year-old granite coast, forests of giant trees, coastal hills, farmland plains, pristine beaches and scenery ranging from the rugged to the exquisite. Of the five or six thousand named species of plants that make Western Australia `The Wildflower State`, about 75 per cent fall within a half-day return trip from Albany.
An artist`s and photographer`s dream, a whale watcher`s paradise, Albany is also where you can simply enjoy a town for wandering along Main Street.