We headed south-west down the coast straight to Albany from Fitzgerald River National Park, our lack of gas and hence refrigeration, denying us the pleasure of some nice coastal free camping.  We were going to spend the next few nights on power at the Big4 at Middleton Beach which came highly recommended by Julian’s brother – at least until we got our gas sorted.  The boys eyes lit up as we entered past the rock fountain complete with seals and sea birds, and the large heated pool and spa! “wow – this place is fancy”.  It certainly takes the cake for being the most resort-like of our stays so far – the family bathroom even had a huge triangular spa bath!

We ended up staying five nights in Albany – we were all impressed with how beautiful it was (despite the clouds and daily rain showers) and there was plenty to do.  It felt rushed trying to fit everything in but we’re on a deadline to get to Perth now, so time is limited.  The beauty in and around Albany comes from the granite mountains which are all along the amazing coast line.  Lots of national parks and nature reserves border spectacular beaches with clear blue water.  Beautiful.  I have already told Julian we are coming back here for at least 2 months for a holiday once the kids leave home!


Dog Rock and the Dog Squad

Once Julian had sorted the gas leak out and got replacement parts our days were filled up with day trips to Two Peoples Bay (which includes Little Beach and Waterfall Beach), the Porongurup NP to climb a wild and windy but amazing Castle Rock, and Discovery Bay (formally known as Whale World).

little beach_two peoples bay_sLittle Beach at Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve

waterfall beach_two peoples bay_sWaterfall Beach – just round the corner from Little Beach. The boys and I enjoyed a refreshing swim before the clouds and rain rolled in.




Waterfall Beach


Two Peoples Bay


View across Two Peoples Bay


Balancing Rock – Porongurup NP

DSC_1021Views on the climb to the top of Castle Top Rock – Porongurup NP



Even higher up – the 7m climb to the top lookout, a steel walkway around the outside of the rock made it feel as though you were walking on “thin-air” (unfortunately too rainy and windy at the top for any good pics) – Porongurup NP


The boys loved, loved, loved the Cheyne IV at Discovery Bay – the last whaling ship to work out of Albany, indeed out of Australia.



We also spent time in Albany itself at the National Anzac Centre and surrounds, the Boat Shed markets (spectacular sorbet and yummy sourdough), the Museum (of course) and the replica of the Brig Amity – which brought first settlers to WA (at Sam’s request – how could we possibly miss anything boat related).


Viewing platform at the National Anzac Centre.


Below deck on the Brig Amity.

Julian still managed to find time to take lots of lovely photos and fit in a quick loop of the downhill mountain bike course on Mount Clarence.

We have just clicked over 65 days of travel which means still 300 days to go!  Packing and unpacking has finally become almost automatic – still tedious but not requiring as much thinking.  Some nights I wake up and have to think hard to figure out what’s outside the van – call me strange but I like to have a mental picture of my surrounds at night. With so much traveling it’s easy to lose track!  For all those feeling wistful at home traveling is not a relaxing holiday or like camping at all.  It is amazing to see so many things but it is rather tiring at the same time (excluding our very relaxed week at Lucky Bay).  Still, I can’t deny that it beats work 😉 !!

8 thoughts on “Albany

  1. We always loved Albany and had many holidays there …at Middleton Beach! Did you notice the seashells in our bathroom?…they were collected on Middleton Beach by my mother on their one visit to us in Perth in the 70’s!
    We love all your photos which bring back happy memories of our visits to all those places with our little girls.
    It is a pity that you have to rush to Perth to catch the Ellises and Thornes before thy go away for Easter. Give everyone our love, please.

    • Hi Adrienne,
      Yes, we both agreed that we would love at least a month or so to explore all the nooks and crannys round Albany – if only it were 10 or so degrees warmer, it would be perfect! Although locals tell us they live there because it is cooler. It would have been lovely to spend some more time around Elephant Rocks and Greens Pool as well, but least there was time to ride a section of the Munda Biddi bike trail as well as drop a line and catch a lovely bream for dinner. The boys loved snorkelling. The water was 22 C, which for us is great, but those from Perth thought we were crazy! I climbed the Bicentennial tree a few days ago, which was good fun. I’m actually glad there are some things you can still do which are physically challenging, and with the risks clearly outlined, are at your discretion to attempt. Caveat emptor! All’s well from very sunny Manjimup. Off to Bunbury today after a very relaxing start. Lots of love, Julian

  2. PS The lookout over the harbour seems to be very sophisticated now. It was just a path and clearing in the bush with a simple stone monument, as I recall.

  3. James, I did enjoy your story about the Nullabor. Did Julian tell you about the chap who walked from Ceduna to Albany – Edward Eyre? How would you have liked to walk with him? He had an Aborigine with him called Wylie. One day he was so hungry he ate a whole kangaroo! Now you will know why the road across the Nullabor is known as the Eyre Highway. I thought you would like to visit the Dog Rock in Albany. Yesterday was Julian’s birthday – did you make him a birthday cake? I hope you have fun in Perth meeting up with cousins – of yours, Julian’s and mine. Love from Pa

    • Dear Pa, I hope all is well and we did take a picture of us standing in front of Dog Rock. There was lots of things to do in Albany including my favourite which was going to the National Anzac Centre. The National ANZAC Centre as my favourite because you get to follow the story of an exact person which in my case was Joseph Eric Pearcy. You asked about Daddy’s birthday and we did not make him a cake, we bought him two cakes. We read about John Eyre in Port Augusta at the Wadlata outback Centre. Right now we’re in a place called Fonty’s Pool, just outside Manjimup in WA. There’s also a really cool adventure playground in Manjiump and we went there two days ago. On Saturday Daddy is going to have a late birthday present, which is going to watch the rally cars in Busselton. Love from James

  4. Hi JKSJ,
    Grandma and me liked Albany very much when we visited many years ago.
    It is such a pity that it is so far away, from almost everyone.
    Glad you enjoyed Albany
    Love Grandpa.