Albany is a town in the great southern region of Western Australia’s South West. Despite being a port city, it is a popular tourist destination with stunning white sand beaches and incredible natural wonders. Albany is located 418km southeast of Perth, the state capital.
The name of the area in the Nyungar language is Kinjarling, which is said to mean “place of plenty”, most likely referring to plenty of rain. Albany was originally a military outpost named Frederick Town in honour of the son of King George III, Prince Frederick, the Duke of York and Albany. On 7 March 1831, it was formally proclaimed part of the Swan River Colony, and in 1832 the name was changed to Albany. Due to Albany being Western Australia’s oldest colonial settlement, there’s a lot of history here and many heritage buildings.
The rugged coastline is breathtaking, and you can see whales migrating during the southern migration season in late May until early October.
Albany’s primary industries are tourism, fishing, timber, and agriculture. From 1952 to 1978, whaling was a major source of employment, but (thankfully) The Whaling Station closed operations in 1978. However, it has been converted to a whaling museum and features one of the ‘Cheynes’ whale chasers used for whaling in Albany.
Some of the most popular activities in Albany include fishing, surfing, swimming, diving, hiking, four-wheel-driving, and trying some of the region’s world-class wine.
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How to get to Albany from Perth
International visitors will land at Perth Airport. You can find details about visas, prohibited items, currency, and safety in this Australia Travel Guide.
If you haven’t booked your flight yet, look at our travel resources to find out how to get the best flight deals.
Flights from Perth to Albany
At present, only REX (Regional Express) is flying to Albany from Perth. The average flight time is just over an hour and costs around $280 return. The prices rise considerably at peak times, like summer school holidays.
The downside to flying is that a vehicle is needed to get to most of Albany’s best places. Also, the only option from the airport is a taxi or car hire. Therefore, budget on renting a car when you get there.
There are car hire booths at Perth airport, but it’s best to pre-book your car rental. We use Europcar within Australia due to their good reputation and competitive prices. See what deals they have here.
You can either travel the direct route via Albany Highway or take the longer but more picturesque way through the Margaret River region. This in-depth post about the two road trips from Perth to Albany provides essential information, tips, and itineraries for your drive to Albany, including where to stop on the way.
The Ultimate Perth to Albany
A Perth to Albany road trip through the spectacular Margaret River region should be on every traveller’s bucket list. Stop at the very best places Australia’s South West has to offer.
Perth to Albany Bus
TransWA buses run from East Perth to Albany and take about 6 hours. Return tickets start at $67. As with flying, it is best to hire a car upon arrival in Albany.
How far is the Perth to Albany drive?
It’s a 415km Perth to Albany road trip and will take around 4.5 hours without stops. This direct route is via Albany Highway (also called State Route 30) and is a relatively straight road and sealed all the way.
Read: Perth to Albany Road Trip for more information.
During Summer (Dec-Feb), high temperatures average 22°C and minimums about 15°C. Summer is the driest time of year. The sea temp is the warmest from January to March at just over 19°C.
Winter (Jun-Aug), the maximum average drops down to 16°C and the minimum 8°C. Winter is also the wettest time of year.
My choice for the best time to visit Albany would be January, February, March, April, October, November, or December.
A Brief History of Albany WA
I want to respectfully acknowledge the Minang Noongar People who are the Traditional Owners and First People of these lands. I would like to pay my respect to the Elders past, present, and future for they hold the memories, the traditions, the culture, and hopes of the Minang People.
Minang People have occupied this region for over 50,000 years and traditionally lived in the coastal regions during the summer months, then moved inland for shelter in winter.
Albany was sighted by several European visitors long before it was settled by the British:
1627 Dutchman François Thijssen
1792 Frenchman Bruni d’Entrecasteaux
1801 Englishman Matthew Flinders
1826 Frenchman Dumont d’Urville
Major Edmund Lockyer arrived onboard the Brig Amity from Sydney in 1826 to become the first European settlement in Western Australia. Noongar often led explorers through the area as their intimate knowledge of the land and its waterways was invaluable to the British. Many of the original walking tracks used by Minang Noongar eventually became roads.
One Minang Noongar, Mokare, became an intermediary, guide, and good friend of several settlers to the region, particularly Captain Collet Barker. Mokare died in June 1831, most likely from influenza introduced by the British, and was buried close to what is now the Albany Town Hall.
As time went on, tensions grew, and violence erupted as Europeans made their way further inland, using up resources and intruding on Noongar land. You can read more about the Minang history and culture on the Noongar Culture website.
Governor Stirling named Albany in 1832 after the Duke of York and Albany.
The Gold Rush in the 1890s brought more settlers. It was during this time that many of the historic buildings were built along Stirling Terrace.
The whaling industry started due to the lack of minerals for mining and inadequate opportunities for farming and didn’t stop until 1978.
Population of Albany WA
According to the 2016 census, 33,145 people were living in Albany at that time.
How Big is Albany WA?
Albany covers an area of 297.2 km².
More towns close to Albany
Denmark is a small town situated between Walpole and Albany. It takes about 45 minutes from Denmark to Walpole and 40 minutes to Albany.
Walpole is a small quaint town but makes an ideal place to stop on the way to Denmark or Albany.
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