Albany, Western Australia

Last updated

Western Australia
York Street Albany.jpg
York Street in Albany
Australia Western Australia location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Coordinates 35°01′22″S117°52′53″E / 35.022778°S 117.881389°E / -35.022778; 117.881389 (Albany) OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
Population35,053 (2021) [1]  (44th)
 • Density117.944/km2 (305.47/sq mi)
Established26 December 1826
Postcode(s) 6330
Elevation26 m (85 ft)
Area297.2 km2 (114.7 sq mi) [2] (2011 urban)
Time zone AWST (UTC+8)
LGA(s) City of Albany
State electorate(s) Albany
Federal division(s) O'Connor
Mean max tempMean min tempAnnual rainfall
19.5 °C
67 °F
11.7 °C
53 °F
929.6 mm
36.6 in
Albany Entertainment Centre, opened December 2010. Albany Entertainment Centre 2011 SMC.jpg
Albany Entertainment Centre, opened December 2010.
Port of Albany Port of Albany.jpg
Port of Albany
Albany, 1874 by Sir Whately Eliot Albany Australia 1874.jpg
Albany, 1874 by Sir Whately Eliot
York Street in the centre of Albany York Street Albany WA.jpg
York Street in the centre of Albany
Saint Joseph Catholic Church in Albany St Joseph Albany 2.JPG
Saint Joseph Catholic Church in Albany

Albany ( /ˈælbəni/ AL-bən-ee; [lower-alpha 1] [3] Nyungar : Kinjarling) is a port city in the Great Southern region in the Australian state of Western Australia, 418 kilometres (260 mi) southeast of Perth, the state capital. The city centre is at the northern edge of Princess Royal Harbour, which is a part of King George Sound. The central business district is bounded by Mount Clarence to the east and Mount Melville to the west. The city is in the local government area of the City of Albany. While it is the oldest colonial, although not European, [lower-alpha 2] settlement in Western Australia [lower-alpha 3] —predating Perth and Fremantle by over two years—it was a semi-exclave of New South Wales for over four years until it was made part of the Swan River Colony.


The settlement was founded on 26 December 1826 as a military outpost of New South Wales for the purpose of forestalling French ambitions in the region. [4] :61 To that end, on 21 January 1827, the commander of the outpost, Major Edmund Lockyer, formally took possession for the British Crown of the portion of New Holland not yet claimed by the Crown; that is, the portion west of the 129th meridian east, with the portion east already being claimed collectively by the Crown as New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land. [5] During the last decade of the 19th century, the town served as a gateway to the Eastern Goldfields. For many years, it was the colony's only deep-water port, having a place of eminence on shipping services between Britain and its Australian colonies. The opening of the Fremantle Inner Harbour in 1897, [6] :51–55 however, saw its importance as a port decline, after which the town's industries turned primarily to agriculture, timber and later, whaling.

Contemporary Albany is the southern terminus for tourism in the region, and the state's south west, [7] which is known for its natural environment and preservation of its heritage. The town has a role in the ANZAC legend, being the last port of call for troopships departing Australia in the First World War. On 1 November 2014, the Australian and New Zealand Prime Ministers opened the National Anzac Centre in Mount Clarence, Albany, to commemorate 100 years since the first ANZAC troops departed from King George Sound. Approximately 40,000 people attended the commemoration events held between 30 October and 2 November 2014. [8]

An auxiliary submarine base for the US Navy's 7th Fleet was developed during the Second World War in the event the submarine base at Fremantle was lost. Also in the harbour was a Royal Australian Navy naval installation which provided for refuelling from four 5,100-tonne (5,000-long-ton) fuel tanks. [9] :26


Upon its establishment in 1826, the settlement was named Frederick Town in honour of Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany. [10] [11] [12] In 1831, the settlement was transferred to the control of the Swan River Colony and renamed Albany by Lieutenant-Governor James Stirling. [13] :55–115

The name of the area in the Nyungar language of the Menang people is Kinjarling, which has been said to mean "place of plenty" and "place of rain". [14] [15] [16] In 2020, the City of Albany began, as part of an official dual-naming project, to give prominence to "Kinjarling" as the city's Aboriginal name. [14]

Early history

Kinjarling was home to Menang Noongar tribes during the summer season. [17] Early British explorers recorded evidence of fish traps located on Emu Point and on the French, now the Kalgan, River. Vancouver made attempts to find the inhabitants of the area but only found bark dwellings that were unoccupied. Later explorers made contact and were told to leave, but were accepted when they did not. Most of the British exploration was undertaken to survey the land and sea to assess the profitability of resources. The explorers occasionally noted encounters with Noongars. Native treatment laws and programs have affected the tribes since settlement.

Heritage buildings

There are a number of heritage buildings in Albany; see List of heritage places in the City of Albany and Category:Heritage places in Albany, Western Australia. These include:

Some of the above information is derived from the State Heritage Register [19] where these places are registered. The assessment criteria contain more details.


As of the 2021 census, the urban population of Albany was 35,053 [1] making it the state's sixth-largest population centre. [20]


Ellen Cove, Middleton Beach, Albany Ellencove.JPG
Ellen Cove, Middleton Beach, Albany

The city centre of Albany is located between the hills of Mount Melville and Mount Clarence, which look down into Princess Royal Harbour. Many beaches surround Albany, with Middleton Beach being the closest to the town centre. Other popular beaches include Frenchman Bay and Muttonbird Island.

Albany is 418 km (260 mi) SSE of the state capital, Perth, to which it is linked by Albany Highway.

Wine region

Albany is a sub-region of the Great Southern region of Western Australia. [21]


King George Sound, painted in 1803 by William Westall King George Sound (WA) Westall.jpg
King George Sound, painted in 1803 by William Westall
View of Lake Seppings from Mount Clarence Lakeseppingmtclarence.jpg
View of Lake Seppings from Mount Clarence
Emu Point Boat pens and ramp Emu Point, Albany WA (3099307661).jpg
Emu Point Boat pens and ramp

The Albany coastline is notorious for deaths due to king waves washing people off rocks. The Torndirrup National Park features some of the more rugged coastline in the area. However, there are many beaches that are safe and usable.

Betty's Beach was named after Betty Jones, who used to go camping there with her family, and was initially called Betty's Bay. [22]

Frenchman Bay Beach is adjacent to the Torndirrup National Park, and was originally called Quarantine Bay, owing to the quarantine station set up by the British in 1826 on Mistaken Island at the northern end of Goode Beach [23]

Beach on the southern eastern side of Vancouver Peninsula Beach on the southern eastern side of Vancouver Peninsula.jpg
Beach on the southern eastern side of Vancouver Peninsula

Misery Beach, located 20 km (12 mi) south of Albany, was so named owing to the location of the whaling station at Albany that operated until 1978, causing offal to be washed ashore at Misery Beach and its sand and waters to be stained red. However, the beach was named Tourism Australia Best Beach 2022 by Tourism Australia, described a "[ticking] all the boxes of what the typical beachgoer is looking for — uncrowded, crystal-white sand, turquoise waters and a very dramatic granite backdrop". [24]

Other beaches include:


Albany has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate (Köppen Csb) with dry, warm summers, mild, wet winters, and pleasant springs and autumns. [25] :5 Summers have short spells of very hot weather, but cool ocean breeze brings relief, especially during evenings and nights. The city is situated on what is promoted as the "Rainbow Coast", an appropriate title given the frequency of days with both sun and drizzle or showers. Albany has 44.8 clear days annually, just slightly lower than Melbourne's 48.6 days.

July is the wettest month, with a long-term average of 144 mm (5.67 in). Rain in excess of 0.2 mm (0.01 in) occurs on two days out of every three during an average winter. The driest month is February with a mean of 22.9 mm (0.90 in).

Albany received a record amount of rain on 20 November 2008 when violent storms swept across the Great Southern region. The town was flooded after 113.8 mm (4.48 in) of rain fell in a 24-hour period, the highest amount recorded since rainfall records began in 1877. [26] The wettest month on record was June 1920 when 292.8 mm (11.5 in) fell, while February 1877 and February 1879 remain the only rainless months.

Climate data for Albany ( 35°02′S117°53′E / 35.03°S 117.88°E / -35.03; 117.88 ), 1991-2020, extremes since 1880
Record high °C (°F)41.7
Mean daily maximum °C (°F)22.6
Mean daily minimum °C (°F)16.3
Record low °C (°F)7.8
Average precipitation mm (inches)20.3
Average precipitation days (≥ 1 mm)
Source: Bureau of Meteorology [27] [28]
Climate data for Albany Airport
Record high °C (°F)45.6
Mean daily maximum °C (°F)24.8
Mean daily minimum °C (°F)13.7
Record low °C (°F)4.8
Average precipitation mm (inches)23.6
Average precipitation days (≥ 1mm)
Average afternoon relative humidity (%) (at 3 pm)55565861646868666565635762
Average dew point °C (°F)12.4
Mean monthly sunshine hours 251.1209.1204.6186.0167.4153.0170.5189.1189.0210.8222.0244.92,397.5
Source: Bureau of Meteorology (dew point at 3 pm) [29]


Sperm whale remains at the Albany Whaling Station in July 1977, the year before its closure 1977.07,08- 8 -42,43aS Sperm whale,whaling Albany,Western Australia,AU sat23-tue26jul1977.jpg
Sperm whale remains at the Albany Whaling Station in July 1977, the year before its closure
Wind farm at Albany Albany Wind Farm, Western Australia.jpg
Wind farm at Albany
Dog Rock (2006) Dog Rock Albany.jpg
Dog Rock (2006)
Princess Royal Harbour panorama

Albany's main industries are tourism, fishing, timber (wood chips) and agriculture. From 1952 to 1978 whaling was a major source of income and employment for the local population.

The Whaling Station, which closed operations in 1978 following a major conservation campaign, has been converted to a museum of whaling and features one of the 'Cheynes' whale chasers that were used for whaling in Albany. [30] The station was the last operating land based whaling station in the southern hemisphere and the English-speaking world at the time of closure. [31]

The Western Power Wind Farm is located at Sand Patch, to the west of Albany. The wind farm, originally commissioned in 2001 with 12 turbines, now has 18 turbines, driven by strong southerly winds, and can generate up to 80% [32] of the city's electricity usage. [33]

Albany has a number of historical sites including the Museum, Albany Convict Gaol, The Princess Royal Fortress (commonly known as The Forts) and Patrick Taylor Cottage, one of the oldest dwellings in Western Australia, c.1832. [34] Albany has a great deal of historical significance to Western Australia.

Natural sights along the rugged coastline include the 'Natural Bridge' and the 'Gap'. The beaches have pristine white sand. The destroyer HMAS Perth was sunk in King George Sound in 2001 as a dive wreck. [35] Albany is also close to two low mountain ranges, the Porongurups and Stirling Ranges.

Albany is the southern terminus of the Bibbulmun Track walking trail. [36]

Albany is the southern terminus of the Munda Biddi Trail off-road cycling trail. [37]

Albany is home to HMAS Albany (based in Darwin) and the adopted home port of the Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Anzac. Albany is frequently visited by other warships.


Albany has a city bus service run by Swan Transit with five town routes. Albany is connected to Perth with road-coach services via Walpole and Bunbury; via Katanning and Northam; via Kojonup and Williams. Transwa coaches also serve Jerramungup, Ravensthorpe and Hopetoun. [38]

Regional Express Airlines, a national independent regional airline, provides 23 services a week between Perth and Albany Airport using 34-passenger turboprop Saab 340 aircraft. [39] [40]

Albany was served by the Albany Progress passenger train from Perth until 1978. The railway station reopened as a tourist information centre in 1994. [41]


Albany radio stations include locally owned broadcaster GOLD MX and FLY FM as well as national broadcasters 783 Triple M (formerly 6VA and RadioWest), Vision FM, HitFM (formerly HOT FM), ABC Great Southern, ABC News, ABC Radio National, ABC Classic FM, Triple J, Racing Radio & Great Southern FM.

Below is a table showing the broadcast frequencies on which these services can be received.

ServiceBroadcast frequency
ABC Local Radio630 kHz AM
783 Triple M783 kHz AM
GOLD MX1611 kHz AM
Vision FM (Local)87.6 MHz FM
Fly FM88.0 MHz FM
ABC News92.1 MHz FM
Triple J92.9 MHz FM
Vision FM93.7 MHz FM
ABC Classic FM94.5 MHz FM
HitFM95.3 MHz FM
ABC Radio National96.9 MHz FM
Great Southern FM100.9 MHz FM
Racing Radio104.9 MHz FM
HitFM (Local)106.5 MHz FM

Localised television stations available in Albany include GWN7 (now Seven Regional), WIN Television Western Australia, West Digital Television, SBS and ABC Television Western Australia. Seven (formerly GWN7) broadcasts a half-hour news program for regional WA, Seven News Regional WA (formerly GWN7 News), at 5:30pm on weeknights with a district newsroom covering Albany and surrounding areas based in the city.

Below is a table showing the full suite of digital television services available in Albany. These services are broadcast from Mount Clarence and cover the majority of the geographic area with some areas requiring a signal to be received from the Southern Agricultural site at Mount Barker. Both these transmission sites employ vertical polarity. Furthermore, a number of residents rely on receiving these services via satellite using the Viewer Access Satellite Television system.

LCNChannel nameBroadcast ch. no.Broadcast frequency
2ABC TVUHF 43634.5 MHz
3SBSUHF 41620.5 MHz
510 HDUHF 44641.5 MHz
67HD Regional WAUHF 45648.5 MHz
8Channel 9UHF 42627.5 MHz
20ABC HDUHF 43634.5 MHz
21ABC TVUHF 43634.5 MHz
22ABC TV Plus/KIDSUHF 43634.5 MHz
23ABC MEUHF 43634.5 MHz
24ABC NEWSUHF 43634.5 MHz
30SBS HDUHF 41620.5 MHz
33SBS FOODUHF 41620.5 MHz
34NITV HDUHF 41620.5 MHz
36NITVUHF 41620.5 MHz
5010 BOLDUHF 44641.5 MHz
5510 PeachUHF 44641.5 MHz
627two Regional WAUHF 45648.5 MHz
647mateHD Regional WAUHF 45648.5 MHz
67ishop TVUHF 45648.5 MHz
809HDUHF 42627.5 MHz
819GemUHF 42627.5 MHz
829Go!UHF 42627.5 MHz
84TVSNUHF 42627.5 MHz
859LifeUHF 42627.5 MHz

Local newspapers are the Albany Advertiser (established 1888) and The Extra (owned by Seven West Media Limited, publishers of The West Australian). Local radio stations GOLD MX and Fly FM are owned by local independent broadcaster BARRICADES MEDIA.


Two of Albany's major sports facilities are Collingwood Park Stadium in Collingwood Park and Centennial Oval in Centennial Park. [42] Collingwood Park is home to North Albany Football Club [42] while Centennial Oval is home to Royals Football Club. [43]

Albany Leisure and Aquatic Centre is the home of Albany Basketball Association. [44] The Rainbow Coast Raiders of the State Basketball League played at the Albany Sports Centre (33 Barker Road) between 1989 and 1999. [45] 33 Barker Road is now the home of Albany Indoor Beach Volleyball. [46]

Albany Sea Dragons are the regions only rugby league club who partake in inter-regional WA competitions run by the NRL WA. [47]


There are currently several primary schools, eight high schools and one university campus in the Albany area.

Albany Senior High School AlbanySHS2.jpg
Albany Senior High School
Great Southern Grammar Gym GSGgym.jpg
Great Southern Grammar Gym
Albany UWA Centre 2006 Albany UWA Centre.jpg
Albany UWA Centre 2006

Primary schools

High schools




Notable residents

See also


  1. According to British conventions of pronunciation, as applied in the cases, eg, of Albury, New South Wales, and Albany, New York, the pronunciation of Albany, Western Australia, would be /ˈɔːlbəni/ (AWL-bən-ee). However, the local pronunciation is /ˈælbəni/ (AL-bən-ee).
  2. The Wiebbe Hayes Stone Fort on West Wallabi Island is the oldest surviving European building in Australia. [lower-alpha 4] :37 It was built by survivors of the Batavia shipwreck and massacre in 1629, predating Frederick Town by 197 years and indeed James Cook's first visit to Australia by 141 years. Frederick Town became Albany in 1831 upon becoming a part of the Swan River Colony.
  3. Frederick Town became a part of the Swan River Colony in 1831, in contrast to Perth which was founded on 12 August 1829 as the administrative centre of the Swan River Colony. The Swan River Colony became the Colony of Western Australia[ citation needed ] on 6 February 1832, which in turn became the state of Western Australia upon federation on 1 January 1901.
  4. Michael Pearson (2005). Margaret Cresswell (ed.). Great Southern Land: The Maritime Exploration of Terra Australis (PDF). Canberra: Department of the Environment and Heritage. ISBN   0-642-55185-5. OCLC   67617194. OL   26818732M. Wikidata   Q110529184 . Retrieved 12 January 2022.

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Perth</span> Capital city of Western Australia

Perth is the capital city of Western Australia. It is the fourth most populous city in Australia, with a population of over 2.3 million within Greater Perth. It is part of the South West Land Division of Western Australia, with the majority of Perth's metropolitan area on the Swan Coastal Plain between the Indian Ocean and the Darling Scarp. The city has expanded outward from the original British settlements on the Swan River, upon which its central business district and port of Fremantle are situated.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Western Australia</span> State of Australia

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Fremantle</span> Port city in Western Australia

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mandurah</span> Coastal city in Western Australia

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Armadale, Western Australia</span> Suburb of Perth, Western Australia

Armadale is a suburb of Perth within the City of Armadale, located on the south-eastern edge of the Perth metropolitan region. The major junction of the South Western and Albany Highways, which connect Perth with the South West and Great Southern regions of Western Australia respectively, is located within the suburb. It is also the terminus of the Armadale railway line, one of five major railway lines to service Perth.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Albany Highway</span> Highway in Western Australia

Albany Highway links Western Australia's capital city Perth with its oldest settlement, Albany, on the state's south coast. The 405-kilometre-long (252 mi) highway travels through the southern Wheatbelt and Great Southern regions, and is designated State Route 30 for most of its length. Outside of Perth the highway is predominately a sealed, single carriageway with regular overtaking lanes in some undulating areas. Albany Highway commences at The Causeway, a river crossing that connects to Perth's central business district. The highway heads south-east through Perth's metropolitan region, bypassed in part by Shepperton Road and Kenwick Link, and continues south-eastwards through to Albany. It intersects several major roads in Perth, including the Leach, Tonkin, Brookton, and South Western highways. The rural section of Albany Highway connects to important regional roads at the few towns and roadhouses along the route, including Coalfields Highway at Arthur River, Great Southern Highway at Cranbrook, and Muirs Highway at Mount Barker.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mount Barker, Western Australia</span> Town in Western Australia

Mount Barker is a town on Albany Highway and the administrative centre of the Shire of Plantagenet in the Great Southern region of Western Australia. At the 2021 census, Mount Barker had a population of 2,855.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">King George Sound (Western Australia)</span> Large body of water in southern Western Australia

King George Sound is a sound on the south coast of Western Australia. Named King George the Third's Sound in 1791, it was referred to as King George's Sound from 1805. The name "King George Sound" gradually came into use from about 1934, prompted by new Admiralty charts supporting the intention to eliminate the possessive 's' from geographical names.

The Western Australian 175th Anniversary of European settlement was celebrated in 2004.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Blackboy Hill, Western Australia</span> War memorial in Perth, Western Australia

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Round House (Western Australia)</span> Former gaol in Fremantle, Western Australia

The Round House was the first permanent building built in the Swan River Colony. Built in late 1830 and opened in 1831, it is the oldest building still standing in Western Australia.

Perth is the capital city of Western Australia. It was established by Britain as the Swan River Colony in 1829. The area had been explored by Europeans as early as 1697, and occupied by the Indigenous Whadjuk Noongar people for millennia.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Whaling in Western Australia</span>

Whaling was one of the first viable industries established in the Swan River Colony following the 1829 arrival of British settlers to Western Australia. The industry had numerous ups and downs until the last whaling station closed in Albany in 1978.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Economy of Western Australia</span>

The Western Australian economy is a state economy dominated by its resources and services sector and largely driven by the export of iron-ore, gold, liquefied natural gas and agricultural commodities such as wheat. Covering an area of 2.5 million km2, the state is Australia's largest, accounting for almost one-third of the continent. Western Australia is the nation's fourth most populous state, with 2.6 million inhabitants.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">East Fremantle, Western Australia</span> Suburb of Perth, Western Australia

East Fremantle is a suburb of Perth, Western Australia, located 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) south-west of the central business district. The suburb is mainly residential, and is coterminous with the Town of East Fremantle local government area.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Middleton Beach, Western Australia</span> Suburb of Albany, Western Australia

Binalup/Middleton Beach is a coastal suburb of Albany, Western Australia, located within the City of Albany approximately 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) east of the city centre. The traditional owners, the Noongar peoples, know the place as Binalup meaning the place of first light since the sun rises over the waters in the morning. The main road between the city and the locality is via Middleton Road. It is home to a caravan park and numerous holiday units which provide accommodation for visitors to the Albany region.

Transport in Perth, Western Australia, is served by various means, among them an extensive highway/freeway network and a substantial system of commuter rail lines and bus routes. Public transport is managed by the Transperth agency.

Henry Willey Reveley (1788–1875) was a civil engineer responsible for the earliest public works at the Swan River Colony, the foundation of the state of Western Australia.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">History of Albany, Western Australia</span>

The coastline of the Albany area was observed by Europeans for the first time in 1627 by the Dutchman François Thijssen, captain of the ship 't Gulden Zeepaert, who sailed to the east as far as Ceduna in South Australia and back. Captain Thijssen had discovered the south coast of Australia and charted about 1,768 kilometres (1,099 mi) of it between Cape Leeuwin and the Nuyts Archipelago.


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