Albany, Western Australia

Albany, Western Australia

Infobox Australian Place | type = city
name = Albany
state = wa

caption =
pop = 25,196
pop_footnotes = (2006 census)
area = 89.8
density = 281
maxtemp = 19.4
mintemp = 11.6
rainfall = 930.5
postcode = 6330
est = 1826
area =
timezone = AWST
utc = +8
timezone-dst =
utc-dst =
lga = City of Albany
stategov = Albany
fedgov = O'Connor
dist1 = 408
location1 = Perth

Albany (Pron-en-au|ˈælbəniː) is located in the Great Southern region of Western Australia, situated around a port on the southern coast.

Its metropolitan area has a population of 25,196 as of the 2006 census, making it the sixth largest city in the state. Census 2006 AUS|id=UCL500200|name=Albany (Urban Centre/Locality)|accessdate=2007-08-25|quick=on Consists of Albany SSD (Central) and the State Suburbs of Milpara, Gledhow, McKail, Bayonet Head, Collingwood and Lower King in the 2006 census.] and it is located within the City of Albany local government area.


The city centre of Albany is located between the hills of Mount Melville and Mount Clarence which look down into Princess Royal Harbour. There are many beaches surrounding Albany, with Middleton Beach being the closest to the town centre. Popular beaches include Middleton Beach, Frenchman's Bay and Muttonbird Island.

It is convert|408|km south-southeast of the capital, Perth, to which it is linked by the Albany Highway.


Albany was the home of the Menang Noongar people, who made use of the coastal waters of the area over the summer months. They called the area Kinjarling which means “the place of rain”. [ [ The Amity Heritage Precinct] Retrieved 2007-08-03.] Fish traps found at Emu Point suggest that the area held a significant population of Aboriginal people. Albany is also the oldest continuous European settlement in Western Australia, and was founded in 1826, three years before the state capital of Perth. The King George Sound settlement was a hastily-despatched British military outpost, intended to forestall any plans by France for settlements in Western Australia.

The first European explorers to visit the area around Albany were on the Dutch ship "Gulden Zeepaert" (Golden Seahorse) skippered by Francois Thijssen in 1626. They sailed along the south coast towards South Australia.

Many years later in 1791, English explorer George Vancouver explored the south coast including entering and naming King George Sound. Albany was the site at which on 26 September 1791, Vancouver took possession of New Holland for the British Crown. Vancouver went out of his way to establish good relations with the local Aboriginal people.In 1792, Frenchman Bruni d'Entrecasteaux in charge of the "Recherche" and "L'Esperance" reached Cape Leeuwin on 5 December and explored eastward along the southern coast. The expedition did not enter King George Sound due to bad weather.

In 1801, Matthew Flinders entered King George Sound and stayed about a month before charting the rest of the southern Australian coastline. By 1806 he had completed the first circumnavigation of Australia.

Australian-born explorer Phillip Parker King visited King George Sound in 1822 on the "Bathurst".

On 26 October 1826 Frenchman Dumont d'Urville in the "L'Astrolabe" visited King George Sound before sailing along the south coast to Port Jackson.

Later in 1826, on Christmas Day, a British Army expedition, led by Major Edmund Lockyer arrived on the "Amity", from Sydney, and founded a military base. Lockyer rescued Aboriginal women from offshore islands, who had been kidnapped by sealers operating in the Great Australian Bight as sexual slaves, and apprehended the culprits sending them east to stand trial. As a result the local Minang Noongar organised a corroboree in his honour, cementing the good relations established earlier between local Aboriginal groups of the area and European explorers.

Albany was officially named by Governor Stirling at the beginning of 1832, at the time that political authority passed to the Swan River colony. It is named after Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany, and son of King George III. [LandInfo WA|c|A|2007-06-08]

Albany was also the final destination in 1841 of explorer Edward John Eyre, after being the first person to reach Western Australia by land from the east (Adelaide).

Until the opening of the Port of Fremantle in 1900, [cite web|url=|title=History of the Albany Port|author=Western Australian Museum|accessdate=2007-08-03] Albany was also home to the only deepwater port in Western Australia, Princess Royal Harbour, which is the largest natural harbour in Western Australia and also on the entire south coast of the Australian mainland, outside of Melbourne. This facility meant that for many years, the first port of call for the mail from England was Albany. This put Albany in a privileged position over Perth and it remained that way until C. Y. O'Connor used dynamite on the reef blocking the entrance into the Swan River in Fremantle.

Since that time, Albany has become popular with retirees, with inhabitants enjoying the fresh air, clean beaches, and fine views over the Southern Ocean, while still proving a thriving regional centre.

World War I

Ships carrying the Australian Imperial Force and the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (later know collectively as ANZACs) to Europe to join World War I gathered at Albany in October 1914. They departed in convoy on 1 November 1914.

There is a memorial to the Desert Mounted Corps on top of Mount Clarence. The memorial consists of a statue of an Australian mounted soldier assisting a New Zealand soldier whose horse has been wounded and a wall bearing the words "Lest We Forget". A dawn service has been held ever since and currently around several thousand people participate each year. The contribution of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, president of Turkey from 1923 until 1938, is recognised by naming the entrance into Princess Royal Harbour as Atatürk Channel.


The main industries of Albany consist of tourism, fishing and agriculture, although before the 1950s whaling was one of the major sources of income and employment for the population. The Whaling Station, which closed operations in 1979, has now been converted to a museum of whaling, and features one of the 'Cheynes' whale chasers that were used for whaling in Albany. The station was the last operating whaling station in the Southern Hemisphere at the time of closing.

The Western Power Wind Farm in Albany is the largest and newest in Australia. Its 12 turbines, driven by strong southerly winds, can generate up to 75% of the city's electricity usage. [ [ Wind Energy in Western Australia] Jade Carlton, Retrieved 2007-08-03.]

Albany also has a number of historic tourist sites including the Museum, Albany Convict Gaol, The Princess Royal Fortress (commonly known as The Forts), Patrick Taylor Cottage, ("is the oldest dwelling in Western Australia, c1832"). Albany has a great deal of historical significance to Western Australia.

Natural sights are also numerous, especially the rugged coast which includes the Natural Bridge and the Gap. The beaches have pristine white sand. The HMAS Perth was sunk in King George Sound in 2001 as a dive wreck. [ [ Former HMAS Perth Dive Wreck] Retrieved 2007-08-03.] Albany is also close to two mountain ranges, the Porongurups and Stirling Ranges.

Albany is also the southern terminus of the Bibbulmun Track walking trail. [cite web|url=|title=Overview Map |work= Track Info |publisher=Bibbulmun Track Foundation|accessdate=2008-10-01]

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 Mediterranean-type climate with generally warm summers and cool, wet winters. The city is situated on what is promoted as the “Rainbow Coast” which is an appropriate title given the significant frequency of cool cloudy days with drizzle or showers.

July is the wettest month, with a long-term average of over 140 mm, whilst rain occurs on two days out of every three during an average winter. The driest month is February with a mean of about 23 mm and in summer it rains on average about one day in every four.


The Albany region is notorious for people being lost from waves washing people off rocks, which may or may not be associated with freak waves or similar phenomenon. On the otherwise picturesque coastline there are many beaches that are safe and usable:
*Emu Beach
*Emu Point
*Middleton Beach
*Frenchman Bay Beach
*Gull Rock / Boiler Beach
*Betty's Beach
*Shelley Beach
*Two Peoples Bay, including Little Beach and Waterfall Beach
*Muttonbird Beach
*Cosy Corner


ee also

* Albany Airport
* Albany Progress
* Albany Regional Prison
* City of Albany
* Electoral district of Albany
* List of people from Albany, Western Australia
* Port of Albany


External links

* [ City of Albany]
* [ Albany Gateway community web portal]
* [ Southbase WA - Community Portal]
* [ Albany Historical Society (Inc)]

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