Albany is known for its rich history and natural environment. There is an abundance of activities and sights you can experience in and around the area. With so much to see and do, how will you decided what to do on your next visit? To help plan your next trip to Albany, I have composed a list of 5 beautiful destinations, which will leave you in a state of awe.
Stirling Range National Park
If you love hiking, then you need to visit the Stirling Ranges. Located 1 hour from Albany, it makes for a wonderful day trip or an overnighter if you want to do any of the hikes for sunrise. Here, you will find a beautiful mountain scape, featuring the famous Bluff Knoll. Bluff Knoll is a 6 km return hike, which involves many steps to the summit. It can be physically demanding but is worth it once you get to the top. I recommend you complete this before sunrise for an amazing experience!
Although the Stirling Range National Park is known for Bluff Knoll, I recommend you spend some time exploring the other mountains on offer. A few of my favorites include Mt Toolbrunup (4km return), Talyuberlup Peak (2.6km return) and Mt Hassel (3km return). Keep in mind each of these hikes are rated at a grade 4 or above, so a good amount of fitness is required.
If you are feeling up to a challenge, are an experienced hiker, and very fit, why not try the Stirling Range Ridge Walk. This is approximately a 19.5km, grade 5, one-way hike, which takes you over the peaks of the Stirling Ranges from Bluff Knoll to Ellen Peak or vis versa.
Granite Skywalk – Porongurup National Park
Another enjoyable day trip from Albany, only a 40-minute drive from the City Centre. The Porongurups are a group of granite domes, which rise 670 metres, giving expansive views of the surrounding landscape. Although there are a couple of things you can see in the National Park, the most popular, and impressive, is the Granite Skywalk.
The Granite Skywalk is a suspended walkway placed on top of a huge granite outcrop on Castle Rock. It offers two lookouts, with stunning views over the National Park and views of the Stirling Ranges in the distance. The 2 km hike to the Skywalk is very steep, passing through Jarrah, Marri and Karri Forest. Towards the top you will reach the Balancing Rock and the lower lookout (best for people with a fear of heights). A quick rock scramble will lead you over the rocks, and up the ladder to the Skywalk.
Bald Head Walk Trail
Located in the incredible Torndirrup National Park, roughly 1 hour from Albany, this challenging 12.5 km return hike offers magnificent views over the Flinders Peninsula and Southern Ocean. It is not long into the hike before you are rewarded with spectacular views! This hike leads you out onto Bald Head. It can be steep, challenging, and sandy in some areas. If you are not prepared to complete the 12.5 km hike, you can hike a short way and turn around. You will still get amazing views.
This might be one of the most scenic hikes in the Albany area.
The Gap-Natural Bridge
A trip to or around Albany wouldn’t be complete without a trip to The Gap and Natural Bridge. Head out on to the grated platform, crossing a channel in the 40 m coastal granite cliffs. Watch the surging power of the Southern Ocean as it crashes on the rocks below. The Gap is only a short walk from the carpark and is partly wheelchair accessible.
The Natural Bridge is not as impressive as the Gap but is still a worthwhile visit if you are in the area.
Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve
Only a short 40-minute drive from Albany, this reserve is worth exploring with untouched coastal scenery and a haven for some of the State’s most threatened animals. Activities within this reserve include swimming, fishing, diving, bushwalking, and kayaking. Make sure you visit the pristine (and Instagram famous), Little Beach. There is another beach located to the right of Little Beach. To get there walk right of the carpark and over the small headland; you will be met with another beautiful bay, Waterfall Beach.
If you are a hiker, make sure to check out the Bai des Deux Peuples Heritage Trail. This 6km return hike starts at the Visitor Centre and takes you along the coastline to Little Beach and Waterfall Beach. Along the way you will see impressive Fairy Rocks, wildflowers (seasonal), and some beautiful coastline.
Have extra time, or want to explore further? Check out Elephant Rocks and Greens Pool. Two protected bays, which have massive granite rock formations and pristine beaches. Another great spot to check out is the Valley of the Giants and the Giant Tingle Trees. Walk amongst the tingle trees and learn about the history of these amazing giants.
Convinced Albany is the place to be? Why not check out all about CineFestOz a huge cultural event in Albany itself.
All imagery by Becky Hamilton – find her Instagram here