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Albany - Western Australia

ALBANY

 

HEMA Map reference 74/K6

 

35 00' 22" S 117 52' 36" E

 

 

Where is this?

Climate data for Albany
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average Temp high 'C 22.8 22.9 22.2 20.8 18.6 16.5 15.7 16.3 17.2 18.4 20.3 21.8 19.5
Average Temp low 'C 15.1 15.4 14.6 12.7 10.7 9 8.1 8.3 9.2 10.4 12.4 14 11.7
Rainfall mm 24 22.9 38.4 69 117.4 133.1 144 126.2 101.4 79.4 44.6 29.5 930
Source: Bureau of Meteorology

 

 

 

Photo Gallery

 

Statistics

 

Km from Perth

409

Population

33,650

Avg Rainfall

930mm

Mean Max Temp

19.5C

Mean Min Temp

11.7C

Auto gas

Available

Telecentre

 

 

 
 

 

Caravan Parks

 

Albany Gardens Visit website

1800 888 617

Albany Holiday Park Visit website

1800 180 855

Cheyne Beach

Visit website

   (R)  08 9846 1247

Emu Beach

Visit website

         08 9844 1147

Happy Days

Visit website

        08 9844 3267

Kalgan River

Visit website

  (R)  08 9844 7937

King River palms

 

 (R)  08 9844 3232

Middleton Beach

Visit website

  08 9841 3593

Mount Melville

 

     08 9841 4616

Panorama

 

08 9844 4031

Porongorup

Visit website

         08 9853 1057

Rose Gardens

Visit website

 (R)  08 9844 1868

Stirling Range

Visit website

     08 9827 9229

 

Accommodation

 

Ace Motor Inn

Visit website 08 9841 2911

Albany B'packers

Visit website 08 9841 8848

Albany Holiday Units

Visit website 08 9841 7817

B&B By the Sea

  08 9844 1135

Bay City B and B

Visit website 0437 481 645

Bayview B'packers

Visit website 08 9842 3388

Houseboat Hire

  08 9844 8726

Ibis (All Seasons)

Visit website 08 9841 1177

Amity Motor Inn

Visit website 08 9841 2200

Comfort Inn

Visit website 08 9841 4144

Dog Rock Motel

Visit website 08 9841 4422

Emu Point Motel

  08 9844 1001

Metro Inn

Visit website 08 9841 3600

Bold = Recommended by us

 

 

Services

 

Hospital

 08 9892 2222

Police

 08 9841 1411

SES

 08 9841 2400

RAC 

 131 111

Tourist   Bureau

 1800 644 088

08 9841 9290

 

Attractions

 

Dog Rock, Nannarup, Fishing boat harbour, Duck Lake, Lawley Park, Mount Melville Lookout, Stony Hill, Salmon Holes, Frenchman Bay, King River, Two Peoples Bay, Muttonbird Island, Lowlands Beach, Cosy Corner, Ledge Beach, The Gap, Salmon Holes, The Amity, Natural Bridge, Shelley Beach, Middleton Beach, Emu Point, Betty's Beach, Normans Inlet, East Bay, Whale World.

 

Buildings of note

 

Former hospital, Vancouver St. 1887. St. Joseph's Convent, Aberdeen St. 1881. Strawberry Hill Farm, Middleton and Beauchamp, 1827. Hillside, Cliff Way, 1886. Old Gaol, Parade St. and Stirling Tce. 1873. Residency, Port Rd. 1852, Court House, Stirling Tce. and Collie St. 1896. Old Post Office, Stirling St. 1869. Albany House, York St. 1885. Town Hall, York St. 1888. St. John's Church 1841, Patrick Taylor cottage reputed to be the oldest building in the state.

 

Calendar Of Events

 

Famous sons and daughters

 

Premier Alan Carpenter

 

Electoral Zones

 

State : Albany

Federal : O'Connor

 

Other info

 

Postcode : 6330

Local Government : City of Albany

 

 

Whale World - Albany

Whale World

Street scape - Albany

Street scape

Royal George Hotel - Albany

Royal George Hotel

Town Jetty (now demolished) - Albany

Town Jetty (now demolished)

The new marina - Albany

The new marina

Looking at Betty's Beach from Norman's Beach

From Norman's Beach

Cheyne's Beach

Cheyne's Beach

Emu Point - Albany

Emu Point

Green Island - Albany

Green Island

Little Bay - Albany

Little Bay

Muttonbird Island

Muttonbird Island

Natural Bridge - Albany

Natural Bridge

Waychinicup

Waychinicup

View from Mt. Melville - Albany

View from Mt. Melville

Looking towards Mt. Melville - Albany

Looking towards Mt. Melville

Church - Albany

Church

St Joseph's  - Albany

St. Joseph's Convent

Albany

Pioneer village

King River - Albany

King River.

The Residency - Albany

The Residency

Albany

Does this building really fit in with historic Albany?

Description

 

"Albany will never change much - it is a pretty town, but vague. It seems to exist only in a far-away-on-the-horizon sort of way; I like it all the better for that."

Henry Lawson (1)


With this kind of literary homage it may not be so surprising that many years before Albany was settled, Jonathon Swift used maps created by Dutch explorers when creating the Houyhnhnms homeland in Gulliver's Travels. He located it almost exactly on the spot that Albany was founded.

 

HISTORY


The first European sighting of the area was in 1627 by Francois Thyssen and Peter Nuyts and it appears on Dutch shipping charts as 'Monkbeelven' from 1628.

King George Sound was charted and named in 1791 (1792 is sometimes quoted but appears to be incorrect) by Capt. George Vancouver. Vancouver aboard Discovery, spent some 14 days exploring the area and naming features such as Oyster Harbour , Seal, Breaksea and Michaelmas Islands. Vancouver had originally served as midshipman with Captain Cook.

Next came
Mathew Flinders, in 1801 who spent some time refitting his ship while resting at anchor in Princess Royal Harbour. With him on the voyage was Mr. Brown, a Botanist. Strangely his name is almost forgotten but he was responsible for collecting some 4,000 specimens of flora (representing about a third of the flora found in Australia). He was also the first to make contact with the local Aborigines giving them various gifts.

In 1803
Nicolas Baudin arrived with the ships Geographe and Naturaliste.

Princess Royal Harbour was renamed Princess Charlotte Harbour by the French but the name (unlike so many other areas they were to leave French names on) did not stick.
Two Peoples Bay was originally Baie des Deux Nations when the French met an American brig 'Union' and the two got together to complain about the English.

 

Phillip Parker King, aboard the Mermaid, stopped off to fettle his ship in 1818. Also aboard the Mermaid was none other than John Septimus Roe who was to become intimately connected with the exploration on Western Australia.
 

Another French explorer, Dumont D Urville stopped off at King George Sound in 1826.


The British feared French intentions in the region and would have been even more concerned had they read D'Urville's journal which said:

 

'I think it would be difficult to find a place more suitable for the establishment of a colony; in fact I never cease to wonder that the English have not already made one, especially when I reflect that this spot is admirably suited for ships passing directly from Europe to New South Wales...'

 

To forestall any French attempt to claim Western Australia it was decided to send a military detachment from New South Wales.


On the 25th of December 1826 the Amity
(3) dropped anchor in Princess Royal Harbour. On January 21st 1827, Major Edmund Lockyer formally took possession of the western third of the continent for the British Crown. This should be the Foundation Day we celebrate in  Western Australia not the one celebrated for the Swan River Colony (Perth).  The settlement was given the name Fredericks Town.

Lockyer spent 100 days overseeing the initial work and during that time the expeditions' blacksmith (Dennis Deneen) was speared and killed by Aborigines after rescuing a group of 4 who had been stranded (probably by whalers) on Michaelmas Island.

As the convicts outnumbered the troopers there was always the possibility of a revolt and this came very close to happening when the prisoners (led by a man named Ryan) claimed their meat ration was short and refused to take it. Lockyer ordered punishment for Ryan but no one would agree to inflict it and so as not to lose control of the situation, Lockyer had no choice but to administer the lash himself.

After 100 days Lockyer returned to Sydney aboard the ship
Success (captained by James Stirling) leaving Captain Joseph Wakefield in command. Wakefield remained in command until 1828 when he too returned to Sydney and Lt. George Sleeman took over.

 


By mid 1829 the settlement at the Swan River had been established and Captain Collett Barker
(2) was dispatched to oversee transfer of the control of Fredericks Town from New South Wales to the Swan River Colony. To mark the transfer Stirling selected the name Albany in honour of Frederick Augustus, Duke of York and Albany. Frederick Augustus was the 11th and last Duke to hold the dual title. In fact the title Duke of Albany was considered to be somewhat unlucky as a number of the holders had come to 'sticky ends.'

 

The isolation and boredom took their toll on both convicts and the officials. I.S. Nind, the appointed surgeon for the settlement, attempted to resign in 1828 but his request was refused. The following year he had a nervous breakdown and was finally dismissed and sent back to N.S.W.

 

In early 1830, five convicts attempted to escape and headed for the west coast. Surprisingly they made it through and all but one, a man named Thomas Woodward, were re-captured.

 

As the time neared for the convicts to be returned to N.S.W. in 1831, they began to fear what conditions would await them. Several, including those who has previously escaped, took to the bush and evaded capture.

 

On the 4th of February 1831, Thomas Bannister and his companions arrived at the sound after trekking overland from the Swan River. They had become lost and disagreements between Bannister and his navigator, Smythe continued after they reached Albany. 


At this point we have come across two conflicting views of history. The first, and most accepted is that on the withdrawal of troops and prisoners from New South Wales, the settlement at Albany was abandoned. The second states that a detachment of seventeen soldiers under Lt. Carew, arrived from
Fremantle aboard the Isabella. From further reading it seems apparent that Carew and 20 soldiers arrived on March 19th 1831 to take over command of the settlement before Barker and his men withdrew.

 

Further evidence for this was obtained from the 1929 publication 'The story of a Hundred Years' which states the following:

'The Albany settlement did not entirely disappear with the removal of the military and prisoners, but only three thatched buildings remained' 'with the removal of the convicts Albany languished for four years. What Government there was, was administered by Lt. Mcleod' 'the little handful of people lived chiefly on fish''
 

The first Government Resident was Alexander Collie who took up the position in 1831.

 

In September 1833 Sir Richard Spencer arrived to take up the post of Government Resident. Spencer was to have a great influence on the development of the town and played a major role in getting the settlement 'back on track'. Sadly he died in 1839 but by that time the survival of the town was assured.

 

But for the winds of fate, Albany could have had a strong connection with India as in 1834 a ship named Mercury set out from Calcutta with some 70 persons aboard. A company had intended to start trading between India and Albany and the ship carried an advance party who were to get everything set up. Sadly somewhere along the way the ship met with disaster and was never heard from again.


Charles Darwin aboard the Beagle stopped off in Albany in 1836 but he was less than impressed with the town that he found 'dull and uninteresting.'
 

In the early years American whaling ships were some of the most frequent visitors to King George Sound. Although they provided some opportunity for trade they also brought with them disease, anti social behaviour and deserters. In 1840 no less than 28 of the 47 ships dropping anchor at Albany were whalers. There was some local agitation for authorities to curtail the American whaling activities as people could see the opportunity for making good profits sailing off to America.

 

Because a rock bar blocked entry of large ships to the Swan River, it was Albany that was chosen as the state's major port. Both mail and passengers were dropped off at Albany and then made a journey of about a week overland to Perth. This was to continue for many years until the rock bar across the Swan was removed.

 

Edward John Eyre rested in Albany for a week after his epic journey from South Australia in 1841.

 

1853 saw the arrival of the ship 'Sir William Molesworth'. The ship was flying the yellow flag of quarantine as 20 of the 220 passengers on board had died of some disease on the voyage. Supplies were put aboard and the ship sailed away but the Government Resident (Henry Camfield) saw the need for better control and lobbied for a resident health officer. His request was granted but ship captains were sometimes less than honest about the health of their passengers. A quarantine station was eventually established and operated for many years.

 

The mid 1850s were initially a time of growth for Albany as the port's significance increased. The area's population tripled between 1848 and 1854 but the early 1850s were marked by food shortages and high prices for any food that was available.

 

Some convicts were also brought in to help with public works and despite some bouts of drunkenness they were generally regarded as being better behaved than some of the sailors in town.

 

The early mail service to Albany was provided by The Australian Company. This was basically a floating disaster that during it's period of operation never once managed to get a ship to arrive on time. The company eventually got into too much debt and their contract was cancelled in 1853. P&O then took over and the service improved dramatically but the company could not make a profit and ceased services in 1855.

 

The lack of shipping meant that Albany was thrown into a recession. This led to the convict depot being closed and the convicts returned to Perth. The mail was infrequent and relied on passing ships to deliver it until a new regular service was begun in 1857.

 

By the 1880s the P&O depot had closed when more modern ship's engines meant that stopping to refuel at Albany was no longer required. Albany once again began to stagnate until it was decided to build a railway from Perth.


The railways were a major factor in opening up the state and in most places they arrived they were made most welcome. The Great Southern Railway - 1889 - was a private company  spearheaded by a Sydney business man named Anthony Hordern.

 

Initially hailed as a hero, Hordern was on his way to Albany by ship when he fell ill and died. A monument to Anthony Hoirdern was erected at the top of York Street in 1890.

 

Although the railway was initially hailed as a saviour of the town that had gained the nickname of 'Sleepy Hollow' due to the lack of progress, eventually it was blamed for holding up settlement and development in the area.

 

York Street and other streets leading to the waterfront were all closed off by the railway company and despite increasing local protest, the authorities in Perth did nothing to resolve the situation. It took until February 1890 for crossings to finally be opened on York and Spencer streets.

 

Trouble with the railway company was far from over as the company had acquired land grants as part of the deal to construct the railway. Prospective purchasers found the land for sale by the company was too expensive and this led to claims of stifled agricultural development. When the railway company attempted a 'land grab' within the boundaries of the town itself there was even more of an outcry and the (then) Forrest government moved to block any such move.

 

When in January 1897, the Government officially took over the railway and its land, there was a great deal of celebration throughout the south west.

 

The opening of the goldfields brought more optimism to Albany but when the main railway to the goldfields was constructed from Northam instead of Beverley, Albany found it had been effectively bypassed as most railway traffic originated from Perth.
 

Sadly for Albany the opening of the inner harbour at Fremantle saw a sharp and steady decline in business  and subsequently in the population of Albany. In the five years following the opening of the new Fremantle harbour the population in Albany dropped by half.
 

In 1906 the Italian Government (in what turned out to be a rather mis-guided attempt to improve ties with W.A.) established a vice-consulate in Albany with responsibility for the entire state. The trouble was there were no Italians living in the area and the consulate official could not stand Albany's cold, wet, windy climate so the consulate was hurriedly shifted to Perth.

 

In 1908 an American fleet, known as the Great White Fleet, visited Albany waters. The fleet included no less than 16 battleships. Little did the onlookers know that a few years later in 1914, thousands of Australian soldiers would be sailing from the same waters on their way to the killing fields of World War One.

 

Albany took many years to shake off the 'Sleepy Hollow' image but slowly agriculture took hold and the town grew steadily. Tourism dates back to the late 1800s and has remained an important factor in the local economy.


Viniculture has been under development north of Albany for some years and several excellent vineyards can be found north of the town near
Mt. Barker.
 

In 1977 the residents of Albany, knowing that the town was the first to be settled in W.A., held their 150th year celebrations 2 years earlier than the rest of the state. It really would be fitting for the rest of W.A. to recognise Albany's place as the first settlement and to bring the 200th year celebrations forward to 2027.


In July 1998 the town and shire of Albany were amalgamated and became the City of Albany. This presumably has some benefits to the local council but means nothing much to the rest of us.

 

ALBANY TODAY


Many people like Albany, but until recently, I was not one of them. I found it a bleak, cold, rainy town. Now having visited the area in summer, I have a completely new appreciation for the town and its immediate surroundings. In fact, I am now a great fan of the area along with over half a million other tourists who visit the region annually.

The countryside and coastline near Albany is quite beautiful. Rugged cliffs give way in places to sheltered sandy bays. Long sandy beaches near the town are ideal for swimming, and the town in general has been greatly improved in the past few years. The best swimming location near the town is Ledge Beach. Make the effort and take Lower King Road, turn right into Gull Rock Road. Follow it almost all the way to the end and you can take a right hand turn off the main (gravel) road which will take you to the opposite end of the beach but the best area is found by keeping straight on. A short walk from the car park takes you down to a beautiful sandy beach, crystal clear water and one of the best swimming spots you will find anywhere. A 4wd track from Gull Rock car park takes you to the end of the point and an excellent fishing spot out on some smooth rocks.

For those who are looking to catch a fish or two,
Salmon Holes , Sand Patch, Frenchman Bay and Emu Point are worth a try.

There are seven national parks in the area totalling 130,000 hectares and a short drive (west) along the coast will take you to the wonderful town of
Denmark.

It's hard to recommend areas to visit in the Albany area because there are so many extraordinary places scattered around the town. Places not to miss would include Two Peoples Bay, Torbay,
Torbay Inlet, Lower King and the drive out to Frenchman Bay. Albany is an excellent holiday destination during the summer months and would rate a visit of at least two weeks.

Apart from the scenic attractions, Albany offers a variety of good restaurants, modern shopping facilities and accommodation to suit all tastes.

Special mention needs to be made of the excellent bush campsites that are available within easy reach of the town. The Albany City Council is one of the few with progressive attitudes to bush camping and we congratulate them on making a number of sites available for travellers.

Tall tales and true: The missing corpse

A young couple and their aged auntie were crossing the Nullarbor on their way to Perth but sadly the old lady died. The young wife became hysterical about riding in the car with her dead aunt so the husband wrapped the aunt up in a tarpaulin and tied her to the roof rack. They drove on in the dark not daring to stop until they reached Albany in the small hours of the morning. They checked in to a hotel intending to inform the police at first light. When they finally woke they found the car with their aunt on top had been stolen. The car and the body were never seen again.

 

Ghostly tales!

 

Jennifer Smith, her husband and family were sailing from Hamlin (sic) Bay over the Easter weekend in 1989. As the yacht approached Albany waters it was in the dark of night with a rising sea and wind. They were confused about the navigation lights and visibility was poor. They did not know which way to go when a figure appeared near the bow of the boat.  Jennifer continues the story in her own words:

 

'He had a large dark coat with brass buttons in two rows down the front of his coat, his collar was pulled up, a flat black hat pulled down on his head. He had a short cut beard and in his hand a pipe. He nodded his head and his pipe at me an in that moment the harbour opened up before our eyes.'

 

It is thought that this apparition was the ghost of John Gregory Reddin the lighthouse keeper from 1907-1911.

 

Other ghosts are said to haunt the old gaol. Amy or Emily haunts the women's section, Joseph seems to haunt the black hole and there is even thought to be a ghostly dog in the building.

 

The exploding toilet of Ah Sim.

 

Ah Sim, an elderly Chinese man, used to grow and sell vegetables. He took his produce round on a horse and cart to sell to local people and he was often followed by a group of local urchins who made fun of the old man. Ah Sim took little notice until he found them stealing carrots from his garden and then he chased them away.

 

The trio involved decided to get even by blowing up Ah Sim's outhouse. They planted a plug of gelignite and retired a distance to watch the explosion. It was at this time that Ah Sim received the call of nature and was seen heading for the toilet. As they intended no real harm to Ah Sim, the trio had to reveal themselves and shout a warning before the toilet was blown sky high.

 

This ended the three of them in court and they were lucky not to spend some time in the lock up but instead were fined five pounds each.


View previous analogue video of Albany here

 

 

 

 

Betty's Beach  - Albany

Betty's Beach

I'm lost please take me home...