Here’s one for the quiz night. Did you know that Albany was actually the first European settlement in Western Australia? Yep, that’s right—how different would life be if the stamp of capital city was on the big A instead of Perth?
There’s good reason why this not-so-little port city is a top destination for holiday makers. Within a 30-minute drive there are more sandy white beaches than you can poke a stick at, a heritage building smorgasbord and access to some of the best local produce in the state.
Yep, there's plenty to enjoy. But if you're not sure where to start, here are seven of the best things to do in Albany this summer.
Strap On Your Boots For These Albany Hikes
If you’ve got a hankering to burn a few calories in the great outdoors before lunch, then Albany is your spot. Within the town, you can amble on up Mount Melville or Mount Clarence for some of the best views over the water, and if it’s too tiring to walk back you can dial a cab because, well, you’re in town! A short drive out to the Torndirrup National Park will reward walkers with plenty of coastal scenery. Be sure to prepare properly if you head out for the 12km Bald Head trek along the Flinders Peninsula. It’s one of the most stunning walks in the region but is advised for those with experience as it can be a bit of a challenge for unseasoned hikers.
If you’d like to tackle the trails with the help of a seasoned pro (and perhaps a touch of luxe), Walk into Luxury is now offering a three day Albany South Coast experience, so you can let someone else sort all the prep and you can just enjoy the scenery! Dirty Feet Tours is another great option for hikers who prefer a little help. And if you’d really like to up the pace, they can even take you out for a trail run.
Over the summer moths do be sure to be extra vigilant for snakes and make sure you take plenty of water and slip-slop-slap the sun protection on.
Escape It All At These Cool Albany Stays
With zebra-style hide on the floor, African prints on the walls and oodles of lush sand coloured linen throughout the room, Majuba Country Lodge could easily have you thinking you’d stepped into an African wildlife safari for the night. Watching the sunset over the deck and the dam, the giveaway is in the long grass—those are roos, not wildebeest. With lots of refined touches such as home-made poached pears for breakfast and soft white robes in the wardrobe, it’s a dreamy base for an Albany getaway.
If your idea of a safari involves four wheels, then one of the new tour operators in the region, Great Southern Outback Tour and Accommodation provide the answer. Jump in the ute with owner-operator Wayne, and his half day eco-tour will take you through historical and Indigenous sites in town, before heading out to his farm stay in Kalgan for an inspiring tour of his little oasis. Feeling blissed out amongst the organic gardens and rambling roses on the farm? You don’t have to leave if you stay the night at the onsite accommodation.
Dine On Albany's Finest Seafood
There’s no question about it. The south coast is responsible for some of the state’s best darn seafood. Try a plate of Albany sardines, oysters or mussels just kilometres from where they have been pulled out of the water. New restaurant Majuba Bistro is a must try. And yes, it’s related to the lodge – the industrious owners set up both to complement each other. The chef has Michelin restaurant pedigree, and each dish is faultless in execution. Think French bistro classics, with a splash of Spanish and Italian influence. There is also a cracking wine list filled with local drops, and a few international options carefully selected to compliment the dining menu.
Albany is a bit tight on options for dining on a Sunday and Monday, so thank goodness the newly launched Loft 22 has opened its doors to help with diners finding a spot to fill their rumbling tums. Open from lunch through until late night seven days a week, their tapas dishes are focused on seafood and perfect for a late afternoon snack after adventuring all day. Sit on the front stools and try the occy—it’s delicious with a glass of local bubbles.
Wander Around An Albany Winery
While Oranje Tractor Winery has been going strong for two decades, owners Murray and Pamela now have a selection of fabulous bookable experiences to try on your next visit. With something different on offer each weekend throughout the month, you’ll be able to try something new each time you head back for a visit. A great intro to their organic and planet friendly wine, we recommend starting with a wine flight, where you’ll learn the magic of pairing food and wine and work your way through a selection of the wines that the dynamic duo produce. Upgrade for the silver service option and treat yourself to vintage glassware and extra special touches including local seafood. Other fabulous experiences include farm tours, vermouth voyages, riesling masterclasses and an entire afternoon dedicated to the spirit of sparkling wine. And yes, for those that question the name of the estate; there is an actual orange tractor that sits proudly at the entrance!
After you’ve got your fill of Albany’s adventures, check out the South West Edge to help plan on your next road trip destination. If you’ve got the time, why not enjoy the entire 12 day road trip?
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Image credit: @davidxtomic