Friday, November 18, 2005
Albany was first settled in 1826, two years before Perth. Not only does Western Australia's first white settlement boast one of the best natural harbours in the world, it has within its shire boundaries spectacular coastal scenery, perennial rivers, dense karri forests, rich farmland and the state's most temperate climate.
Albany is 408kms south-east of Perth on a stretch of coast which looks out to Antarctica several thousand kilometers to the south. The hub of the varied Great Southern Region, Albany has some 30,000 privileged people who enjoy permanent residence in the state's most popular tourist destination.
It doesn't matter if the tourist desires safe swimming spots, surf beaches, bush walks, fishing, wining and dining, sight seeing, sport, adventure or god old fashioned relaxation, Albany will cater to every need.
At the western end of the Albany Visitor Center, the Bibbulmun Track is a 964km walking trail extending from Perth's suburbs to Albany. It takes the hiker through some of the most beautiful areas in the southern part of the state. There are overnight huts every 20km. The speed record is 17days which is a little over 60km per day.
The natural bridge is a large piece of granite which has been eroded by huge seas to form a fantastic arch. It is a very short walk from the Gap allowing maximum enjoyment of this spectacular site.
Further along the coast are the Blow holes-- a series of fissures in the granite which make loud hissing noises and spurt water into the air when large waves are forced, under pressure, between the rock. It sounds very much like a whale spraying water through it's blow hole. I found them to be a little less than impressive especially when compared to the blow hole on Oahu in Hawaii.
Albany has an incredible amount of things for tourists to do. Unfortunately we were a little rushed and didn't have time to see any of the thing in the city itself before we had to move on. I'm quite sure that it has some of the most amazing scenery in all of the southern coast of Australia.