Spending a couple of nights in Porongurup (travel post here) we traveled further south exploring the town of Albany, albeit the weather kept us from doing some our plans like hiking Bluff Knoff and attempting the mountain bike track on Mount Clarence we managed to see a couple of other entertaining sights around town.
Albany Town Centre
Located in the great southern region of Western Australia the seaside town of Albany is in fact older than Perth, by a couple of years it was settled in 1826. Albany is the main hub in the region with shops, restaurants, cafes and museums to wander through. Also, our pit stop for supplies before heading back to the farm each evening.
Our first trip to Albany, we headed to the tourist centre at the bottom of York Street for maps and brochures. The centre also offers a booking service for tours.
There is a slight European charm to the town with a couple of the original stone buildings and small coffee shops, in fact ample places to go for an espresso. We tried Frederick’s Cafe and Kate’s Place, both serve up a great cup of coffee.
Albany Town Centre
Albany Wind Farm
Perched adjacent to the Albany coastline on cliffs 80 metres above sea level are 18 gigantic wind turbines forming what is known as Albany’s Wind Farm. Powering clean and renewal energy, the turbines provide 80% of Albany’s electricity. The 2001 built wind farm is open for the public to enjoy and a 1 km path snakes between the turbines with 3 scenic look out points. One of the world’s longest walking trails crosses through the wind farm, the Bibbulmun Track.
Yesterday I was rushing around Perth CBD and today I am here, four and a half hours drive south of Perth.To reach the Wind Farm drive along Princess Avenue following the signs, you’ll drive by the prison and be sure to keep driving right past that place!
Desert Mounted Memorial Walk on Mt Clarence
On the top of Mt Clarence and in the Albany Heritage Park is the Desert Mounted Corps Memorial walk, in memory of those that died in Egypt, Palestine and Syria between 1916 and 1918. As we walked up the stairs to reach the memorial we passed a number of boards, reading the thoughts and experiences of the soldiers in their very own words. Reading those words certainly pulls the heart strings and it highlights the reality of what occurred during that time. The 180 degree view was amazing especially across the glowing blue ocean and rising land forms in the far distance. The statue depicts the scene of an Australia mounted soldier assisting a New Zealand soldier whose horse has been wounded. The granite blocks supporting the statue are from the original statue that once resided in Suez, look closely and you’ll see bullet marks.
Albany is significantly connected to the ANZAC history and although Australia was geographically far away from the devasting World Wars, ships of Australian and New Zealand soldiers departed Albany for World War 1. It’s a little hard to digest the thought of, the shores of Albany being the last of Australia that some of these men saw.
I had read in a brochure that Little Beach was voted one of Australia’s best beaches and even though it was not exactly balmy beach bum weather we embarked on a car trip for Two People’s Bay.
The drive for the most part traces the coastal side of Albany, beef cattle farms and crosses the King River. The views from the comfort of the warm car were amazing.