Albany Things to Do

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    In Praise of Mokare the Peace Maker

    by Drever Written Feb 16, 2014
    Statue of Mokare set up in his honour in Albany
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    This is the story of Albany’s early history and the critical part played in its founding by Mokare a Noongar Aborigine. He held the respect of both his people and the British colonists. The information presented here comes from various sources including the Western Australian Museum in Albany and the plaque on the memorial statue of Mokare set up in his honour in the centre of Albany.

    Exploration of the coastline by Europeans around what is now the regional centre of Albany began in 1627, when Dutchman Pieter Nuyts sailed the 'Gulden Zeepaardt' through the Great Australian Bight. Later explorers included George Vancouver who entered in 1791 and named King George III Sound. A decade later Matthew Flinders arrived here and, in 1803, Nicholas Baudin sailed his ship into King George III Sound, leading one of several French expeditions to the area. By the 1820s whalers and sealers working the Southern Ocean also visited the area. Frenchman Dumont D'Urville's visit in 1826 caused the British to formalize their possession of the area to prevent the French from doing so.

    On the 9th of November 1826, Major Edmund Lockyer with convicts, soldiers, a surgeon and storekeeper, left Sydney aboard the brig Amity bound for King George III Sound. The Amity was a 148 ton two masted ship used in several notable voyages of exploration and settlement in Australia in the early nineteenth century before she broke up on a sandbar during a gale. The Western Australian Museum of Albany has a full size replica of her.

    The Amity arrived on Christmas Day 1826. Lockyer selected the site now known as Albany for the crown and thus formed the first Western Australian settlement there - three years before the Swan River colony at Perth. Mokare a Noongar Aboriginal man from the south-west corner of Australia assisted the colony in its early development. He was a frequent visitor to the settlement and stayed with the government resident, Dr Alexander Collie.

    He showed the Europeans the walking trails the Noongar people used and maintained. Many of these eventually became the roads of the region. He became a close friend of the surgeon-assistant J. S. Nind, with whom he often visited. In December 1829 Mokare guided Dr Thomas Braidwood Wilson's overland expedition during which Wilson named Mount Barker and Mount Lindsay as well as Hay River, Denmark River and Wilson Inlet. Two months later Mokare served again as the guide for Captain Barker's expedition over the same area.

    Mokare acted as a peacemaker, and an effective mediator between black and white communities. He died on 26 June 1831. The Aborigines and Europeans assembled at Collie's house and walked to a site selected by Mokare where the Europeans dug a grave and buried him with a buka cloak and personal artefacts. Collie died of tuberculosis four years later and had his dying wish to be buried alongside Mokare granted. Their graves are together beneath Albany Town Hall. A statue of Mokare now stands in the centre of Albany in honour of his peacekeeping role.

    During the 1830’s Albany became the showplace of race relations. Fifty years later relations in Albany with the Aboriginals had weakened with conflict reached a peak as the local authorities turned a blind eye to massacres and mass murderers by the colonists. Disease also took its toll of the Aborigines. However now they are claiming back their rights!

    At the Western Australian Museum in Albany you can see the Residency Building which was once the settlement’s convict hiring depot. Inside you can study the stories of the Noongar people and Albany’s natural history and biodiversity. The museum also has an early one teacher school and the Cooperative Building which was once the centre of life in the town of Mount Barker. As well as a replica of the brig Amity there is the Welcome Walls Albany which praise the many migrants who arrived through the port of Albany. Its design reflects the original town jetties.

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    A Drive Along the Rainbow Coast to Albany

    by Drever Written Feb 16, 2014
    Elephant Rocks
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    Travelling along the Rainbow Coast to Albany by car the scenery enchanted us so we often stopped for a walk and to see it close up.

    The oldest rocks, the gneisses, along the Rainbow coast pre-date almost all life on Earth. They formed between 1300 and 1600 million years ago. The granite formed when the Australia and Antarctica tectonic plates collided 1160 million years ago to form the continent Gondwana. It caused such friction the Earth’s crust, between the two continents, melted and rose slowly, cooling into the masses of granite visible today.

    The continents broke apart about 45 million years ago and today the rock formations along the Rainbow Coast still match rocks on the northern coast of Antarctica. At points along the coast the friction between the land masses and the breaking apart has created magnificent phenomena. At the William Bay National Park in the Denmark Region fifteen kilometres to the west of Denmark is the captivating tall rounded granite boulders of Elephant Rocks at William Bay. Black dolerite has intruded into the granite and, being much softer, has eroded away to form an inlet. The much younger limestone capping the hill to the left has dissolving to form 'frozen waterfalls' over the surface of the granite.

    As it name suggests, Elephant Rocks with a small stretch of the imagination resemble a herd of elephants bathing in the cold Southern Ocean especially when viewed from up on the headland. These huge oval boulders make a stunning sight as they gaze out on the Great Southern Ocean.

    From the Greens Pool car park it is a good ten minute walk over the rises on a well-kept track to these rugged stone animals. We accessed the Cove by a staircase which descends between the rocks and ends in a beach crevasse which gives entrance to the beach. This beach has a sacred feel to it, perhaps because it has been an aboriginal birthing place over the centuries.

    A few hundred yards to the west is the beach is Greens Pool sheltered from the heavy surf by lines of the rounded rock boulders typical of this area. Walking into the water, we noticed the long gradual slope, allowing children of all ages to experience the ocean in a safe and comfortable environment. Small crevasses and pools cut into the rock – perfect for children young and old. In the centre of the pool is a square-topped boulder from which some swimming enthusiasts dive. If you are in to snorkelling, the calms waters make it easy to spot multitudes of fish of all sizes – from hand size schools to large stingrays.

    Situated on the Torndirrup peninsula which shelters Albany from the Great Southern Ocean are more of the Rainbow Coast's most extraordinary natural sights. The Natural Bridge is a granite formation bridging a chasm caused by the gradual wearing away of the rock underneath by the Great Southern Ocean. The Gap is an impressive rugged granite channel with spectacular sheer drop of almost twenty-five metres carved by the waves crashing against the granite coastline. The Blowholes are crevasses in the granite stretching down to sea level far below. With each wave the 'holes' blow air and spray up the channel making an impressive noise. All in all a surprising coast.

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  • al2401's Profile Photo

    Fitzgerald River National Park

    by al2401 Written Oct 28, 2013

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    Fitzgerald River N. P. looking south to the coast
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    Fitzgerald River National Park is located about 180 kilometres east of Albany and covers an area of 329,882 hectares. The park includes many different ecosystems - mountains, rivers and the coast - and incorporates the Fitzgerald Biosphere. Of the many different plant species found in the park 62 are unique to the area and another 48 are rare outside of its boundaries.

    You can enter the park with a standard vehicle but the centre can only be accessed by 4WD or on foot. Roads can be closed due to seasonal flooding. Currently access limited to try and halt the spread of the fungus Phytophthora cinnamomi that causes Root Rot or Dieback.

    Fitzgerald River National Park is also home many species of mammals, birds and reptiles. Southern Wright Wales can be found as they come to calve during their migration.

    The park recognised by the UNESCO Man and Biosphere Program.

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    Dog Rock

    by al2401 Written Oct 28, 2013

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    Dog Rock - the name says it all. It even wears a collar!!

    In 1921 it escaped extinction by explosion by a referendum - the local council wanted to blow it up!!

    There have been many stories connected with this famous/infamous rock. Check out the link below for details

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  • aussirose's Profile Photo

    Rotary Lookout Albany WA

    by aussirose Written Oct 11, 2013

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    Rotary Lookout Albany WA by aussirose
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    This was the first place that we went to when visiting Albany.

    Rotary Lookout is located on the west side driving towards the wind farm.

    Here you can see that the coastline is rocky and untouched. This was just a taste of things to come and we were excited! :o)

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    Wildflowers Albany WA - Sep to Nov

    by aussirose Updated Oct 11, 2013

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    Australian Wildflower - Green Bottlebrush
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    Around September to November the famous Australian Wildflowers are in full bloom. As part of our 2013 Big Downunder VT Meet we were given books and a list of flowers to find.

    By this time, half way through our car trip from Perth, Dorrise and I were experts in finding weeds - that is non-native flowers haha. So we needed to catch up. This is where our guide for the day Matt... a friend of Heather's (buffybird) came in handy. He spotted all sorts of wildflowers and pulling over for us to take pictures.

    We got at least 5 flowers that we needed and zoomed ahead of the others in the competition!! :o) Thanks Matt!! .... lol.

    Anyway, here are just some that we photographed.

    If you are travelling around this time of year, then keep a look out for the beautiful wildflowers. Some are very small like the orchids. So stop off on the side of the road and check out the bush and you will find heaps of them!

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  • aussirose's Profile Photo

    Nippers Cafe and Albany Marron Farm

    by aussirose Written Oct 9, 2013

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    This is a great place to take the whole family. No kids?.... never mind. The food itself would be enough to entice you!!

    We enjoyed our wander around the animal farm whilst lunch was being prepared in the Café. Unfortunately they didn't have any Marron ready to eat (large prawn/small lobster) so I had prawns....but they were fresh and sweet.

    This place should definitely be on your 'must see' list. It has a café, animal farm, marron breeding tanks, a huge bird avery and Segway tours. Heaps for the whole family!

    There was a llama that made us laugh. He threatened to chase Dorrise and then turned and came at me. Check out the video :o)

    Anyway, I totally recommend this place - link below.

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    The Gap & Natural Arch - Albany WA by aussirose

    by aussirose Written Oct 9, 2013

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    The Gap & Natural Arch Albany WA by aussirose
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    Check out my Wild Adventure for the full story! What a great time we had in Albany as part of the big 2013 Downunder VT Meet!

    The Gap and Natural Arch were just awesome! .... Ah... no ... Matt was awesome!! :o)

    Be careful here though...... the winds were very strong and the waves swooshed up the cliff like they had a wild tornado pushing from behind. No wonder people are swept off the rocks regularly here. We were game....

    I recommend this.... but be careful on the rocks and watch that surf for huge waves.

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    A delightful Little Beach

    by tropicrd Written Oct 6, 2013

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    Delightful Little Beach
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    Little Beach is really a delightful place to take the family or yourselves for the day..it is sheltered from Two People's Bay and strong winds.The sand is white and the water is clean .There is a car park and a good walkway to get yourself down,once there you will be surprised how wonderful it is..you could easily feel like you were alone in the wilderness.
    The day I was there,giant stingrays were close to shore.

    If you do have a day to spare whilst visiting this area then I recommend Little Beach. Take a picnic and water,sun hat and sunscreen cream,camera etc and enjoy.

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    Wildflowers around Albany

    by tropicrd Written Oct 6, 2013

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    Beautiful red bottlebrush
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    What ever you do if you are travelling around Albany in spring time look out for wildflowers.STOP the car and get out and walk into the bush..you don't have to go far before you discover tiny little orchids and other beautiful native flowers and bush.

    You can always pick up a wildflower book to identify them..

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    2 Peoples Bay and Little Beach

    by aussirose Updated Oct 5, 2013

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    Little Beach Albany WA - aussrose favourite
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    This was my favourite beach - Little Beach which is part of 2 Peoples Bay in Albany.

    Our host for the day dear Matt says that this is the most beautiful beach in Australia. Mmmm, not sure.... but it would have to be in my top 5.... most definitely!! :o) It is gorgeous!!.... and secluded which is what I love in a beach. There was nobody here but us...... Now that is a beach! :o)

    We even saw a couple of large sting rays in the water as you can see in one of my pics here.

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    Visit the Amity

    by stevemt Written Sep 23, 2013

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    The Amity was a Brig that sailed from Sydney to Albany in 1826 to establish a settlement and to defend Australia from the threat of invasion from the French.

    The replica was commissioned in 1976, and has been visited and enjoyed by thousands since.

    It is a real slice of history here.

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    Visit the Princess Royal Fortress

    by stevemt Written Sep 19, 2013

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    A visit to the Princess Royal Fortress is a must for anyone interested in the military and the war.

    The area is very interesting and very well preserved.

    They have opened up the origional buildings for inspection, and also the fortifications that guarded the coast line of Albany.

    Very will set out and labeled.

    Well worth a visit.

    There is a small charge that goes towards the upkeep.

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    Bibbulman Track: Volunteering in the bush

    by CatherineReichardt Updated Oct 24, 2011

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    Maintenance volunteers on the Bibbulman Track

    We often get forum queries from people looking to volunteer in Australia - often young people on a 'gap' year - and so here's an idea that might be of interest.

    The Bibbulmun Track is a 964 kilometre premier walking track from Perth to Albany on the south coast of Western Australia. En route it passes through astonishingly beautiful bush and is a wonderful experience, even if you only get to hike a certain section.

    Maintaining and upgrading the track is a labour of love, and is undertaken by a 3,500 strong band of volunteers, assisted by (to quote the website), "prison gangs of trustee prisoners for some of the heavier work" (!).

    The Bibbulman Track Foundation is always looking for willing volunteers to assist them in this work - the company I used to work for in Perth used to do this as a corporate social responsibility exercise (see the website below for more details).

    Even if you don't have the time and energy to help out in person, other opportunities to help include making a donation to their sponsorship drive for eco-friendly 'dunnies' (toilets) along the route. This provides you with a unique stab at immortality, as for a fee you can have a family or individual plaque set on the dunny door on any of the forty-eight shelters which house dry bush drop toilets! (see website for further details on this).

    An opportunity to spend time in the bush, have a toilet named in your honour and maybe even rub shoulders with dinky di crims ... 'struth, sounds like the quintessential Aussie experience to me! :)

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    HAVE A "COLDIE" AT THE OLDEST PUB

    by DennyP Written Sep 30, 2009

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    THE ALBANY HOTEL
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    When in Albany even if you are just passing through...stop and have a "coldie "or something to eat at Western Australias oldest pub in its oldest town (Albany) .appropriately named the Albany Hotel..Opened in 1835 and almost 175 years old..

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Albany Things to Do

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