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.
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
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)
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!
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.
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.
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.
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..
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.
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.
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.
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! :)
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..
This is a great place to visit when in Albany..as this town has been linked so much to the Australian military.. The Princess Royal Fortress is surely an appropriate place to visit..Located not far from The Desert Corps "Light Horse Memorial" at the top of the mountain overlooking King Georges sound..This Fortress has featured prominently in our wartime history..Located here are the original Barracks ..the Royal Battery.. a military Heritage centre..a wonderful Light Horse Museum and a Naval Museum.. as Albany was the biggest secret Submarine base in the Pacific in the second world war the naval museum holds lots of interesting items. on the outside there are many artillery pieces also missiles etc. on exhibition here...This is a museum run by Volunteers and any donations are gladly received...there is an entrance fee ..see the gentleman on duty in the guardhouse..
The last operating whaling station in Australia closed down in 1978 and was later turned into a museum.
The whaling ship Cheynes IV and the buildings, tools and machinery of the factory show how whales were hunted and then flensed, cut up and processed. A bloody business it was.
Other parts of the exhibition show more about the animals, including a series of life-size whale skeletons.
3 movie theatres inside the former storage tanks present a 3-D movie about the life of whales, a multimedia show on sharks and a film about the history of whaling. Unfortunately these storage tanks are boiling hot on sunny days and the air inside still has an unpleasant stink...
Not to be missed: the Spectra Vision presentation about "A Day in the Life of a Whaler" which uses miniaturized projection techniques to document the life of a whaler and his wife. On a little stage with several items and settings the two miniature people move around and talk about their lives. Cute and well done.