The Great Southern is the largest and most diverse region within Australia’s South West. Located approximately 4-5 hours southeast of Perth, it varies from unspoilt coastline and idyllic seaside towns, to sprawling agricultural lands and national parks harbouring some of the world’s rarest species of flora and fauna.
Along the south coast, the sheer force of the Southern Ocean has sculptured a raw, dramatic coastline, creating some remarkable seaside scenery, a little further inland you’ll find karri, jarrah and tingle trees that are hundreds of years old, towering above the forest floor, and then, there are the ancient mountain ranges, with breathtaking views worth the challenging hike and climb.
Albany marks the spot where the first European settlers set foot in Western Australia, and much of their legacy remains today with around 50 colonial buildings standing proudly as museums, galleries and restaurants. From convict prisons, whaling ships and taverns to quaint cottages and grand National Trust residences, you can take in almost two centuries of history on a 30-minute self-guided walk, following the Amity Trail.
Albany's King George Sound also marks the spot where the first convoy of ANZACs departed for the battlegrounds of the First World War. Today, you can follow their extraordinary stories through the National Anzac Centre's state-of-the-art interactive displays.
You'll also find some of the town's biggest tales in the Historic Whaling Station at Discovery Bay, the only museum of its kind to be housed in a former whaling station. The industry met its end in 1978, creating a safe port of call for migrating humpback, southern right and blue whales. Spot them from the shore or join a whale watching cruise for a magical encounter.
One of the most scenic areas for whale spotting and cliff-top walks is Torndirrup National Park. Here, the Southern Ocean has sculpted the granite coastline into striking formations known as The Gap and Natural Bridge.
For sensational views over King George Sound, head for Middleton Beach boardwalk trail. Or take a drive up to Albany Wind Farm and feel dwarfed by the towering turbines.
As well as world-class hiking, you'll also find some top-notch spots for fishing, sailing and diving.
The Great Southern is the largest and most diverse region within Australia’s South West. It varies from unspoilt coastline and idyllic seaside towns, to sprawling agricultural lands and national parks harbouring some of the world’s rarest species of flora and fauna.
Along the south coast, the sheer force of the Southern Ocean has sculptured a raw, dramatic coastline, creating some remarkable seaside scenery – think cliff faces carved out by crashing waves, natural rock formations in the shape of giant bridges, and pristine, white sandy beaches with turquoise-coloured water lapping at the shore.
A little further inland you’ll find trees that are hundreds of years old, towering above the forest floor; and ancient mountain ranges with breathtaking views worth the challenging hike and climb.
The Great Southern’s historic landmarks and the stories behind them are equally impressive. Albany’s King George Sound was the first European settlement in Western Australia, settled before the Swan River Colony in Perth. In addition, the area has significant ties to World War I, with Albany being the departure point for the majority of Anzac troops who left for Europe during the war.
The Amazing South Coast stretches from Walpole through to Bremer Bay, and inland to the Stirling Range in southern Western Australia. Widely regarded as one of the most beautiful and diverse regions in the world. Visit Australia’s National Anzac Centre, the Gap and Natural Bridge, the Treetop Walk, Elephant Rocks and Greens Pool, and the Bremer Canyon Killer Whale Expedition.
Getting to and around Albany
- Albany is a 408 km drive south of the Perth.
- REX airlines operates flights between Perth and Albany on a daily basis.
- TRANS WA also operates a bus service between the two.
- Albany is approx 11km from the airport.
- Taxi's and rental cars are available.
To find out more about Albany & Surrounds, go to The Amazing South Coast.