Location: Ellen Cove Middleton Beach, Albany
Distance: 6km one way
Trail Marker: Unmarked but straight forward. Download Kml file below.
Duration: 1 - 2 hours
Cost: $0, free entry
Date Hiked: 5th Octber 2018
Kml Map File: Please click here.
This dual-use pathway from Ellen Cove to Albany Port is one of the best ways to see the beautiful coastline of the historic town of Albany. The trail hugs the rugged Mt Clarence hillside giving fantastic views of Middleton Beach, King George Sound and the outer islands and provides a great opportunity to explore memorials and historic buildings. As you gaze out to sea imagine the Australian troops departing to fight in Gallipoli.
This particular weekend we decided to ride the trail as we were a little stretched for time and with the trail being dual-use it provided the perfect opportunity. We pretty much started at the Albany Life Savers building where Sophie and Dave tested their riding on sand.
We made our way around to the boardwalk to begin the trail, passing by a tiered picnic level that was under construction at the time. We took some time to read the interpretive signs just before the boardwalk which provided information on the settlement arrival in 1836.
The small jetty is quite popular with the local kids as they jump into Ellen Cove which is currently protected with The Aquarius Barrier. It supposed to be in a trial period which is due to expire March 2019, as it stands it is still there.
First stop along the boardwalk was at the whale-watching lookout. You can catch the migrating humpback and southern right whales during whale-watching season (May to November).
Next stop is the Captain Nicolas Baudin monument, a landmark celebrating one of the first European explorers in the Pacific.
Scenic lookouts take in the views of King George Sound and Ataturk Entrance. A midway connection to Rotary Lookout allows the path to be enjoyed in sections if desired.
The next highlight of the trail is the Point King Lighthouse. The end of the Crimean War in 1856 brought new life to international shipping, so two lighthouses were proposed for Albany, one on Breaksea Island and this one which was completed in 1858 by Joseph Nelson who was the first lightkeeper but also build the structure.
The lighthouse is the source of long running ghost stories that tell the tales of a dark-coated, bearded 'gentleman', believed to be the ghost of Jon Reddin (the last lightkeeper) guiding disorientated yachtsman into the harbour through stormy weather.
Next stop was to check out the historic ruins of abandoned gun emplacements of the lower Forts. Please note that this is not directly on the trail itself but requires ascending up the stairs opposite the entry to the Point King Lighthouse.
I should mention that this section was done on a different day as you couldn't take bikes up to explore through this part. There's quite a few trails around here and we really enjoyed exploring and seeing what was around. We came across some old WWII army bunkers which was a little eerie to be honest. The last bunker is hidden by a huge granite rock (can be seen from the main trail). It was here that we took a short side trail back to the main one.
Views out to Vancouver Peninsula across the Ataturk channel
Next up was the Mustafa Kemal Ataturk life sized statue. He was Commander in Chief of the Turkish forces at Gallipoli, and subsequently President of Turkey from 1923 – 1938.
His famous words are 'Peace at home, Peace in the World'.
More fabulous views
More WWII army bunkers. These ones can be found hidden away just below the trail but you need to keep lookout for them as they are easily missed.
Panorama looking out to Vancouver Peninsula. I seem to have lost the last few pics of the trail but it's pretty straight forward where the finish of the trail is. At this point you can continue on, past the Port of Albany and in to town, or turn around and head back to Ellen Cove.
Hopefully this post inspires you to visit and if so, we would love to hear your thoughts on the trail. Please feel free to tag us in your adventures.
We acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we walk, the traditional lands of the Nyoongar people & wish to acknowledge them as traditional owners paying respects to their Elders, past & present, and Elders from other communities who may be here today.