Location: Apex Drive, Albany Heritage Park
Distance: 2.25km loop
Trail Marker: Very well signed with directional markers
Duration: 1 - 2 hours
Cost: $0, free entry
Date Hiked: 29th May 2019
Kml Map File: Please click here.
The Mount Adelaide Nature Trail is one of Albany's 10 Great Walks that provides breathtaking views of the King George Sound, Princess Royal Harbour and out to the Stirling Range. Like Mount Clarence, Mount Adelaide is located within the 260 hectare Albany Heritage Park and is home to the National Anzac Centre.
I did do this hike late last year when we came down to scout out the area prior to our relocation but took a few different tracks so this time stuck to the official loop for the purpose of the blog.
The trail begins from the carpark at the corner of Forts Rd and Apex Drive in the Albany Heritage Park. The trail-head is much clearer than Mount Clarence however it's more of an informative sign on the general area than the walk itself. I had just over an hour to kill so thought I would get it done, even though the weather looked like it rain would be coming pretty soon.
Departing the carpark the trails descends down along a section of trail providing glimpses of the Albany township below.
Turning left once I had reached the wider vehicle tracks I continued on making my way around the base of the mountain. I did find the signage a little confusing at times as there seemed to be trails kind of going everywhere but using the little '10 great walks' pamphlets and maps on my phone I determined which ones seemed to be the right ones. However, I really don't think it matters too much which one you take as they all seem to link up in the end.
The main trail does eventually leave the wide vehicle tracks and once meanders through natural bushland with lots of beautiful little granite areas to admire. Signage will advise when you can detour off to the Gun Emplacements but you can join them further around as well so I continued on.
I was surprised with how pretty is actually was through this section of bushland. I would imagine it would look even nicer in Spring when all of the Wildflowers are in bloom.
The narrow trail once again joins the wider ones and from their I could see the sky getting a little moodier than when I began so upped the pace just a little. I enjoyed seeing the sights of King George Sound come in to view as I made my way around the eastern side of the mountain.
A nice little viewing platform provides walkers with a chance to rest while taking in these awe inspiring views.
The view of Vancouver Peninsula is probably one of my favourites in Albany, seen from the trail in the pic below.
The trail passes by a set of small stairs leading up to the top of Mount Adelaide where visitors are welcome to explore the Coastal Defences Control Bunker, Memorial Gardens and the National Anzac Centre.
I have explored there many times already, highly recommend making a day of it but for the purpose of the blog and trail I continued on.
Further along was a bunker I had not previously explored so was excited so have come across it. I find the whole area rich in history and enjoy taking a step back in time and learning about the military history.
This section of the Coastal Defences Control Barker showed the Battery Observation Post, Lewis Gun Pits, Slit Trenches and The Princess Royal Fortress Command Centre as seen below.
The concrete structure was built in 1942 as part of Albany's fortress defences during the Second World War (1939-45). The command centre housed the range-finding equipment for the guns and co-ordinated firing of the guns and searchlights located along the shoreline. It was heavily camouflaged, as the southern slope of Mount Adelaide had been cleared.
Today, the regrowth hides the Command Centre's remains.
It was actually perfect timing that arrived at this bunker as it began to pour down. What I loved was being able to look out the viewing windows, because there were actually lots of little Quendas hopping around in the rain, too quick for me to grab a pic though.
Thankfully it didn't last long and I was able to continue on to the Naval Discovery Trail which links up to the National Anzac Centre. Passing through quickly because it was still spitting raindrops on my lens, I hurried up rejoining the trail below the anzac centre.
The trail follows along side Apex Drive although I did get a bit confused here as trail markers were non-existent and the mapping didn't look that clear. I actually took a left trail down but that took me to Marine Drive so it would seem the official trail continues on straight ahead passing by more beautiful granite boulders surrounded by Balga Trees.
The trail then comes out on to Forts Rd in front of 'The Forts', where turn left and walk along the road.
It's then just a short walk back to the carpark where you began.
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 first nations 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.