Food and Drink in Albany (Australia)
You'll find plenty of lunch spots around town in York Street and Stirling Terrace and at Middleton Beach, with both inside and alfresco seating. Many cafes and restaurant highlight fresh produce from the region, including seafood.
York Street Cafe: This bistro-style restaurant offers a varied lunch menu -- from an antipasto platter of local produce to New York-style burgers and local whiting. (184 York Street; +61 8 9842 1666; open every day for breakfast and lunch, with lunch served 11.30 a.m. to 2 p.m.)
Three Anchors: Right on Middleton Beach at Ellen Cove, the Three Anchors restaurant and kiosk combines fully licenced dining with a water view. (2 Flinders Parade, Middleton Beach; +61 8 9841 1600; open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.)
Kate's Place: For a light lunch in atmospheric surroundings, head to Kate's Place, which offers cosy sofas and books to read (42 Stirling Terrace; +61 8 9842 9696; open 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.), or sit at a huge communal timber table with locals and have the plate de jour at Gourmandise & Co (56 Stirling Terrace; +61 8 9847 4005; open 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday).
Black Duck Gourmet Pantry: If you want to buy edibles to take back to the ship for lunch or as a souvenir, head to the Black Duck Gourmet Pantry, which is stocked to the brim with smoked meats, pickles, marinated olives, dried fruits, chocolates and toffees. It has a small alfresco dining area serving award-winning Denmark Bakery pies and pasties as well as gourmet cakes and muffins. (34 Peels Place; +61 8 9842 1433; open 8.30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday)
Beaches in Albany (Australia)
Best for Families: Middleton Beach is Albany's main swimming beach and the closest to town and Albany Port (a six-minute drive). It's a beautiful long stretch of white, squeaky sand bordered by grassy picnic areas under shady Norfolk pines. The southern end of the beach, Ellen Cove, is the most sheltered and the best spot for calmer waters for swimming with a jetty and swimming pontoon. The beach offers a playground, picnic tables, change rooms and toilets.
Best for Surfing and Fishing: Facing south, Nanarup Beach feels far more wild and remote than Middleton Beach, yet is only 20 kilometres (12 miles) from town (about a 30-minute drive). If you don't feel safe swimming in the bigger surf, head to Islet Point at the western end of the beach where a large rocky outcrop protects tiny Nanarup Beach Lagoon, which is much calmer.
Best for Photographers: Often regarded as one of Australia's top beaches, Little Beach at Two Peoples Bay offers clear turquoise water, bright white sand, ochre-tinted boulders, scrubby green bush and granite outcrops. Located in Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve, 35 kilometres (22 miles) east of Albany (about a 50-minute drive), there is enough to keep you photographing all day.
Don't Miss in Albany (Australia)
Historic Whaling Station: Whaling predates settlement in this region, and Albany prospered from visiting whaling ships in its early days. The Historic Whaling Station offers a look into the industry and those who worked in it. The location, the site of the last whaling station to close in Australia (in 1978), with its machinery, flensing deck and historic photos is hauntingly evocative, but the mood is uplifted with multimedia presentations celebrating the beauty of whales, shown inside the old whale-oil storage tanks. Step aboard a whale chaser ship and be dwarfed by enormous whale skeletons. Explore on your own or take a free 40-minute guided tour that leaves on the hour from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. (Discovery Bay, 81 Whaling Station Road; +61 8 9844 4021; open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily except Christmas Day)
National Anzac Centre: This is Australia's foremost museum dedicated to the Anzacs (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) of World War I. When it opened on 1 November 2014, the museum marked 100 years since the first convoy of Australian and New Zealand troops departed from Albany's King George Sound. With panoramic views over narrow Ataturk Entrance, through which the fleet departed from Princess Royal Harbour (from this angle you might wonder how your cruise ship squeezed through), the museum's contemporary design and interactive displays elicit a deeply personal connection with the servicemen and women, their horses, accompanying war correspondents and photographers, through private artefacts, rare images, film and audio recordings. On entry you receive an image of one of 32 Anzacs and can assume his or her identity, following the personal experience from pre- to post-war, for those who returned. (Princess Royal Fortress, Albany Heritage Park, 7 Forts Road; +61 8 9841 9369; open 9 a.m. daily except Christmas Day, last entry 4 p.m.)
Beaches: Many people come to vacation at Albany's beaches. From calm, protected, harbour beaches safe for swimming to rugged ocean beaches lashed by ferocious waves, all feature fine, white sand. Choose from tiny isolated coves to long, curving stretches of sand with picnic grounds and cafes nearby.
Hike to Middleton Beach: Put on your walking shoes and take a hike along Ellen Cove to Albany Port Boardwalk for panoramic views of Princess Royal Harbour, Vancouver Peninsula, King George Sound and Middleton Beach. From the pier, turn right and follow Princess Royal Drive to the start of the path, a mix of bitumen and wooden boardwalk, which follows the headland around to Ellen Cove. This moderate walk takes about an hour one way and features lookouts, historic buildings and interpretive signs to see en route. Be sure to keep an eye out to sea for whales in season.
Albany Wind Farm: Visit the largest wind turbines in the southern hemisphere at the Albany Wind Farm. At 65 metres (213 feet) tall, 18 turbines stand sentinel atop a cliff facing the Southern Ocean. With 35-metre-long (115-foot) blades cutting the air, they make a dramatic silhouette against the skyline 12 kilometres (seven miles) southwest of town. Boardwalks and information panels make for easy self-guided visits. (Princess Avenue; open all day, every day.)
Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk: Hire a car and drive west to Walpole-Nornalup National Park (about 1.5 hours), and take the Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk among 400-year-old tingle trees, found nowhere else in the world. The 40-metre high walkway through the treetops is suitable for children, strollers and wheelchairs. Take your time on the drive back, stopping in Denmark and visiting wineries and fresh produce markets. (Valley of the Giants Road, Nornalup; open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, except Christmas Day and during hazardous conditions)