Albany, Western Australia

Albany /ˈælbəni/ is a port city in the Great Southern region in the Australian state of Western Australia, 418 km southeast of Perth, the state capital. Albany is the oldest colonial settlement in Western Australia, predating Perth and Fremantle by over two years.

Western Australia
York Street in Albany
Coordinates35°01′22″S 117°52′53″E
Population34,205 (2018)[1] (43rd)
 • Density115.091/km2 (298.08/sq mi)
Established26 December 1826
Area297.2 km2 (114.7 sq mi)[2] (2011 urban)
Time zoneAWST (UTC+8)
LGA(s)City of Albany
State electorate(s)Albany
Federal Division(s)O'Connor
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
19.5 °C
67 °F
11.7 °C
53 °F
929.6 mm
36.6 in

The city centre is at the northern edge of Princess Royal Harbour, which is a part of King George Sound. The central business district is bounded by Mount Clarence to the east and Mount Melville to the west. The city is in the local government area of the City of Albany.

The Albany settlement was founded on 26 December 1826,[3] as a military outpost of New South Wales as part of a plan to forestall French ambitions in the region. To that end, on 21 January 1827, the commander of the outpost, Major Edmund Lockyer, formally took possession of the western third of the continent for the British Crown.[4]

The settlement was initially named Frederick Town in honour of Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany.[5][6][7] In 1831, the settlement was transferred to the control of the Swan River Colony and renamed Albany by Lieutenant-Governor James Stirling.[8]

During the last decade of the 19th century the town served as a gateway to the Eastern Goldfields. For many years, it was the colony's only deep-water port, having a place of eminence on shipping services between Britain and its Australian colonies. The opening of the Fremantle Inner Harbour in 1897,[9] however, saw its importance as a port decline, after which the town's industries turned primarily to agriculture, timber and later, whaling.

Today as a city it is the southern terminus for tourism in the region, and the state's South West,[10] which is known for its natural environment and preservation of heritage. The town has a role in the ANZAC legend, being the last port of call for troopships departing Australia in the First World War. Also an auxiliary submarine base for the US Navy's 7th Fleet was developed during the Second World War in the event the submarine base at Fremantle was lost. Also in the harbour was an RAN Naval Installation which provided for alongside refuelling from four 5000 ton fuel tanks.[11]

Early history

Kinjarling (Albany) was home to Menang Noongar indigenous tribes during the summer season. They called the area Kinjarling which means "the place of rain".[12] Many town names in South-Western Australia end in "up" or "ing", which means "place of" in the Noongar language. They would sometimes camp near "Boondie Yokine" – roughly translated as Dog Rock.[12] Early European explorers discovered evidence of fish traps located on Emu Point and on the French, now the Kalgan, River. Vancouver made attempts to find the inhabitants of the area but only found bark dwellings that were unoccupied. Later explorers made contact and were told to leave, but were accepted when they did not. Most of the exploration was made to survey the land and sea and assess the resources for further exploitation. The explorers only occasionally noted the Noongars they encountered. Native treatment laws and programs have affected the tribes since settlement.

Heritage buildings

The following Information is derived from the State Heritage Register[13] where these places are registered. The assessment criteria contain more details.

  • The Old Farm Strawberry Hill was established in 1827 as a government farm to feed the colonial soldiers stationed around King George's Sound. It is the oldest farm in Western Australia. The homestead, which became the home of the Government Resident in 1836, is an example of a colonial gentleman's residence. After a chequered history the property was vested in the National Trust WA in 1964 and is now a house museum.
  • Patrick Taylor Cottage (1832), Western Australia's oldest surviving dwelling, built in 1832 by the Morley Brothers. It is now maintained by the Albany Historical Society.
  • St John's Church (1841–1848) is a stone building with shingled roofs in the Old Colonial Gothick Picturesque style. Set among trees, it was designed to be part of an overall contrived picturesque scene in the manner of an English garden landscape.[14]
  • Scots Uniting Church (1892) was designed in the Victorian Academic Gothic style by Melbourne architect Evander McIver and built with local granite stonework.
  • The complex now known as The Residency Museum was established in 1850 as a depot for the Convict Establishment in Albany. It is an L shaped, single storied, masonry building with a timber framed, timber shingled roof. In 1873 it was converted into the Resident Magistrate's home. It now serves as a museum.
  • The Victorian Free Classical Revival style Town Hall (1888) is a two-storey stone building with a prominent clock tower, which dominates York Street, the main street of Albany. It has been put to many uses apart from council meetings, including public entertainment and public meetings of all kinds and even as the venue for the first regional meeting of the State Parliament.
  • The Old Post Office was built in two stages, the first was designed in 1869 by J Manning, the second, including a prominent tower, was designed in 1896 by George Temple-Poole. It now houses the Albany campus of the University of Western Australia.
  • The Court House, constructed of Albany brick and granite with a tiled roof, was designed in the Federation Romanesque style by the Public Works Department under the supervision of George Temple Poole and Hillson Beasley in 1897.
  • Another example of the work of George Temple Poole is the limestone and shingle Federation Arts and Crafts style Cottage Hospital, designed in 1886 and completed in 1897. It is one of the oldest hospitals in the state and served as such until 1962. It is now occupied by the Vancouver Arts Centre (named after the explorer George Vancouver).


In June 2018, the urban population of Albany was 34,205[1] making it the state's sixth-largest population centre.[15]

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made up 3.5% of the population.
  • 74.3% of people were born in Australia. The next most common countries of birth were England 7.5%, New Zealand 1.7%, Philippines 1.6%, South Africa 1.1% and Scotland 0.7%.
  • 86.8% of people only spoke English at home. Other languages spoken at home included Filipino 0.7%, Italian 0.6%, Tagalog 0.6%, Afrikaans 0.6% and German 0.4%.
  • The most common responses for religion were No Religion 37.4%, Anglican 16.5% and Catholic 13.1%.[16]


The city centre of Albany is located between the hills of Mount Melville and Mount Clarence, which look down into Princess Royal Harbour. Many beaches surround Albany, with Middleton Beach being the closest to the town centre. Other popular beaches include Frenchman Bay and Muttonbird Island.

Albany is 418 km (260 mi) SSE of the state capital, Perth, to which it is linked by Albany Highway.

Wine region

Albany is in a sub-region of the Great Southern region of Western Australia.[17]


The Albany coastline is notorious for deaths due to king waves washing people off rocks. The Torndirrup National Park features some of the more rugged coastline in the area. However, there are many beaches that are safe and usable:


Albany has a Mediterranean climate (Köppen Csb) with dry, warm summers, mild, wet winters, and pleasant springs and autumns.[18] Summers have short spells of very hot weather, but cool ocean breeze brings relief, especially during evenings and nights. The city is situated on what is promoted as the "Rainbow Coast", an appropriate title given the frequency of days with both sun and drizzle or showers. Albany has 44.8 clear days annually.

July is the wettest month, with a long-term average of 144.0 mm (5.67 in). Rain in excess of 0.2 mm (0.01 in) occurs on two days out of every three during an average winter. The driest month is February with a mean of 22.9 mm (0.90 in).

Albany received a record amount of rain on 20 November 2008 when violent storms swept across the Great Southern region. The town was flooded after 113.8 mm (4.48 in) of rain fell in a 24-hour period, the highest amount recorded since rainfall records began in 1877.[19] The wettest month on record was June 1920 when 292.8 mm (11.5 in) fell, while February 1877 and February 1879 remain the only rainless months.

Climate data for Albany
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 41.7
Average high °C (°F) 22.8
Average low °C (°F) 15.2
Record low °C (°F) 7.8
Average rainfall mm (inches) 23.7
Average rainy days 7.9 7.6 11.0 14.1 18.1 20.0 21.5 21.0 18.3 16.3 12.2 9.5 177.5
Average afternoon relative humidity (%) 67 67 69 69 70 70 70 68 69 70 68 67 69
Source: Australian Bureau of Meteorology[20]


Albany's main industries are tourism, fishing, timber (wood chips) and agriculture. From 1952 to 1978 whaling was a major source of income and employment for the local population.

The Whaling Station, which closed operations in 1978, has been converted to a museum of whaling, and features one of the 'Cheynes' whale chasers that were used for whaling in Albany. The station was the last operating whaling station in the southern hemisphere and the English-speaking world at the time of closure.[22]

The Western Power Wind Farm is located at Sand Patch, to the west of Albany. The wind farm, originally commissioned in 2001 with 12 turbines, now has 18 turbines, driven by strong southerly winds, and can generate up to 80%[23] of the city's electricity usage.[24]

Albany has a number of historical sites including the Museum, Albany Convict Gaol, The Princess Royal Fortress (commonly known as The Forts) and Patrick Taylor Cottage, one of the oldest dwellings in Western Australia, c1832.[25] Albany has a great deal of historical significance to Western Australia.

Natural sights along the rugged coastline include the 'Natural Bridge' and the 'Gap'. The beaches have pristine white sand. The destroyer HMAS Perth was sunk in King George Sound in 2001 as a dive wreck.[26] Albany is also close to two low mountain ranges, the Porongurups and Stirling Ranges.

Albany is the southern terminus of the Bibbulmun Track walking trail.[27]

Albany is the southern terminus of the Munda Biddi Trail off-road cycling trail.[28]

Albany is home to HMAS Albany (based in Darwin) and the adopted home port of the Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Anzac. Albany is frequently visited by other warships.


Albany has a city bus service run by Love's Bus Service with five town routes. Albany is connected to Perth with road-coach services via Walpole and Bunbury; via Katanning and Northam; via Kojonup and Williams. Transwa coaches also serve Jerramungup, Ravensthorpe and Hopetoun.[29]

Regional Express Airlines, a national independent regional airline, provides 23 services a week between Perth and Albany Airport using 34-passenger turboprop Saab 340 aircraft.[30][31]

Albany was served by the Albany Progress passenger train from Perth until 1978. The railway station reopened as a tourist information centre in 1994.[32]


Albany radio stations include 783 Triple M (formerly 6VA and RadioWest), GOLD MX, Rete Italia, Vision FM, Fly FM Albany, HitFM (formerly HOT FM), ABC South Coast, ABC News, ABC Radio National, ABC Classic FM, Triple J, Racing Radio & Albany Community Radio.

Below is a table showing the broadcast frequencies on which these services can be received.

ServiceBroadcast frequency
ABC Local Radio630 kHz AM
783 Triple M783 kHz AM
GOLD MX1611 kHz AM
Rete Italia1629 kHz AM
Vision FM (Local)87.6 MHz FM
Fly FM88.0 MHz FM
ABC News92.1 MHz FM
Triple J92.9 MHz FM
Vision FM93.7 MHz FM
ABC Classic FM94.5 MHz FM
HitFM95.3 MHz FM
ABC Radio National96.9 MHz FM
Albany Community Radio100.9 MHz FM
Racing Radio104.9 MHz FM
HitFM (Local)106.5 MHz FM

Localised television stations available in Albany include GWN7, WIN Television Western Australia, West Digital Television, SBS and ABC Television Western Australia. GWN7 broadcasts a half-hour news program for regional WA, GWN7 News, at 5:30pm on weeknights with a district newsroom covering Albany and surrounding areas based in the city.

Below is a table showing the full suite of digital television services available in Albany. These services are broadcast from Mount Clarence and cover the majority of the geographic area with some areas requiring signal to be received from the Southern Agricultural site at Mount Barker. Both these transmission sites employ vertical polarity. Furthermore, a number of residents rely on receiving these services via satellite using the Viewer Access Satellite Television (VAST) system.

LCNChannel nameBroadcast ch. no.Broadcast frequency
2ABCUHF 43634.5 MHz
3SBSUHF 41620.625 MHz
5NINEUHF 44641.5 MHz
6GWN7UHF 45648.5 MHz
8WINUHF 42627.5 MHz
20ABC HDUHF 43634.5 MHz
21ABCUHF 43634.5 MHz
23ABC MEUHF 43634.5 MHz
24ABC NEWSUHF 43634.5 MHz
30SBS HDUHF 41620.625 MHz
33SBS FoodUHF 41620.625 MHz
34NITVUHF 41620.625 MHz
509GemUHF 44641.5 MHz
559Go!UHF 44641.5 MHz
627TWOUHF 45648.5 MHz
637mateUHF 45648.5 MHz
65ishop TVUHF 45648.5 MHz
80WIN HDUHF 42627.5 MHz
8110 BOLDUHF 42627.5 MHz
8210 PeachUHF 42627.5 MHz
83Sky News on WINUHF 42627.5 MHz
84TVSNUHF 42627.5 MHz

Local newspapers are the Albany Advertiser (established 1888) and The Extra, (owned by Seven West Media Limited, publishers of The West Australian), and The Great Southern Weekender, independently owned by Beaconwood Holdings Pty. Ltd. The Great Southern Weekender also owns local radio stations GOLD MX and Fly FM.


There are currently several primary schools, eight high schools and one university campus in the Albany area.

Primary schools

  • Albany Primary School
  • Flinders Park Primary
  • Mount Lockyer Primary
  • Parklands School
  • Spencer Park Primary
  • Yakamia Primary
  • Woodbury Boston Primary School
  • Woodthorpe School
  • Little Grove Primary School

High schools




Notable residents

See also


  1. "3218.0 – Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2017-18: Population Estimates by Significant Urban Area, 2008 to 2018". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 27 March 2019. Retrieved 22 April 2019. Estimated resident population, 30 June 2018.
  2. "2011 Census Community Profiles: Albany". ABS Census. Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 15 September 2016.
  3. Battye, James Sykes (1924). Western Australia: A History from Its Discovery to the Inauguration of the Commonwealth. Oxford: Clarendon Press. p. 61.
  4. "King George's Sound Settlement". State Records. State Records Authority of New South Wales. Archived from the original on 24 June 2014. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
  5. Nind, Isaac Scott (7 February 1828). "View of Frederick Town, King Georges Sound, at the expiration of the first year of its settlement" (pdf). Manuscripts, Oral History and Pictures. State Library of New South Wales. Retrieved 12 May 2014.
  6. Nind, Isaac Scott (1832). "Description of the Natives of King George's Sound (Swan River Colony) and Adjoining Country". The Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London. 1: 21–51. doi:10.2307/1797657. JSTOR 1797657. Retrieved 12 May 2014.
  7. Wilson, Thomas Braidwood (1835). "Formation of the Settlement at King George's Sound". Narrative of a Voyage Round the World. London: Sherwood Gilbert & Piper. p. 281. Retrieved 12 May 2014.
  8. West, D.A.P., The Settlement on the Sound – Discovery and settlement of the Albany Region 1791–1831, Western Australian Museum, Perth, 1976, reprinted 2004. pp. 55–115.
  9. Hutchison, D., Fremantle Walks, Fremantle Arts Centre Press, Fremantle, 2006, pp. 51–55.
  10. "Destination Albany". Retrieved 7 October 2017.
  11. Base Facilities Report, Commander US 7th Fleet dated 15 September 1944 p26.
  12. The Amity Heritage Precinct "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 24 January 2010. Retrieved 16 December 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Retrieved 3 August 2007.
  13. "State Heritage Register". Heritage Council, State Heritage Office. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  14. "Strawberry Hill". National Trust. Canberra, ACT: Australian Council of National Trusts. Retrieved 23 May 2018.
  15. About Albany Archived 29 February 2016 at the Wayback Machine City of Albany, accessed 1 December 2009
  16. Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Albany (Significant Urban Area)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 5 January 2018.
  17. James Halliday (2009). The Australian Wine Encyclopedia. Hardie Grant Books. ISBN 978-1-74066-774-6.
  18. Garden 1977, p.5.
  19. "PerthNow - Storm dumps record rainfall on Albany". 20 November 2008. Archived from the original on 3 September 2012. Retrieved 24 November 2008.
  20. "Climate statistics for Albany". Australian Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
  21. "Climate Statistics for Albany Airport Comparison". Climate statistics for Australian locations. Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
  22. "Whaling". State Library of Western Australia. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
  23. "Albany Wind Farm". Verve Energy. 2013. Archived from the original on 22 November 2013. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
  24. Wind Energy in Western Australia Archived 9 March 2008 at the Wayback Machine Jade Carlton, Retrieved 3 August 2007.
  25. "Assessment Documentation - Patrick Taylor Cottage". Register of Heritage Places. Heritage Council of Western Australia. 30 June 2009. Archived from the original (pdf) on 12 May 2014. Retrieved 12 May 2014.
  26. Former HMAS Perth Dive Wreck Archived 18 June 2013 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 3 August 2007.
  27. "Albany Bibbulmun Track". Bibbulmun Track Foundation. Retrieved 7 October 2017.
  28. // Missing or empty |title= (help)
  29. Timetable Files Transwa
  30. "REX airline to fly to Albany and Esperance". The West Australian. Perth, WA. 22 February 2016. Archived from the original on 10 June 2016. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  31. Start of Rex flights welcomed Minister for Agriculture & Food Transport 27 February 2016
  32. Visitor Centre City of Albany


  • Arnold, Murray (2015). A Journey Travelled: Aboriginal-European Relations at Albany and the Surrounding Region from first contact to 1926. Crawley, WA: UWA Publishing. ISBN 9781742586632.
  • Garden, Donald S. Albany : a panorama of the Sound from 1827. West Melbourne, Vic.: Thomas Nelson (Australia), 1977. ISBN 0-17-005167-6


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