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Port city Albany is the oldest permanently settled town in Western Australia, pre-dating Perth and Fremantle by over two years. It has a population of over 30,000 residents making it the sixth largest population centre in Western Australia. It has all the facilities you would expect of a town this size, including bike equipment stores. Right at the very southern end of the Munda Biddi Trail lies the Albany Visitor Centre. This is a great place to get information for either your stay in Albany or your northward adventure along the Munda Biddi Trail. With one of the most beautiful natural harbours in the world and a dramatic convict history there is no shortage of things to do here.
Albany boasts some of the finest foods and premium wines in the area and if your stay falls over the weekend, you can sample some of the freshest produce at the weekly Farmers and Boatshed Markets. Fine selection of seasonal fresh fruit and vegetables, fish, meats, dairy products and seafood is available and this is where you will find the locals on a Saturday and Sunday morning.
Albany has plenty of interesting history, but one of the more significant, which is relativity unknown to the passing tourist, is the ANZAC connection.
In 1914, several convoys carrying ANZAC troops to Gallipoli and Western Front assembled in King George Sound. For many, Albany's islands, rugged cliffs and brilliant white sandy beaches were their last sight of Australia. The Light Horse Memorial stands defiant on Mt Clarence and is well worth the visit for the views alone.
Discovered by Captain Vancouver in 1791 and settled in 1826, around 50 colonial buildings have survived – now housing museums, art and craft galleries and restaurants. The best way to take it all in is to follow the Amity Trail, a 30 minute self-guided walk that takes you past historical buildings of note.
Tour the old whaling station, jump aboard a whaling boat and don’t miss the Brig Amity - a replica of the ship that brought Albany its first settler and convict cargo.
Mt Melville and Mt Clarence have stunning views over the beautiful Princess Royal Harbour and King George Sound - or walk the 3km Middleton Beach boardwalk trail around the Sound.
The whaling industry shut up shop in 1978 and whale watching has taken its place. Humpback and Southern Right whales can be observed near the bays and coves of King George Sound from July to October. Watch from the shore or take a whale watching cruise to see these magnificent creatures close up. Albany also offers top-notch fishing, sailing and hiking.
There’s so much to see and do in Albany that we highly recommend spending at least a couple of days there at the start or finish of your cycling adventure.