Top Trail: Ellen Cove to Albany Port
This dual-use pathway is one of the best ways to see the beautiful coastline of the historic town of Albany in the Great Southern region. Discover beautiful Middleton Beach, memorials and historic buildings. As you gaze out to sea imagine the Australian troops departing to fight in Gallipoli.
About the Trail
A mixture of bitumen path and wooden boardwalk, the trail clings to the side of the hill and sweeps around with spectacular views of the bays. Commencing at the Ellen Cove trailhead, head up the boardwalk, keeping an eye out for the southern right or rare blue whales during whale season; a far cry from the days of whaling.
There are lookouts, memorials to past leaders and explorers, and interpretive signage along the uphills and decents. Near the port there are historic buildings including the lighthouse and bunkers where Australian troops once looked out over the spectacular views of King George Sound and Princess Royal Harbour. Once at the Albany Port negotiate some of the roads to head into town, or return the way you came.
Additional cycle routes in the area can be found on the "Go Cycle AmazingAlbany" brochure available at the Albany Visitor Information Centre - or download the brochure here.
Need to Know
The breathtaking beauty of Albany's rugged coastline creates a fitting backdrop to a dramatic whaling, convict and settler history and a sensational south coast adventure. The Albany Highway gets you there in just five hours from Perth, while a direct flight from Perth airport will whisk you there in one hour and 15 minutes. Or why not take your time and enjoy one of the world's greatest journeys, walking the Bibbulmun Track that runs from Perth to Albany. This charming city marks the spot where the first European settlers set foot in Western Australia, and much of their legacy remains today with around 50 colonial buildings standing proudly as museums, galleries and restaurants. From convict prisons, whaling ships and taverns to quaint cottages and grand National Trust residences, you can take in almost two centuries of history on a 30-minute self-guided walk, following the Amity Trail. Albany's King George Sound also marks the spot where the first convoy of ANZACs departed for the battlegrounds of the First World War. Today, you can follow their extraordinary stories through the National Anzac Centre's state-of-the-art interactive displays. You'll also find some of the town's biggest tales in the Historic Whaling Station at Discovery Bay, the only museum of its kind to be housed in a former whaling station. The industry met its end in 1978, creating a safe port of call for migrating humpback, southern right and blue whales. Spot them from the shore or join a whale watching cruise for a magical encounter. One of the most scenic areas for whale spotting and cliff-top walks is Torndirrup National Park. Here, the Southern Ocean has sculpted the granite coastline into striking formations known as The Gap and Natural Bridge. For sensational views over King George Sound, head for Middleton Beach boardwalk trail. Or take a drive up to Albany Wind Farm and feel dwarfed by the towering turbines. As well as world-class hiking, you'll also find some top-notch spots for fishing, sailing and diving. A weekend visit also brings the iconic Albany Farmers' Markets. No imports here, just fresh and fabulous, locally-grown flavours.
Besides being a top spot for water sports, Albany's coastal suburb of Middleton Beach becomes one of the world's best locations for whale encounters every year between June and October. From Perth, it takes just under five hours by road or one hour and 15 minutes by direct flight to reach Albany. Once there, it's an easy five minute drive, or a half hour walk from the city centre to Middleton Beach. Water sports enthusiasts love Middleton Beach for its swimming, surfing and body boarding. It's also an ideal place for a relaxing picnic on the lawns beneath the Norfolk Pine trees, or a stroll along the Middleton Beach boardwalk. Starting at Ellen Cove, passing Point King and the entrance to Princess Royal Harbour and finishing in the city centre, the walk offers lovely views across the beach and King George Sound - a great opportunity to spot dolphins and coastal spring wildflowers. From June to October each year, you're also likely to see migrating humpback and southern right whales as they come in close to shore for calving. For an even closer encounter, jump aboard one of Albany's numerous whale watching tours. Many of the cafes and restaurants in the area take full advantage of the stunning coastal views, and if you're planning to make Middleton Beach your base in Albany, take your pick from camping grounds and caravan parks, cabins, chalets, apartments and hotel accommodation.
Albany Visitor Centre
Old Railway Station 55 Proudlove Parade, Albany Western Australia 6330, Australia
Phone: (08) 9841 9290 | www.amazingalbany.com.au
The Albany Visitor Centre is positioned on the edge of the stunning Princess Royal Harbour on Proudlove Parade. This award winning information and booking service, staffed by friendly and helpful locals, can provide knowledgeable information about the Amazing Albany region as well as assisting you with booking your chosen tours and accommodation. The team at Albany Visitor Centre can provide you with the perfect accommodation options to suit your needs. The experts on local attractions, they will help you to make the most of your time in their beautiful city. Let them advise you on the best beaches, fishing, diving and surfing locations, how to find the best wineries or perhaps a cruise on the Southern Ocean during the whale migration season. For advice that only the locals know, visit the centre and grab your free Amazing Albany Holiday Planner, or one of their many brochures to help you plan your journey in their region. Don't miss out on the local produce - grab a copy of the Amazing Albany Dining Out Guide to make the most of your time in Amazing Albany. Albany Visitor Centre is open every day from 9am to 5pm, except Christmas Day.