If you’ve lived in Perth for any amount of time, you’ve no doubt heard of Albany – with its beautiful beaches, some of the best hiking trails in Australia and not to mention the perfect spot for whale watching adventures.
For those of you who haven’t yet heard of Albany, it’s WA’s oldest port city, pre-dating Fremantle and Perth, and one of WA’s most beautiful and popular tourism destinations.
If you’re thinking about an extended weekend getaway, Albany should be on your shortlist.
Getting there from Perth
Albany is roughly 420 km from Perth, located in WA’s Great Southern Region. While that sounds like a really long way away, it actually isn’t.
The two most popular options for getting down there are a quick flight or a road trip.
A Quick Flight
Regional Express Airlines (REX) has a regular schedule of flights heading to Albany and back. It’s a quick 70-minute flight departing from Perth Airport. If you’re opting to fly down to Albany, we’d recommend you book a hire car while in Albany so you have the freedom to see the sights on your own schedule.
Everyone loves a good road trip! Albany is roughly a 4.5-hour drive from Perth with quite a few places to stop and see along the way. If you’re opting to drive down, make sure you pack a good variety of snacks (I always forget) and queue up your ultimate road trip playlist. If you need one, check out So Perth’s road trip playlist on Spotify.
Where To Stay
Your choice of accommodation will largely depend on the type of experience you’re looking for during your weekend away.
Albany has quite a few options available from campsites to hotels; however, much like Albany, there is a lot of change in the air.
The newest accommodation option in Albany is Hilton Garden Inn Albany, adding a slice of big city life to the centre of Albany.
I was lucky enough to be invited to enjoy a 3-day weekend in Albany and stayed at the new Hilton Garden Inn Albany and would highly recommend it.
On first impression, despite the initial big city hotel-scape, the hotel had a very relaxed vibe with a casual seating area and the bar being front and centre. This area became the perfect home to sit and chill in between all of my Albany sightseeing adventures.
On Sunday afternoons, the bar area opens up and extends into the hotel’s function space to facilitate a Sunday Session with live music, cocktails, and great food! The bruschetta, in particular, had me wanting more and more!
With rates from $230 a night, the rooms are sure to impress without breaking the bank.
All rooms are spacious and come packed with all the amenities you’d expect. I would, however, recommend you grab an ocean view room as I was lucky enough to have a fabulous view over the water.
Together & Co
Hilton Garden Inn Albany is home to the first Together & Co branded restaurant in Australia.
Together & Co as the name would suggest brings people together, one meal, coffee and conversation at a time.
The menu is the focal point of this mission with a high emphasis on togetherness, boasting sharing dishes and platters which will have everyone reaching for that last piece.
Enjoy a caramel espresso martini or if coffee isn’t your thing maybe heat it up with a jalapeno margarita.
The go to dish at Together & Co is the pork belly.
A succulent crispy pork belly, spicy plum sauce, grilled seasonal fruit, house-pickled vegetables and cauliflower puree – enjoy!
Together & Co Details:
Open for full buffet breakfast daily 6.30-10 am
A La Carte Dinner from 5 pm
Bar Open with Bar Bites from 3 pm
Places to visit in Albany
Albany and the Great Southern Region have so much to offer when it comes to sightseeing activities and adventures. You could likely spend an entire month on holiday in the area and not run out of things to do and see.
See A Show at the Albany Entertainment Centre
Albany is home to arguably the best entertainment venue outside of Perth. The 620-seat auditorium is the home of arts and entertainment in the southern region attracting a wide variety of acts, from comedy shows to rock and roll tributes, so there’s sure to be something to your liking on the calendar.
You can check out what’s coming soon on the Albany Entertainment Centre’s website.
Technically, The Dam is located in Denmark, not Albany, but it’s only a ~40-minute drive from Albany and is well worth the journey.
It’s a beautiful restaurant and distillery creating seltzers and spirits from hemp (Cannabis sativa) grown on the property.
Don’t worry, it’s not the type of cannabis that’s going to get you high. If you’re a fan of gin like we are, you’re sure to love their Sativa Gin.
If you’re heading to The Dam, make plans to stay here for either lunch or dinner. The food the team creates in the restaurant is nothing short of amazing and will have you wanting to go back every day for more.
The Gap and Natural Bridge
The Gap and Natural Bridge is a very popular tourist destination for good reason.
The views of the Southern Ocean and the coast from Bald Head to West Cape Howe are simply breathtaking.
The viewing platform will have you standing over the surging seas as the waves crash over the rocks beneath you. This attraction is a must-see for anyone visiting the great southern region.
Albany’s Historic Whaling Station
When I was organising my itinerary for my weekend away, I almost decided not to visit Albany’s Historic Whaling Station as I wasn’t sure if it was my ‘cup of tea’. However, with so many people telling me it was well worth taking the time to visit, I thought I’d take a quick stop there to see what was on offer.
I’m glad I did and next time, I’ll allow for a lot more time to really take in everything it has to offer, from its rich history and museum to its 3D theatre and wildlife park.
The museum was simply fascinating; the ability to tour a fully-restored and in-tact whale processing facility was eye-opening and gave a great insight into the history (both good and bad) of WA.
Albany Wind Farm
Pack your hiking boots and bug spray and get ready for a bushwalk through the Albany Wind Farm.
The sheer magnitude of the size of the wind turbines will have you wondering about the engineering behind them that makes them stay standing. If the wind turbines themselves don’t really amaze you that much then follow the path to one of the many viewing platforms and you’ll be dazzled by absolutely breathtaking 360-degree views.
You’ll see everything from the Southern Ocean to the tree-covered hills surrounding the wind turbines.
National Anzac Centre
Albany, given its rich history as a military outpost, is home to the National Anzac Centre; an interactive museum that takes you on a journey through the experiences of our ANZACs.
Upon entry to the museum, you’ll be given a card that activates interactive content throughout the museum. This card will allow you to follow the journey of one ANZAC and hear and see some of their experiences.
Bluff Knoll is a 1.5-hour drive from Albany, located in the Stirling Range National Park. If you’re into hiking, this one will be a must on your to-do list for the weekend.
The top of Bluff Knoll is 1,098 metres above sea level and the views from the summit are absolutely spectacular and are well worth the effort to get there.
Make sure you pack a couple of water bottles to take with you.
Best Food & Drink In Albany
Ah, probably the most important part of a getaway weekend – the food and drink.
Outside of Together & Co at Hilton Garden Inn Albany, the surrounding areas are home to quite a few venues producing some of the most delicious meals you’ll ever have.
We’ll start with Garrison Restaurant.
This is 100% a must for dinner on one of the nights you’re in Albany, especially if you consider yourself a foodie.
It’s located next to the National Anzac Centre so might be worth coupling the two together. Otherwise, it’s a short 5-minute drive from Hilton Garden Inn Albany so it is nice and convenient.
My recommendation would be to order the roast duck breast with crushed baby potatoes, passion fruit and malt whiskey sauce.
It was simply divine.
The locals will tell you this is their favourite brewery.
If you love your beer, make a stop off here, order yourself a tasting paddle and try the range of beers they brew on-site.
Boston Brewery in Denmark is the kind of place you can just sit down and relax after a day of sightseeing, watching the sun go down while enjoying a pint of beer.
There’s a large outdoor beer garden and a good variety of food on the menu to enjoy.
Liberte is one of the most popular restaurants in Albany and for good reason. The menu offers a range of French-Vietnamese fusion dishes which will constantly have you wanting more. My recommendation is the garlic chilli crab noodles.
Head there a little early and sit in the front bar before heading into the restaurant. Whether you’re wanting a simple gin and tonic or a more complex cocktail, the bartenders do their thing with style and flair.
A trip to Albany wouldn’t be complete without experiencing some of the best beaches in Australia. And that’s not just our opinion, Misery Beach in the great southern region was recently named the best beach in Australia by Tourism Australia. That’s quite an accolade.
The beaches of Albany and the Great Southern Region deserved their own article – there are quite a few of them that you have to visit – so head here to read all about them and most importantly, see the photos that are worth a thousand words.
Book your stay at Hilton Garden Inn Albany here.
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