An interactive experience with audio and visual content plus historical artefacts, the National Anzac Centre overlooking King George Sound is a must-visit. This incredible facility allows you use state of the art technology to follow the stories of the 41,000 men and women who departed from Albany for the Great War. From October 2018 until April 2019, you can also view the amazing Field of Light: Avenue of Honour installation by artist Bruce Munro. A free public attraction, over 16,000 lights along the Avenue of Honour on Mount Clarence pay homage to the Anzacs – it is truly inspiring.
On the edge of the Great Southern - about 2 hours east of Albany - is the charming coastal town of Bremer Bay. Here you’ll find the only place in Australia you can reliably get up close to the alpha predator of the ocean – the Orca. Naturaliste Charters run full day charters to the Bremer Canyon, a unique marine environment that is home to hundreds of species. Book here. Whilst in the area, check out the beautiful beaches, surf and fun 4WD tracks around Bremer Bay.
Take a drive west from Denmark and head to Nornalup, where you can hire a canoe or kayak and paddle along the peaceful Frankland River. You can kayak upstream or down, taking in the towering Karri, Marri and Tingle trees along the banks and breathe in that heady forest air. Make a booking (recommended) for lunch at The Nornabar – a delightful, delicious, fresh experience to be enjoyed at what was once the iconic Nornalup Teahouse Restaurant.
The third highest (1095m above sea level) and one of WA’s most impressive peaks, Bluff Knoll is located within the Stirling Range National Park. With over a thousand species of wildflowers, plus abundant reptiles and mammals, this trail affords a spectacular view of the park and the various geological formations. It is also one of the few places in WA where snow falls on chilly winter nights, with many people trekking from all over the state to view this rare spectacle. Allow 3-4 hours for this hike, and be sure to bring along a picnic to enjoy at the top while soaking in the view. More information is available here.
We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again, Denmark’s William Bay National Park is home to one of Australia’s best beaches, Greens Pool. A ring of large, granite boulders shelter the beach from the swell and currents creating a beautiful crystal-clear swimming spot perfect for families. Just around the corner you’ll find Elephant Rocks, so-called because the large granite rocks look like a herd of elephants wading in the bay.
This climb in the Porongurup Range is for not for the faint hearted but it is a ‘gotta do’ 2-3 hour adventure! After all the Porongurup is one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world – around 1200 million years old! Clamber over boulders under soaring Karri trees amid fascinating wildflowers and bird calls, through a crevice, up a 6 metre steel ladder and then along a masterpiece of engineering, a steel catwalk, for a panorama of natural beauty to really take your breath away!
It’s a thought-provoking experience and one that is entirely authentic. You are compelled to engage with the past as you actually embark the last whale chaser ship in Australia, the Cheyne IV and stare in amazement at the skeleton of the last sperm whale to be harpooned in Albany. The Cheynes Beach Whaling Company closed in 1978. A unique display incorporates stories of the workers and whales which honour an economic and social reality in Albany’s history as well as highlighting the present-day efforts to protect these incredible deep-sea creatures. While at Discovery Bay, don’t miss the opportunity to get close up to some native animals and birds at the Australian Wildlife Park and then enjoy the colourful showcase of plants endemic to the South West at the Regional Wildflower Garden.
Catch sight of Humpbacks, Southern Rights and rare Blues - the gentle giants of the oceans - frolicking as they migrate to and from Broome and Antarctica! Spot them from the rugged cliffs of Albany’s dramatic coast or take a cruise for a magical encounter! Awesome!
As you enter the facility just north of Albany allow the soft aromas of santalum spicatum to awaken and soothe your senses. This fragrant species of sandalwood grows wild in Western Australia over 161 million hectares and it’s here at Mount Romance where the pure, precious oil is extracted. The distillery established in 1997 is the largest of its kind in the world! Take a wander through the impressive, educational showroom and sample a myriad of products and why not enjoy the memorable, rejuvenating experience of scent and sound at The Cone the Gong and the Bowl. Intriguing!