Thoughts on Location No 63
Albany, Great Southern Region, Western Australia
Albany is situated on the shores of King Gorge Sound and the oldest permanently settled city in Western Australia. The featured image above is part of King George Sound taken from the highest point I could get to – a lookout along Marine Drive that skirts around Mount Clarence. We couldn’t enter the Mount Clarence Parklands (a much higher spot) as Prince Charles and Camilla were visiting Albany at the time and the roads were closed. (No we didn’t see them.)
With my foot still recovering from my fall and preventing us from doing a lot of things, we took a drive over to Torndirrup National Park to see where the Southern Ocean has sculptured dominate features into the coastal granite – Natural Bridge, The Gap and the Blowholes – all the result of the tremendous ferocity and power of the waves.
Unfortunately the road was closed to the Natural Bridge and The Gap while the Department of Parks and Wildlife upgrade the visitor facilities, but at least we could still see the Blowholes. We just didn’t see them blowing any water, but the Blowholes themselves are a crackline in the granite that ‘blows’ air and occasionally spray. The noise they made was quite impressive.
Granite boulders dominate this part of Australia and it was amazing to see how the city of Albany had been constructed around them. Some are protruding rock features in gardens, others barriers to building entryways, but by far the one that really caught my attention was Dog Rock.
Complete with painted collar, this guy even has his own shopping centre.
. . .
Albany is another city that lacks traffic lights. Although three times larger than Esperance, the flow of traffic is controlled by round-abouts and the considerate drivers who know how to use them.
We stayed at the Big4 Emu Beach Holiday Park, just 10 minutes from the centre of Albany, and what a delight that was. The park is well laid out, with huge, generous, grassy sites. The amenities were impeccable and the staff could not do enough to ensure we had a pleasant stay.
The park owners have obviously spent some money to ensure the cleanliness and presentation of the park is immaculate, and it was. I was also amazed at the price difference – $10/night cheaper than what we paid at Esperance.
Although we didn’t do a lot while we were there, neither of us wanted to leave in a hurry, though we did as we edge our way closer to the surfing region of Margaret River.