I had a summer romance in 2021. I fell head over heels with a Great Southern town. There’s a lot to love about Albany – from its rich history, fantastic foodie scene and incredible scenery that will take your breath away.
Here’s my insider’s guide of all the must visit places and restaurants in Albany:
Where to Eat in Albany
My absolute #1 brunch crush is Emu Point Café. If you can peel your eyes away from the picture-perfect turquoise waters at Emu Point, the café is on point with it’s brekkie offering. The calm, shallow waters make Emu Point a great spot for a post-brunch swim.
My menu pick is the ham hock eggs benny, with super crisp potatoes. I kid you not, this is one of my ALL TIME brunch dishes in WA.
For the vegos and gluten intolerant peeps, Alkaline Café is a great go-to for whole-foods and good coffee.
Albany’s town center isn’t short of a café or seven. You’ll find the ever popular Dylan’s on the Terrace, Vancouver St Café, Kate’s Place and Fredericks.
I was SO happy to finally make it to Liberte, a much-celebrated Albany restaurant. The quirky spot found in the historic London Hotel has Parisian bar feels. An insanely tasty share menu, by acclaimed Chef/Owner Amy Hamilton, has a French-Viet twist. I loved the more-ish pork belly dish, as well as decadent GF profiteroles.
Due South has Little Creatures beerhall vibes. The immense space overlooks the expansive Princess Royal Harbour and is a fab spot for a sunset dinner, with well-cooked pub style food.
For more casual pub-style meals, the White Star and one of WA’s oldest watering hole’s the quaint Earl of Spencer are both worth a look.
Ocean & Paddock is an award-winning Albany institution, serving up finger lickin’ fish and chips. You can’t get much fresher than their fried fish fillets and there’s burgers, salads and more for those non-seafood lovers. A must visit!
On my to try list… I haven’t been to Hybla, Lot 22, or the up-market Djuba yet. But I hear good things. The locals love Joop Thai and the two Italian spots on York Street are always packed.
All my dinner picks double up as good lunch options. For families, be sure to visit sweet spot Handasydes for lunch. The family run strawberry farm has a delicious café and fantastic adventure playground that children will love.
If you have a little time up your sleeve, head 45 mins west to delicious Denmark! The little town is bursting at the seams with wineries. Boston Brewing Co / Willoughby Park Winery is a chilled spot to linger in the beer garden over a long lunch. The playground makes it a good choice if you have kids in tow.
One for the big kids is The Lake House – home to epic gourmet platters, best enjoyed with a glass of wine in hand, by the lake.
On my list for next time is Marbelup’s marvelous Oranje Tractor Winery, as well as Montys Leap, an Albany winery that I’ve heard great things about.
You’ll be well caffeinated in Albany. I was pleasantly surprised by just how many quality cafes there are to choose from. Bred is a firm favourite, while Solomon’s, Emu Point, Vancouver St Café and the lush Botanic all have spot on brews.
Bred is always my last stop in Albany, before I drive home. To grab a large flat white for the road, as well as a loaf of their freshly baked bread.
Things To Do in Albany
If you’ve never been to Albany, I’d recommend staying for four or five days to take everything in, and to include a day discovering the delights of Denmark too. The Gap and Natural Bridge at the Torndirrup National Park are other-worldly. The volcanic moonscape gives way to the ferocious Southern Ocean. A must visit spot!
Close to the Gap is the Albany Windfarm, which is a fab spot for an easy bushwalk, while admiring these enormous feats of engineering that are dotted along the coastline. Make sure you watch out for snakes!
There are too many beaches in amazing Albany to mention. For kid-friendly swimming spots, you can’t go past Middleton Beach (with shark net) and the calm, shallow shores of Emu Point. Beaches in the Torrindup National Park area are often deserted and jaw-droppingly beautiful. Misery Beach is anything but.
One of Albany’s biggest tourist attractions is the National ANZAC Museum. It’s free to explore the grounds of the precinct, high on Mount Clarence. You can spend hours walking the grounds, which enjoys incredible views over Princess Royal Harbour and King George Sound.
The National Anzac Centre is a beautifully curated museum dedicated to the Australian and New Zealand men and women of World War One, many of whom set sail from Albany. Visitors experience an interactive and very personal journey that will stay with them long after leaving.
Rain, hail or shine, a fun time is sure to be had at Albany Indoor Adventures! There’s ninja obstacle courses, climbing walls, an Albany and Aussie Movie themed mini golf course, kid’s adventure playground and much more. It’s amazing what’s been packed under one roof!
One spot I haven’t yet explored is Discovery Bay – Albany’s Historic Whaling Station. As well as a real whaling ship, and museum on whaling, there’s a wildlife park, wildflower garden, café and even a whale-themed playground – you can spend a whole day there.
And be sure to take a wander up York Street, Albany’s main street, for some window shopping. Paperbark Books is a spot I can’t leave without making a purchase. Visit the tourist information place next to the Albany Library for even more ideas to spend a holiday in amazing Albany.
Getting to Albany
The drive down Albany Highway is long, but always 100% worth it. There’s plenty of roadhouses on the way, though I’d recommend saving your stops for the country towns. Williams is home to the fantastic Williams Woolshed, a mecca for good coffee and food, plus a little shopping too.
The Kojda Place, in Kojanup is home to the Black Cockatoo Café (with great Karvan Coffee), plus a rose maze and museum too. Once you hit Mount Barker, you know you’re almost there! Just 40 mins from Albany this town is worth a stop for its much loved bakery, and wineries too.
Summer love doesn’t always last, but I know I’ll rekindle my love for Albany in the not-too-distant future. It’s forever in my heart. If you’ve never been, make sure that you do! You will be sure to fall madly in love with this beautiful Great Southern town too.