Fast forward to September 2016, almost two decades later, and the whales are not co-operating. Neither is the sunshine! The sky is overcast, the temperature is cold and the wind is blowing a small gale. We have tentatively booked a whale watching tour and are not at all upset when the tour operator fails to return our phone call. Even if the whales are out there, neither of us have any wish to brave the ocean swells in pursuit of them. Fortunately, Albany has many other attractions and our three nights spent at the Albany Harbourside Apartments and Houses are far from wasted.
|Oyster Harbour - not far from where we saw the whales on our first visit to Albany. As you can see from this photo, we got some sunshine.|
We arrive late in the afternoon. The drive from Margaret River took us through the spectacular forests around Pemberton and Walpole. This is karri tree country - home to some of the tallest trees in the world. As an added bonus we came across several flocks of emus beside the road.
Our apartment is easy to find. Let's face it, Albany isn't that big - you would struggle to get too lost. The keys are waiting with a welcome note in a box outside reception and we run into Louisa, one of the owners, as we are collecting them. She greets us warmly, and apologises for the weather.
'It might be a bit better tomorrow,' she says, then adds with a good-natured laugh, 'or it might not!'
She has that slightly resigned, long-suffering look reserved for those who live in less than perfect climates. She confirms we are unlucky to have struck a cold snap so late in the year.
We are staying in a Double Story Apartment. We arrive to a welcoming blast of warm air - someone has thoughtfully turned on the heater downstairs. On the kitchen table we find a complimentary bottle of red from a local vineyard.
|The local red is a lovely welcome surprise.|
The apartment is clean, spacious and comfortable. There is a living room, kitchen and laundry downstairs and two bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs. With a queen size bed in one bedroom and a queen and a single bed in the other, it could easily accommodate a family. The sitting out area at the back and an upstairs verandah next to the main bedroom would be lovely on a sunny day. There is a lawn next to the apartment - perfect for children to play on.
|The living room in our Double Story Apartment|
|The main bedroom|
Although Albany has a good selection of restaurants and cafes, we decide to stay in and enjoy the luxury of a home cooked roast for dinner. Being able to cook for ourselves is one of the simple pleasures we miss when we stay in hotel rooms night after night - along with a separate living room, dining table to have dinner at and, that ultimate of all traveller's luxuries, a washing machine and dryer. There is nothing quite like having all the facilities of home while you are on the road.
The sun puts in an appearance the next morning. It might be colder and windier than is usual for September but at least it isn't raining. David and I take advantage of the sunshine and head down to the harbour to look for whales - you never know we might get lucky!
|The shared walking and cycling path - Emu Point.|
Albany Harbourside Apartments and Houses have properties in several locations. The Double Story Apartments are on Festing St, within walking distance of the Historic District and the main street. All the apartments and houses look equally well located.
|This garden was outside our kitchen window|
All apartments - except the Foreshore Apartment
- Free wifi
- Fully-equipped kitchen (The Bungalow, the House on Frederick Street and the Earl Street Apartments have dishwashers)
- Flat screen television, DVD player, CD player, iPod dock and fee DVD hire
- Off-street parking - (The Bungalow and the Beachside Apartments have undercover parking).
- Washing machine and dryer
- Bedding, towels and linen are all provided
The Foreshore Apartment -
- Flat screen television and DVD player.
- Public parking on site
- Note: There is no wifi in the Foreshore Apartment
Click here for links to the full list of facilities in each apartment.
My tip -
- If you are here outside summer and you feel the cold opt for a single story apartment or house. We found the upstairs area of the two story apartment a bit chilly. The electric blanket on the bed kept us warm at night but for some reason the heat from the reverse cycle air conditioner downstairs failed to make it to the second story. To be fair - I feel the cold more than just about anyone else on the planet.
Attractions in Albany
There is no shortage of attractions in Albany. This part of Western Australia must be one of the best kept secrets in the country. Keep an eye out in the next few weeks for my 'Things to do in Albany' post. In the meantime here are just a few of the don't miss sights.
- Whale Watching - The whale-watching season runs from June to October. If there are whales in King Geoprge Sound head down to the lookout on Ellen Cove Boardwalk at Middleton Beach for the perfect spot to see them.
- The Gap and Natural Bridge - For a close up encounter with the power of the Great Southern Ocean take a trip out to Torndirrup National Park. A viewing platform allows visitors to stand directly above the waves as they surge through a natural gap in the granite foreshore.
- Wildflowers - Western Australia has 12,000 species of wildflowers, over 60 percent of which are found nowhere else on the planet. Come to Albany in spring and you can't miss seeing them. For my review of the wildflower festival in Kings Park, Perth click - here.
- Wildlife - If you are looking for kangaroos, you don't need to leave Albany. Take Frenchman Bay Road south and then east toward Vancouver Peninsula and you are likely to see them laying around in the front of houses on the larger blocks of land.
- Walking and Cycling - The shared walking and cycling path runs along the foreshore at Middleton Beach. It is the perfect place to look for whales!
Note: David and I received a media discount during our stay at Albany Harbourside Apartments and Houses.
I publish a new post every Thursday or Friday, depending on your time zone. If you would like to follow our travels, check back each week or enter your email address in the 'Never miss a post: Follow by email' box in the right hand sidebar just below my profile picture.
Click on the titles below for other posts from our road trip in Western Australia: -
- Wildflowers in Western Australia: Kings Park, Perth
- Rottnest Island
- Fraser Suites, Perth - a review
- The National ANZAC Centre, Albany
- 7 things to do in Amazing Albany!
- 2 Weeks in Western Australia: A road trip itinerary
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