Discover Old Town Albany – Historic Albany Sites

Albany is the oldest town in Western Australia, it is even older than my home town of Perth – a fact I didn’t know until I explore the Albany historic sites.  Historic Albany was settled on 26 December 1826, that’s two and half years before Perth – Western Australia’s capital.

Today many of Albany’s historic buildings are still standing, thereby offering a great day excursion of exploring Albany’s history.

Four images historic Albany pictures, a map, the convict gaol kitchen, the Brig Amity boat, military guns

Albany’s Heritage Walk Trail

The best way to explore most Albany’s history is by following the free Albany Heritage Walking Trail, you should be able to pick up a brochure at your accommodation’s “things to do in Albany wall/stand” or at the Albany Visitor Centre at 221 York Street Albany.

Along the trail, the brochure will provide a brief description of the Albany historic buildings and sites including homes, parks, hotels, churches, the Convict Goal, Albany Museum and the Brig Amity replica ship that you pass along the route.

A map of the location of all the historic sites in Albany

To view, this interactive Google List Map CLICK HERE

Top Trip Tip Info

Opening Hours:

  • 24 hours
  • Daily

Cost

  • Free

Just a short note that whilst you can do this free Albany walking tour at any hour of the day, we head off mid-afternoon and as a result, we only get to see inside one of the historic Albany attractions as most close by 4pm.

Albany Convict Gaol Museum

The place we do get to explore is the Albany Convict Gaol.  The gaol was built in 1852 by convict labour.  In 1873 it then became the main Albany Gaol.  In 1875 it was extended to include women’s’ cells and wardens quarters.  In the 1930’s it was used as a police lockup during the Great Depression and by 1941 it was condemned unfit for habitation and put up for sale.

It wasn’t until 1989 that restoration began on the historic gaol to create the museum which opened in 1996.  It is important to remember that this is an old building restored so that we can get a sense of how the early settlers and convicts lived.  Therefore not all walls and floors are plumb, steps are not to code and some doorways are narrow.

It only takes about an hour to explore the historic gaol with its lime coated walls and polished wide jarrah floors.  Each room has been made up to show its original use – gaol cells, warden quarters, kitchen etc.  Whilst it is all quite interesting what we actually find fascinating is the photos of the old town of Albany that line the walls in the Main Hall Infirmary.  This keeps us entertained for quite some time.

Top Trip Tip Info

Website:

Opening Hours:

  • 10am-4pm daily (closed Christmas Day)

Cost:

  • $12/family
  • $5/adult
  • $2.50/child

Albany’s Museum – The Museum of the Great Southern

Not to be confused with Albany Museum in the USA, just across the way from the Convict gaol is the West Australian Albany Museum – the Museum of the Great Southern which displays information about the areas natural and social history.

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The Albany museum also has special exhibitions and school holiday events.  Check out their website to learn what’s on when.

Top Trip Tip Info

Website:

Opening Hours:

  • 10am-4pm daily (closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day and Good Friday)

Cost

  • $5 donation is appreciated

Brig Amity

A bit further walk up the coastal road is the replica of the old convict ship – Big Amity.  I can remember exploring this as a kid and being quite amazed at the cramped quarters that everyone on the ship had to endure for months on end to reach Australia.  This is one of the good Albany attractions for families, especially if Australian history is part of their school curriculum at the time.

We are a bit late on our Albany heritage walk and it’s already closed.

A replica of the original sailing boat Brig Amity that brought out convicts in the 1800's

Top Trip Tip Info

Website:

Opening Hours:

  • 9:30am-4pm daily (closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day and Good Friday)

Cost:

  • $12/family
  • $5/adult
  • $2/child
  • $4/concession

Patrick Taylor Cottage

This historic Albany cottage you will come across on the heritage walk is the oldest standing cottage in Western Australia.  The cottage displays artefacts of Albany and provides information about historic Albany residents including Patrick Taylor.

Top Trip Tip Info

Website:

Opening Hours:

  • 11am-3pm daily (closed Christmas Day)

Cost – cash only:

  • $2/person

Old Farm Strawberry Hill

A bit further afield at 174 Middleton Road is the first farm in Western Australia, The Old Farm Strawberry Hill.  I explored this one as a kid as well and remember the beautiful gardens.  Inside the building the home has also been restored.

the gardens in front of the Old Farm House Strawberry Hill

Top Trip Tip Info

Website:

Opening Hours:

  • Mon-Fri: 10am-4pm
  • Sat-Sun: 1pm-4pm
    • Closed Christmas Day and Good Friday

Cost:

  • $8/adult
  • $5/concession and kids over 5years
  • $20/family

Princess Royal Fortress Military Museum

Located on top of Mount Clarence next to the Anzac Museum this stop offers a fun time for kids (big 😉 and small) to play on old military equipment used during WW1.

The military museum is of special significance in that it offered the first line of defence for Australia from before federation.

Playing on large old military guns near Anzac Museum

Top Trip Tip Info

Website:

Opening Hours:

  • 9am-5pm daily (except Christmas Day)

Cost:

  • Free (gold coin donation welcome)

Exploring More Albany Attractions

Exploring Albany’s historic sites is just one of the things to do in Albany.

You can also:

More articles on these Albany attractions are coming soon.  Follow us on Facebook or sign up for the e-newsletter to learn when they are published.

The Brig Amity boat in front of the Albany foreshore

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A replica of the brig Amity sailing boat in Albany Western Australia

A map of the locations of the historic sites in Albany Western Australia

Sally-Ann
Hi, I'm a Perth born and bred travel tips blogger/writer with 20+ years experience in airlines, hospitality and tourism. I love sharing my travel lessons learned to help you plan for your travel dream with my travel tips for trips. Please follow along to receive all my travel planning tips, packing lists and destination inspirations.
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