Discover Old Town Albany WA – 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.

In this Article About Albany’s Historic Sites You Will Learn:

The Brig Amity boat in front of the Albany foreshore
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Albany’s Heritage Walk Trail

The best way to explore most of 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.

Top Trip Tip Info

Opening Hours:

  • 24 hours
  • Daily


  • 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.

You can also get an audio tour* to download onto your phone to give you even more information along the way.

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


Opening Hours:

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


  • $15/family
  • $6/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.

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


Opening Hours:

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


  • $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


Opening Hours:

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


  • $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


Opening Hours:

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

Cost – cash only:

  • $6/adult
  • $2.50/child
  • $15/family

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


Opening Hours:

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


  • $10/adult
  • $5/concession and kids over 5years
  • $25/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


Opening Hours:

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


  • Free (gold coin donation welcome)

Plan Your Trip to Albany, Western Australia


Albany is located in the Great Southern region of Western Australia 418km south of Perth which will take you close on five hours to drive. Alternatively, you can take a one-hour flight, however, you will be wanting to hire a car to visit all the attractions in Albany.

To find out the location of all the historic sites mentioned check out this interactive Albany map.

A map of the location of all the historic sites in Albany
To view, this interactive Google List Map CLICK HERE

What to Pack for Albany WA

Albany can get quite cool even in summer. Make sure you pack:

  • Jumper/sweater
  • Jacket for winter
  • Hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Swimming clothes for summer
  • Good quality walking shoes to explore all the sites

More Information

The official tourism websites for Albany and the Great Southern region are:

You may like to read one of these Western Australia guidebooks* for more information.  We use Book Depository to buy books or you may like to try Audible* to listen to the book as you drive to your destination.

Or check out all of Tips 4 Trips articles on Western Australia.  Including these articles and more coming soon on ABC region:

Learn more about What to Do in Albany WA

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