For the Easter long-weekend my close group of friends decided it would be a fun idea to go camping and visit Albany. This was my first camping trip and let’s be honest I’m definitely more of the glamping type! The weather forecast was rain, thunder storms, more rain and cold temperatures – everything I had been wishing for except for sleeping in a tent! Turns out I did not pack the appropriate clothes or shoes – probably not a good idea to bring I Love Mr Mittens camping and I definitely need to invest in some Hunter Boots, however everything else was surprisingly wonderful!
As we drove into the Kalgan River Campsite there were wallabies happily roaming around, our friends had already put up the 12 sleeper tent and we had the most beautiful view of the Kalgan River and cruising pelicans. If that was not enough we were lucky to have the best possible company including two master chefs, so most of our dinners consisted of gourmet fish tacos, prawn and pumpkin risotto and chilli infused tuna pasta. And even though it was wet, muddy and cold it was probably one of the best weekend’s I have had in a very long time, so I am happy to say that I am a camping convert – as long as there is running hot water! Read on for my tips about Albany.
Albany is one of the oldest permanently settled towns in Western Australia and that becomes very apparent when you walk around town and see all the beautiful heritage buildings. The town centre is charming and quaint however it’s Albany’s natural beauty that really resonated with me.
Places to go to in town:
Stamms Emporium – A lovely homewares and gift store that features brands like Mud Australia, Old Grey House and Shibori Textiles.
Emu Point Cafe – Delicious food, great interiors and stunning views. We had the best breakfast here on our last day, the french toast is a must! Alternatively get a take-away coffee and take walk along the water and admire the view.
Kate’s Place – A gorgeous little cafe that even has its own art gallery in the back area, and it also has the cutest take-away cups, as pictured above!
Sugar Boy – Have a sweet tooth? This lolly shop will be your haven, every sweet you can possibly think of and more!
Gourmandise & Co – A rustic bistro and deli that serves both French and Mediterranean food and has a range of beautiful cheeses, pastries and condiments.
Places to go to out of town:
Nestled away in the luscious country side is Oranje Tractor, a stunning sustainably-managed organic vineyard and restaurant. As you drive into the property you are greeted by two friendly alpacas – that are trusted to guard the winery’s sheep. Countless fruit trees, vegetables and herbs line the gardens that take you to the rustic cellar door, it’s the perfect place to relax – with a bottle of bubbly – after a long day of sight-seeing. We sat on the terrace and admired the gardens while eating some of the most incredible food I have ever tasted! All their produce is organic and most is sourced directly from their garden, I highly recommend ordering a few platers to share, a bottle of sparkling and some of their homemade cakes to finish off! This was definitely one of the highlights in Albany.
The Wind Farm and Sand Patch Beach
There is something very mesmerising about wind farms; the imposing structure of the turbines, the motion of their blades and the sound of their hum. Although they are a stark contrast to the stunning scenery somehow they make the landscape look otherworldly and rather breathtaking. This location is a great reminder of how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful part of the world.
Sand Patch Beach viewing platform is a short walk from the Wind Farm and offers a spectacular view of the Great Southern Ocean and Albany’s rugged coastline. If you’re up for it take the 500 or so steps down to Sand Patch Beach, admire the huge swells and ocean spray, dip your toes in the freezing water and take in its pristine beauty!
The Blow holes
As the ferocious waves of the Great Southern Ocean force their way through the crevices in the granite rocks along the coast, both air and water making their way up and create a burst of spray and a booming noise. While this was quite entertaining what I preferred was simply watching the sun set as the waves crashed against the rocks.
On your way home from Albany, take a little detour to Denmark and go visit Elephant Rocks and Green Pools. It is honestly one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited and I can’t wait to return in summer!
I hope you enjoyed my Albany overview, let me know if you have any other recommendations. Xx Nadine