City of Albany
Area: 4,312 sq km
Population: 36,262 (2013)
The City of Albany local government area was formed on 1 July 1998 by the amalgamation of the former Town of Albany and Shire of Albany. The municipality stretches more than 150km along the south coast of Western Australia. Albany is its major urban centre; smaller communities in the municipality include satellite suburbs such as Bayonet Head, Lower King, Little Grove and Goode Beach, along with rural villages such as Wellstead, Manypeaks, Youngs Siding, Redmond and Elleker.
Albany was the first European settlement in Western Australia. A contingent of soldiers and convicts arrived in Princess Royal Harbour in December 1826 and proclaimed a settlement in January 1827, predating the formation of the Swan River Colony by two years. Albany’s naturally protected, deepwater harbour made it Western Australia’s premier port in the State’s early years.
At more than 35,000 people, Albany has the biggest population among Great Southern towns. It is the Great Southern’s administrative, commercial and retail centre. Major industries in the City of Albany include agriculture, timber products and tourism. Grain from the Great Southern is exported through the Port of Albany.
Albany is 4.5 to 5 hours from Perth by road and just over an hour away by plane. The City’s airport has daily return passenger services to Perth.
The Munda Biddi Trail and the Bibbulmun Track start – or finish – in Albany, and both are world class outdoor adventure routes. Bushwalking, rock-climbing, hiking, mountain-biking, swimming, surfing, scuba-diving and fishing are all on offer.
Other local government areas in the Great Southern: Shire of Broomehill-Tambellup, Shire of Cranbrook, Shire of Denmark, Shire of Gnowangerup, Shire of Jerramungup, Shire of Katanning, Shire of Kent, Shire of Kojonup, Shire of Plantagenet and Shire of Woodanilling