Located a four-and-a-half-hour drive from Perth, Albany is a hiking paradise filled with some amazing trails. With a rich diversity of landscapes ranging from mountains to pristine beaches to rivers and lakes, there is a lot to explore in one of the prettiest places in Western Australia. It would take you a few good weeks to take in all the trails so below is a list of the best ones located within 40 minutes from the centre of Albany.
Ellen Cove to Albany Port
King George Sound is one of the dominating features of the Albany area, provided a natural harbour and guarded on all sides by ancient granite hills. The unmistakeable views as you drive along Marine Drive connecting the city centre with Middleton Beach are a delight but the best way to experience them is to walk the Ellen Cove to Albany Port Trail. Not only will you get some great exercise but there are so many cool spots to explore along the way including the ruins of the old Point King Lighthouse on the edge of the water. Add in an impressive wildflower display during the right months (July to November) and this is a fantastic way to see more of Albany than meets the eye.
Start: Middleton Beach
Finish: City Centre
Length: 6.1km (One Way)
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Point Possession Heritage Trail
Just a stone throws away from the centre of Albany as the crow flies, this secluded peninsula extending into the harbour is provides an isolated experience and some great beaches. Starting in a lovely bit of forest on the edge of the bay, you are soon presented with twin beaches linking the granite dome of Point Possession. The trail takes you along both beaches, one where you have to negotiate a bit of seaweed and the other a pristine stretch of white sand that Albany is famous for. In between the two beach sections you get to explore a cool granite dome with sweeping views of King George Sound and Princess Royal Harbour.
Start: Whalers Cove, Quaranup Rd
Length: 5.1km (Loop)
Bald Head Walk Trail
One of the best day hikes in Western Australia, Bald Head has become a popular spot to hike in recent years with good reason. Thanks to some absolutely stunning coastal scenery as you head out on the hilly Flinders Peninsula, there are iconic views in every direction. Walking between tunnels of coastal heath where you’ll discover a variety of wildflowers during winter and spring and exploring limestone and granite platforms that look out of this world. It’s a challenging hike with lots of elevation change but you are rewarded with a feeling of being completely isolated as you reach the granite dome of Bald Head on the edge of the Southern Ocean. A magical spot that you won’t forget any time soon.
Start: Off Murray Rd, Torndirrup National Park
Length: 12.5km (Return)
Baie Des Deux Peuples Heritage Trail
Little Beach at Two Peoples Bay is another iconic location within a short distance of Albany and is also part of a great walking trail. The Baie Des Deux Peuples Heritage Trail is a 6km loop with a side trip to Little Beach that allows you to explore much more of Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve than if you just visited Little Beach. Starting at the Visitor Centre, you head towards the edge of a sheltered bay before climbing up along the rolling hills of the headland. The real fun begins when you see the granite peaks looming over Little Beach and Waterfall Beach with granite platforms and rock pools to explore on the edge of the water. Pack a towel and have a swim at one of the two beaches, admiring the granite boulders on the pristine sands before heading back to the Visitor Centre.
Start: Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve
Length: 6km (Return)
Luke Pen Walk
While Albany may be most famous for its excellent beaches and stunning coastal views, the Kalgan River is a hidden delight located east of the city centre. Feeding into Oyster Harbour and then King George Sound, the gentle river can be explored via the Luke Pen Walk. An 11.3km out and back trail along the banks of the river, this is a pleasant meander with plenty to enjoy along the way. Dr Luke Pen was an advocate for the Kalgan River and the surrounding vegetation and you can see why he loved it so much. With a great variety of wildflowers, orchids, birds and insects calling this place home, this is an idyllic spot to slow down and enjoy nature. Add in some local indigenous history with some information about the old fish traps used along the river and it becomes a highly informative walk.
Start: End of East Bank Road, Kalgan River
Length: 11.3km (Return)
Peak Head Walk Trail
The lesser known cousin of Bald Head, Peak Head is just along the coast in Torndirrup National Park and offers up a similar, albeit shorter experience to the more popular hike. Starting up on the hill, you descend down towards the coast before rising again up to the granite dome of Peak Head. Dangerous in wet and slippery conditions, follow the bare granite up to the peak where you will get some amazing views overlooking Eclipse Island, Torndirrup Beach, the Southern Ocean and West Cape Howe in the distance. Get here for sunset and you’ll get a stunning light show as the sun sets over the rugged coastline to the west. In spring time expect a great number of wildflowers and orchids to line the trail and provide a splash of colour.
Start: Peak Head Road, Torndirrup National Park
Length: 4.4km (Return)
Castle Rock Granite Skywalk
One of the more popular spots near Albany, the Castle Rock Granite Skywalk is home to a stainless-steel viewing platform bolted directly onto the side of a large granite boulder. Getting up there requires a decent climb through the lush Karri forest and once you reach the top there is still the small challenge of squeezing through some boulders to reach the ladder up to the lookout. An exciting end to the climb, the 7m ladder can be lairy in strong winds but the views from the Granite Skywalk are more than worth it. Overlooking Albany to the south and the Stirling Range to the north, this is a pretty special place to ponder the world around you. At the base of the Skywalk is a smaller lookout for those not wanting to climb up the ladder, along with another cool feature, the Balancing Rock.
Start: Mount Barker Porongurup Road, Porongurup National Park
Length: 4.4km (Return)
About the author:
Mark (The Life of Py) is a Perth based outdoor enthusiast that loves exploring the trails of Western Australia in his free time. When he isn’t out taking photos he is busy planning the next adventure. See more of his content here.