Surf’s up in Albany: Artificial reef moving forward, Surf Life Saving Club redevelopment begins

Middleton Beach Albany
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It was a big week for Albany last week, with a heap of tourism-based news flowing in around the Great Southern’s biggest city.

First up came news that the eight-storey hotel planned for Binalup-Middleton Beach had been granted state planning approval, almost 20 years after the demolition of the old Esplanade Hotel at the same site.

The hotel will have 69 rooms with a mix of single, double and three bedroom apartments, along with a 184-seat bar and restaurant.

Middleton Beach Albany Hotel
Concept images for the hotel from 2022.

Then over the weekend came two pieces of news from the WA Government, with the $3.35 million expansion and redevelopment of the Albany Surf Life Saving Club beginning this week, and an Expressions of Interest (EOI) process is now underway for an artificial reef at the same beach.

The $11.75 million ‘Southern Ocean Surf Reef‘ project has entered the process to engage a lead contractor, with the WA Government committed $4.75 million to the build, with a mid-2026 completion date.

“The ‘Southern Ocean Surf Reef’ will build on Albany’s reputation as world class destination, and deliver a boost for local businesses,” said WA Premier Roger Cook over the weekend.

“The surf conditions will be suitable for beginner to intermediate surfers, and will also appeal to younger surfers looking for a consistent wave that is easily accessible from town.”

Currently, the closest surf-able waves are around 40 minutes’ drive from Albany.

It’s hoped Middleton Beach will continue to become a huge tourism drawcard in the coming years, and the improved Surf Life Saving Club is part of making sure the popular beach will be safe for locals and visitors for years to come.

“The Albany Surf Life Saving Club is a unique volunteer community organisation with over 500 members that actively patrols our coastlines, and provides sport and training opportunities for its members and the wider community,” said Albany MLA Rebecca Stephens.

“This much needed redevelopment will deliver new education and training facilities, improve the safety and delivery of emergency services, and will meet the needs of the club’s growing membership numbers, as well as better interaction with our local community.”