The Best Coastal Walks In Albany, Western Australia

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Located on the southern coast of Western Australia, Albany is a haven for nature lovers and hiking enthusiasts. With its rugged cliffs, pristine beaches, and breathtaking ocean views, it’s no wonder this picturesque town attracts visitors worldwide. 

This guide will take you through some of the best coastal walks in Albany, where you can immerse yourself in the beauty of nature and enjoy stunning ocean views.

Why Albany Is A Coastal Walker’s Paradise

Albany is blessed with a unique coastal geography that sets it apart from other destinations. Located on the southern tip of Western Australia, it boasts a diverse landscape with dramatic cliffs, expansive beaches, and lush forests. This varied terrain makes Albany an ideal spot for coastal walks, offering something for every type of hiker.

The natural beauty of Albany is unparalleled. As you traverse its coastal trails, you’ll be treated to panoramic ocean vistas, vibrant wildflowers, and the chance to spot local wildlife such as kangaroos, dolphins, and a variety of bird species. The area’s pristine environment and relatively untouched landscapes make it a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Albany enjoys a temperate climate, making it an excellent year-round destination for hiking. However, the best time to visit for coastal walks is during the spring (September to November) and autumn (March to May) when the weather is mild, and the wildflowers are in full bloom. Summer can be quite warm, so starting your walks early in the morning is essential to avoid the heat.

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Trail 1: The Bald Head Walk Trail

The Bald Head Walk Trail is one of Albany’s most iconic coastal walks. This challenging trail offers hikers an exhilarating journey along the Flinders Peninsula, culminating in breathtaking views of the Southern Ocean and King George Sound.

Length & Difficulty: The trail is approximately 12.5 kilometres round trip and is rated as difficult due to its length and steep sections. It typically takes around 5-7 hours to complete, so it’s best suited for experienced hikers.

Scenic Highlights: As you embark on the Bald Head Walk Trail, you’ll be rewarded with stunning coastal views from start to finish. The trail traverses through dense coastal heath, climbs over granite boulders, and follows ridgelines that offer unobstructed ocean vistas. Key highlights include the sweeping views of Eclipse Island and its famous lighthouse, the dramatic cliffs of the peninsula, and the serene beaches that appear along the way.

Trailhead Location: The trailhead is at the end of Frenchman Bay Road, within Torndirrup National Park. There is a car park at the trailhead where you can leave your vehicle before hiking.

Insider Tips

  • Start Early: Arrive at the Frenchman Bay Road trailhead by 7 AM to avoid the crowds and enjoy the serene morning light. Parking can fill up quickly, especially on weekends.
  • Bring Plenty of Water: Carry at least 3 litres of water per person. There are no refill stations, and the coastal winds can be dehydrating.
  • Wear Sturdy Footwear: The granite boulders can be slippery, especially after rain. Wear hiking boots with good grip and ankle support.
  • Check Weather Conditions: The weather can be unpredictable. Download the BOM Weather app (available on iOS and Android) for real-time updates specific to Torndirrup National Park.
  • Wildlife Spotting: Early mornings are best for spotting kangaroos grazing near the trailhead. Keep your camera ready for dolphins often seen in King George Sound.

Trail 2: The Gap & Natural Bridge

The Gap and Natural Bridge trail offers a shorter but equally spectacular coastal walk. This trail takes you to two of Albany’s most famous natural attractions, providing breathtaking views of the Southern Ocean.

Length and Difficulty: The trail is relatively short, approximately 1 kilometre round trip, and is suitable for hikers of all skill levels. It typically takes around 30 minutes to complete, making it an excellent option for a quick walk.

Scenic Highlights: The trail features two main highlights: The Gap and the Natural Bridge. The Gap is a dramatic cliff face with a viewing platform that allows you to look down into the churning ocean below. The Natural Bridge is a stunning rock formation shaped by the relentless forces of the ocean. Both offer incredible photo opportunities and are must-see attractions in Albany.

Trailhead Location: The trailhead is located within Torndirrup National Park, with a well-signposted car park and available facilities.

Insider Tips

  • Stay on the Path: The viewing platforms at The Gap and Natural Bridge are designed for safety. The ocean swells can be powerful, so always stay behind the barriers.
  • Supervise Children: The cliffs are steep and dangerous. Hold hands with young children and keep them close at all times.
  • Visit During Calm Weather: The best time to visit is during low wind conditions. Check the local wind forecast on the WillyWeather app.
  • Photography Tips: For the best photos, visit during the golden hour (just after sunrise or before sunset). The light enhances the dramatic cliffs and ocean views.
  • Facilities: Use the restrooms at the car park before starting your walk. There are no facilities along the short trail.

Trail 3: The Bibbulmun Track (Albany Section)

The Bibbulmun Track is one of the world’s great long-distance walking trails, stretching over 1,000 kilometres from Perth to Albany. For those who aren’t ready to tackle the entire trail, the Albany section offers a fantastic coastal walking experience.

Length and Difficulty: The Albany section of the Bibbulmun Track can vary in length depending on your chosen segment. If you’re planning a multi-day hiking trip, consider staying at one of the many Albany motels, which offer comfortable accommodations close to the trails. Those trails range from moderate to difficult in intensity, with some steep and rugged sections.

Scenic Highlights: This section of the Bibbulmun Track offers diverse landscapes, from coastal cliffs and sandy beaches to dense forests and historical sites. Highlights include the views from West Cape Howe, the southernmost point of Western Australia, and the scenic beauty of the Torbay Inlet.

Trailhead Location: There are multiple entry points to the Albany section of the Bibbulmun Track, including Sandpatch, West Cape Howe, and Torbay Inlet. Choose your starting point based on the length and difficulty of the segment you wish to hike.

Insider Tips

  • Plan Your Route: For a scenic day hike, start at Sandpatch and hike to Muttonbird Beach. This section offers stunning coastal views and is about 12 kilometers round trip.
  • Carry a Map: Pick up a detailed map from the Albany Visitor Centre. It includes useful information on trail segments and points of interest.
  • Prepare for Variable Conditions: The weather can change quickly. Pack a lightweight rain jacket and wear layers. The coastal breeze can be chilly even on sunny days.
  • Historical Sites: Visit the West Cape Howe section for a mix of natural beauty and historical significance. Look for the old telegraph station ruins.
  • Wildlife and Flora: Spring (September to November) is the best time to see wildflowers in bloom. Keep an eye out for the rare Western Ringtail Possum in the evenings.

Trail 4: Point Possession Heritage Trail

The Point Possession Heritage Trail offers a unique blend of natural beauty and historical significance. This trail takes you through areas rich in indigenous and colonial history, with stunning coastal views along the way.

Length and Difficulty: The trail is about 5 kilometres round trip and is rated as moderate. It typically takes around 2-3 hours to complete.

Scenic Highlights: The trail offers panoramic views of Princess Royal Harbour, King George Sound, and the Southern Ocean. Key highlights include the historic site of Point Possession, where British explorer George Vancouver claimed the western part of Australia for Britain in 1791, and the tranquil beaches along the way.

Trailhead Location: The trailhead is located near Quaranup Road, with parking available at the start of the trail.

Insider Tips

  • Pack a Picnic: The beach at the end of the trail is a perfect picnic spot. Pack a lunch and enjoy the views of Princess Royal Harbour.
  • Respect the Environment: Stick to the marked paths to protect the delicate coastal vegetation. Take all your rubbish with you to keep the area pristine.
  • Tide Awareness: Check the tide times on the “Tides Near Me” app. Low tide offers easier access to the beach areas along the trail.
  • Parking: The small car park near Quaranup Road can fill up quickly. Arrive early, especially on weekends and public holidays.

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Trail 5: Torndirrup National Park Coastal Walks

Introduction to the Trail: Torndirrup National Park offers several coastal walks, each showcasing the park’s rugged beauty and diverse landscapes. From dramatic cliffs to sheltered bays, these trails provide a variety of hiking experiences.

Length and Difficulty: The walks in Torndirrup National Park vary in length and difficulty, from short, easy walks to more challenging hikes. Examples include the short walk to The Blowholes, the medium length Peak Head Walk Trail and the longer, more strenuous trek to Stony Hill.

Scenic Highlights: Highlights of these walks include The Blowholes, where air and water are forced through cracks in the rocks, creating a spectacular display, and Stony Hill, which offers 360-degree views of the park and the ocean. The park is also home to diverse flora and fauna, making it a great place for wildlife spotting.

Trailhead Location: The trailheads for these walks are well-signposted within Torndirrup National Park, with parking and facilities available at each starting point.

Insider Tips

  • Check Park Conditions: Visit the Torndirrup National Park website or the Albany Visitor Centre for the latest trail conditions and any closures.
  • Stay on Marked Trails: The Blowholes can be dangerous. Stay on the marked path and listen for the distinctive sound of air and water being forced through the rocks.
  • Bring a Camera: The views from Stony Hill are panoramic. A wide-angle lens will help capture the expansive landscapes.
  • Wildlife Spotting: The park is a birdwatcher’s paradise. Bring binoculars to spot sea eagles and other coastal birds.
  • Facilities: The Stony Hill car park has picnic tables and restrooms. Plan your hike to include a break here to enjoy the facilities and the views.

The Bottom Line

Albany’s coastal walks offer some of the most stunning ocean views in Australia. From the challenging Bald Head Walk Trail to the historically rich Point Possession Heritage Trail, there’s something for everyone. 

Whether you’re an experienced hiker or just looking for a leisurely stroll, these trails provide the perfect opportunity to connect with nature and experience the beauty of Albany’s coastline. 

Next up, we’re strutting our stuff a little closer to home. Check out our guide on Italy’s best walking holidays and get ready to work off all that pasta!

Travel Team
Travel Team
Just like you, we love to get out there and discover the world. To help inspire your next adventure, we create travel guides and share tips so you can dream up your ideal getaway.

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