Torndirrup National Park

No visit to Albany could ever be complete without some hours spent in the Torndirrup National Park gazing in awe at the Natural Bridge, The Gap, the Blowholes, the Gorge, and Newles Inlet and visiting Whale World. Torndirrup National Park is renowned for its rugged granite coastal features, part of a coastline that was once connected to Antarctica when Australia was part of the supercontinent Gondawana.

There are many walking paths to the various natural features within the National Park which, in the main, are easy, relatively short walks. Be aware that this coastline has a notorious record for accidents due to people slipping and being washed into the ocean by unexpected freak waves or large swells, so take care and avoid going too close to the edge of cliffs.

For a panoramic view of the coastline, the 500 metre fairly level circular walk on Stony Hill offers 360 degree views of Albany, Princess Royal Harbour and King George Sound, as well as Torndirrup National Park, Peak Head and the Great Southern Ocean facing directly south.

The Gap

An impressive rugged gush in the rock carved by the waves of the Great Southern Ocean crashing against the granite coastline forming a spectacular sheer drop of almost twenty five metres. The viewing platform is a short distance from the carpark along a winding paved track. It can get quite blowy here, so be sure to take along a jacket for protection against the wind.

Jimmy Newell's Harbour

Nearby is Jimmy Newell's Harbour, a quiet little inlet. There are conflicting reports as to who Jimmy Newell way. Some say he was a local fisherman who, caught by a sudden storm, was driven into the harbour where he found protection and safety; others say he was a limeburner who worked in the area.

The lookout provides a breathtaking view of the harbour and great southern ocean. The turquoise waters are a stunning contrast to the green heathland and boulders surrounding the harbour.

The Blowholes

The Blowholes are crevasses in the granite stretching down to sea level far below. With each wave the 'holes' blow air and water up the channel and out the top creating a burst of spray and a loud droning whoosh! The blowholes are quite a distance from the carpark and there is no guarantee they will be blowing. Usually they do a lot of huffing and puffing, and little else, but it is an enjoyable walk with plenty of constal scenery to look at. If you visit while there are whales about (June to October), you may well see their blowholes in action offshore.

Natural Bridge

A short walk from The Gap, the Natural Bridge is a granite formation caused by the gradual wearing away of the rock by the Great Southern Ocean. Over time, the ocean has carved a giant granite bridge into the rock face.

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Salmon Holes

Salmon Holes is reached by a winding pathway from the lookout, descending to the white beach. The beach is named after the salmon that come to rest in the bays. The gorgeous beach is a popular Salmon Fishing area, however the waves that wash up onto it can be huge so be prepared.

Frenchman Bay

Though not part of the National Park, Frenchman Bay, located on the southern side of the King George Sound on Flinders Peninsula is worth a look. Below it's waters lies the HMAS Perth, Dive wreck. Frenchman Bay has a beautiful picnic area with barbecues as well as a boat launch - ideal for a picnic or a quiet day out.

Cable Beach

Cable Beach is accessible only by a staircase that descends from the carpark onto the rocky boulders, which must be traversed before reaching the beach. Like other spots on this coast, the scenery is stunning, but keep an eye out for king waves if you go down to the water's edge.

Albany Wind Farm

On your way to Torndirrup National Park you will pass the Albany Wind Farm. It is one of the most spectacular and largest wind farms in Australia. The wind farm walk offers spectacular views of the twelve eco-friendly turbines along the Torndirrup peninsula, allowing you to get up close or view from a distance. The turbines lower WA's greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 77,000 tonnes per year.

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