Coordinates: 35°01′22″S 117°52′53″E
Mean minimum temperature: 11.6C (53F)
Mean maximum temperature: 19.4C (67F)
Annual rainfall: 930.5mm (36.6 inches)
Albany was established in January 1827 by Sir Edmund Lockyer as a military outpost of the New South Wales Government, making it the oldest European settlement in Western Australia. The area was initially named Frederickstown in honour of British Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany, but in 1831 control of the settlement was transferred to the Swan River Colony and renamed Albany by the State's first Governor James Stirling.
Albany’s city centre is based around main thoroughfare York Street and sits on the northern edge of Princess Royal Harbour, which is part of King George Sound. Its CBD is overlooked byMt Clarenceto the east and Mt Melville to the west. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Albany was a gateway to theEastern Goldfields and for decades was Australia’s only deep-water port, giving it a place of prominence on shipping services between Britain and its colonies. However, the construction of Fremantle Harbour near Perth in 1893 saw Albany’s importance as a port rapidly decline, so the town turned primarily to agriculture, timber and later whaling to support its economy. Albany also has an important role in the Anzac legend as it was where the fleet which comprised of approximately 20,000 Australians and 10,000 New Zealanders assembled and departed for Egypt on November 1, 1914.
Modern-day Albany is highly regarded for the natural beauty of its coastline, spectacular beaches, moderate climate and heritage preservation, making it a significant destination for tourists to explore the state’s south-west. The city overlooks the Southern Ocean, covers an area of roughly 89.8km (34.7 mi2) and is 408km south-east of state capital Perth. It is the administrative centre to the Great Southern region of Western Australia and home to around 57 per cent of the region’s population, which according to the last published figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (published June 2010) were 36,042.
The magnificent Great Southern begins approximately 220km south-east of Perth and covers 40,000sqm of south Western Australia. It is one of the nine regions of Western Australia and includes a section of the state’s larger south coast and neighbouring agricultural regions. It officially comprises the local government areas of Albany, Broomehill-Tambellup, Cranbrook, Denmark, Gnowangerup, Jerramungup, Katanning, Kent, Kojonup, Plantagenet and Woodanilling. The region has a Mediteranian clime with hot dry summers and cool wet winters.
The region’s economy is dominated by livestock farming and crop-growing and has some of the most productive cereal grain and pastoralland in the state, as well as being a major producer of wool and lamb. Other significant industries in the region are fishing, forestry, mining, tourism, winemaking, viticulture, olive oil production and aquaculture.