Western Australian Museum – Albany, Residency Road (Residency Museum)
Phone (08) 9841 4844
Open: 10am - 4.30pm daily and 1pm – 4.30pm on Anzac Day; closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day and Good Friday.
Admission: Free entry - suggested donation $5
Refurbished in July 2010 the Western Australian Museum – Albany or Residency Museum as it is known locally, overlooks the picturesque Princess Royal Harbour and sits on the site where Major Edmund Lockyer hoisted the British Flag on January 21, 1827.
The museum contains recently redeveloped exhibitions and is a wonderful showcase for the biodiversity and ancient natural environment of the Great Southern region of WA. It also provides a series of imaginative educational and public programs and features excellent displays of artefacts pertaining to the area’s early settlers and Indigenous Menang Noongar people.
Built in 1850 the Residency Building originally served as a store and offices for the hiring depot based at Albany Convict Gaol. When the depot closed, more rooms were added and the building became home to Government Residents and later the Resident Magistrates. The Residency became a branch of the Western Australian Museum in 1975 - the first outside Perth - and was recently voted number six out of the top 37 things to do in Albany by readers of the Lonely Planet travel guide.
A little known fact is that King George V, celebrated his 16th birthday in this building on June 3, 1881. He was on a naval tour with his brother Prince Albert, when the rudder on their ship HMS Bacchante was damaged in a storm. The ship eventually docked at Albany and the young princes spent three weeks in the area while the rudder was being repaired.