Staying in Ravensthorpe meant shorter drive to our next port of call. Albany. The city at the southwestern tip of Western Australia – and therefore of Australia as a whole.
The settlement at Albany was founded on 26 December 1826 as a military outpost of New South Wales. It is the oldest colonial settlement in Western Australia– predating Perth and Fremantle by over two years. Although completely the other side of the continent it was a semi-exclave of New South Wales for over four years until it was made part of the Swan River Colony.
It was founded basically to keep the French out of this remote part of the continent. It is easy to look at things nowadays only through a modern day lens. But back in the early 1800s many parts of the world were still being carved up by European powers. If that military base had not been set up Western Australia could have become a French colony. Thankfully that never happened eh (LOL)…
By the last decade of the 19th century, the town was a gateway to the Eastern Goldfields. For years, it was the colony’s only deep-water port, and so was important stop off point for shipping services between Britain and the eastern Australian colonies. When Fremantle Harbour opened in 1897 Albany’s importance as a port dropped. After that the town turned to other industries such as agriculture, timber and interestingly, whaling. However, the port is now a stop off for large cruise ships.
Another one from the WA Public Silo Art trail. The ruby sea dragon (Phyllopteryx dewysea) is painted on the massive silos (35m high x 50m wide) at the Albany grain terminal. This one was painted by artists who go by the names of The Yok & Sheryo.
There’s a great video showing how it was painted with before and after shots; simply visit https://www.publicsilotrail.com/albany/
The mural art theme is continued in the city centre, a variety of murals by local and international artists. here are some examples…
Just outside of town the art theme continues at Chainsaw Sculpture Drive. This is just a sample there were many more…
Views Across Albany
Just inland from the port/cruise ship area, and a fair old drive uphill, the ANZAC memorials on Mount Clarence commemorate the time when in 1914 the first ANZAC troops departed from King George Sound. The lookouts from Mt. Clarence offer some of the best views across Albany.
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By the time I get around to posting everything about our summer holidays we will be getting ready for the Easter break. Don’t these school terms fly by? I must try to do these things as we go… Easier said than done of course. But stay tuned anyway.