Environmental change has negatively affected most biological systems in our area and is becoming of increasing concern for the well-being and survival of our native wildlife. Ecosystems are currently undergoing rapid rates of change and we are committed to the safety and security of animal populations, habitat and general biodiversity. We have done this by setting up a well-balanced wildlife garden with plenty of shelter and natural food sources for our wildlife, without the use of pesticides and fertilizers. Our garden is home to a family of bandicoots, ring tail possums, 45 varieties of birds, skinks and a myriad of other native animals. As our guests sit on the decks they enjoy watching our native wildlife as they thrive in their natural habitat.
"There are a million ways to surf, and as long as you're smiling you're doing it right."
Surfing for me is “thrillingly surreal”. There is weightlessness that exists as you are moving quickly but at are standing right on top of the water. The power of the wave pushing your board combined with movement across, up and down the face as you gain speed is the thrilling aspect. Yet you are right in the middle of nature – feeling the air, hearing the break of the wave as water sprays around you and perhaps the sound of a seagull. That’s the surreal part, something you don’t normally experience in a lot of other outdoor sports. -Marc Winitz
Part of the thrill and the challenge of riding waves lies in the variety of waves and weather conditions. The Albany Region has many beaches where you can ride the waves.
Lowlands - waves are perfect for all levels of surfers. All year round it won't disapoint
Nannarup - waves are generally bigger here than most other beaches near by
Salmon Holes - consistent surf, Most days should be good here. Experienced surfers only Find a local that will go with you.
Sand Patch - renowned for massive surf! Tow-ins are popular here.
Middleton Beach - for beginners
November 24, 2017
A Olden Whistler was hand raised and released in this area and it often comes to visit, just perching on our deck. Adult male Golden Whistlers are certainly the most attractive of all eight species of whistler to occur in Australia. Females and immatures are a different matter - they are among the plainest brown and unmarked birds we have
The Australian golden whistler (Pachycephala pectoralis), or golden whistler, is a species of bird found in forest, woodland, mallee, mangrove and scrub in Australia (except the interior and most of the north) Most populations are resident, but some in south-eastern Australia migrate north during the winter. Its taxonomy is highly complex and remains a matter of dispute, with some authorities including as many as 59 subspecies of the golden whistler (one of the highest numbers of subspecies in any bird), while others treat several of these as separate species.
The male has a bright yellow underside and nape, olive-green back and wings, a black head and chest-band, and a white throat. A notable exception is the Norfolk golden whistler (P. p. xanthoprocta) where the plumage of the male is female-like. In Australia females are overall dull brownish-grey, though some have yellowish undertail coverts. Both sexes have a black bill, dark legs and red-brown eyes.
Australian golden whistlers have a strong, musical voice. The Australian golden whistler can be found in almost any wooded habitat, especially dense forests. It eats berries, insects, spiders, and other small arthropods. They usually feed alone and obtain food from the lower to middle tree level, or they may alternatively take part in mixed-species feeding flocks.
This species breeds between September and January. Male and female both work on the nest, which is a shallow bowl made of twigs, grass, and bark, and bound together with spider web. Only one brood is raised per season and both birds share incubation and care of young. Eggs hatch 15 days after they are laid and the young leave the nest after 12 days.
Australia is a land of contrasts - topographical, cultural, physical, meterological and visual. About 40,000 years ago, the Aborigines were the first to settle. They lived as hunters and gatherers for this entire time, living with a close link to nature, although backburning and other poor agricultural techniques have since been realised to have caused significant deforestation, salinification of the soil and elimination of much of the natural diversity of the landscape. Such a poor ability to interact with nature, despite it being so important, helps explain why much of Australia is now unsuitable for sustaining life. Interestingly, this provides one of the few examples of where the native population damaged the land more than later waves of settlers. Their way of living developed into a complex culture based on oral tradition and intricate social bounds, which was almost destroyed by the second wave of settlers, who were able to populate the land with much more success.
In the 15th century, explorers from the Netherlands and possibly from parts of the Arabic world and other European countries are believed to have landed in the far North and West of the country. However, due to the severity of the climate, the poor soil and the complete absence of conditions required for living, gave up and went somewhere better.
In 1770, Captain James Cook landed in Botany Bay, which today is part of Sydney. (in fact Sydney Airport juts out into Botany Bay) This commenced with the landing of the First Fleet in Sydney Cove (now Sydney Harbour, near Circular Quay railway station) on 26th January 1788. The British government decided to use convicts to tame the newly discovered continent and did not care a lot for the people that were already there (for example, the land where Melbourne now stands was sold by the aborigines for a handful of beads). Deportation to Australia lasted for about eighty years. After this all immigrants went more or less voluntarily.
Australia became an independent nation on 1 January 1901. The British Parliament passed legislation allowing the six Australian colonies to govern in their own right as part of the Commonwealth of Australia. In 1986 history was made again when parliament passed legislation that ended the power for the Britsh Partliament to legislate for Australia.
Today a growing proportion of Australians were born overseas. Their combined cultural heritage makes the Australian culture a real global one. However, most cultural groups tend to live in enclaves with little interaction and real multiculturalism such as in London, New York or other major cities does not exist. Australia has also discovered the value of the Aboriginal culture and uses it to sell trinkets to a strong tourist market.
While Australia is a nation in its own right, it is also a technically a continent, with large differences between regions. It has a reputation as a land of leisure, with sun, sea and an enviable 'Crocodile Dundee' outdoor lifestyle, but this is just a very narrow conception of a continent. The reality however, is that most people work all day, and then spend the weekend running around trying to pack life into the 2 days on the weekend. Only the homeless and tourists have time to sit around on the beach, or laze away days watching sport on TV.
One of the states is the island state Tasmania of which one fifth is World Heritage area. Each state has its own national parks with their specific character where you can indulge in bush-walking or maybe even rock-climbing. When you’re interested in the miracles of water-world, you can’t miss out on the Great Barrier Reef on the east coast, the main reason for many travellers to visit Cairns. The Wet Tropics of Queensland comprise dense rainforests and foaming waterfalls. Rare species of animals can be spotted in the famous Kakadu National Park as well as ancient aboriginal art. These old drawings can also be seen in the Namadgi National Park.
Good places to set off for exploration of the great outdoors are big cities such as Canberra, Darwin, Adelaide and Perth, that all have interesting sights and a good cultural atmosphere as well. Of course, Australia is surrounded by sea, so good swimming and surfing beaches are more rule than exception, generally these beaches will be full of only tourists, especially during the week. So fun can be had watching people who haven't heard of sunscreen yet turning into lobsters, or getting trapped in the surf. North of Brisbane, is the Sunshine Coast one of the many stretches of coast where you can find excellent beaches, South of Brisbane is the better known Gold Coast, famous for being home to Australia's equivalent of trailer park people and teenagers who can't afford a holiday somewhere better. Don’t forget the smaller historically interesting Alice Springs, or William Creek [the most isolated town in Australia] that will lead you right to the famous Ayers Rock.
Deserts, rainforests, big cities….and just when you thought you’d caught a glimpse of the versatile character of this fascinating continent, you have forgotten about Melbourne and the excellent skiing opportunities in the Alpine National Park. Another good option is the Snowy Mountains area in NSW. How many months could you stay?
Reprinted under Creative Commons Licence World 66
Wildflowers are one of the many reasons people visit Albany during Spring. Grab your camera, take a hike through the many National Parks and find some awesome coloured flora. Although the peak flowering time is from September to November, there is always something in flower throughout the year
There are more than 1,500 species of plants and more than a hundred types off birds found in the popular Australian National Park, Stirling National Park near Albany. In season, wildflowers bring abundant colour to walk trails and picnic areas. The nearby Porongurup National Park is also a great place for birdwatchers.
There is also a beautiful bush walk just minutes from HideAway Haven where you can enjoy a walk before breakfast.
I love my early morning walks down to the beach and watching the sun climb out of the ocean as I welcome another amazing day in the Albany Region.
But a sunrise in the middle of the bush is just another magical start to the day. Away from the noise of traffic, people, dogs I love welcoming a brand new day with the chirping birds, calls of the wild and the breeze rustling through the leaves. I love listening to the magpies as they chatter to each other, the little birds singing in the trees, the kangaroos grazing in the distance and other Aussie Critters rustling through the undergrowth.
Good Morning and welcome to another beautiful day in our town - our Albany
Volunteer tourism is the intersection between tourism and volunteering. It involves travellers participating in organised short-term voluntary work to help communities, the environment and/or research in the places they visit.
Late last year, World Challenge – the world’s biggest school-based volunteer travel company – stopped offering trips to orphanages in the developing world, based on evidence of the harms done to children by the industry.
So what has gone wrong? How could the feel-good darling of tourism become so tarnished? And, more importantly, how can we change it for the better?
Our research suggests host communities need to be put firmly in the driver’s seat, particularly in terms of monitoring and evaluation of volunteer tourism programs. This will require a much bigger rethink than a reframing of volunteer experiences and reworking of existing programs.
Growth and change
Volunteer tourism comes in many forms. For many years, it was lauded as a win-win activity. Volunteers get the experience of a lifetime while making a valuable contribution to society. Host communities benefit through language lessons for their children or construction of a new building.
In its early days, volunteer tourism was mainly organised by NGOs who were not looking to make a profit. As it became increasingly popular, many private and commercial organisations entered the market and made lots of money.
The way organisations deliver programs and partner with other organisations has also become increasingly fluid. This influences the level of responsibility they take for their actions.
Our study highlights that few volunteer tourism organisations rigorously monitored and evaluated the impacts of their programs. Some simply assumed the more volunteers they sent, the more positive impact they would create.
Those that did engage with monitoring and evaluation naturally focused on the experience of the volunteers. When a program didn’t seem to work well or problems arose, activities were simply moved elsewhere. Host communities were seen as commodities rather than equal or leading partners. As as research participant explained about his organisation:
Most of the time we just yank the programs because we just see the fundamental problems with it, like the mangrove project, the school program as well, I guess the contraception one, our lessons are learned.
Monitoring and evaluation can help organisations to identify and understand problems with their programs before it is too late, thus providing opportunities for improving them. A strong and open relationship between the hosts and the volunteer tourism organisations is nonetheless important to the effectiveness of monitoring and evaluation.
Our research examined relationships between the volunteer tourism organisations based in developed countries (which recruit and send the volunteers), in-country host partner organisations that co-ordinate projects locally, and host communities for the projects.
We looked at both one-to-one and multi-organisational partnerships to see how they influenced monitoring and evaluation.
Almost all the organisations in our study agreed that host communities should be involved in the monitoring and evaluation of their programs. Much fewer said they did so effectively.
Trust and power were key issues. As one participant said:
It is often difficult to get 100% honest feedback due to the complex power relations involved.
Other problems include a lack of accountability and clarity over who is or should be responsible for monitoring and evaluation.
So, what can organisations do to avoid projects that “serve the egos of the tourists more effectively than they serve the locals”? How can we facilitate volunteer tourism that really does benefit those it is meant to serve?
Monitoring and evaluation is key
Monitoring and evaluation of volunteer tourism programs provides essential checks and balances, and ensures they are achieving their goals. If the overall aim of volunteer tourism is to achieve positive outcomes for host communities, then it makes sense to involve them actively and meaningfully in these processes.
Trust and strong relationships between communities and volunteer tourism providers is important.
Hosts need to feel safe and be confident in the relationship to speak openly and honestly about their experiences. Any fear of repercussions such as losing funding or volunteers is counterproductive.
So what might best practice look like? There is no one size fits all approach as organisational and program arrangements vary widely and continue evolving. Guiding considerations such as ensuring methods are culturally appropriate and that intended programme beneficiaries are included throughout the process provide a framework of good practice to facilitate monitoring and evaluation. It is also essential that findings are acted upon appropriately.
Where to from here?
Our research proposes an approach that contributes to a more sustainable model of volunteer tourism by putting host communities at the centre of monitoring and evaluation.
Volunteer tourism provides life-changing opportunities for volunteers. It can facilitate valuable cultural exchange and exposure. It could even be leveraged to diversify host community income.
But let’s make sure we openly examine the outcomes of volunteer tourism activities and amplify the voice of the host communities through their central role in monitoring and evaluation.
Last year was the United Nations’ International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. UN World Tourism Organisation Secretary-General Taleb Rifai declared it gave:
… a unique opportunity to advance the contribution of the tourism sector to the three pillars of sustainability – economic, social and environmental, while raising awareness of the true dimensions of a sector which is often undervalued.
… development which meets the needs of current generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
British environmental activist George Monbiot argued that, over the years, sustainable development has morphed into sustained growth. The essence of his argument is that little resolve exists to go beyond rhetoric. This is because environmental crises require we limit the demands we place on it, but our economies require endless growth.
At the moment, economic growth trumps environmental limits, so sustainability remains elusive.
What is sustainable tourism?
Tourism is important to our efforts to achieve sustainable development. It is a massive industry, and many countries rely on it for their economies.
In 2016, more than 1.2 billion people travelled as tourists internationally, and another 6 billion people travelled domestically.
According to the UN World Tourism Organisation, sustainable tourism is:
… tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities.
Following on from Monbiot’s criticism, we might ask if efforts are directed at “sustaining tourism”, or instead harnessing tourism for wider sustainable development goals.
No place is off the tourism circuit
Looking at some of the tourism trouble spots, complacency is not called for.
Venice residents have accused tourists of “destroying their city”. Barcelona’s government has passed legislation to limit new tourist accommodation. The Galapagos sees mass tourism’s arrival threatening the iconic wildlife that attracts visitors.
No place is off the tourism circuit, so tourism grows with few limits. Ironically, tourists even want to tour Antarctica to see its pristine environment before it disappears (“last-chance tourism”). This is despite their impacts contributing to global warming and threatening this last wild place.
It is difficult to get a complete picture of the impacts of tourism because no-one is working to build a comprehensive view. So, insights are fragmented.
While we might be sceptical that UN “years” are often more rhetoric than real, we can nonetheless seize the opportunity to make tourism more sustainable.
How can tourism be made more sustainable?
Tourism can be made more sustainable through several achievable measures. Some look to technological solutions so we can continue business as usual. Others highlight conscious consumerism and ideas like slow travel.
But in a world in which growing populations with endless consumer demands are pitted against a fragile environment, we require more concerted effort.
1) Governments must implement policies that foster sustainable development by overcoming the growth fetish. Tourism then should be developed only within sustainable development parameters. Governments must tackle the environmental limits to growth and climate change challenges we confront. Tourism development requires integrated planning. So, we need the government tourism authorities – such as Tourism Australia or state tourism commissions – focused equally on integrated planning as the marketing they currently emphasise.
2) Consumers should be educated for responsible travel choices. For example, few realise that all-inclusive resorts result in economic benefits from tourism leaking out of the host economy back to the home economies of the big multinationals and corporations that often own such resorts (think Club Med). Civics education in schools could educate for responsible travel.
3) Local communities, often treated as only as one stakeholder among the many, must have a right to participate in tourism decision-making and have a say on if and how their communities become tourism destinations.
4) Workers of tourism must have their rights respected and given decent conditions. Tourism should not be allowed to continue as a low-wage and precarious source of employment.
5) The tourism industry needs to assume greater responsibility, submitting to local tax regimes and regulations so its presence builds thriving communities, rather than undermining them. This is increasingly essential as a social license to operate. The industry should also educate its clients on responsible tourism.
6) Non-governmental organisations are essential for reporting on the abuses of tourism, including land grabs, human rights abuses, community opposition and corruption.
Harnessing these essential stakeholders in a rigorous agenda for sustainable development, rather than sustaining tourism, would make the UN’s “year” more meaningful.
Australia is in the grip of an extinction crisis. Our unique animals, plants, and ecosystems are rapidly ebbing away in a process that began more than 200 years ago with European settlement. Feral cats and foxes are thought to be major culprits.
So how do we stem the flood of extinctions? Predator-free offshore islands, previously seen as a last resort, could be a significant part of Australia’s conservation future. Other countries, such as New Zealand, can show us how it’s done.
In 2014 Australia appointed its first Threatened Species Commissioner, Gregory Andrews. Andrews faces a huge challenge in saving Australia’s endangered animals and plants, but islands should be part of the solution.
Mammals have been particularly hard hit by the extinction crisis, with around 10% of Australian species extinct and a further 20% under threat. Globally this accounts for almost a third of all recent mammal extinctions.
There is increasing scientific consensus that cats and foxes are a powerful driver of these extinctions, amplified by land clearing and frequent, large-scale bushfires that degrade and fragment wildlife habitat.
The impact of introduced predators is not surprising considering that Australia is an island continent whose wildlife has been isolated from the rest of the world for millions of years.
A similar fate has befallen unique wildlife on other isolated islands, a notorious case being the impact of introduced predators on New Zealand’s birds. Thirteen are extinct and a further 24 are endangered including kiwis and the kakapo, the world’s largest parrot.
The conservation response has followed very different pathways in Australia and New Zealand.
New Zealand is a world leader in the use of offshore islands and fenced sanctuaries to conserve species threatened by predators. It has well-developed policies and monitoring programs for translocating endangered species by both government and non-government conservation programs.
By contrast, Australia’s use of island refuges has been much slower and poorly coordinated, and unlike New Zealand there is no national policy framework. Approaches vary widely between Australian states, and there has been limited evaluation of what has and has not worked nationally. However, we know that the absence of cats and foxes is a critical factor in successfully moving wildlife to islands.
Constructing predator-proof fences has been successful in conserving mammals, although this a fairly recent development led by a number of non-government conservation organisations such as Arid Recovery Centre and Australian Wildlife Conservancy.
How many islands?
Remarkably there has been no systematic analysis of the potential to use Australian offshore islands as conservation refuges.
Our preliminary analysis suggest that currently Australia has around 200 cat and fox-free islands suitable for wildlife refuges. This number could be increased if cats and foxes are removed from other islands.
However, because there are few offshore islands with arid climates, we will still need fenced enclosures to conserve Australia’s inland mammals.
The barriers to widespread use of offshore islands and exclosures are ultimately philosophical. A common criticism is that keeping animals on islands or behind fortified fences is “unnatural” and is akin to creating “mini zoos”.
But on a continent where the ecology has been so drastically upset by introduced species, debates about “naturalness” are a distraction from the pressing threat of extinction.
There are also concerns that moving wildlife can have disruptive effects on other species or ecosystems.
However, most offshore islands have already been impacted by land clearing and the introduction of domestic and native species. For instance, on Maria Island areas of former farmland now support introduced Cape Barren Geese and large kangaroo and wallaby populations introduced by wildlife managers in the 1960s.
There is no question Australia’s worsening extinction crisis is motivating a rethink of classical conservation practises.
Such interventions could be scaled up nationally, a program that would require leadership, decisive action and risk taking in the face of looming defeat.
The drone market is booming and it is changing the way we use airspace, with some unforeseen consequences.
The uptake of remotely piloted aircraft (RPAs) has been swift. But despite their obvious benefits, concerns are growing about impacts on wildlife.
In our research we investigate whether regulation is keeping pace with the speed of technological change. We argue that it doesn’t, and we suggest that threatened species might need extra protection to ensure they aren’t harmed by drones.
But researchers are also discovering that RPAs have negative impacts on wildlife, ranging from temporary disturbances to fatal collisions.
Disturbance from vehicles and other human activity are known to affect wildlife, but with the speed that drones have entered widespread use, their effects are only just starting to be studied.
So far, the regulatory response has focused squarely on risks to human health, safety and privacy, with wildlife impacts only rarely taken into account, and even then usually in a limited way.
It is not uncommon for regulatory gaps to arise when new technology is introduced. The rapid growth of drone technology raises a series of questions for environmental law and management.
We have reviewed evidence for wildlife disturbance and current drone policies and found that the law is playing catch-up with emerging technology.
This is particularly important in New Zealand, where many threatened species live outside protected reserves. Coastal areas are of particular concern. They provide habitat for numerous threatened and migrating species but also experience high rates of urban development and recreational activity. Different species also respond very differently to the invasion of their airspace.
Where “flying for fun” and pizza delivery by drone combine with insufficient control, there is potential for unanticipated consequences to wildlife.
RPA and red tape
When competing interests collide, regulation requires particular care. Any rules on RPAs need to cater for a wide range of users, with varying skills and purposes, and enable beneficial applications while protecting wildlife.
There are strong social and economic drivers for the removal of red tape. Australia and the United States have introduced permissive regimes for lower-risk use, including recreational activity. In New Zealand, RPAs are considered as aircraft and controlled by civil aviation legislation.
Wildlife disturbance, or other impacts on the environment, are not specifically mentioned in these rules and control options depend on existing wildlife law.
The lack of consideration of wildlife impacts in civil aviation rules creates a gap, which is accompanied by an absence of policy guidance. As a consequence, the default position for limiting RPA operations comes from the general requirement for property owner consent.
RPA and spatial controls
RPA operators wanting to fly over conservation land have to get a permit from the Department of Conservation, which has recognised wildlife disturbance as a potential issue.
On other public land, we found that local authorities take a patchy and inconsistent approach to RPA activity, with limited consideration of effects on wildlife. On private land, efforts to control impacts to wildlife depend on the knowledge of property owners.
Protection of wildlife from RPA impacts is further confounded by limitations of legislation that governs the protection of wildlife and resource use and development. The Wildlife Act 1953 needs updating to provide more effective control of disturbance effects to species.
Marine mammals get some protection from aircraft disturbance under species-specific legislation. Other than that, aircraft are exempt from regulation under the Resource Management Act, which only requires noise control for airports. As a result, tools normally used to control spatial impacts, such as protective zoning, setbacks and buffers for habitat and species are not available.
This makes sense for aircraft flying at 8,000m or more, but drones use space differently, are controlled locally, and generate local effects. It is also clear that equipment choices and methods of RPA operation can reduce risks to wildlife.
Keeping drones out of sensitive spaces
Dunedin City Council in New Zealand recently approved a bylaw banning drones from ecologically sensitive areas. This is a good start but we think a more consistent and universal approach is required to protect threatened species.
As a starter, all RPA operations should be guided by specific policy and made available on civil aviation websites, addressing impacts to wildlife and RPA methods of operation. In addition, we advocate for research into regulatory measures requiring, where appropriate, distance setbacks of RPA operations from threatened and at risk species.
Distance setbacks are already used in the protection of marine mammals from people, aircraft and other sources of disturbance. Setbacks benefit species by acting as a mobile shield in contrast to a fixed area protection.
Congestion of space is a condition of modern life, and the forecast exponential growth of RPA in the environment indicates that space will become even more contested in future, both in the air and on the ground. We argue that stronger measures that recognise the potential impacts on wildlife, how this may differ from species to species, and how this may be concentrated in certain locations, are required to deliver better protection for threatened species.
Pip Wallace, Senior lecturer in Environmental Planning, University of Waikato; Iain White, Professor of Environmental Planning, University of Waikato, and Ross Martin, Doctoral Candidate (Coastal Ecology), University of Waikato
The Alkaline cafe serves beautifully prepared food suitable for those who are gluten free, vegetarians, whole food/plant based ad their food is enjoyed by everyone. High quality ingredients sourced from our local organic farmers. They make their own nut milk, cheese, wraps etc.
Perfect place to take your partner if you want a healthy meal because they will love it as well. They now have a new chef and we are anxious to and try some of his food. We love the atmosphere here, it is all so eclectic., with tables, couches and even a piano in the corner. Service is top notch and always with a smile. They have a huge range of coffee, smoothies, cakes and bread.
Why not order a cheesecake and take it home for dessert.
Pepper and Salt is located just our of Denmark at Forest Hill Winery. Chef Silas creates simple but inspiring dishes that nuture the heart and soul. Silas loves our regions fresh produce and has a love of spices that he uses to enhance his food. Food is beautifully presented and he matches all courses perfectly with layered textures. For a special treat Pepper and Salt is a must visit for lunch while you are staying with us.
Peper and Salt is relaxed and has you can enjoy awesome views, Sit on the deck in the warmer weather or enjoy the warm open fire during the winter.
We love the fact that Silas takes the time to meet and great everyone in the restaurant and when time permits explains the spices and techniques used to create awesome dishes.
If you have any special dietary requirements or requests, please contact the restaurant ahead of time and they will happily and expertly cater for you.
The relaxed and comfortable café provides a beautiful setting overlooking established gardens, vineyard and the rolling hills of Mt Barker to enjoy Windrush wines, gourmet lunches, morning and afternoon teas or coffee and home made cake. The service was very attentive, meals beautifully presented and tasty using seasonal produce. Not sure where the asparagus came from at this time of the year but it was delcicious. Everything was cooked perfectly. They have something on the menu for every dietary requirement including vegetarian, gluten free and vegan.
Windush Wines is located at 801 Hay River Road, Mount Barker WA 6324 (Corner of St Werburghs and Hay River Roads). Well worth the trip out there.
The hill on which the property is situated rises to a height of 237 feet (72 m) and is a spur of Mount Clarence. The soil is a mixture of clay and gravel with rich black loam on the lower side.
The farm was initially established in 1827 for the first Government Resident in Albany, when the first Europeans settled at King George Sound Edmund Lockyer, Alexander Collie and John Lawrence Morley selected the site as a government farm. Originally it occupied an area of 1,536 acres (622 ha) but only 6 acres (2 ha) remain today. The next three commandants of the settlement, Captain Wakefield, Lieutenant Sleeman and Captain Collet Barker, followed Lockyer's plan of continuing to develop the farm.
Alexander Collie was appointed Government Resident of Albany in 1831 and moved into a wattle and daub cottage situated on the farm. He named the property Strawberry Hill after the small plot of strawberries he was cultivating. Collie retired in 1832 and his successor was D. H. Macleod but it was the farm superintendent John Lawrence Morley who handed the property onto Richard Spencer.
Spencer was appointed as Government Resident in 1833; he acquired the farm and resided there with his wife, Ann, and his ten children. Spencer arranged for the erection of a granite two-storey building at the rear end of the original wattle and daub structure at a cost of £100. The garden was now well established and producing blood oranges, raspberries, grapes, asparagus, figs and almonds. The first visitors to stay in the new building included Charles Darwin and Captain Robert FitzRoy, of HMS Beagle
The old thatched roof wattle and daub part of the main residence burned down in 1870. A second cottage was built by Charles Miner in the same year.
Francis Bird, the Chief Architect of Western Australia, acquired the property in 1889 and changed the name from Strawberry Hill to the Old Farm. His family retained ownership of the farm until the 1930s.
The site lay derelict for many years until purchased by the Federal Government in 1956 and it was then vested in the National Trust of Australia in 1964. Conservation work commenced shortly afterwards and it was later opened to the public.
Thousands of people visit the farm each year and enjoy the beautiful and historic gardens
Open Monday to Friday from 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM, CLOSED LAST TWO WEEKS OF JULY AND ALL OF AUGUST. CLOSED CHRISTMAS DAY, BOXING DAY, NEW YEAR DAY & GOOD FRIDAY.
Source: Free Wikipedia
Misery Beach is a peaceful secluded beach, sheltered from the prevailing winds and swell with beautiful views of King George Sound with its rugged coast and islands. It is only about 200 metres long with pristine squeaky white sand. An impressive granite headland - part of Isthmus Hill - forms one end, while a rocky point marks the other.
On a clear day you can see the tops of the Stirling Range. I am not sure where the name comes from but as the whaling station is just a few hundred metres away, maybe it was named back in the time it was still operating, when the whale blood would wash ashore here. Today it is a beach to enjoy and contemplate life as you listen to the soothing sounds of the waves.
Mistaken Island is an island located approximately 5 kilometres south-east of Albany, Western Australia.
Located in King George Sound the island is located approximately 120 metres from Vancouver peninsula.
The area is a fantastic location to take a dip in crystal clear water. From Mistaken Island Beach you can swim or paddle to the island
In 1971, the island was declared as a class 1A Nature Reserve with a total area of 12 hectares The area adjacent to the island is used to cultivate mussels on long lines.
The island received its name for the fact little penguin burrows were mistaken for rabbit holes and the island has also been historically referred to as Rabbit Island. If you come at the right time of the year you might even see fairy penguins nesting in and around the Island. Please take care not to disturb them.
Lake Vancouver is the only freshwater wetland on the Vancouver Peninsula and is a significant source of water for fauna in the area. It is found within a Nature Reserve, located on the Vancouver Peninsula, about 200 m west of Goode Beach on Frenchman Bay. Because of its pristine condition and unique position so close to the ocean, the Lake Vancouver wetland is listed in the South Coast Significant Wetlands Database and is currently being used as a case study to help determine wetland buffer zone guidelines for Western Australia.
Public access has only been allowed to this amazing fresh water lake since 2012 which has contributed to its unique and pristine condition. It really is an amazing spot to visit, relatively untouched by humans and protected for future generations to enjoy. The Frenchmans Bay Association erected a Bird Hide to share this natural wonder with locals and tourists alike and encourage an appreciation of the wetlands and bird life. It is accessible from La Perouse Road in Goode Beach, or from the car park nearby with access to the beach which winds around the back end to meet up with the bird hide track walk.
Frenchman Bay is one of the few places in the world where you can relax on a white sandy beach, swim, snorkel, enjoy spectacular ocean views and witness the breathtaking sight of the annual whale migration.
FRENCHMAN BAY is located 20 kms drive south of Albany, on a spectacular area of coastline adjacent to the magnificent Torndirrup National Park, The Gap, Natural Bridge and The Historic Whaling Station, and is perfect for families, weddings and those not able to walk very far.
The perfect place to relax, Emu Point consists of a grassy sheltered lawn area ideal for picnics, calm shallow waters to wade in and and clear calm waters for safe swimming. Emu Points beach is also popular for fishing and boating. Emu Point Cafe is the perfect place to relax and enjoy a light lunch and coffee.
The Point itself is a rocky groyne with views over King George Sound and Middleton Beach from the northern end.
ALBANY'S popular Emu Point was declared Western Australias cleanest beach in 2011
Enjoy watching the fisherman come in with their catch and feed the pelicans.
Middleton Beach was named after Captain Middleton in 1934. Captain Middleton is an ancestor of Kate Middleton now married to Prince William and proud mother of 3. He brought Governor James Stirling to Western Australia. It is the main swimming beach for Albany and offers swimming and recreational beach activities. The waters are protected by King George Sound; the Southern Ocean's waves do not usually reach these sheltered waters.
Middleton Beach has a jetty, and in summer a pontoon (a floating construction that can hold many swimmers) is placed in the ocean for delight and fun of swimmers.
At the far southern end of Middleton Beach, where the bay wraps around the headland (King Point) is called Ellen Cove. Sheltered from the strongest waves by King Head, Ellen Cove is a beautiful nook at the end of Middleton Beach and where you will find the start of The Ellen Cove Boardwalk.
Nearby you can find Three Anchors restaurant/bar/kiosk/art gallery and meeting room. A venue for people to chill with a beer, good food whilst watching the waves roll in.
Just a short stroll from Albany’s Middleton Beach, Rats Bar offers a unique Great Southern experience – the setting is friendly and intimate; the atmosphere is vibrant and relaxed.