Albany Port was the first port in Western Australia and was settled in 1826. Albany was Western Australia's only deep-water port for 70 years until the Fremantle Inner Harbour was opened in 1897
The first settlers arrived in Albany in December 1826 when Major Edmund Lockyer arrived at the harbour aboard the brig Amity The port started from humble beginnings when a finger jetty was built between 1862 and 1864 in Princess Royal Harbour. The construction was extended in 1874 and fitted with a T-shaped head and gas lighting.
Dredging and land reclamation around the port area commenced in 1893, with a further five dredging operations taking place between 1901 and 1979. Albany was an important arrival point for migrants and settlers in Western Australia with over 40,000 people arriving between 1839-1925.
The Point King Lighthouse, built in 1898, was the first navigational light for the Port of Albany and the second lighthouse to be built on the West Australian coastline.
The Great White Fleet visited Albany on 11 September 1908 and stayed for one week to take coal aboard as part of the fleet's circumnavigation of the world. The fleet arrived from Melbourne and the next port of call was Manila.
In 2004 2,685,000 metric tonnes of cargo passed through the port and in 2005 2,990,000 metric tonnes of cargo was achieved. During this time woodchip exports increased by 105%.
A huge drug seizure was recorded in the port area in 2004 when the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Customs Service recovered 100 kilograms (220 lb) of powder cocaine, worth over $45 million, was recovered from a local beach after being buried in the dunes. The drugs were imported on a bulk grain carrier Marcos Dias having come from South America via South East Asia, three men were arrested as a result
In 2005 handler and exporter CBH, proceeded with a $130 million upgrade of their grain handling and loading facilities at the port.
The Albany Port Authority won the national Lloyd's Port of the Year award in 2006 for its development of new technology used to restore degrade load-bearing concrete piles without disrupting cargo handling activities
The port was visited by the Queen Elizabeth II passenger liner in February 2008 as part of its final world trip. Albany was the only regional port that was visited during the Australian leg of the voyage.
The largest vessel ever handled by the port was the Bulk carrier 71,749 dwt Maritime Grace which was partly loaded at the port.
The Albany Port Authority recorded a record profit of A$ 7.1 million in 2014 after exporting a record 1.4 million tonnes of woodchips. The Albany Port Authority, which had run the port since 1950 was closed down in 2014 when it was merged with the Bunbury and Esperance Port Authorities creating the Southern Port Authority.
During dredging in 2000 to expand the harbour, a large amount of unexploded munitions was found at the bottom of the harbour so that Worksafe demanded that dredging cease until the harbour was made safe again. It was consequently found that the ordnance had been spilt during loading of excess munitions to be disposed of at sea in 1947 and 1948 by the Australian Army and Navy The Albany Port Authority took the Commonwealth government to court to pay for the clean-up of the munitions. The Commonwealth lost the case and were ordered to pay $5.25 million for past and future clean-up costs and an additional $1 million for legal costs. Some of the ammunition that has been found included a 250-pound aerial bomb, 18 pound artillery shells and rifle ammunitions.