We rolled into Albany after a muddy night freecamping and driving through a thick persisting storm. If felt like returning to landfall after an ocean crossing.
Albany reminds me in many ways of Hobart. Beautiful stone and wood houses creep up into the slopes between Mount Melville and Mount Clarence giving the owners spectacular views out over Princess Royal Harbour.
The original owners of this land the Menang Noongar tribes called it Kinjarling which means place of rain. True to its lineage, the town dumped on us as soon as we arrived. It seemed super busy with crowds touring the Main Street and making my mandatory exploration of the local second-handbook shop feel like a mosh pit.
Turns out there was a cruise ship that had docked in the harbour minutes before we arrived and one of the locals told us the population of Albany had just increased by 5,000.
Our home for the night was a van park out on Emu Point a few clicks out of town. We scored a great site just metres from the shoreline and I would definitely rate the park in the top 5 we have stayed at.
In fact, the combination of ideal location and acute road weariness compounded to leave us no more attractive option than to stay for a few nights.
The sun broke through in the late afternoon proffering a gorgeous sunset walk along the edges of Oyster Harbour. Terraced grass parks stepped down to the beach. Families were out soaking up the break in the weather. Over to our right, a group of women were doing yoga. There was a neat swimming pontoon. There was a cafe. There were postcard views out across the harbour and over to King George Sound.
We pottered our way out to inspect the marina and then on to a fish & chip shop where we ordered up big and sat beside the marina scoffing the lot.
I could live here I think.