Friday, March 12, 2010

Day 4 - Albany, Western Australia (March 2006)

Today was allocated for exploring sights in town.

We drove to Whale World, just a few minutes from our hotel. 

We visited WHALE WORLD which was located on the site of the old Cheynes Beach Whaling Station, located on the picturesque southern coast of King George Sound in Albany, Western Australia. The station ceased whaling operations and was decommissioned in 1978. Now an international tourist icon, it is also acknowledged as one of the State's most significant tourist attractions.

Whale World
Frenchman Bay Road

Open Daily from 9am-5pm (except Dec 25) 

A FREE guided tour of the Whale World is inclusive with every paid admission. Tour leaves every hour on the hour commencing at 10am. Final tour departs at 3pm. 

Entry prices as of July 2009: 
Adult $25 / Child (6-12yrs) $10 / Family (up to 3 children under 13 yrs old) $55 / Child (under 6) FREE

We had brunch at Whale World's cafe (around AUD20), then bought our entry tickets (AUD36) and explored the area. 

First stop, which was an eye-catcher for the kids, the play area. It had a big squid for the kids to sit on and a big whale slide.

From Albany
enjoying a ride in the baby whale statue

We climbed aboard 
Cheynes IV Whale Chaser - an old whaling ship.
I didn't imagine it was going to be that high when you're on deck (on top of the ship).

Trying to hold on to Ira as it was really windy.  
After exploring the upper deck, we headed to see what was inside the ship.
near the engine

I think I'm lost....

I can't imagine how the whalers functioned while inside the ship. I would assume they were taller than me. The passageways were cramped. Even the sleeping quarters appeared to be small. Moving around might have been really uncomfortable.

After exploring the ship, it was time to join the guided tour of this whaling station. The tour showed us around to see over 20 different exhibits including the working triple expansion steam engine from the scuttled Cheynes III, the flensing deck, cutting up deck, processing factory and ‘Giants of the Sea’, the awesome skeleton display.

From Albany

From Albany
So much for whaling history and whale skeletons, we were then off to Torndirrup National Park, located around 400kms southeast of Perth.

via Frenchman Bay Road
Albany, Western Australia 6330

The park has many impressive rock formations along the coast and is the  most visited national park Western Australia. We were able to see The Gap, Natural Bridge and the Blowholes.

From the carpark, we walked along the pathway leading to the Blowholes - "a split in the rock where the waves force air out the top"
We walked with much caution as we were closing in to the location of the Blowholes. One wrong step and we could slip/slide and fall into the rugged coast. Ira was still sleeping during the walk.

From Albany
the Blow Holes - a 40 minute walk from the carpark to a crackline in the granite which 'blows' air and occasionally spray. There wasn't much splash coming out from the hole on that day though. 

finally, Ira woke up in time for our walk to the next attraction in the park. We were still able to show him the Blow Holes.

it was quite a long walk to The Gap. We passed by steep staircases, paved walkways around the hills and hopped on top of big boulders.
Kelvin enjoying the strong breeze

THE GAP - a huge gap in the rock, which on rough sea days, has spray rising up over the top of it. The Gap can be viewed from the viewing platform along its edge. No worries cause there is railing in the viewing platform. But if you are afraid of heights, better stay at the carpark.
From Albany
a spot to the right side of the viewing deck

Just nearby was Natural Bridge
From Albany
A huge piece of granite which huge seas have eroded over the centuries to produce this fantastic arch.

just behind the barrier. We didn't dare walk near the "bridge" as we've read of tourists who died because they were swept by the waves hitting the rock.

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