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Albany, Australia, Europe Cruise

    Albany is located in the Great Southern region of Western Australia, situated around a port on the southern coast. Its metropolitan area has a population of 25,196 as of the 2006 census, making it the sixth largest city in the state. It is located within the City of Albany local government area. The area surrounding Albany is rich in natural beauty. The majestic Stirling Ranges and the Mt Barker wine region to the north, the dramatic Southern Ocean coastline and the many gorgeous small rural towns such as Denmark, all go to make the area a treat to explore. Albany is set on the beautiful King George sound and Princess Royal Harbour. It is the oldest town on the west coast. Whale and dolphin spotting from the coastal cliffs is an exhilarating pastime. Albany, dubbed the Heart of the Great Southern, is a bustling town on the rugged southern coast of Western Australia, 409km from Perth. The site of the first European settlement in Western Australia, Albany is steeped in early Western Australian maritime history
    The first European sighting was in 1629 by Dutch explorers on their way to Jakarta Batavia. During the spring of 1791, Captain George Vancouver was the first to sail into the protected waters of one very excellent port that he named King George Sound. He spent two weeks in the area and named many of the prominent features, including Princess Royal Harbour, one of the worlds largest natural harbours. However, it wasnt until 1826 that Major Edmund Lockyer sailed into King George Sound on the Brig Amity with soldiers, cattle, supplies and the intention of establishing Western Australias first penal colony. The British flag was raised the next year and the town officially named Fredericks Town in honour of Frederick, Duke of York and Albany. Albany never became a penal colony; instead it remained a military outpost for New South Wales and by the early 1830s, everyone was calling the settlement Albany.

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