One of the most popular attractions in Albany is The National Anzac Centre. It is an award-winning facility that uses multimedia, interactive technology and historical artefacts in unique ways. It creates a deeply personal connection with the past, as well as paying tribute to those who served. The interpretive content was developed by the Western Australian Museum and the Australian War Memorial. It is delivered via a series of interactive visual and audible displays. The experience delivered at the National Anzac Centre is known for commemorating the war through the stories of the Anzacs. It doesn’t tell its own story via pro-war or anti-war sentiments.
The symbolic location of the centre, selected for its strong sense of place as it looks out across King George Sound, forms an important part of the interpretation. The dramatic architecture, featuring spectacular vistas of the Sound, purposefully enhances the narrative and creates a contemplative space. The building design lends itself to a telescopic view overlooking the location from where the convoys gathered and then left.
Operated by the City of Albany, the National Anzac Centre runs in conjunction with the heritage listed Princess Royal Fortress. It is open every day of the year except Christmas Day from 9am to 5pm.
Address: 67 Forts Road, Albany, Western Australia
Phone: (08) 6820 3500
On the evening 21st November 1978, the Cheynes II, Cheynes III and Cheynes IV berthed at the Albany Town Jetty after their last whale hunt. The last shore-based whaling station in Australia closed and 178 years of whaling in Albany waters came to an end.
John Bell recalled “… the last day of whaling I only saw one whale. A huge bull sperm whale. We hadn’t quite taken our quota for the year, but this monster was over 45 feet long. So we left him in peace.”
ABC journalist Les Johnson reported… “There was more than a touch of mere nostalgia on the Albany Town Jetty last night, when the three ships of the Cheynes Beach Whaling Company moved into their berths for the last time…Sirens blowing the traditional “cock-a-oodle-doo” of the ship in a memorable moment; flags were flying; the television and newspaper men were as busy on the jetty as any of the boarding house crimps of the great days of sail. But…I saw tears in the eyes of some men. There was no future for them, except in the mundane ranks of nine-to-fivers or the unemployed.”
Here at Albany’s Historic Whaling Station, we honour these memories and many more. On your visit you will find yourself immersed in the stories of the workers, the whales and their place in the economic and social history of Albany. It is not always a pleasant story, but we believe it is an important story to share.
Address: 81 Whaling Station Road, Torndirrup WA
Phone: 08) 9844 4021