No visit to Albany is complete without a visit to the wind farm to see the propellers spin up close, and to see some of the majestic coastline. During our recent visit we spent the afternoon exploring this area south of the main town centre. The first stop was the wind farm which is about 20-30 minutes away.
Albany Wind Farm
Albany’s windy weather makes it the perfect location for setting up a wind farm, and these turbines together can generate up to 80% of the electricity needed to power all of Albany! Each turbine is 65 metres tall, with the blades extending out 35 metres.
There is plenty of signage on the main road to direct you toward the wind farm, and you drive through some bendy roads (past the Albany Regional Prison!) to reach the carpark. The first turbine is a short walk through the bush and you can stand right underneath it, taking in the wooshing sounds as they spin away. There is also a lookout where you can see the other turbines along the coast and read some information panels. There are walking trails to the other turbines if you are feeling energetic.
Once you are finished at the wind farm, head back to the main road but continue right and you will head towards the Gap and Natural Bridge.
The Gap and Natural Bridge
Just past the wind farm is the Torndirrup National Park, which is host to an amazing selection of natural wonders. The Gap and Natural Bridge lookouts have recently been upgraded and now provide viewing platforms to look out at these landforms as well as the Great Southern Ocean.
The strong winds which make a great location for the wind farm also create some very dangerous conditions for anyone walking along the cliff edge. Staying safely on the designated paths and holding onto the rails at some points (yes the wind is that strong!) we got an awesome view of the ocean, with gushing waves and ocean spray lapping the rock formations.
The Natural Bridge has been formed by years of erosion breaking through and leaving what looks like a bridge over the water. In years to come following further erosion the bridge is expected to collapse.
Right nearby is The Gap which is a huge hollow that has also been carved out by the wave action. Waves rush in causing splashes and whitewash that show the power of the water. I was in awe of just how big the Gap is, which doesn’t show in the pictures.
I just recommend that you don’t look down if you are afraid of heights or intense waves!
There is an entry fee for visiting Torndirrup National Park, and there are automated pay stations at the lookout for you to purchase your tickets. For more information visit https://parks.dpaw.wa.gov.au/know/park-entry-fees.
Other attractions within the park include the blowholes, lighthouse and beaches so you could make a whole day of your time in the park.