Torndirrup National Park is located 10km south of Albany and is accessed via Frenchman Bay Rd. The park features spectacular coastal scenery and impressive granite rock formations. A day trip from Albany allows plenty of time to explore the points of interest at your leisure. Note camping is prohibited within the park.
The Gap is a deep chasm with a 25m drop to the ocean where the water is crashing into the opening, resulting in spray and foam. On a rough day the show would be spectacular though you’re bound to receive a shower. Safe viewing is from a lookout surrounded with steel bars and only a short walk from the car park.
The Natural Bridge is only metres from The Gap and is an impressive water-eroded granite arch formed over many years by the powerful seas of the Southern Ocean. The brilliant blue ocean backdrop and rugged coastline makes for magnificent photo opportunities in this area.
The Blowholes are a series of enlarged crack lines in granite rock that are open through to the ocean’s surface. Weather conditions pending, when there is enough swell in the ocean, the water is forced up through these cracks and sprayed into the air. The Blowholes can be extremely dangerous and visitors are advised to stand uphill from the cracks and not lean over them. Under high pressure the water can spurt over 3m high and anyone in the way is risking serious injury or even fatality. The holes weren’t blowing on our visit however the sound of the wind being forced up through the cracks was enough evidence of the possible force. The walk to this viewing is 800m either way and is quite steep on the return journey up 78 steps and a constantly inclining pathway.
Jimmy Newells Harbour is a small protected harbour named after a fisherman whose vessel was forced into the area by a Southern Ocean squall. The lookout is a short walk from the car park and the views are superb.
Stony Hill is the highest point in Torndirrup National park and provides panoramic views of the area and Albany in the distance. The walk is 500m return and involves walking over large granite outcrop. The sights are well worth it.
Salmon Holes is a popular fishing spot within the park where Salmon come to rest in the calmer waters sheltered from predators. Enjoy the scenery from the lookout which is 300m from the car park or make your way down the steep staircase to the beach to drop a line in or explore further.
Whaleworld marks the spot where the old Cheynes Beach Whaling Station and Cheynes IV whaling vessel are located. Guided tours are available hourly and entry fees apply if you venture past reception which has a souvenir shop, café and toilets. The protected beach area outside the station is a lovely place for a walk or swimming on a fine day.
Frenchman Bay is a calm sheltered area perfect for swimming, picnicking and fishing. There is a grassy picnic area, barbeques, toilets, boat ramp and plenty of sand for everyone. Offshore in King George Sound is the Former HMAS Perth Dive Wreck, where diving enthusiasts can swim amongst abundant marine life and explore the wreck. Dive tours can be organized with local operators.
Torndirrup National Park boasts some of Albany’s most famous and unique attractions. When visiting the Great Southern this park is definitely one to fit in the itinerary.