ALBANY (Western Australia)
Proclaimed a city on July 1, 1998, Albany with a population of 28,000 is rapidly expanding. It is the commercial center of Western Australia's southern region and the oldest settlement in the state, established in 1826. Boasting an excellent harbor on King George Sound led to Albany becoming a thriving whaling port. Later, when steam ships started traveling between England and Australia, Albany was an important coaling station and served as a penal and a military outpost. The coastline offers some of Australia's most rugged and spectacular scenery. At certain times of the year, whales can be spotted off the coast. Among the city's attractions are some fine old colonial buildings that reflect Albany's Victorian heritage. Various lookout points offer stunning vistas.