Tootling Down the Albany Highway Western Australia

I had to make a quick trip from Perth to Albany in Western Australia, so took the quickest, most direct route which is the 410 kilometre-long Albany Highway.

This road, which connects Western Australia’s capital city of Perth with its oldest European settlement of Albany was originally built using convict labour in the 1850s which, because there were no cars around then, was little more than a dirt track.

There have been some improvements over the years, so that these days it is quite a good road. One slight problem is that a great many trucks use the highway and as it is quite hilly in parts you can sometimes sit behind a slow moving truck for quite a while before getting the opportunity to overtake.

Given that the Albany Highway is one of the major roads in Western Australia, and that it connects two of the most important cities in the state, it passes through very few towns.

Once you leave Armadale, and hence the Perth metropolitan area, it is 132 kilometres to the next town, which is Williams. Williams is a town of just 400 inhabitants, so by the time you slow down to drive through the town and speed up again after leaving its outskirts, you have used up only about 2 minutes of your entire journey.

The next community of any note is Kojonup, 96 kilometres south of Williams. It is slightly larger, with just over 1200 people living in the shire, and the town is much larger than Williams, but still relatively small.

104 kilometres south of Kojonup is Mount Barker, which has a population that is about four times bigger than Kojonup. It is also where many of the Great Southern wineries are located, so is a good place to stop is you wish to sample a local drop.

The distance to Albany from here is just 53 kilometres, but the scenery is also quite grand as when you look to your left, whilst heading south, you see the Stirling Ranges, which contain some of Western Australia’s highest mountains.

From Armadale to just north of Williams you pass through mainly bushland, and south of Williams you pass through some of the richest farmland in Western Australia, and the scenery is quite stunning.

Unless you are travelling during peak holiday season, the journey is often done without encountering too much traffic. Despite the time it takes to drive the Highway, about four and a half to five hours depending on the Perth traffic, it is actually quite an easy drive, as you can just put the car into cruise control and let it do most of the work.

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