1. Mount Barker Bakery
Anyone who’s familiar with the roughly 4-5 hour drive to Albany, will give you their list of towns and places to stop and catch a bite, go to the loo, stretch your legs, and get back on the road. But as you near the end of the route, you might pass by Mount Barker. A smaller town with an off-the-road entrance, the Mount Barker Bakery will be sure to provide. Both for trips on your route down and for stockpiling on bread, cookies, and award-winning pies for your stay down south. My personal recommendation would have to be their chicken, cranberry, and brie pie - a strange combo but a melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness that you just can’t forget.
2. Albany Museum/The Brig Amity/The Old Gaol
Now, I have to admit. I am a bit of a history nut. Australian history is as rich as it is complex, and if you’re looking for a place to find how Albany came to be, the Museum, Old Gaol, and Brig Amity are all in relatively close proximity. With about a 5 minute walk between each, this historic little trio covers everything from settlers, to indigenous history, to native wildlife, and convict-buildings. More than that, it’s price range, activities, and kids entertainment will keep you and your family occupied for any of those days where you just don’t have many plans. So, if you’re interested in history, or just want a day to spend with the kids, this trio is definitely your cup of tea.
3. York Street
This might be stating the obvious, but Albany’s main town has a lot to offer, and for anyone who enjoys a bit of a shopping trip - York Street will give you everything you need. Packed with restaurants, bars, Op-Shops, Game Shops, fashion, and more; York Street is the central hub of Albany’s shopping scene. Whether it’s going to Venice Restaurant for a family dinner, or geeking out over tabletop gaming at Elandriel Games (A personal highlight for me), you;ll be sure to find what you’re looking for in York Street.
4. Bartholomews Meadery
Stepping out of Albany itself, and a little ways into Denmark, you’ll find Bartholomews Meadery. As the name suggests, here you’ll find high-quality Mead and other honey-based products. For the kids - you can watch the bees at work in their viewing hive, eat honey ice-cream, or play chase amongst the trees. While it’s definitely not a long stop, the quality produce and incredible wildlife are definitely not to be missed.
5. Duckett’s Mill Wines
One of many Wineries in the Denmark region, Duckett’s Mill is also known for it’s incredible selection of cheeses and dairy-based produce. This is a must-stop for any and all cheese lovers. Their variety of cheeses is huge, and aside from some classics, you’ll never try the same thing twice. Here you’ll find incredible local wines, fudges, ice-cream, chocolate, cheeses, and more. It makes for a brilliant lunch stop - with toasted cheeses, cheese platters, and a variety of other snacks and meals, alongside an open area for kids to run around and play. Plus, this venue is dog-friendly, so your pup can come along and take a rest in the shade.
6. Denmark Foodary
Another spot for local produce, the Denmark Foodary has a little bit of everything. Here you can get local meals, ice-cream, cheeses, chocolate, and more. But their most notable range is in sauces, jams, preserves, and most of all - toffee. This location has been producing their toffee for decades, and have only continued to grow and expand their range. My recommendations would have to be their Lemon-Myrtle Toffee, Salted Caramel Sauce, and Home-grown Boysenberry Jam.
7. Denmark Berry Farm
Last on the Denmark trail would be the Denmark Berry Farm, a bit off-road from any of our other attractions, this berry farm is designed around being able to pick your own berries. With $5 for a small tub and $10 for a big tub, you and your family are allowed free range of the berries to fill up your container to your heart’s content, based on the seasonal growth for that year. The berry farm features Silvanberries, Boysenberries, Raspberries, Blackberries, and more. This is a perfect stop for kids - so long as you’re ok with a bit of red squishy mess - as kids can take the time to learn about the food industry outside of the grocery store, and are able to occasionally sneak a berry or two off of the bush for nibbling.
8. Albany Wind Farm
Another good education moment, the Albany wind farm is a good experience both for families and adventurous types alike. The Wind Farm follows numerous walking trails for both the experienced and inexperienced trailblazers, showing off Albany’s primary Green Energy resource. Along the way you’ll learn about the Aboriginal culture of the area, along with where Albany’s Green Energy is diverted to, and how much power is generated by each turbine. Accompanied by amazing views of the surrounding bush and large open areas at the base of each turbine to run around and explore, this is a stop definitely worth your while. Although, you might want to bring a jacket - it gets windy.
9. Limeburner’s Distillery
For the adults of the group, a trip to Limeburner’s might be more your style. One of the Great Southern Distilleries, Limeburners is known for their Whiskey and Gin distilleries. Here you can take a tour of their process, have tastings, or a bite to eat. It’s a wonderful location for the seaside views, wonderful drinks, and amazing food. Just be prepared to bring a couple of bottles home once you’re done.
10. Misery Beach
It wouldn’t really be a trip down south without some time at the beach, would it? Though most are probably more familiar with Middleton Beach or Frenchman’s Bay, my favourite beach would have to be Misery Beach. Just a little ways up from the Albany Whaling Station, and down the same route to get to Bald Head Mountain, Misery Beach is a small section of sand marked by large rock formations on either side. Now, if you’re not a fan of rocks or hazards on the beach or in the water, then this might not be for you, and I’d recommend being careful with kids. However, what this beach might lack in its typical openness or free-form safety, is it’s views, clear water, and endless breeze. For a beach called Misery, it’s probably one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen down south, and It’s worth taking a trip just to dip your toes in the water and soak in the experience.