18/06/2008 - 22:00

A little bit of history

18/06/2008 - 22:00

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Walking up the gentle incline of the first street ever built in Western Australia to take in a sweeping vista of Albany's Princess Royal Harbour is like taking a step back in time.

A little bit of history

Walking up the gentle incline of the first street ever built in Western Australia to take in a sweeping vista of Albany's Princess Royal Harbour is like taking a step back in time.

Parade Street offers views to an old convict gaol, a life-size replica of the ship which carried WA's first European settlers, and the spot where Major Edmund Lockyer hoisted the British flag in 1827 to mark WA's first European settlement.

The street is one of several stops on the guided walking tour run by local history enthusiasts John Elliot and Joy Bradley, who formed their business, JJ Tours, late last year.

"Even though we felt the self-guided tour of Albany was very good for a lot of people, it wasn't very comprehensive. Our product is so much more than a come and see tour, it's a come, see and hear tour full of stories, facts and humorous anecdotes that bring Albany's history to life," Mr Elliot said.

Albany is also making a name for itself through its stately 19th century homes, which have in recent years been converted to bed and breakfast establishments.

The Rocks, built high above the town in 1882 for one of its first mayors, is arguably the finest B&B accommodation in Albany.

The Victorian-era home is nestled among almost a hectare of manicured lawn and garden, which opens by appointment only.

The fully renovated and restored two-storey home has six luxury guestrooms with ensuites and six common living areas, including a dining room, library, billiard room, and music room with an upright grand piano.

"Our international guests are predominantly from the UK. We also get plenty of visitors from Perth who stay mid-week and Albany locals who come to stay for special occasions," manager Noelene Evans said.

Also offering stunning views of Princess Royal Harbour is Norman House, a Georgian-style residence which claims to be Albany's oldest B&B. Pioneer George Cheyne built the home in 1852 and it has since had several incarnations, as a hostel for boys, a respite centre for returning servicemen, and a hotel.

Not only is Norman House heritage listed, but parts of its garden are recognised by the National Trust as containing some of the oldest surviving plants in WA.

Garden lovers may also appreciate the sweeping lawns and award-winning gardens surrounding the Tudor-style Flinders Park Lodge B&B.

The manor house has eight well-appointed bedrooms.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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