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Bushland & Beaches


There are more than 176 bushland Reserves within the City of Albany which cover an area of more than 11,000 hectares. The Reserves are broken up into four classifications - Watercourse/Foreshore, Hinterland, Mounts and Coastal - and each classification requires a different management approach. Albany's Reserves are used for a variety of uses including picnics and barbeques, recreational activities, scenic bushwalking, observing nature and camping.

The City supports the local Bushcarers Group along with a number of community groups which help to control the environmental weeds within the reserves. If you are interested in volunteering to help conserve your local bushland areas please contact the Reserves team.

The main areas of focus for the Natural Reserves Team is trails, beaches, campgrounds and invasive species control. To access further information on campgrounds please click here.

Natural Reserve Strategy & Action Plan

The City of Albany recently adopted a Strategy & Action Plan for its Natural Reserves (2017-2021).  This Strategy was developed in consultation with the community and outlines the methods by which the City and the broader community can help improve the management of our natural reserves into the future. The plan and its actions are financially sustainable, reflect current environmental best practices and balances biodiversity conservation with community and user needs.

Natural Reserves Strategy and Action Plan

Bushland Reserves

The City of Albany has a number of significant bushland reserves which are home to a variety of threatened and protected flora and fauna. The natural bushland of Albany forms part of Australia's only recognised international "Bio-Diversity Hotspot".

The community has an obligation to ensure that the natural bushland values are protected for future generations to enjoy and as such, from time to time, the City may be required to close sections of reserves to allow for rehabilitation of degraded areas or for safety reasons.

The City manages bushland reserves under an Environmental Code of Conduct or a management plan depending on values, conflicts and outcomes to be achieved such as weed management.

Public access in Bushland reserves is restricted to tracks and trails open to the public. 4WD vehicles are not permitted to access reserves on gated tracks or firebreaks which are signposted as management access only. Unlicensed vehicles (including motorbikes) or drivers are not permitted to access any City of Albany Bushland Reserves

Community members exercising their dogs in Bushland Reserves are encouraged to keep their dogs on leash to minimise impacts on the areas native fauna and pick up and remove dog poo.

Dog Exercise Areas

Dogs and their owners are happier and healthier when they have regular exercise and to encourage this the City of Albany has allocated 14 dog exercise areas spread out across the city.

In a dog exercise area your dog may be exercised off leash but must still be under control. Remember some people, particularly small children and the elderly, can find encounters with dogs intimidating. Please be considerate of others. Don’t let your dog approach other people, especially children or the elderly, unless you are confident the other person is comfortable with that happening. If in doubt, keep your dog on a lead and always pick up and dispose of your dog’s poo.

There are also some areas such as playgrounds and public buildings where dogs are prohibited at all times and at all other locations including on paths and trails through city reserves dogs must be restrained on a leash at all times.

Details on Dog Exercise areas and where dogs are prohibited can be found on the link below

City of Albany Dog Exercise Areas Brochure

Horse Exercise Areas

Middleton Beach

Horses are allowed on Middleton Beach from Griffith Street south, and are permitted to train (ie gallop) from dawn to 9am.

Horses have priority of way during these hours but should be aware the area is also utilised extensively by walkers and people exercising their dogs.

Horses are also allowed to exercise in the water at this location between 9-11am and 1-3pm.

Stidwell Bridle Trail

The Stidwell Bridle Trail is Albany’s premier horse riding trail. Located in the suburbs of Robinson, Sandpatch and Torndirrup.  The trail incorporates a number of loops utilising purpose built “horse only” trails and a range of management access tracks.

The Bridle trail is best accessed from the Albany Equestrian Centre on Roberts Road.

Coastal areas with BBQ and picnic facilities

The City of Albany is renowned for its beautiful beaches and secluded bays. Some of the best include:

Cosy Corner West: Located 35 kilometres west of Albany town site and provides BBQ, picnic and toilet facilities. Cosy Corner provides excellent swimming, fishing and bush walks, as it is well protected from the South Westerly prevailing winds during the winter months.  Camping is only allowed within the designated nature based camping ground located at Cosy Corner East.  Fires are not allowed anywhere within the reserve.

Frenchman Bay: Located 25 kilometres south of Albany town site and provides BBQ, picnic and toilet facilities. There are no fires or camping allowed within Frenchman Bay, dogs are permitted off leash west of the boat launching area but must be on leash in the day use are and beach east of the boat launching area. Frenchman Bay provides excellent swimming, fishing and bush walks, it is well protected from the South Westerly prevailing winds during the winter months and offers little protection from the South Easterly winds in the summer months.

Middleton Beach: Located 4 kilometres east of Albany town site, this would be one of Albany's most popular beaches and is the only beach in Albany which is patrolled by the Surf Life Saving Club (over Summer). Middleton Beach provides BBQ, picnic and toilet facilities along worth children's playgrounds, a jetty and pontoon. Animals are not permitted on the beach between the Ellen Cove Jetty and the southern walk track access from Surfers Beach Car Park. Including all grassed areas and the beach fore dunes between the beach and Flinders Parade under the control of the City of Albany.

Emu Point: Located 9 kilometres north east of Albany. Consisting of Emu Beach, Oyster Harbour Beach and the Emu Point Marina. This whole area provides a great location for family fun and provides BBQ, picnic, toilet facilities, a playground and a swim jetty. Dogs are only allowed on the beach near the marina between Swarbrick St and Hunter St.

Cheyne Beach: Located 68 Kilometres east of Albany town site provides a well sheltered location from the South Westerly winds with BBQ, picnic and toilet facilities. There are no animals or vehicles permitted on the beach south of the Hassel beach entry located 1 kilometre north of Bald Island Road and Cheyne Beach Road intersection.  A public boat launching ramp is located at the eastern end of Cheyne Road. Vehicles can drive between the boat ramp and the first gravel entrance west of the boat ramp - the area is marked by signs.

Advice for beachcombers

Albany is surrounded by a rugged coastline, an unrivalled list of pristine beaches and untouched corners of the coast, Albany’s natural reserves provide critical habitats for coastal flora and fauna species. Recreational use of these beaches and surrounding reserves keep locals busy and visitors coming back. There is always somewhere to explore.

There is often marine plants and animals washed up on the beach, some of these can be found in the Beachcombers Field Guide below. Please note some of these species can often be extremely toxic or leave a nasty sting, please watch small children and dogs.

Beachcombers Field Guide

How can you help?

To protect the facilities that the City provides to the public, we encourage users to respect other users of the Reserve, behave appropriately, dispose of all rubbish thoughtfully, and leave BBQ's in a clean state for the next person to enjoy. If walking or driving please stay on tracks and do not light any fires.