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Frenchman Bay, Western Australia

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Frenchman Bay is one of the few places in the world where you can relax on a white sandy beach, swim, snorkel, enjoy stunning ocean views and witness the awesome spectacle of the annual whale migration. One of Albany's prettiest beaches, Frenchman Bay is a 20 minute drive from the town centre. From Perth, the Albany Highway gets you there in five hours, while a direct flight from Perth airport takes just one hour and 15 minutes. If you're visiting between June and October, it's not unusual to see humpback and southern right whales frolicking in the protected waters of Frenchman Bay. For a closer encounter with these gentle ocean giants, hop aboard one of Albany's many whale watching cruises that operate in season. The shallow turquoise waters of Frenchman Bay are perfect for swimming and snorkelling, while the wreck of HMAS Perth provides an interesting artificial reef for divers to explore. You'll also find a number of top rated spots for fishing and sailing. History buffs will be captivated by the bay's whaling heritage as the site of a former Norwegian Whaling Station. Whaling ceased here in 1978, and today the importance of whale preservation and protection is recognised at Albany's unique and fascinating education centre, Whale World. Venture beyond the beach to neighbouring Torndirrup National Park, where the ocean has shaped the rugged coastline to create The Gap and Natural Bridge. In spring, you'll also find a kaleidoscope of wildflowers, many of which are unique to the South West. There are plenty of accommodation options to be found around Frenchman Bay, from hotels, motels, caravan parks and backpackers, to luxury self-contained beach houses and quaint bed and breakfasts.