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Besides being a top spot for water sports, Albany's coastal suburb of Middleton Beach becomes one of the world's best locations for whale encounters every year between June and October. From Perth, it takes just 4.5 hours by road or 1 hour and 15 minutes by direct flight to reach Albany. Once there, it's an easy 5 minute drive, or a 30 minutes walk from the city centre to Middleton Beach. Water sports enthusiasts love Middleton Beach for its swimming, surfing and body boarding. It's also an ideal place for a relaxing picnic on the lawns beneath the Norfolk Pine trees, or a stroll along the Middleton Beach boardwalk. Starting at Ellen Cove, passing Point King and the entrance to Princess Royal Harbour and finishing in the city centre, the walk offers lovely views across the beach and King George Sound - a great opportunity to spot dolphins and coastal spring wildflowers. From June to October each year, you're also likely to see migrating humpback and southern right whales as they come in close to shore for calving. For an even closer encounter, jump aboard one of Albany's numerous whale watching tours. Many of the cafes and restaurants in the area take full advantage of the stunning coastal views, and if you're planning to make Middleton Beach your base in Albany, take your pick from camping grounds and caravan parks, cabins, chalets, apartments and hotel accommodation.