This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.

2004 Travels May 19

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WEDNESDAY 19 MAY   ALBANY

Today was relatively pleasant weather – windy and not too hot.

I did the washing.

We went off to visit Whale World, driving around the coastline to a point almost opposite Albany town. Whale World  was a display of the whaling history of Albany – and wider parts – located on the site of the Cheynes Bay Whaling Station, which was the last one to be opened in Australia (1950’s) and the last one to cease operation (1970’s).

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Former whaling vessel at Cheynes Bay

The hunting of whales and seals was the first major industry of the new colonies set up in Australia. The main product gained was oil, from the melting down of their blubber, (for lamp oil) but items like whalebone for corset stays and fur from seals were also of value. The whaling industry often led to the first (informal) settlement of many areas along the coast, where small groups of hunters set up land bases. By the time whaling ceased, several species had been hunted almost to extinction. It is pleasing to see the extent to which the populations of these beautiful creatures have recovered since.

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Grey day at the whaling station

At Cheynes Bay there were factory buildings where the whale meat was processed, and a whaling boat on display too. We did a tour, which was detailed and interesting, and then were able to wander about independently. We could even go on the boat.

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The flensing deck, where whales were cut up

The area was so pretty, to have had such a grisly past!

We were several hours at Whale World, then drove further around the coast to look at the dramatic rocky coastline at the Gap and the Natural Arch.

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The Gap

Refuelled – 99cpl. Under the dollar again – good.

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