Albany Highway

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Albany Highway
Western Australia
Map of the south-west of Western Australia, with Albany Highway highlighted in red
General information
Type Highway
Length 410 km (255 mi)
Route number(s) State Route 30
Major junctions
Northwest end The Causeway (State Route 5), Victoria Park (Perth)
Southeast end Middleton Road, Albany
Major settlements Perth, Armadale, North Bannister, Williams, Arthur River, Kojonup, Cranbrook, Mount Barker, Narrikup, Orana, Albany
Highway system
Highways in Australia
National HighwayFreeways in Australia
Highways in Western Australia

Albany Highway is a generally northwest-southeast highway in the south of Western Australia which links the state's capital Perth with its oldest settlement, Albany. The highway is approximately 410 kilometres (250 mi) in length, is designated State Route 30 and separates Western Australia's Great Southern region from its South West region. Outside of Perth the highway is a sealed single carriageway with regular overtaking lanes in some undulating areas.

Approximate road distances (in kilometres) of towns from Shepperton Road in Perth


Metropolitan road[edit]

Departing Perth, the highway commences at the Causeway interchange in Victoria Park and for its first 4 km is a two-lane high street serving Victoria Park's town centre, while nearby four-lane Shepperton Road serves as the area's main conduit of traffic (it also carries the Route 30).

At Welshpool Road, the two roads merge and for 26 km Albany Highway serves as the main route for Perth's southeastern region, varying between a four- and six-lane mostly undivided carriageway. Due to the highway's evolution, this part of the highway is dominated by commercial shopping precincts in Bentley, Cannington, Maddington, Gosnells and Kelmscott and drivers must negotiate countless sets of traffic lights. One of Perth's most infamous stretches of roads is Albany Highway in Cannington. Due to the high volume of commuters making their way to Westfield Carousel, this section has become frequently gridlocked since its redevelopment in the late nineties. It is recommended that this section be bypassed via the Kenwick Link, the Tonkin & Leach Highways, and Welshpool Road (East), Orrong Road, and Manning Road. In the Perth section of the highway, Tonkin Highway to the east carries most of the north-south heavy vehicle traffic, and Albany Highway is used mostly by light vehicles.

Regional highway[edit]

At Armadale the highway doglegs east (the road that continues straight ahead is South Western Highway). As one keeps heading south-south-east, signs of human activity becomes more sparse as the highway crosses the Darling Scarp, and the scenery transitions to native forest. Further south it transitions again to pastureland, with farming activities being mostly livestock rearing and some orchards. Albany Highway serves as something of an express route, with the service towns in the region being located approximately 30 km to the east along Great Southern Highway - in particular Narrogin, Wagin and Katanning.

Closer to Albany, there are large tracts of blue gum eucalypt plantations. In terms of safety, the road is generally free of hazards caused by straying farm animals, though as with most rural and remote Australian roads, kangaroos are an everpresent danger.

The only major towns on the road between Perth and Albany are Williams, Kojonup and Mount Barker, with roadhouses at North Bannister, Crossman and Arthur River.



On 25 December 1826, the New South Wales colonial government brig Amity, under the command of Major Edmund Lockyer, arrived at King George Sound to establish a military garrison.[1] On 21 January 1827, as instructed by the Colonial Secretary, the Union Jack was raised and a feu de joie fired by the troops, formally annexing the territory, in assertion of the first official claim by the Imperial Government to British possession over the whole continent of Australia.[2][3] On 7 March 1831 the King George Sound and colony was made part of the Swan River Colony and a free settlement.[4] Albany was officially named by Governor Stirling at the beginning of 1832, at the time that political authority passed to the Swan River colony.[5] The construction of a road from Albany to Perth began soon thereafter, but only sixteen miles (26 km) had been completed by 1833. Due to this slow progress, the settlers of Albany petitioned England to supply convicts to work on the road.[6] At the time the government in Perth derided the proposal,[6] and Western Australia would not become a penal colony until 1849.[7]

Surveying and initial routes[edit]

In October and November 1835, Governor Stirling and Surveyor-General John Septimus Roe travelled overland from Perth to Albany, with the focus of the journey being the route south of the Hotham River. A more comprehensive survey was undertaken in July–September 1836 by Assistant Surveyors Alfred Hillman D. Smith. Hillman started from the Albany end, while Smith concurrently commenced from Perth. A few months later, in February 1837, Hillman accompanied a group that made the trip to Perth in 12 days travelling time, journeying via Chorkurup, Thokokup, Mount Barker, Lake Matilda, Kojonup, Williams and Arthur River. This group was led by Mr J. Harris, and included Lieutenant Armstrong with eight soldiers of the 21st Fusiliers, Albany settlers Patrick Taylor and Dr. Thomas Harrison, as well as "the native 'Handsome'." In April 1838 four bridges were built near Albany by John Young, and in 1839 Governor John Hutt ventured out to Albany on an official visit, travelling through Williams and Kojonup. Assistant Surveyor Hillman led a large group of Albany settlers to Perth in 1940, via Kinunup, Yarenup, Joseph's Wells, Balgarrup and Mandalup; whilst in the same year Edward John Eyre shepherded 550 sheep and 70 cattle from Albany to York, and then over to Perth.[6]

Mail route[edit]

A monthly mail route was set up in June 1841, travelling from Albany to Perth via Kojonup and Williams.[6] The following year, a service through Guildford commenced. The tough conditions of the mail route saw a different contractor providing the service each year. The 1845 contractor James Martin had particular trouble with debts, which led to his mail horse was seized; while he managed to acquire a replacement animal, he also had trouble servicing the resultant debt of £2.[8] In 1847, the Perth–Albany route was adjusted, so that the mail would travel from Albany to Kojonup, then head to Bunbury on the coast, and subsequently up to Perth via Rockingham and Fremantle.[6] The new route still had difficulties, with flooding in the winter of 1847 resulting in a "terrible trip" that took a month to complete. The people of Albany found the trip to Perth was long and unsatisfactory.[8]

The direct route[edit]

With the arrival of the convict ship Scindian on 1 June 1850 and the advent of convict labour, early completion of the Perth–Albany road seemed assured. Investigations of a direct route via Kelmscott, Hotham, Williams and Kojonup began in late 1851. Assistant Surveyor A. C. Gregory reported in 1852 that the direct route would be 57 miles (92 km) shorter than the route via Bunbury, and 40 miles (64 km) shorter than the York route.[6] Construction was recommended in late 1852, after the mail contractor George Maxwell completed a journey along the proposed route in September, and soon commenced. Fifty miles (80 km) had been completed by October 1853,[6] and the whole road was finished in 1863.[9] The road served as the main link between Perth and Albany until the 1880s, when the Great Southern Railway opened.

Early 20th century[edit]

The rise of the motor vehicle era in the early 20th century saw the road gain prominence once more.[6] The newly formed Main Roads Board[a] took over control and maintenance of the Perth–Albany road and 21 other important roads between 1926 and 1928, which were declared "main roads".[10]:27 At this stage the Perth–Albany road was not much more developed than a bush track.[10]:22 To increasing the usability of the overall main road network, the Board's work schedule prioritised the upgrade worst individual segments, rather than any one road. In 1928/29, twenty-two separate sections of the Perth–Albany road were improved, but many were short, and drivers' would experience quite varied conditions, from new sealed road to gravel road, and then a boggy dirt in just a few miles.[10]:27–28 By 1932, the improved conditions allowed an average speed of 35 to 40 miles per hour (55 to 65 km/h) to be reached, for a total trip of eight to nine hours instead of two days.[10]:62 In 1938, a total of 8 miles (13 km) had been sealed,[10]:76 and the following year the whole route had been completed.[10]:435

Victoria Park bypasses[edit]

In 1935, a town planning report for the City of Perth noted traffic congestion on Albany Road[b] in Victoria Park. As widening the existing road would have left the council liable for compensation from affected businesses and properties, the provision of bypass routes was recommended instead.[11] To provide the bypasses, parallel roads would be upgraded and extended: Berwick Street to the south-west, and Shepparton Road to the north-east.[12]

Berwick Street[edit]

In 1937, work had progressed on extending Berwick Street eastwards,[13] and it had been extended to Alday Street by November 1938.[14] A new causeway to extend Berwick Street north over the Swan River, and make it a truck route, was considered by the state government in 1940.[15] The existing Causeway, from which Albany Road commenced, had experienced almost a doubling of traffic volume between 1930 and 1939.[16] However, the new Causeway was eventually constructed adjacent to old Causeway, which was then demolished.[17]

The cooperation of the Canning Road District would be required, to continue the Berwick Street bypass south-east beyond the city's boundary at Boundary Road, and ultimately through to Albany Road.[18] The South Perth Road Board was also in favour of such a bypass, which would improve access for South Perth residents.[19] A deputation from the Canning and South Perth Road Boards to the Acting Minister For Works, Mr E. H. Gray, in June 1940 complained about the congestion in Albany Road. The traffic delays were worsened by cars parked on both sides of the road and slow-moving trams. The deputation suggested extending Berwick Street to Albany Highway as the solution, as well as removing the trams. Gray contended that parking should be prohibited, and refused to scrap the trams, but said he would consider the resumption of land east of Berwick Street to enable a one-quarter-mile (0.40 km) extension to Albany Road.[20] However, Berwick Street was diverted to the south-west to connect with Chapman Road, providing a longer continuous route west of Albany Highway, but not a bypass.

Shepperton Road[edit]

Shepperton Road ran parallel to Albany Road between Harvey Street, 45 chains (3,000 ft; 910 m) from The Causeway, and Somerset Street, one and a half miles (2.4 km) further along.[21] In 1937, a road from Asquith Street to Albany Road was constructed, to eventually link in with Shepperton Road. In the same year, the intersection of Albany Road, Milford Street, and Welshpool Road was reconfigured to improve visibility, and in anticipation of an eastern extension to Shepperton Road.[13] In April 1940, that extension was nearing completion, which was expected to be by the end of May, while the demolition of houses on land resumed for the western extension was being arranged.[21] On 29 September 1941, the Perth City Council decided to construct the link between Asquith Street and Harvey Street early the following year, completing the Shepperton Road bypass.[22] Busses were rerouted onto Shepperton Road in 1946,[23] by which time it had become the preferred route for motorists.[24]

Shepperton Road (red) bypass of Albany Highway (blue). In September 1941 the section between Asquith Street and Harvey Street was yet to be constructed.


In November 1939, the State Advisory Committee on Nomenclature recommended that the Perth–Albany road be named Great Southern Highway, in recognition of its importance as an arterial traffic route.[25] This suggestion followed on from the naming of Great Eastern Highway,[25] in April of the previous year.[26] The committee sent letters to all the local governments in the area to advise them of the proposal.[25] Feedback was mixed; whilst the name was "thoroughly approved"[27] by the Tambellup Road Board,[27] and the Perth City Council's general purposes committee recommended that no objection be raised,[28] the Kojonup Road Board believed that "sufficient grounds [did] not exist for the proposed change",[29] and the Albany Municipal Council objected strongly to not retaining "Perth–Albany" in the name.[30]

The State Advisory Committee made a new recommendation in April 1940 for Albany Highway instead of Great Southern Highway.[31] This new proposal received support from the Albany Municipal Council and Tambellup Road Board. However, the Perth City Council still preferred Great Southern Highway, and recommended that within its boundaries – from The Causeway to Welshpool – the road be named Albany Road,[32] and that one of the proposed bypasses in the area would be better suited to the highway name.[33] The entire road was renamed Albany Highway on 2 October 1940, superseding the previously used names Albany Road, Perth–Albany Road, and High Street in Kojonup.[34][35]

Major intersections[edit]

LGA Location km Mile Destinations Notes
Victoria Park Burswood, Victoria Park 0 0 Great Eastern Highway north-east (National Highway 94 / Nation Route 1) / Canning Highway south-west (National Route 1 / State Route 6) / The Causeway north-west (State Route 5) / Shepperton Road south-east (State Route 30) – Fremantle, Perth Highway terminus: continues as The Causeway. Hybrid Y Junction and parclo interchange. No access from Albany Highway to Great Eastern Highway or Shepperton Road. No access from the interchange to Albany Highway.
Victoria Park, Canning East Victoria Park, St James 3.7 2.3 Shepperton Road north (State Route 30) / Welshpool Road eastbound – Perth, East Cannington, Welshpool Route transition: No route number north-west on Albany Highway, State Route 30 continues north as Shepperton Road; Albany Highway south-eastbound continues east as Welshpool Road, Albany Highway north-westbound continues north as Shepperton Road.
Canning Bentley 5.6–
Leach Highway (State Route 7) – Welshpool, Kewdale, Fremantle, Perth Airport Diamond interchange (Leach Highway free flowing)
Cannington 6.3 3.9 Manning Road west (State Route 26) / Mallard Way north-east – Manning, Cannington Traffic light controlled intersection
Gosnells Beckenham 8.6 5.3 Nicholson Road – Fremantle, Canning Vale Traffic light controlled T Junction
8.9 5.5 Kenwick Link south-east (State Route 30) to Roe Highway (State Route 3) / William Street north-east – Armadale, Midland, Fremantle, Beckenham Route transition: State Route 30 continues south-east as Kenwick Link; Alternate State Route 30 north-western terminus
Gosnells Kenwick, Maddington 12.4 7.7 Kenwick Link north-west (State Route 30) to Roe Highway (State Route 3) / Austin Avenue north-eastPerth, Midland, Fremantle, Maddington Route transition: State Route 30 continues north-west as Kenwick Link; Alternate State Route 30 south-eastern terminus
Gosnells 16.0 9.9 Fremantle Road (State Route 36) – Langford Traffic light controlled intersection
Gosnells, Armadale Gosnells, Champion Lakes 18.6–
Tonkin Highway (State Route 4) – Welshpool, Bunbury, Perth Airport Folded diamond interchange (Tonkin Highway free flowing)
Armadale Kelmscott, Mt Nasura 22.8 14.2 Brookton Highway (State Route 40) – Roleystone, Brookton, Araluen Botanic Park Traffic light controlled T Junction
Armadale 25.6 15.9 Armadale Road west (State Route 14) / South Western Highway south (State Route 20) – Armadale, Fremantle, Bunbury Albany Highway south-eastbound continues south as South Western Highway. Albany Highway north-westbound continues west as Armadale Road.
Serpentine-Jarrahdale, Wandering Jarrahdale, Mount Cooke 52.0 32.3 Jarrahdale Road – Jarrahdale, Serpentine Dam
Wandering, Boddington North Bannister 92.1 57.2 North Bannister Wandering Road – Wandering
Bannister 106 66 Bannister Marradong Road – Boddington
Crossman 117 73 Crossman Dwarda Road – Dwarda, Wandering
118 73 Crossman Road – Boddington
Williams Williams 158 98 Pinjarra-Williams Road – Darkan, Collie, Pinjarra
158.5 98.5 Williams-Narrogin Highway – Narrogin, Wickepin, Kulin
West Arthur Arthur River 195 121 Coalfields Road (State Route 107) – Collie, Bunbury T Junction. State Route 107 concurrency terminus: continues west as Coalfields Road.
196 122 Arthur Road (State Route 107) – Wagin, Dumbleyung, Lake Grace T Junction. State Route 107 concurrency terminus: continues east as Arthur Road.
197 122 Boyup Brook Arthur Road – Boyup Brook, Bridgetown
Woodanilling Beaufort River 218 135 Robinson Road – Woodanilling
Kojonup Kojonup 252 157 Kojonup-Katanning Rd – Katanning
253 157 Broomehill Road east / Blackwood Road west – Broomehill, Gnowangerup, Jerramungup, FranklandBoyup Brook, Donnybrook Staggered T Junctions
Lumeah 278 173 Tambellup West Road – Tambellup
Cranbrook Cranbrook 315 196 Frankland Cranbrook Road – Frankland, Cranbrook town centre Staggered T Junctions
318 198 Great Southern Highway – Cranbrook, Katanning
Plantagenet Kendenup 338 210 Martagallup Tenterde Road – Frankland
Mount Barker 355–
Lowood Road / Mondurup Street, to Muirs Highway (State Route 102) – Denmark, Manjimup Two westbound T Junctions lead to Muirs Highway.
356 221 Oatlands Road (Tourist Drive 252) to Mount Barker Porongurup Road (Tourist Drive 252) – Porongurup, Porongurup National Park
Albany Lockyer, Orana 402 250 South Coast Highway west – Denmark, Manjimup Y Junction. No direct access from Albany Highway southbound - access is via U Turning at the next roundabout intersection.
Lockyer, Orana, Mount Melville, Centennial Park,Yakamia 403 250 Chester Pass Road north-east (National Route 1) to South Coast Highway (National Route 1) / North Road south-east / Hanrahan Road south-west – Lake Grace, Esperance, Middleton Beach, Emu Point, Frenchman Bay Roundabout intersection. State Route 30 southern terminus
Albany 405 252 Lokyer Avenue north / St Emilie Way east / York Street south – Albany city centre Highway terminus: roundabout intersection
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
Note: intersections with minor local roads are not shown

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Predecessor to the Main Roads Department, later renamed Main Roads Western Australia
  2. ^ The locally-used name for the Perth–Albany road


  1. ^ Appleyard, R. T. and Toby Manford (1979). The Beginning: European Discovery and Early Settlement of Swan River Western Australia. Nedlands, Western Australia: University of Western Australia Press. ISBN 0855641460. 
  2. ^ "King George's Sound Settlement". State Records. State Records Authority of New South Wales. Retrieved 14 May 2014. 
  3. ^ "Hoisted the Flag - Claim for Major Lockyer". The Argus (Melbourne). 12 January 1931. p. 6. Retrieved 14 May 2014. 
  4. ^ (pg. 19) Dowson 2008, Old Albany. ISBN 978-0-9805395-2-3
  5. ^ Western Australian Land Information Authority. "History of country town names". Retrieved 2007-06-08. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h "Perth–Albany Highway: Cavalcade 1831–1939". Great Southern Herald (Katanning, WA). 24 June 1939. p. 4. Retrieved 26 July 2014 – via Trove (National Library of Australia). 
  7. ^ State Records Office. "Convict Records". Government of Western Australia. Archived from the original on 23 July 2014. Retrieved 26 July 2014. 
  8. ^ a b "Long Grey Road". The West Australian (Perth, WA). 1 February 1941. p. 7. Retrieved 28 July 2014 – via Trove (National Library of Australia). 
  9. ^ Stone, S. J. (1964). Transport in W.A. 1829–1964. p. 6. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f Edmonds, Leigh (1997). The vital link: a history of Main Roads Western Australia 1926–1996. Nedlands, Western Australia: University of Western Australia Press. ISBN 1-875560-87-4. 
  11. ^ "Town Planning". The West Australian (Perth, WA). 18 June 1935. p. 15. Retrieved 27 July 2014 – via Trove (National Library of Australia). 
  12. ^ "Victoria Park Is Steadily Growing". The Daily News (City Final ed.) (Perth, WA). 19 November 1937. p. 14. Retrieved 27 July 2014 – via Trove (National Library of Australia). 
  13. ^ a b "City of Perth". The West Australian (Perth, WA). 1 January 1938. p. 9. Retrieved 27 July 2014 – via Trove (National Library of Australia). 
  14. ^ "City Planning". The West Australian (Perth, WA). 23 November 1938. p. 22. Retrieved 27 July 2014 – via Trove (National Library of Australia). 
  15. ^ "New Causeway Likely". The Daily News (City Final ed.) (Perth, WA). 23 April 1940. p. 6. Retrieved 27 July 2014 – via Trove (National Library of Australia). 
  16. ^ Godfrey, E. W. C. (December 1948). "The Causeway Bridges–Swan River, Perth, WA". The Journal of the Institution of Engineers, Australia (Sydney: The Institution) 20 (12): 185. ISSN 0020-3319. 
  17. ^ "Assessment Documentation: Causeway Bridges (1952)". Register of Heritage Places. Heritage Council of Western Australia. 30 October 1998. p. 9. Retrieved 6 March 2013. 
  18. ^ "City of Perth". The West Australian (Perth, WA). 7 January 1937. p. 19. Retrieved 27 July 2014 – via Trove (National Library of Australia). 
  19. ^ "Albany Highway Congestion.". The West Australian (Perth, WA). 13 May 1940. p. 11. Retrieved 27 July 2014 – via Trove (National Library of Australia). 
  20. ^ "Albany Road Traffic". The West Australian (Perth, WA). 5 June 1940. p. 13. Retrieved 27 July 2014 – via Trove (National Library of Australia). 
  21. ^ a b "Street Extensions". The West Australian (Perth, WA). 24 April 1940. p. 15. Retrieved 27 July 2014 – via Trove (National Library of Australia). 
  22. ^ "A New Roadway". The West Australian (Perth, WA). 30 September 1941. p. 6. Retrieved 27 July 2014 – via Trove (National Library of Australia). 
  23. ^ "New Route For Buses". The West Australian (Perth, WA). 5 July 1946. p. 9. Retrieved 28 July 2014 – via Trove (National Library of Australia). 
  24. ^ "Albany Highway Under Repair". The West Australian (Perth, WA). 25 July 1946. p. 9. Retrieved 28 July 2014 – via Trove (National Library of Australia). 
  25. ^ a b c "Local and General". Albany Advertiser (Albany, WA). 27 November 1939. p. 2. Retrieved 26 July 2014 – via Trove (National Library of Australia). 
  26. ^ "The Land Act, 1933–1937. Great Eastern Highway (per 1938/18)" (PDF). Western Australia Government Gazette. 14 April 1938. p. 1938:526. 
  27. ^ a b "Tambellup Road Board". Great Southern Herald (Katanning, WA). 18 November 1939. p. 4. Retrieved 26 July 2014 – via Trove (National Library of Australia). 
  28. ^ "SATURDAY'S NEWS IN TABLOID FORM.". Sunday Times (Perth, WA). 19 November 1939. p. 1. Retrieved 26 July 2014 – via Trove (National Library of Australia). 
  29. ^ "On The Land". The West Australian (Perth, WA). 28 November 1939. p. 12. Retrieved 26 July 2014 – via Trove (National Library of Australia). 
  30. ^ "Albany Council". Albany Advertiser (Albany, WA). 16 November 1939. p. 6. Retrieved 26 July 2014 – via Trove (National Library of Australia). 
  31. ^ "News and Notes". The West Australian (Perth, WA). 22 April 1940. p. 12. Retrieved 26 July 2014 – via Trove (National Library of Australia). 
  32. ^ "News and Notes". Great Southern Herald (Katanning, WA). 22 May 1940. p. 2. Retrieved 26 July 2014 – via Trove (National Library of Australia). 
  33. ^ "News and Notes". The West Australian (Perth, WA). 23 April 1940. p. 6. Retrieved 26 July 2014 – via Trove (National Library of Australia). 
  34. ^ "The Land Act, 1933–1939. Albany Highway (per 2022/39)" (PDF). Western Australia Government Gazette. 4 October 1940. p. 1940:1770. 
  35. ^ "News And Notes". The West Australian (Perth, WA). 8 October 1940. p. 6. Retrieved 28 July 2014 – via Trove (National Library of Australia). 

External links[edit]