The Albany Wind Farm is situated about 12km from the city and almost 18km from The Gap & Natural Bridge. We visited the farm on our way back from The Gap. The wind farm is one of the largest in Australia and is located on the south-western side of the Torndirrup Peninsula, where The Gap and the Natural Bridge is located too.
Commissioned in October 2001, the turbines are on an elevated position 80m above the Southern Ocean close to the beach. The height and locality were determined to tap and maximise the local wind conditions. Being a short distance to the main electricity grid, it makes this site an efficient wind farm. It has 18 wind turbines generating a capacity of 35.4mW of electricity producing 80% of Albany’s electricity needs with clean, renewable energy.
The huge turbine generating electricity.
Location of the Wind Farm from The Gap & Natural Bridge.
The gigantic turbine from afar. As the blades swings, it produces a non-stop ‘whooosh- whooosh’ sound.
As we climbed up the slope, we see more turbines towards the back.
The turbines each has three 35m long fibreglass and kevlar blades fitted to a 65m towers. These turbines at the time of installation, were the largest that have been installed in the southern hemisphere. They operate automatically, with the blades self-adjusting to the wind condition to generate maximum power output.
The farm stretches for a few kilometers back.
From a lower elevation, the turbine towering over the bushes.
— More photos of the wind turbines as dusk starts to set in. —
The wind farm is open to the public every day of the year and you are free to visit when you wish. At the wind farm there is a car park, extensive network of boardwalk, information panels, plus a connection walk to the Bibbulmum track.
Path up the hill-top at the wind farm.
From the hill-top, view towards Albany.
The wind farm as seen from across Albany town from Mount Clarence.
Short write-up on the construction of the wind turbine.
The Gap is a rugged granite channel, carved by the Southern Ocean waves crushing against the granite cliff forming a spectacular drop into the sea below. The huge gap can be viewed from a recently purpose-built, see-through viewing platform which stand 40 metres directly above the sea. The edge of the platform overhangs 4m out of the cliff above the ocean and those brave enough can view the power of mother nature beneath.
Welcome to The Gap & Natural Bridge, Albany.
A 116km drive from the Valley Of The Giants, Denmark.
OK, we’ll go to The Gap first.
When surging waves and ocean swell hits The Gap, powerful spray of sea water is forced up. Coupled with the thundering sound of the wave, its intimidating. We have been to several other ‘glass floor’ attractions that are much higher than 40m but The Gap’s platform in the open, with the gusty winds send chills to our bones on a sunny October evening. The Gap jumps straight to our No.1 ‘Scared, but want to try’ list.
The viewing platform seen from a higher elevation. Credit:amazingalbany.com.au
Aerial view of the newly constructed $6.1m see-through viewing platform. Credit:amazingalbany.com.au
This $6.1 million platform and other facility upgrades was completed in April 2016. A car park 100m from the viewing platform along a paved pathway, makes The Gap easily accessible. The pathway gives safe access to the stunning views and provide protection to plants and lichens on the rock surface. The pathway and the platform is wheelchair friendly.
The overhanging platform over The Gap.
The crushing wave hits against the cliff.
‘Foam’ like wave after crushing against the cliff.
A little information regarding the The Gap & Natural Bridge.
The entire structure of the viewing platform..
Wife already at the overhanging platform over the cliff.
Exploded diagram of the construction of the viewing platform.
The bolts securing the platform structure.
Inspecting the integrity of the bolts.
Complimenting The Gap is its neighbouring attraction, the Natural Bridge. A large span of granite has eroded over the years into the sea and has formed an incredibly beautiful arch from which it gets its name. The Natural Bridge is a granite formation caused by the gradual wearing away of the granite by the great Southern Ocean that looks just like a giant rock bridge.The natural bridge formation is a reminder of the power of the ocean.
It is incredible to watch the waves roll across the ocean and crushing into the granite cliff side and rushing back under the bridge. A sealed pathway and another viewing platform with guard rails is a safe way to see this natural creation.
The Natural Bridge.
Wonder anyone interested in constructing one.
As fierce as the crushing waves at The Gap & Natural Bridge, at the far end it looks calmer.
Looking towards The Gap viewing platform from the Natural Bridge.