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 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.
It was originally called Albany Road and was first proposed in 1853 by Lt William Crossman of the Royal Engineers, who examined and reported on various possible Perth-Albany routes. The road was originally built of wood block and limestone by convicts
in the 1850s, and was later sealed.
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.
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
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.
Swan River to Welshpool Road
For its first 4 km, Albany Highway 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
As Albany Highway is not limited access, a large number of the roads that Albany Highway are connected to are not controlled. The major interchanges are at-grade and controlled.
Welshpool Road to Armadale Road
Signed as :
- John Street/Ashburton Street, Bentley
- Leach Highway, Bentley
- Manning Road, Cannington to Curtin University
- Cecil Avenue, Cannington (at Westfield Carousel
- Nicholson Road to Thornlie and Canning Vale
- → William Street/Kenwick Link, Beckenham
- Wanaping Road/Royal Street, Kenwick
- → Austin Avenue/Kenwick Link, Kenwick and Maddington
- Kelvin Road/Olga Road, Maddington (to Centro Maddington, Huntingdale and Canning Vale
- Fremantle Road, Gosnells (at Gosnells Railway Markets, to Gosnells
- Ferres Drive, Gosnells (was terminus of Tonkin Highway until 2005)
- Tonkin Highway, Gosnells
- Denny Avenue/Gilwell Street, Kelmscott (at Kelmscott Village)
- Brookton Highway, Kelmscott and Mount Nasura
- Interchange, Armadale and Bedfordale
Beyond Perth metropolitan area
Albany Highway then doglegs east, and continues to leave the Perth metropolitan area.
- to Jarrahdale
- (at North Bannister) to Wandering
- (at Bannister) to Boddington
- (at Crossman) to Boddington, Wandering and Pingelly
- (at Williams) → to Boddington, Dwellingup, Collie and Darkan
- (at Williams) ← to Narrogin, Wickepin and Kulin
- (at Arthur River) → Coalfields Road to Darkan, Collie and Bunbury
- (at Arthur River) ← Coalfields Road to Wagin, Dumbleyung and Lake Grace
- (at Kojonup) to Katanning, Broomehill, Gnowangerup and Boyup Brook
- (near Cranbrook) Great Southern Highway to Cranbrook, Tambellup, Katanning and Wagin
- (at Mount Barker) Muirs Highway to Denmark and Manjimup
- (at Mount Barker) to Stirling Range National Park and Porongorup National Park
- 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.