Albany is also the oldest continuous European settlement in Western Australia, and was founded in 1826, three years before the state capital of Perth. The King George Sound settlement was a hastily-dispatched British military outpost, intended to forestall any plans by France for settlements in Western Australia.
The main industries of Albany consist of tourism, fishing and agriculture, although before the 1950s whaling was one of the major sources of income and employment for the population. The Whaling Station, which closed operations in 1979, has now been converted to a museum of whaling, and features one of the 'Cheynes' whale chasers that were used for whaling in Albany. The station was the last operating whaling station in the Southern Hemisphere at the time of closing.
The Albany region is notorious for people being lost from waves washing people off rocks, which may or may not be associated with freak waves.