- Features: Replica of the Brig Amity that brought the first European settlers to Western Australia
- Opening Times: 9:30am to 4:00pm, daily
- Best Time to Visit: September to November
- Duration: 30 minutes to 1 hour
- Travelled By: Rental car
- Cost: $5
- Address: Albany, Western Australia
- Type: Historic site
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The highlight of the Amity trail walk is the replica of the Brig Amity, which brought the first European settlers to Western Australia in 1826. The life-size brig is a magnificent replica with life-size figurines of the Major Edmund Lockyer and his crew. The guided tour, courtesy of an audio headset brings the replica to life with amazing stories of the life and times when the brig landed.
Replica of the Brig Amity Albany
The Amity Trail is a 30-minute self-guided heritage walk trail that allows you to take in almost two centuries of history. The trails takes you past convict prisons, whaling ships and taverns to quaint cottages and grand National Trust residences. The highlight of the trail is the replica of the original The Brig Amity ship.
The original Amity was a 148 ton brig used in several notable voyages of exploration and settlement in Australia in the early nineteenth century. She was built in Canada in 1816 and for several years was used as a merchant trading vessel between America and Britain. The brig carried the first settlers to Albany, arriving on 24 December 1826.
Under instructions from Governor Darling the brig sailed from Sydney to Western Australia in 1826 under the command of Major Edmund Lockyer, who established the first European settlement there with a soldier’s garrison at King George Sound, now Albany. The settlement was initially called Frederickstown. The expedition included Major Lockyer, two military officers, 18 rank and file soldiers, 23 convicts and a surgeon as well as livestock and supplies for an expected stay of six months.
With the Amity‘s arrival and the establishment of the military settlement in King George Sound, the local Minang people were paid in flour or sugar for jobs such as firewood collecting or the bringing of water. They became more and more dependent on European food, resulting in the disruption of their traditional way of life.
Later sold back into private ownership, in 1831, the Amity was operated in Tasmania until, in June 1845, she was wrecked in Bass Strait on an uncharted sandbank.
We were allowed to climb aboard, and with an audio headset, we walked around and inside the ship. We learned about its history including life on board and its sailing journey to Albany, where the sailors met the Aboriginal people for the first time.
When you visit this full-size replica, try to imagine more than 50 men, together with stores, sheep and pigs, sharing this small vessel in a difficult journey taking over six weeks.
The Amity has gone through a recent $250,000 refit, which includes life size models of the Major and the crew around the brig, as well as an audio headset that allows you to hear stories about the life and times when the brig landed in 1826. The great sound effects makes for an interesting experience.
The full-sized, land-mounted replica is in the Stirling Historical Precinct on Princess Royal Drive, Albany, overlooking Princess Royal Harbour. It has been positioned to give an impression of it floating in the harbour.
Guided tours are available daily.