One of Albany’s most popular tourist attractions has to be the blow holes. Found along the coast, these granite rocks put on quite a show when the conditions are perfect. It’s not hard to find them, just follow the trail from the carpark at the end of Blowhole Road.
The blowholes are quite a walk from the carpark and the trail is quite steep in places so make sure you are well prepared and have appropiate footwear with good tread and plenty of water.
Once you arrive at the granite outcrop there are signs marking the holes, though they aren’t hard to find if you just listen carefully. As you get nearer to the blowholes you will hear the eerie hissing sounds and then, if a large wave crashes underneath, you’ll witness a jet of water shoot up into the air. During strong conditions the blowholes can spray water over 3m high.
How Were The Blowholes Created?
Over many, many years storm waves have pounded under the granite rocks below, forcing air, water and small particles into the cracks and joints of the rocks. The force so great that over time the pressure has slowly, but surely, widened the cracks. Some of those cracks have broken through to the surface, creating a hole. Now, when a big wave crashes underneath some of the water shoots up through the holes creating mini geysers.
How Can You Tell If They Are About To Blow?
Sure signs that the blowholes will be putting on a show for you are –
1. If you look out towards the ocean and you can see large unbroken waves on the surface it means the swell is big and the holes will be blowing.
2. If you can see waves breaking at the base of Peak Head (that’s to your East). Ask mum or dad if you haven’t a clue about directions.
3. If there is a south-westerly front approaching.
Warning, do not, and I repeat do not, stand over the holes or you may find yourself on the receiving end of a nasty high pressure jet of water. It’s tempting I know, but not worth the risk. It is also important to stand uphill from the holes because if the water spray doesn’t get you, a rogue wave just might. The area can get quite slippery so take care when wandering around, as there aren’t any lifesavers to rescue you. There is however some life saving rescue buoys just in case.