Albany (pop. 36,000) is the Great Southern’s biggest urban centre and holds a special place in national and regional history as the site of Western Australia’s first European settlement and as a focus of unique connections to World War I and the Anzac tradition. Albany offers a range of historic sites and heritage buildings, along with a big variety of period and contemporary settings.
Albany is considered the inspiration for author Tim Winton’s fictional town Angelus, which features in many of his works. Winton lived in Albany in his early teenage years. Denmark is considered the inspiration for Sawyer, the fictional town in Breath.
Katanning (pop. 4,400) is a regional centre serving the Great Southern hinterland. Katanning, Denmark (pop. 5,700) and Mount Barker (pop. 5,200) are the region’s major towns. Other significant population centres include Jerramungup, Bremer Bay, Cranbrook, Gnowangerup, Broomehill, Tambellup, Kojonup, Nyabing, Pingrup and Woodanilling. Rural villages are scattered through the region, many with little more than a community hall and/or a cluster of homes.
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