Esperance is located on the pristine Southern Ocean coastline and is often described as “out of the way” but it is well worth the effort to get there. It is surrounded by National Parks and many really beautiful beaches of pure white sand and crystal clear water in the most vibrant of turquoise hues.
We stayed in town where the foreshore meets the CBD and it is easy to walk to the many restaurants, shops and artisan galleries. The iconic sculpture of a whale tail is surely the most impressive along this stretch of coastline.
Just around the corner is the historic centre where old houses have been converted into galleries and gift shops and it is a really lovely place to wander and perhaps purchase an unusual gift to take home. What a great use for these historic buildings – keeping stories of the past alive.
The Great Ocean Drive is purported to be one of the most beautiful drives in Australia and it seemed that at every bend there was jaw dropping scenery. Towering cliffs, rugged bush, red rocks dropping into powdery white sand really does present an artists’ palette and even the most sceptic would agree that this is quite incredible.
Twilight beach is one of the most photographed in the area but each beach had its own special brand of beauty.
Many of the beaches had access via wooden walkways and stairs and safe swimming from either the flat rocks or the sandy beach is possible.
Beyond is the Recherche Archipelago with more than 110 islands offering perfect spots for diving, swimming, snorkelling and fishing.
Then, wearied by all this scenic beauty but not to be outdone, we drove out to Cape Le Grand National Park where we had been told of more jaw dropping scenery. This is possibly the most spectacular of the Southern Coastal National Parks and is about half an hour east of Esperance. The park’s rolling heathlands are home to pygmy possums and western grey kangaroos – and these can often be seen lounging on the white sandy beaches or skipping through the campsites and carparks and socialising with visitors.
We gasped when we saw Lucky Bay – it is honestly the most beautiful beach I have seen so far.
Nearby is “Whistling Rock” so named because the wind whistles through the gaps and makes quite a musical sound.
Massive rock outcrops form a chain of peaks and Frenchman’s Cap was named by surveyor Alexander Forrest during an expedition in 1870 because it resembled the hats worn by French troops in the 1800’s.
Around 20 kms of coastal track link many of the spectacular coastal sections and rock fishing is popular from several of them.
This is truly a fabulous part of the country to visit and we are told that wildflower season is magnificent with flowers of all types, including dense thickets of banksia, putting on a display. I guess we will just have to come back!