ESPERANCE – THE AUSTRALIAN TRAVELLER GUIDE
Sitting peacefully along the Bay of Isles, Esperance marks a perfectly clear vision of heaven on earth. By taking one look at the sweeping plain of pristine white sands and crystal clear waters and you’ll know that you’ve found one of the most beautiful places in Western Australia. Esperance is located about 725 kilometers from Perth and with a population of only 13,000 you’re sure to find peace and quiet here.
WHERE TO STAY
Even the pickiest traveller will find somewhere suitable to sleep in Esperance. Bay of Islands Bed and Breakfast accommodation is a real treat. The spacious rooms allow travellers to kick back and relax as they watch the sun rise and set on the ocean, right from the comfort of their own balconies.
Hippies can make their stay eco-friendly by checking out the safari huts on Woody Island. Blended in against the eucalyptus trees, the huts are only available between September and May.
WHAT TO DO
Esperance is home to five national parks, so get out there and experience nature at its best. The Cape Le Grand National Park is located 56kms from the town centre and visitors can spot kangaroos along the beach. Make sure you bring your camera so you can take photos of the grey kangaroos lazing along the beach.
Take the 38km scenic route along the Great Ocean Drive and check out the fishing and surfing beaches, wind farm and Pink Lake. Most of the 100 islands of the Archipelago can be seen along the way.
If you want to sneak a peek at the native wildlife in the area, Mackenzies Island Cruises will take you right over the depths of the ocean. They’ll carry you over to Woody Island for the day where you can take part in activities such as swimming, snorkeling, fishing, diving and bushwalking, before heading back to the mainland.
Kids can muck around on Telegraph Farm, which is located 21km west of town. There they can get as close to water buffalo, kangaroos, emu, red deer, camels and birds as they like.
WHEN TO TRAVEL
The beauty of Esperance is never-ending. The best time to see Southern Right whales is between June and October as they play in the warm water.
Driving from Perth takes about nine hours but is a one and a half hour flight.
Cars are available to hire and trains run through Esperance, as do buses.
For more information on Esperance, go to: http://www.visitesperance.com/
The remarkable Lake Hillier is a 600 metre-long, bubblegum-pink oasis set among the lush greenery of Middle Island, the biggest island of the Recherche Archipelago off the coast of Esperance in WA. Separated from the deep blue of the Southern Ocean by a thin strip of sand and vegetation, it’s an arresting sight – and one that’s off limits to those on foot, so the only way to view it is by air. For flights, call local pilot Bob Rolland on 0428 912 210. The cost is $800 per flight, for five people. For something a little more accessible, try...
The Recherche Archipelago is a beautiful collection of over 100 islands (and 1500 ‘islets’) scattered along the sparkling sapphire coast of Esperance. The archipelago is full of shipwrecks to explore and was home to Australia’s only recorded pirate, Black Jack Anderson, in the 1830s. Originally from the US, Black Jack – a former whaler – turned to piracy after being accused of murder, basing himself on Middle Island, hunting seals and plundering passing ships until he was murdered in his sleep. Esperance Island Cruises will introduce you to the archipelago, its wildlife and marine life, with stories and commentary about...
Turquoise waters, white sandy beaches, kangaroos stopping by your campsite and 360-degree views make Western Australia’s Cape Le Grand National Park well worth discovering Words by Claudia Bouma Photography by Chris Bouma Tucked away on the southern coastline of Western Australia is a small piece of paradise with picture-perfect clear blue bays and soft sandy beaches. Cape Le Grand National Park is relatively small but its captivating beauty more than makes up for that. Only a stone’s throw from the town of Esperance, Cape Le Grand is one of the few places in Australia where you can see...
Where is it? Esperance, 730km south-east of Perth How to see it for yourself? The 15km walking and bike trail commences at Castletown Quay and follows the foreshore through Esperance, taking in the Esplanade, Rotary Lookout, West Beach and Blue Haven and finishing at Twilight Beach. Sections can be accessed from car parks along its length. This view is from the car park at Salmon Beach, about 11km along the trail. There’s a 40km Great Ocean Drive, too, from the Cannery Art Centre along the coast to Observatory Point, Nine Mile beach and Ten Mile Lagoon before looping inland to Pink Lake and the Glass Gallery. Why I love it “The path...
Where is it? On WA’s south coast, 50km east of Esperance How to see it for yourself? The WA Christmas tree, Nuytsia floribunda, produces spectacular flowers in summer but is rarely found outside the south of the state. Visitors can self-drive to the park by car and see the park’s wildflowers, fauna and idyllic beaches, but for local knowledge and expert advice, try a guided tour such as with Esperance Eco- Discovery Tours. Alternatively, Aussie Bight Expeditions runs wildflower tours during spring. Why I love it “Native Christmas trees are so vibrantly coloured, and when you pair them with clusters of tuftyheaded grass trees, the landscape takes on the aspect of a...
Western Australia's affordable beach accommodation - caravan park Where is it? Esperance, WA Far South Coast. Facing Esperance Bay, Esperance Seafront Caravan Park is located on the edge of the township’s CBD, one kilometre from the local post office, and has natural scrub at the rear of the premises. Convenient to the beach, shops and restaurants. What’s it like? This 10-acre park was built in 1960, and the current owners managed it for 40 years before taking over the lease 16 years ago. They now offer guests a children’s playground, camp kitchen, barbecue facilities, free car wash, general store and...
Experience the Australian Outback by the sea at Esperance Island View Apartments. The award winning Esperance Island ViewApartments offers luxuriously spacious apartments and magnificent ocean views. The award winning Esperance ISLAND VIEW Apartments offers guests eleven luxuriously spacious one and two-storey apartments all with spacious timber balcony areas and magnificent ocean views. Ideally situated between the Esperance town centre and the fishing jetty, Island View Apartments is just a short stroll from local restaurants, hotels and coffee shops. Enjoy the breathtaking town of Esperance, its amazing coastal drives and the extraordinary “Lucky Bay” located in the Cape Le Grand National...
Gail Liston has hit the road and distilled her extensive travel knowledge to bring us the 20 Top Tours from all around Australia. Of the 10,000 or so beaches that ring Australia’s 37,000km coastline, none are as brilliantly white or as silky to the touch as the sands of Lucky Beach near WA’s seaside town of Esperance. It’s easy to see why the Noongar people chose to live in this area where there’s a wealth of food sources – both plant and animal – although most aren’t obvious to the untrained eye. That changes on meeting up with Doc Reynolds from...
It’s the real secret of WA. Esperance is insanely beautiful, and is described by most who see the remote area as the most beautiful coastline in Australia. The brilliant aquamarine water fades into deep blue and the sand is so blindingly white it looks like snow drifts across the road. Esperance was “discovered” by Europeans quite some time before the rest of Australia, with the islands off Esperance – The Recherche Archipelago – appearing on maps printed in Holland as early as 1628. Esperance was named by the French, the first Europeans credited with landing in the bay in 1792,...
Australian Traveller looks at Mermaid Leather, Australia's only specialist fish and shark skin leather tannery, in Esperance WA. A small company in WA’s southwest is turning the skins of fish processed for the food industry into modern-day fashion items. Mermaid Leather, in Esperance in WA’s southwest, is Australia’s only specialist fish- and shark-skin leather tannery. Environmentally friendly and utterly unique, Mermaid Leather’s range embodies the essence of the Australian outback, with a fascinating range of pink, blue and deep golden brown leathers inspired by Esperance and the Australian Outback – as well as pens, handbags and shoes. The...
Esperance From Above When Bob Kent went on a helicopter flight over the Bungle Bungles in WA’s Kimberley region, he was so impressed that he arrived back home in Esperance and ordered his own helicopter. “Esperance has the most magnificent coastline in the country,” says Bob. “I was surprised no-one had thought about this type of tour down here before, so when I bought my first helicopter in 2003 you could say my business really took off!” Now, on the brand new Robinson 44 Clipper II helicopter they purchased late last year, Bob and wife Julie take eager visitors on...
Photographic essay on the far southwest WA port town of Esperance Escape to Esperance Words and images by Michael Willis For more of Michael Willis' work, check out www.michaelwillisphotography.com The port town on WA’s far southern shore is a haven for crystal clear waters, chance encounters with native wildlife, and empty beaches as far as the eye can see. Esperance styles itself as part of WA’s secret south. But judging by the number of “No Vacancy” signs that spring up throughout the summer, that secret has started to spread. How refreshing, then, that even in the busiest holiday periods...
“We have the news that Skylab has splashed down safely in the South Atlantic.” But it was only a slight miscalculation. That was the radio report just before midnight on July 11, 1979, yet seconds later residents of Esperance in southeast WA were dumbfounded to see it shooting across the sky. Almost immediately a sonic boom shook the town, jolting many awake. They wrongly assumed it was the noise of Skylab crashing. In fact the debris from the 75 tonne US Space Program’s first space station narrowly missed hitting the small town, pop. 3000. It showered instead on farms and bushland...
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