On part 3 of her Golden Outback road trip, Jenny Ringland eases into Esperance. There, she finds breathtakingly beautiful beaches.
Part 3: Hopetoun to Esperance
Another day, another drive filled with majestically contrasting landscapes. We arrive in Esperance to a shock of icy-white beaches with water cascading from royal blue to creamy pastel lapping the shoreline.
I breathe it in; being near the ocean brings instant happiness every time.
We head out of town towards Cape Le Grand National Park, home to Lucky Bay beach and its whiter than white sand. The park is 56 kilometres from Esperance and spread over 31,801 wildly, barren hectares where bushland crashes into the most turquoise water you’re ever likely to see.
We brave the sheer rock face of Frenchman Peak, scrambling for 45 minutes to reach a cave at the top where Mother Nature has kindly created a window in the rock face. It provides sweeping views of the park and out past the granite shoreline.
Exploring the beaches, our favourite is Little Hellfire Bay, accessed via a 20-minute walk along a dirt track. It’s windy here at Cape Le Grand, and today it’s Little Hellfire that’s protected.
Back in Esperance, Heather Gee reflects on what makes her adopted home town so unique.
“I think it’s the isolation and (because it’s incredibly pristine) it’s a very special, beautiful place,’’ says Heather. She and her husband, Steven, arrived in 1966, hungry for opportunity. They now run a B&B overlooking West Beach.
“Anyone with any get-up-and-go and sense of adventure came here because it was the opening up of the new land in the early 1960s. We thought we’d stay for a year or so but it’s too gorgeous, we had to stay.’’
Part 4: Esperance to Kalgoorlie
The details: The Golden Outback: Hopetoun to Esperance, WA
Staying there: Esperance B&B by the Sea – Lovely hosts, 180-degree ocean views. 72 Stewart Street, Esperance
Eating there: The Loose Goose Restaurant & Bar – Cosy and unassuming décor teamed with beautiful food. 9A Andrew Street, Esperance.