Eco-friendly, Extraordinary & Roos’ Everywhere
Esperance is the type of place where you run on adrenaline. Quite simply, it is a place to have an epic weekender if your adventurous side is longing to be unleashed in the great south.
It may be a bit of a stretch to head to the Southern Ocean coast, but it sure is worth the distance. On Esperance’s doorstep, a world of whitest of white sandy beaches, glistening turquoise waters, and rocky mountain climbs await – just follow its resident kangaroos by hopping from one majestic setting to the next!
To make the most of your time in Esperance, follow this 48-hour guide to ensure adventures in abundance.
After touching down from your morning flight and hiring your car, head downtown to get fuel for the day in the form of coffee from Down Town Espresso Bar and a damn delicious country pie from local bakery heroes, Esperance Hot French Bread. (Their tuna mornay pie is crème de la crème!) Take them both on the road as the day is action-packed.
Enjoy your takeaway breakky at Esperance’s Esplanade with its iconic Whale Tail Sculpture in view. Succumb to temptation for that #whalestaleselfie and enjoy the serenity of the coastline.
Hop back into the car to embark on the first adventure of the day, travelling down the scenic Great Ocean Drive. Expect the “wows” and “OMGs” to flow freely from your mouth as there are many incredible vistas en route this 40 km loop that passes by world-class beaches, quaint bays, ocean pools and rocky terrains in quick succession. You can ensure your camera will be given a work out with the stop/start scenario you will encounter for all those gorgeous views worth relishing.
Highlights include the Rotary Lookout & Walk trail, Lovers Cove, and Blue Haven Beach. Twilight Cove is the place to enjoy the best of Esperance’s chilled beachy vibes, clear aqua waters and rocky outcrops so you can be forgiven for wanting to soak up the sun that extra bit longer. (Just bring extra drinking water!)
There is much to enjoy along the coast – snorkelling, mountain biking, bushwalking, surfing and whale watching (when in season) – take your pick for how you want to spend your leisure time!
Hop back onto the road pass by Pink Lake. Unfortunately, it does not live up to its colourful reputation; however, it is still a remarkable sight to behold. Need not to fear as you can still get your pink fix as nearby bubble gum pink lake – Lake Hellier – is only a scenic flight away with Goldfields Air Services. It is worth the coin for the priceless coastal beauty of bold blues, pink lake and inland forest greens – oh my!
Do two things at once – quench the thirst and satisfy the appetite – by heading to boutique craft beer connoisseurs, Lucky Bay Brewing. Count your lucky blessings as both beer and pub grub are nourishing. If you can’t decide on whether to have a pint of Skippy Rock Kolsch, Sandy Hook Barley Pale Ale, Thistle Cove Scottish Ale amongst its other fine beer on taps, squash the indecision with selecting a tasting paddle. To match the delight of the yeasty drop, select a woodfired pizza from pop up, Bona Pizza, cooked to crusty perfection by Italian pizza chefs.
You won’t be gaining a stone for indulging but somewhere else to check out some classy stonework is by heading to Esperance’s Stonehenge.
Yes, Esperance is also home to the only replica of one of the great wonders of the world, the UK’s Stonehenge. This life-size and complete replica is one of the ages to enjoy. Entry is $10 per adult, $8 per child.
After catching the stunning sunset anywhere along the coast, treat yourself to one of the finest fish feasts of your life.
You have well and truly deserved this catch of the day at one of WA’s top-rated fish and chip restaurants, Fish Face. This corner favourite offers more than just the usual tucker served in paper. Choose to eat in or out (we recommend in) to enjoy other fishy delights that you didn’t even imagine to be served, using only Australian sourced seafood. Its herb crumbed local sweep with sweet potato chips, avocado aioli and slow roast tomato is a bistro grub affair without the fuss. Highly recommend ordering a side of potato chips as you can’t go to a fish and chip shop without getting the usual potato chips, right? Its extensive fish board is something to stare at for a decent five minutes with deciding on what to eat.
Make the most of your time checking out what makes Esperance and it surrounds so alluring by making an epic day trip to Cape Le Grand National Park. Entrance is $15 per vehicle.
Make sure you grab a packed lunch from Esperance Hot French Bread (sushi to bread rolls) or fine food general store, Bob and Jim’s General Store. This family-owned and operated store sells local Australian produce, allowing you to saviour the great tastes of this region.
It takes roughly 45 minutes to reach Cape Le Grand, 56 km east of Esperance and when you do, you may kick yourself for not coming earlier as there is so much beauty to behold. The park itself spans nearly 32 hectares, embracing the Southern Ocean coastline.
Within the park, so much natural allure awaits. Rugged peaks, far-reaching heathlands, indigo waters, and the purest of white sandy beaches are all present.
Get your leg muscles moving by embarking on an adventuresome climb up Frenchman Peak. Wear sturdy footwear (and not thongs!) climbing this 262 m-tall granite outcrop. This summit is part of a chain of peaks including Mount Le Grand (345 m) and Mississippi Hill (180 m) that were formed over 600 million years ago as a result of movements in the Earth’s crust.
Conquer the feat with a 3 km return, two-hour moderate walk to the top. It may be tempting to short cut the trail; however, the steep, rocky climb can be dangerous if too windy. Expect there to be a few stops along the way to appreciate the beauty of this climb, including the peaks’ cave and natural window, shaped by oceanic activity when the peaks were mostly submerged over 40 million years ago.
Once on top, expect your mouth to drop with astonishment and your eyes sparkle with amazement. The full grandiose and panoramic views of this park is something to marvel at from all angles. (Cue nature appreciation post!) The sight of the park’s winding roads, rocky terrains, fields of green bush and an indigo blue coastline dotted with islands of the Recherche Archipelago is worth of all your camera storage!
Back on the road, hop over to Lucky Bay for a picnic lunch setting like no other.
Lucky Bay is lucky for a few reasons. One, it is officially Australia’s whitest beach with its powdery and squeaky sand and two, it attracts a beach-hopping population – kangaroos! Pristine beaches and kangaroos – can you get more of a quintessential picture-perfect Australian combo than that? While Rottnest Island has its quokka selfies, Lucky Bay has its roo’ moments with the kangaroos appearing not so camera shy.
If you require an afternoon caffeinated pick me up after a splash, you are again, in luck.
Family owned and operated beach vendor Lucky Bean Café serves up coffee on the beach along with its famous, Kangachino – a cappuccino with extra chocolate sprinkles to represent kangaroo fur and delicious ‘kangaroo pellets’ in the disguise of Malteasers. Fake poop never tasted so sweet!
Continue your day trip through the park, visiting other star attractions Hellfire Bay (Bring your snorkel or cast a fishing line!) and Thistle Cove. There are also other walking opportunities with Le Grand Coastal Trail, connecting Le Grand Beach and Rossiter Bay. This walk is just short of 4 hours and is a good alternative to Frenchman Peak if climbing is not your thing.
Le Grand National Park is nothing short of grand adventures.
Head back to Esperance and join the locals with tasting the best of the Great Southern Edge at the ever-trendy Taylor Street Quarters.
This cosy Esplanade Bay restaurant takes your tastebuds on a culinary trip with its tapas-style menu taking inspiration from Spain to Japan and all in between using quality local produce.
Sit inside and lap up its homely interior surrounds or enjoy the coastal breeze. At the same time, chow down on mouth-watering char-grilled local octopus, served with lemon rosti, green harissa and chorizo butter, beef brisket croquettes and tempura Shark Bay prawns. This is the place where it is forgivingly cool to drool.
Local represent as the restaurant also serves up Lucky Bay Brewery on tap, or if you want to kick on for the night, Pier Hotel is the place to go for the town’s social happenings to celebrate the 48 hours it was.
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