The road to Esperance is paved with oohs and ahhs of spectacular sights.
Us West Aussies are pretty Lucky to have a destination like Esperance. For one, is a natural playground of wonders. You could simply forget needing to go to any kind of theme park when you have adventures at your peril – pearl-white sandy beaches, jagged national parks and translucent blue beaches which appear to be on permanent Photoshop mode. And two, Esperance is absolutely gorgeous, and its beauty awaits just half a days’ drive, 700km south-east of Perth.
To make the most of your trip to this absolute haven of natural spectacles, embark on an epic road trip, weaving through the sights of the Wheatbelt and the famous Public Silo Trail on this scenery-packed five-day itinerary from Perth.
Perth to Wave Rock (341 km)
It’s time to pack up the car, grab your snacks and don’t forget your reusable coffee cup – we’re off on an epic adventure through road trip country! Our first stop is going to be the famous Wave Rock in Hyden. Set off from Perth and grab a coffee from your favourite café en-route. Settle in for some beautiful country scenery as you enter the gorgeous Wheatbelt.
Wave Rock is about a 4-hour drive from Perth, so you can either go straight there and have more time to explore, or you can take your time and make a couple of pit stops!
If you’re up for a seriously entertaining detour, don’t miss Tin Horse Highway on your way to the world-famous Wave Rock. These cheeky tin horses were made by community members out of bits and pieces found lying around farms. It truly captures the humorous side of the Wheatbelt Lifestyle.
Once you arrive in Hyden, grab some lunch before heading to Wave Rock. Marvel at the amazing wave-like rock and get the famous “surfing” selfie. You can walk to the top of the Wave giving you great views of the surrounding countryside. A short walk from Wave Rock is Hippos Yawn, another cool rock formation to explore.
Hop back in the car and head over to Mulka’s Cave, an aboriginal site dating back to 400 years ago with lots of rock art on the walls. If you’re up for a challenge (and are visiting in cooler months) try the Kalari Trail that takes you to the summit of the Humps for some spectacular views and interesting rock formations.
Lake Magic is another picturesque spot and if you’re visiting in Spring, it will be bursting to life with wildflowers. There are lots of places to spend the night in Hyden including the caravan park and motel. If you plan on camping, there are some free camping spots you can take advantage of in the area.
Hyden to Ravensthorpe (200km) then Fitzgerald River National Park (50km)
Time to pack up and hit the road! You’ve got a few kms to cover today, so we’d recommend hitting the road nice and early.
As you pull into Ravensthorpe, stop and admire the giant art mural, which makes up part of the PUBLIC Silo Trail. Don’t forget to swing by the Yummylicious Candy Shack and get some lollies for the drive, it’s home to the World’s Largest Lollypop!
You can either grab lunch here in Ravensthorpe to bring with you or pick something up when you hit Hopetoun. We’re now going on a short journey (30 mins) to the gorgeous Fitzgerald River National Park. Here you can go bushwalking, camping, canoeing, fishing and whale watching. After enjoying your picnic and the amazing views in the National Park, it’s time to head off to your final destination, Esperance.
Related reads: Your Ultimate Guide to WA’s Public Silo Trail
Fitzgerald River National Park to Esperance (200km)
There are heaps of places to stay in Esperance, so you’re sure to find something that suits you. From seafront hotels and boutique campsites to caravan parks and camping spots in the National Park, you’re spoilt for choice!
You’ll be arriving into Esperance late afternoon, so we’d suggest staying local and checking out the gorgeous Great Ocean Drive. This tourist self-drive route winds along the coast then back inland, showcasing that amazing coastline you’ve heard so much about!
Pick your favourite beach and chill out on that perfect white sand for the afternoon. We recommend snorkelling in the calm, clear blue waters of Blue Haven Beach and Twilight Cove. If you prefer surfing, make your way to West Beach, Fourth Beach or Observatory Beach. For some spectacular views, Observatory Point Lookout and Rotary Lookout are well worth the climb. If you are after a sunset, set up at Nine Mile Beach.
Note: If you want to get straight to Esperance without stopping, you can go directly from Wave Rock and the journey will take you about 4 hours.
Related reads: Stunning National Parks Near Esperance You Should Visit
Cape Le Grand National Park
Start your day early and head out to Cape Le Grand National Park today. Don’t forget to pack a picnic or something to BBQ once you get into the national park. If you’re lucky enough to be in town for the fortnightly Saturday Esperance Grower’s Market, you can stock up on am amazing array of home-grown treats, including fresh bread from the famous Bread Local.
Cape Le Grand is about an hour’s drive, so again, fill up that coffee cup and grab a fresh pastry from the S’Juice van, located at the Pier, for breakfast on-the-go.
Lace up your boots and start your National Park morning by hiking Frenchman’s Peak. It’s a short but steep climb, and when you reach the top, you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views of rolling hills, crystal blue waters and islands in the Recherche Archipelago. Be sure to explore the cave and take plenty of selfies!
Hop back in the car and take your pick of amazing beaches to explore. Australia’s most dazzling coastal jewel, Lucky Bay, is probably the most famous and is where you’ll find lazy kangaroos sunbathing on the beach.
The Lucky Bean Café is also situated right on the beach so you can grab a cold drink and a snack. There are plenty of BBQs and picnic tables here too, so now’s the time to reward yourself for the climb with a yummy lunch.
If you fancy a hike, explore the park’s wild reaches on the Le Grand Coastal Trail, which links many of the park’s most spectacular coastal sections between Le Grand Beach and Rossiter Bay. After a day of exploration, head back to town and treat yourself to a delicious dinner at one of Esperance’s great restaurants – we love Fish Face, Loose Goose, Taylor St. Quarters or Seasons restaurant.
Need more Esperance inspiration? Check out our Esperance Guide
Island Cruise and Lake Hillier on Middle Island
If you fancy a lazy day, make your way back to one of the gorgeous beaches in Esperance along the Great Ocean Drive and relax on the pure white sand. If you want to stay local but enjoy a stroll, the foreshore is beautiful and has a pedestrian path all along the coast. Make sure to grab something from one of the local coffee vans, Coffee Cat or Bean Break. There is also a pedestrian and cycle path that runs from town to Twilight beach.
If you want to get out onto the water, we’d recommend taking one of two wonderful cruises. The Esperance Island Cruise takes you around the Archipelago, showing you the beautiful water and local wildlife. You can hop into the water for a snorkel or just soak in the views. You can also take a cruise out to nearby Woody Island. The cruise includes a stop on the island so you can have your very own Robinson Crusoe moment, and a spot of snorkelling.
One of the most unique attractions down here is the Pink Lake Hillier. This isn’t the Pink Lake in Esperance (which now actually isn’t pink) but Lake Hillier on Middle Island, just off the coast of Esperance. If you want to splurge and do something really amazing, take a scenic flight over the island to see the amazing pink lake for yourself. This bubblegum pink lake contrasts with the green bushland and blue water for a truly astonishing view.
After your day exploring (or just relaxing) we’d recommend pizza and a beer tasting at Lucky Bay Brewing, Esperance’s very own craft brewery.
Esperance to Perth (715 km)
Start your day with coffee and a delicious breakfast at Downtown Espresso Bar or Brown Sugar. With a spring in your step, its time to head down to the Great Ocean Drive and enjoy one last dip before heading back to Perth.
We’re taking a different route home – via the beautiful southern Wheatbelt. The journey time is pretty much the same, but the scenery is quite different! Work your way through gorgeous countryside and stop for lunch at either Lake Grace or Lake Dumbleyung. You can stop at Walkers Vineyard or Downderry Wines on your way back to sample some Wheatbelt wine, and grab a bottle to take back to Perth with you. Cambinyata Yabbies is another cool place to stop, and if you have a bit more time up your sleeve, even stay the night halfway home at somewhere like Mary’s Farm Cottages.
Arrive home safely back in Perth. Relax and reflect on what an epic road trip you have just embarked on – no wonder they call this the lucky country!
Want to add an extra few days in Esperance? Stay a night or two at Woody Island: Is This The South-West’s Version of the Galapagos Islands?
See more: Esperance Guide
Feature image: Australia’s Golden Outback