Perth to Esperance – the WA road trip that should be on every Perthite’s bucket list
We know us Aussies love nothing more than packing up the car and heading off on a little adventure. And Perthites, you’re in luck, as we think we’ve found the best road trip this side of route 66 – jump in the car and adventure south with the Perth to Esperance road trip.
This is the one everyone needs to have on their bucket list – Perth to Esperance. Whilst the 7.5 hour drive is quite long, there are so many amazing things to see along the way; in fact the drive is half of the fun! Think rocky outcrops, country pubs, salt lakes and wildflowers. And that’s just the drive! Once you arrive in Esperance you can enjoy the whitest beaches in Australia, sunbake alongside kangaroos, enjoy crystal clear waters, take a trip to a bubble-gum pink lake and even spot whales in winter!
Don’t forget your camera; this one is sure to make for some perfect Insta pics!
Here’s our guide to the best Perth to Esperance trip!
Set the alarm and get up early! You want to hit the road before 8am to really make the most of the drive. Roos are abundant around Esperance, so you want to hit town before dusk.
First stop – Corrigin
After 2.5 hours, it’s time to stretch your legs, grab a bite to eat and take in some of our beautiful countryside. Corrigin is a beautiful country town with something for everyone.
Snap the perfect Insta shot next to the endless, bright yellow canola paddocks or in front of the vast open landscape views of Corrigin Rock. If you’re travelling with kids, let them burn off some energy at the Adventure Park then take a step back in time at the Pioneer Museum.
Lastly, 5kms west of town the quirky Corrigin Dog Cemetery is worth checking out. It’s a fitting tribute and final resting place of many beloved dogs from the area.
Now it’s time to buckle back up and hit the road.
Second stop – Wave Rock
A must-see stop for incredible photos in an unreal setting, this is about another hour into your journey. This massive granite rock is shaped just like, you guessed it, a wave. Take a walk along the ridge and look down at the amazing wave for a truly unique perspective. Don’t forget Mulka’s Cave – some 18kms down the road where you will find amazing Aboriginal rock art.
Third stop – Lake King
An hour later, you will hit Lake King just in time for lunch! The Lake King Tavern serves up a full menu of Australian pub eats with specials changing daily – we recommend the roasted steak sandwich – YUM!
The biggest attraction at Lake King is the pure white salt lakes. Visiting the salt lakes not only offers another great Instagram snap for your trip but will also be an ideal way to stretch the legs and take a break from the car.
Now that you are fed and taken in some fresh air, it’s time to get back on the road – next stop Esperance. You have about 2.5 hours to go, so make sure you’ve grabbed a takeaway coffee and some sweet snacks for the last bit of your journey!
Welcome to Esperance
You’re going to arrive late afternoon, so it’s the perfect time to check into your accommodation. There are heaps of options in town, ranging from caravan parks with cabins, motels and luxury units right by the beach. Check out the full list of options here.
For dinner, why not grab a bite at the Loose Goose and then head over for a sundowner at The Pier? You’ll be tired after a long journey, so hit the sack early ready for a big day of exploring!
Cape Le Grand National Park
We all know the main drawcard for Esperance… the beaches! So, get an early start, grab you’re bathers and hit the road!
Head out to Cape Le Grand National Park for truly spectacular beaches and stunning landscapes. If you are happy to share the white sands of Lucky Bay with sunbathing kangaroos, taking beach and chill to new levels, then you are in the right place.
Lucky Bay is often mentioned as one of the world’s best beaches – yes world! Most recently coming in at number 18 in 2017.
If you really want to understand the typography and landscape of this area, take a hike up to the top of Frenchman’s Peak. The trail surface is made up of gravel paths, wooden boardwalks and exposed granite. Note, don’t attempt this climb when it’s raining as the rock can become very slippery, and take a jumper with you if it’s a cold day because the cave up the top can be quite windy, especially during the winter months.
Directions to Cape Le Grand National Park from Esperance can be found here.
It’s not every day you come across a lake that is the colour of bubble-gum! But Lake Hillier is just that! Not to be confused with Pink Lake in Esperance town, Lake Hillier is located on Middle Island, part of Esperance’s magnificent Recherche Archipelago.
People from all over the world are going crazy for this picture-perfect lake. The best way to experience this is by air; so why not splash out and take a light aircraft over the lake with Goldfields Air Services?
Fishing in Esperance
If you managed to pack your rod and reel, Esperance is the ideal place to cast a line.
Take your pick of 25 locations ranging across beach, boat, rocks and freshwater fishing spots. For more information visit the website.
Whale Watching and Coastal Wildlife
June to October is whale season in Esperance as the Southern Right Whale migrates along the Esperance coast. The whales can be seen frolicking in the water or sheltering with their young in one of our many protected bays.
Best vantage points for whale watching:
- Israelite Bay (4WD only)
- Cape Arid / Thomas River
- Cape Le Grand beaches
- Esperance town bay
- One of the many lookouts on the Great Ocean Drive.
Or alternatively, get up close and personal with Esperance Island Cruises offering an ocean journey through the Recherche Archipelago where the Southern Rights can be spotted from the deck (seasonally dependent). For more information visit the website.
If you’re in town in Spring, you’ll find abundant wildflowers in and around Esperance. The wildflower season runs from September to early December, with a flurry of vibrant blooms in the bushlands of Esperance. The greens and browns of the coastal heath explode with splashes of pink, yellow, orange and red and the fresh sea air is filled with the fragrance of wildflowers. Look closely at the undergrowth and you’ll see the delicate designs of many orchid species, or stroll through bushland and be dazzled by banksia, leschenaultia and hakea.
Did you know that there is a Stonehenge in Esperance? Located 20 minutes from the town centre on Merivale Road you will find a full-size replica of the original Stonehenge in the UK. Esperance’s Stonehenge appears as the original would have looked around 1950BC, built from 137 stones of Esperance Pink Granite towering almost 8m into the sky. The Stonehenge was built to align with both the Summer and Winter Solstices in Esperance.
For more information experienceesperance.com.au.
Esperance Skate Park and Precinct
If you are road tripping with the kids be sure to pack their bike, scooter and or skateboard so that they can hit the ramps of Esperance’s brand new skate park. Situated right on the beach while you relax on the white sands of Esperance or duck into the water for a quick dip you can keep an eye on your kids while they burn off their energy on the skate park.
Also, do yourself a favour and take in the views at sunset. Simply magical!
If you’re a night owl or a budding astrophotographer, check out the night skies in the national parks. You’ll never have seen so many stars, and if you’re lucky, you’ll see the Milky Way in all its glory.
Esperance is one of the most unspoilt and beautiful places in WA. We really hope you get the chance to visit. If you have any questions about the Perth to Esperance road trip, or just want some travel inspiration, be sure to visit Australia’s Golden Outback website. You can also find them on Facebook and Instagram.
Need more Esperance?
Visit So Perth’s Guide to Esperance for all our latest reads on things to see, do, eat and drink in Esperance.
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