After a nine hour drive from Perth, Esperance is a breath taking sight! The view from the town is unlike most in WA in the sense that it looks out towards hundreds of little islands in the Recherche Archipelago. It is clear why Esperance is also known as the “bay of isles”.
There are 110 islands in the archipelago and the best way to view them is via boat. Don’t despair if you don’t have your own boat, there are plenty of tour operators with the best knowledge about the local sea life, diving and snorkelling spots.
Don’t leave Esperance with out a visit to Woody Island. It is the only island in the archipelago open to visitors. You can visit for the day or stay over in the camping facilities.
You’ll feel like a pioneer while exploring the pristine beaches. An absolute must do is a drive along Great Ocean Drive, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more scenic drive. This drive is a 38 kilometre circular route.
The northern part of the drive meanders along Pink Lake. Pink Lake gets it’s name (and colour) due to a high concentration of salt tolerant algae.
Be sure to stop off at Lake Warden Wetlands – a true delight for bird watchers. Follow the walk trail to the hide outs at the edge of the lake.
The Rotary Lookout gives 360° views of the town and islands. Back in town you can try your hand at fishing off Tanker Jetty or delight in the antics of Sammy, the resident seal.
You can’t miss Museum Park Period Village in Dempster Street. It is a collection of historical buildings that covers a whole block. Apart from the museum the village houses craft shops, a café, art gallery and the information centre. It is also the location for the monthly market where you can find anything from home made jam and scones to garden décor.
On Norseman Road you will find the Cannery Arts Centre. It is an exhibition space for local and touring artists. You can purchase items made by local artists from the arts and crafts shop.
Esperance is surrounded by National Parks. On this visit we chose to explore Cape Le Grand National Park. It is situated about 50km from Esperance. One of the outstanding attractions of this park is Frenchman’s Peak.
It is a towering granite peak that can be seen from miles away – even from Esperance itself. If you feel adventurous you can climb the peak and be rewarded with never ending views at the top.
Other places worth mentioning (and exploring) in the park are: Lucky bay, Thistle cove, Rossiter Bay and Cape le Grand beach.