Welcome to this big guide of 17 Awesome Things To Do In Esperance which celebrates one of Western Australia’s most remote, yet spectacular locations. Overflowing with natural scenery and unique landscapes, Esperance is a completely remarkable town that has such unique coastlines that you won’t find anywhere else in the world.
In this extensive guide, you’ll find everything you need to know about Esperance including how to get there, the best time to visit, and of course, what to do in Esperance. It’s a long one, but trust me, it’s worth the read!
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WHERE IS ESPERANCE?
Esperance is located in the very southern part of Western Australia. It’s around a 1.5-hour flight from Perth or if you fancy taking on the mammoth road trip, it will take you about 7.5 hours.
This remote town may feel very much off-the-beaten-track but upon reaching Esperance you’ll be well and truly transported to an entirely different world. There’s a reason it’s known to be ‘out of the way, out of this world’.
HOW TO GET HERE
There are three main ways of getting to Esperance. The first would be to drive yourself. As I said, it’s about 7.5 hours drive from Perth to Esperance and will take you the best part of an entire day to get here. Road tripping is always my favorite way to get around and proves to be the perfect way to soak up more of the country.
Similar to road tripping, you can also take a coach bus. Although a little less favorable being that you have to share the bus and release some of that freedom to the driver, taking the coach can also be a great way to get here. The Perth to Esperance bus takes around 8 hours with TransWA’s luxury coaches, arriving in Esperance daily.
The quickest and probably most straightforward way to get to Esperance would be to fly. Regional Express Airlines flies daily between Perth and Esperance and flight times are approximately 90 minutes.
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Vanlife in Esperance
BEST TIME TO VISIT ESPERANCE
In all honesty, there is not a bad time to visit Esperance. With a whole range of different things to see and do, both inside and outdoors, there is something for everyone, all year round.
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However to ensure you get to make the most of your time in Esperance Australia and so you get to do the majority of the activities on this list of things to do in Esperance, I would definitely suggest visiting in the spring/summer months. In doing so, you’ll almost guarantee yourself an incredible trip, with a jam-packed itinerary and you’ll be sure to leave with a banging tan.
Do note: If you’re visiting in the spring/summer, this is most likely the busier months and more people will be around. So each activity/destination you go to, I would advise visiting early in the morning to beat the crowds.
Beautiful beaches in Esperance
17 AWESOME THINGS TO DO IN ESPERANCE
Esperance is quite literally bursting at the seams with things to do and places to visit. It’s almost impossible to include every single thing in one guide…
So I have narrowed it down to the 17 best things to do in Esperance and the attractions that I feel best show off the beauty of this town. Buckle up, here we go!
EXPLORE CAPE LE GRAND NATIONAL PARK
Named as one of the most spectacular southern coast national parks, Cape Le Grand is located half an hour east of Esperance. Home to rolling heathlands, Pygmy Possums, and the Western Grey Kangaroo.
Whether you just want to visit for the day or whether you want to camp overnight, this place has got you covered. The two campgrounds in Cape Le Grand National Park are both non-powered and have camp kitchens, gas barbecues, picnic tables, showers, and non-drinking water.
There are fees to enter this National Park which do vary depending on how long you want to spend here and if you want to camp. If you wish to stay in one of the campgrounds, bookings are essential prior to your visit. Click here to check availability and book online in advance.
The fee to enter the National Park for the day is $15.00 per vehicle, $8.00 for a motorcycle, and $8.00 for concession cardholders. This can be paid at the ticket machine as you enter the park and the ticket must be displayed clearly on the dashboard of your vehicle.
Cape Le Grand National Park
List of Entry Fees
MEET THE KANGAROOS AT LUCKY BAY
Lucky Bay is one of the bays found in Cape Le Grand National Park and his home to the Grey Kangaroo. It’s here that you can find the amazing sight of the Kangaroos coming down onto the beach for a little sunbathing.
It’s very rare you’ll ever get to be this close to a Kangaroo, let alone on the beach so this is definitely not to be missed.
This is one of those Esperance attractions that are all about ‘look but don’t touch’. These are wild animals and although they’re accustomed to people being around them, they’re not pets. It’s important to keep wild animals, wild, so as tempting as it may be, please do not touch or feed the Kangaroos at Lucky Bay.
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Lucky Bay Kangaroos
Hanging out with the Roo’s
CLIMB TO FRENCHMAN’S PEAK
Frenchman’s Peak Esperance is just 262 meters in height and makes for the perfect adventure hike.
In an otherwise flat landscape, climbing to the top of Frenchman’s Peak is definitely worth including on your list of things to do in Esperance. With 360 views of the national park below, Frenchman’s Peak is a fun-fuelled climb.
Marked as a grade 5 walk due to the loose rocks and dodgy ledges, Frenchman’s Peak can sometimes feel like more of a climb than a hike. It’s important to pack the correct footwear in order to tackle this pretty spectacular mountain.
I would recommend taking on the hike at either sunrise or sunset. Not only does it make for some incredible photographs, but it also makes the hike a little more bearable when you’re not in the beaming midday sun.
Frenchman’s Peak Esperance
WATCH THE SUNSET AT WYLIE BAY ROCK
If you’re as mad about sunsets as I am, then head down to Wylie Bay Rock to watch an unforgettable sunset over the horizon. This curved rock makes for the perfect location to watch the sunset after a great day of adventures.
Whether you’re a keen photographer looking for that ideal shot or whether you’re wanting a bit more of a romantic rendezvous, Wylie Bay Rock has you covered.
Wylie Bay Rock Esperance
WATCH THE SUNRISE AT THISTLE COVE
If sunsets aren’t your thing and you’re more of an early riser, then set the alarm and head on down to Thistle Cove in Cape Le Grand National Park to watch the sunrise.
This quiet, remote cove is the perfect location to catch the sunrise and start your day off right.
Climb down onto the white sand, watch the sunrise then head in for a little early morning dip in the turquoise waters. Beware on the climb down, Thistle Cove is home to a lot of wildlife including different species of lizards.
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Thistle Cove Esperance
Turquoise waters at Thistle Cove
SWIM IN TURQUOISE WATERS AT HELLFIRE BAY
It’s not hard to come across turquoise blue waters in Esperance but if you do want to swim in some of the calmest, bluest waters you’ve ever swum in, then head down to Hellfire Bay. This is a cozy, quiet bay that is surrounded by white sand and turquoise water.
Equipped with picnic tables and a barbecue area that overlooks the water, Hellfire Bay is a popular lunch stop in Cape Le Grand National Park.
Hellfire Bay Esperance
Turquoise waters at Hellfire Bay
CHECK OUT LITTLE HELLFIRE BAY
Just over the hill from Hellfire Bay, about a 10 minute walk away, you’ll find Little Hellfire Bay, one of the best beaches in Esperance!
The smaller, lesser-known bay, with equally as white sand and vibrant waters as Hellfire Bay, Little Hellfire Bay is definitely a good way to escape the crowds.
Head here early to claim your spot on the sand and spend the day soaking up the sun.
Little Hellfire Bay
Little Hellfire Bay Esperance
GRAB A BEER AT LUCKY BAY BREWING
Serving beers, wines, ciders, snacks, and full meals, Lucky Bay Brewing is the perfect stop when searching for the best Esperance attractions.
Located on Bandy Creek Road in Esperance, head down to this incredible brewery. Lucky Bay Brewing Esperance is the only brewery in WA that sources raw barley direct from local farmers to make beer. So not only do they make incredible beer, they’re helping out the locals too!
Whether you want to taste their full meal menu or just to sample some of their home-brewed beer, Lucky Bay Brewing caters to everyone. I would definitely recommend adding this to your list of what to do in Esperance.
The bar at Lucky Bay Brewing
Enjoying a frothy cold one
THE GREAT OCEAN DRIVE
The Great Ocean Drive is a journey around the best of the Esperance Coastline. It’s around a 40-kilometer drive, taking about an hour, and includes a vast range of coastal elements. From sandy beaches, rocky headlands, and hidden rock pools, The Great Ocean Drive is quite simply… great!
In total, there are 23 points of interest along The Great Ocean Drive, from Salmon Beach Windfarm to Pink Lake Lookout. There are signposts at each point to ensure you don’t miss anything and I would definitely suggest stopping at them all.
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Somewhere along the Great Ocean Drive
Enjoying the view
DAY TRIP TO WOODY ISLAND
Woody Island Eco Tours is the official tour operator of the island’s facilities and offers the opportunity to access this incredible island and to explore this gem in Western Australia.
Located off the coast of Esperance, about 40 minutes away by ferry, Woody Island is a remote island offering some of the most incredible views and diving experiences. Dive and explore some of the most vibrant coral reefs and swim with a whole range of different sea life.
The half-day tour will include guided walks, the ferry journey, and morning tea. You also have the option to stay on the island by ‘glamping’ in one of the campsites. With limited facilities, all stays on the island must be booked with Woody Island Eco Tours.
Woody Island – Image source: Instagram
Woody Glamping – Image source: Instagram
FLY OVER LAKE HILLIER
Departing from Esperance Airport, experience some of the most spectacular views of the famous Pink Lake Hillier and Middle Island.
This 1-hour and 40-minute scenic flight will take you over Cape Le Grand National Park, Middle Island, and above Lake Hillier. With onboard commentary from your pilot, you will learn all about the beauty of Pink Lake Hillier and will be welcomed with the best view of the sandy beaches, turquoise water, and of course, the lake itself.
From around $425 AUD per person and with daily departures at 9:00 am, 11:30 am, or 2:00 pm each day.
TAKE A PHOTO OF ESPERANCE STONEHENGE
No, not the actual Stonehenge… Just a replica. But yes, there is a Stonehenge replica in Esperance!
Built by a couple back in 2011, Esperance Stonehenge was built with the intention of bringing in a different type of tourist to the area. The type that talks a little less about beaches. Esperance is known for its white, sandy beaches but with the introduction of Stonehenge, it now has another string to its bow.
Open every day of the week from 8 am to 2 pm, and the admission fee is $12 per adult and $5 per child.
This is quite the spectacle and I would definitely recommend going to see this, especially if you’re from the UK and have been to the real Stonehenge. It’ll be interesting to compare the two.
Stonehenge – Image source: Instagram
SEE THE VIEW FROM ROTARY LOOKOUT
Rotary Lookout is located at the far end of the Esplanade in Esperance. This lends itself perfectly to the finish of a great walk.
With views of the town on one side and the ocean on the other, the Rotary Lookout is just one of the many incredible Esperance attractions and definitely has to be one of the best lookouts on the south coast.
Head back down the esplanade, grab a coffee and you’re in for a winner of a morning.
Marveling at the view
VISIT THE WINDMILL FARM
Situated on a coastal ridge around 16km west of Esperance on the Great Ocean Drive, the 10-mile lagoon wind farm is not to be missed. Relying on the ‘roaring forties’ winds, this wind farm generates a whopping 2 megawatts.
It’s incredible to watch something like this and to really witness the power of nature… plus the spectacular backdrop of the Australian coastline, what’s not to like?
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The windmill farm
Overcast day at the windmill farm
CHECK OUT THE NOT-SO PINK LAKE
At the edge of Esperance, you’ll find the pink lake. Unfortunately, it’s now called pink lake by name and not by nature.
What was once a bright, vivid lake with a beautiful hue of pink is now somewhat just a lake. Nevertheless, it’s still beautiful and a protected area which is surrounded by wildlife and of course remains one of the top places to visit in Esperance.
The reason for the lake no longer being pink is rather complicated. External changes and weather conditions can affect the color and the pink lake in Esperance has lost its color due to salinity changes caused by human activity. Researchers are trying to restore the lake, however, due to the color being formed naturally, this is proving rather difficult.
Pink Lake Esperance
An interesting read
STROLL ALONG THE ESPLANADE
The esplanade stretches along the length of the town and the coastline. Lining the esplanade you’ll find and range of shops, cafes, restaurants, a skatepark, and plenty of other things to enjoy.
Grab yourself the perfect flat white to accompany your shopping trip and see away a morning just strolling down the esplanade, taking in the incredible scenery and appreciating what a beautiful part of the world you’re in.
Fancy dropping a little cash? I’m sure you can pick yourself or your loved ones up something nice from the shops around the town. Finish off the trip with some lunch at one of the restaurants or grab something from the many takeaway vans dotted around. Either way, you won’t be disappointed.
Esperance main beach
TAKE A DIP AT TWILIGHT BEACH
Last but not least on this Esperance things to do list, and probably one of the most relaxing spots is Twilight Beach.
Head down here for a morning dip in the ocean and soak up the sunny rays, weather permitting. Surrounded by white sand and granite boulders, this quiet cove is perfect for a little escapism.
You’ll come across Twilight Beach on your drive along the Great Ocean Drive as this makes up one of the stops along this stretch of coastline.
Twilight Beach Esperance
Turquoise waters at Twilight Beach
WHERE TO STAY IN ESPERANCE
There are dozens of accommodation options to choose from in Esperance so I have narrowed it down to a few of the best places to stay to fit the needs of budget backpackers, luxury travelers, and everyone in between.
See below for a list of accommodation in Esperance Australia that I personally recommend:
LUXURY: YOT SPOT APARTMENTS
MID-RANGE: CLEARWATER MOTEL APARTMENTS
BUDGET: COMFORT INN BAY OF ISLES
FOR ALL OTHER PLACES TO STAY IN ESPERANCE, SEARCH ON AGODA OR SEARCH ON BOOKING.COM
MORE WESTERN AUSTRALIA TRAVEL GUIDES
- Broome: 10 Awesome Things To Do In Broome
- Exmouth: 15 Awesome Things To Do In Exmouth
- Coral Bay: 5 Awesome Things To Do In Coral Bay
- Monkey Mia: 5 Awesome Things To Do In Monkey Mia
- Margaret River: 15 Epic Things To Do In Margaret River
- Jurien Bay: Swimming With The Jurien Bay Sea Lions
- Kalbarri: Kalbarri Skywalk
- Kalbarri: Nature’s Window Kalbarri
- Pink Lake: Pink Lake Visitor’s Guide
- Hamelin Bay: Hamelin Bay Visitor’s Guide
- Albany: Little Beach Albany
- Albany: Granite Skywalk (Castle Rock)
- Denmark: Elephant Rocks Visitor’s Guide
LONELY PLANET AUSTRALIA
One of the best books to take on your trip is the Lonely Planet Australia Guide!
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So there you have it, a complete guide of what to do in Esperance. As I mentioned at the start, it’s one of Australia’s most underrated locations but is packed to the brim of incredible things to do.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article and if you have any questions, please leave a comment below this post and I will get back to you as soon as I can.