Home Discover Australia Visit Esperance – Western Australia : Best things to do

Visit Esperance – Western Australia : Best things to do

Visit Esperance – Western Australia : Best things to do

Whether you arrive from Adelaide to discover the West Coast of Australia or leave the Perth Hills to cross the Nullarbor Plain, don’t miss out on the small town of Esperance and its idyllic beaches. We’ll tell you all about the wonders to discover there!

Things to know about Esperance

Where is located Esperance?

  • Distance from Perth : 700 km approximately a 7h30 drive 
  • Distance from Adelaide : 2177 km around a 23h drive
  • Population : 12 145 (info from wikipedia)

A bit of History

This small fishing town owes its name to a French expedition, which arrived there in 1792.

It was a century later in the north, in Kalgoorlie and Coolgardie, that the gold rush led to its real development. Today, its economy is based on fishing and tourism. Esperance may seem like a must on any road trip through Western Australia, but don’t expect to meet hordes of backpackers or to party. It’s a pretty quiet little town!

Esperance’s appeal doesn’t really lie in the town itself, but rather in the beaches that surround it. To the east and west, you can discover some of Australia’s most beautiful beaches. Before exploring the surrounding area, stop off for at least a day in Esperance.

What to do in Esperance?

While the town itself is not that spectacular, the beaches won’t disappoint you. In Esperance, you find some of the most beautiful beaches in Australia. When traveling in the area, don’t hesitate to stop for a day there. Go for a stroll on the main street called Dempster Street. There you find not only all kinds of restaurants as well as clothing and souvenir shops, but also the famous Lucky Bay kangaroos. Also head to the esplanade for a nice walk along the sea.

Take a break in the picnic area of ​​the Tanker Jetty before walking or cycling to the small marina. We recommend you to go to the café Taylor Street Jetty. Relax on comfortable sofas surrounded by garlands and enjoy the view of the harbor. The atmosphere is very cozy and if you are lucky there might be live music playing at sunset. In any case, don’t miss their Cruffins, a mix of croissant and muffin filled with Nutella … Unforgettable!

The city is also known for its unique rock formations such as the pink granites and the “Blowholes,” which attract many tourists every year. They are formed when sea water rushes into cracks in the coastal rocks and shoots out as powerful jets of water. The best times to observe them are when the sea is rough, which results in a greater number of water jets.

Finally, Esperance is surrounded by national parks such as the Stirling Range National Park and the Cape Le Grand National Park, which offer many hiking and wildlife viewing opportunities.

Best period to visit Esperance

The summer, from December to February, is the best time to visit Esperance. As the temperatures are warm and the days are sunny. However, there can be strong winds during this time of year.

To enjoy the heat without too many crowds, the period February to April is ideal. Avoid school holidays when Australians rush to enjoy the beaches. From late autumn and winter, bring warm clothing as it can be cool (especially because of the wind).

The Great Ocean Drive – west of Esperance

Put on your swimmers, grab your surfboard and your backpack: You’re ready for the Great Ocean Drive. Locals call it the tourist loop. Enjoy 20km of coastal walks and fabulous views of the crystal blue waters of Esperance. This route is amazing because it lies so high above sea level. You have to go down wooden stairs to get to the beaches. By the way, we realized that Australian beaches are even more beautiful when viewed from above. You see so many different shades of blue there.

West Beach – A surf spot not to be missed

First, stop at West Beach, which is one of the favorite beaches of local surfers. Be careful though if you surf! Great white sharks frequent these waters.

Going 3km further, stop at Blue Haven. A paradise with pine forests and beaches protected from the wind by red rocks.

Twilight Beach – The most beautiful beach in Australia

Continue for 5km to Twilight Beach. One of our best picnic spots was certainly the car park that leads directly to the beach! It’s ideal for taking a nap in the van, while listening to the sound of the waves. This beach, voted one of the most beautiful beaches in Australia, is perfect for swimming and sunbathing on the rocks. We saw a seal, which must have been the famous Sammy whose statue you see in the center of the esplanade. But this was not the only visitor we had on our trips to Twilight Beach. Peacefully setting up our breakfast on the beach, we saw all surfers running out of the water. A great white shark approached a surfer, 30m from the shore. We warned you, watch your toes!

The road goes further, with one sight more spectacular than the other. Check out the lookout point, the wind farm, and the beaches with clear blue water.

You can do this route in one day or in three if you want to take your time at each point of interest. Don’t miss Eleven Mile Beach, which is quite amazing because there are two beaches that are very different from each other. Also go to Ten Mile Lagoon, which has a platform from where we watched the most beautiful sunset since our arrival in Western Australia.

Pink Lake

You can go back to Esperance to take a picture of Pink Lake, but it has not been pink for the past few years. Because of seaweed, the lake has lost its spectacular color for now. You can find a beautiful pink lake near Esperance though. It’s called Hillier Lake. However, it is only accessible by plane (it costs about $300/ person).

And don’t miss a visit to Rotary Lookout at the beginning of the Great Ocean Drive. You get a great view of the area, especially at sunset (or at sunrise for brave people). There is a hiking path starting at the lookout.

Cape Le Grand National Park – east of Esperance

This park, about an hour’s drive from Esperance, is known for the famous Lucky Bay beach. However, it has got a lot more to offer. The entrance fees to the park are $12 per vehicle per day. You can pay by card or cash at the entrance.

A pass for the national parks in the state of Western Australia is available if you want to visit several. The value for money is worth it. Don’t hesitate to check the website of the different national park passes in Western Australia.

Esperance, like Rottnest Island and its quokkas, has benefited from our use of social networks while traveling. Posting a “kangaroo selfie” has become a must-do for many travelers. It’s on the beautiful Lucky Bay beach that you get the chance to take a picture with these Australian icons. Dozens of tourists feed these kangaroos in order to get close enough to them to take a selfie. Before thinking about your Instagram, think of them first! These are wild animals that get into the bad habit of not regarding humans as predators and of not finding food themselves. The food tourists give them is not good for their health and is not part of their natural diet. If you want to take a photo with a kangaroo, feed it greens rather than chips.

Lucky Bay

Apart from the famous kangaroos, Lucky Bay is breathtaking. The sand is so fine that it squeaks under your feet. The contrast between the sand and the clear water makes this beach one of the most beautiful beaches of Australia. For an unforgettable experience, get a camp spot at Lucky Bay. You don’t get reception there, so enjoy a phone detox. The view from there is amazing and you sleep only a few meters from the beach for $11 per person. However, leave Esperance very early so you get there in time. Camp spots are limited!

Thistle Cove and Hellfire Bay

From Lucky Bay, you go to Thistle Cove and Hellfire Bay. These two bays are often deserted and the water is even bluer than in Lucky Bay. The contrast between the water and the red rock is striking! Walking through the rocks you get stunning views. Once again, we found that getting high up was the best way to see the beautiful shades of the water. Our favorite thing to do was playing stuntmen and climbing on the rocks. Don’t do it in flip flops…

If you want to go for a hike, head for Frenchman Peak. Plan in 1.5 to 3 hours, depending on your physical condition and the amount of water you take. Climbing up the rocks, you are surrounded by flowers and lizards. The view of the ocean and the park is worth it.

Finally, don’t miss the huge Cape le Grand beach and the more sheltered campsite there. A last break in paradise before going on to other adventures…

Where to sleep in Esperance?

Esperance offers 2 holiday parks where you can spend the night and enjoy a swimming pool: Esperance Bay holiday park and Esperance Pink Lake tourist park.

Unfortunately, there are no hostels. Motels are also reasonably priced during the week and in low season if you want a good night’s sleep.

As for free campspots, there are Dalyup Rest Area, Dunns Rock (National Park), Condingup Community Hall (with toilets and drinking water) and Mt Ridley.

Practical information


You find accommodations in every price range. If like us, you’re travelling by van, you find a number of caravan parks in Esperance. In peak season, remember to book or pay for your campsite in the morning. There is no official free campground in Esperance.

How to get there?

A 5.5-hour drive from Albany and 8 hours from Perth, you get to Esperance by car. You can also take the bus with the company Transwa. And of course by plane, which takes about 5 hours from Sydney or Cairns and 4 hours from Melbourne or Darwin!

Camper Rentals

You can compare offers of different companies on the website Motorhome Republic.

Going Out

Even though it’s quiet on weekdays, you’ll find a way to enjoy yourself on weekends. Have a drink in the classy Pier Hotel bar, or like us, mingle with locals at a rousing karaoke night at the Esperance Motor Hotel. A cheesy and unforgettable evening!


There are plenty of restaurants, but all we did was cooking in the van. You find Woolsworth and Target, as well as an organic shop at the beginning of Dempster Street.

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