Esperance is a picturesque region of Western Australia, filled with stunning coastlines and beaches as far as the eye can see.
There is no denying the fact that Esperance is a remote destination, found an 8-hour drive from Perth, but it is worth the effort.
This is a summary of the best things to do in Esperance.
Recommended length of stay in Esperance
3 – 7 days is recommended in Esperance. In 3 days you will be able to see everything, but staying longer will allow you to spend more time relaxing in this incredible region.
Things to do in Esperance
Great Ocean Drive
The first thing you should do when you arrive in Esperance is the Great Ocean Drive.
Esperance’s Great Ocean Drive loops around town and exposes you to the stunning coastal landscapes and unique vegetation. You will pass many incredible beaches such as West Beach, Blue Haven Beach, Salmon Beach, Twilight Beach, Nine Mile Beach and more. The loop will be a great way to find your favourite beach to come back to.
You will also pass the Salmon Beach Wind Farm and Pink Lake, which is unfortunately no longer pink.
The drive is approximately 40kms long. I would leave a minimum of two hours to drive the loop – that is with minimal stops. If you want to stop in everywhere and enjoy, you should allow an entire day.
Enjoy a long Coastal Walk
You will find a bike and walking track that leads you from Esperance to Twilight Cove, along the coast. Walking along the coast will allow you to take it in at a slower pace, and if you have just come from far, a long walk may be just what you need.
Enjoy Esperance’s Beaches
If you start your time in Esperance by doing the Great Ocean Drive, you will easily be able to find your favourite beach. The beaches are so perfect, with crystal clear water, white sand and virtually no one in sight. If you are lucky, you will spot pods of dolphins as they play in the water offshore.
A beach day in Esperance should definitely be on the cards, especially if you visit during Summer. Some of the best beaches in Esperance are:
- Blue Haven Beach – my top pick!
- Twilight Beach
- West Beach
- Eleven Mile Beach
- Ten Mile Lagoon
- Castle Town Quays and the Town Beach
- Observatory Beach
- Fourth Beach
- Wylie Beach
- Cape Le Grand Beach
Cape Le Grand National Park
Cape Le Grand National Park is one of the most beautiful national parks in the world, famous for its white sandy beaches, friendly kangaroos, rugged coastal peaks and sweeping heathlands.
You will find Cape Le Grand National Park 30 minutes from Esperance town. The most popular destination in Cape Le Grand National Park is Lucky Bay, but there is so much more to see.
For a full guide on visiting Cape Le Grand National Park, click here.
To get the most out of your time in Cape Le Grand National Park, I suggest camping out in Lucky Bay for 2 – 3 nights.
Please note: National Park Fees are payable upon entry.
Explore more of Esperance’s National Parks
Cape Le Grand National Park is the best known in the region, but if you want to adventure further, you will find many more incredible national parks including:
- Peak Charles National Park – 174 kms North West of Esperance
- Cape Arid National Park – 120kms East of Esperance
- Stokes Inlet National Park – 80kms West of Esperance
All national parks offer beaches, 4WD access, fishing and camping.
As mentioned, you will find a long coastal walk in Esperance town, that leads you from Esperance to Twilight Cove. This is called the Great Ocean Walk.
You will find more hiking trails out in Cape Le Grand National Park. There is a hiking trail that leads you from Le Grand Beach all the way to Rossiter Bay. The full trail is 20kms one way, but it can be completed in shorter sections. To read more about the hiking trails in Cape Le Grand NP, click here.
For more information on hiking trails in the region, visit the visitors centre.
Fishing is a popular thing to do in Esperance. You can choose from beach fishing, freshwater fishing or boat fishing.
Esperance is the perfect destination for 4WDing. Almost every beach is accessible by 4WD. Some beaches are up to 50kms long, so you will be in heaven as you cruise up the beach, with not a person in sight. Some of the best places to go 4WDing on the beach include Lucky Bay, Cape Le Grand Beach and Wharton’s Beach in Duke of Orleans Bay.
Duke of Orleans Bay
Duke of Orleans Bay is an hour drive from Esperance town, nestles between Cape Le Grand National Park and Cape Arid National Park. It is one of the most pristine and peaceful places in the world.
The highlight of Duke of Orleans Bay was Wharton beach which is perfect for swimming, surfing, paddle boarding and long beach walks. You will find a headland that can be hiked for the best views of the region and if you are lucky, you will see dolphins playing around in the Bay.
Duke of Orleans Bay has 4WD access onto most beaches, making it a locals favourite.
I camped at Duke of Orleans Bay Caravan Park and LOVED it.
Visit Pink Lake / Fly over Lake Hillier
Unfortunately, the Pink Lake found on the Great Ocean Drive is no longer pink, so if you want to see a Pink Lake in Esperance, you will have to fly out to Lake Hillier, which is found on Middle Island.
You can choose to take a scenic flight over Esperance and Lake Hillier, or you can take a boat out to Middle Island and explore by foot (in peak season).
Middle Island is an A class nature reserve.
Take a boat tour
Visitors can cruises through Esperance’s Bay of Isles, admiring the diverse array of marine, bird and land wildlife. You can also choose to take a boat out to one of the islands, such as Woody Island to explore.
Visit the local Farmers Markets
The farmers’ markets take place in the town of Esperance every second Sunday. You will find local produce, arts and crafts.
Esperance is home to dolphins, sea lions, kangaroos, pygmy possums, a range of bird species and more. If you love nature, you will enjoy sitting back and watching the wildlife in Esperance. The Southern Right Whales migrate from June to October.
Places to stay in Esperance
You can search for accommodation in Esperance below. One of the most popular and luxurious places to stay is at the Esperance Chalet Village.
You may also wish to search for an Airbnb in Esperance. Use this link for $55 off your first stay.
Camping in Esperance
Camping in Esperance is one of the best ways to experience the nature at its best.
There are a number of campsites in Esperance town, but the most incredible place to camp is in Cape Le Grand National Park. Lucky Bay and Cape Le Grand Campground are located in the heart of the National Park, on the beachfront. You can expect visits from the friendly local kangaroos, to make your stay extra special. These are some of the nicest campsites in Australia, so booking in advance is required. You can book online here.
You will also find a campsite at Duke of Orleans Bay.
The best time to visit Esperance
Summer is the best time to visit Esperance so you can enjoy the endless turquoise coastline.
If you do visit in Winter, you will be able to experience the Southern Right Whale Migration, but you can expect cold weather.
Spring welcomes wildflower season and warmer weather and is also a great time to visit Esperance.
Getting to Esperance
Esperance is an 8-hour drive from Perth, but there is so much to see and do along the way. If you are road tripping from Perth, check out my Perth to Esperance road trip and camping guide.
A minimum of 2 weeks is recommended for the Perth to Esperance road trip.
You could choose to fly into Esperance but flights are expensive.
Other tips for visiting Esperance
- You will need a car to explore the Esperance region.
- Esperance is best known for its natural beauty, so respect it when visiting. Don’t litter in the region and don’t feed the wildlife.
- Camping is the best way to experience Esperance. See my perfect camping set up.
Get Travel Insurance
If you are in the process of planning a trip to Esperance, make sure you get travel insurance. I recommend World Nomads.