Esperance is located on the southern coast of Western Australia that is well known as a tourism destination. The Esperance coastline has been voted Australia’s best beaches, so much of the tourism centres around beach activities, swimming, surfing, snorkelling, and SCUBA diving. The unique beauty of this coast boasts scenery that includes not only the sparkling white sand beaches, but magnificent bays, bright blue water, alongside towering granite peaks. To add to the diversity, there are five national parks near Esperance to visit and several other tourist attractions to choose from as well.

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Getting around Esperance

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Esperance is a large city in Western Australia, which a population over 10,000. It is located about 720 kilometres east-southeast of Perth, which is the state’s capital city. There is an airport in Esperance, where you can hire a car and one other car rental location in downtown Esperance too. When you do hire a car, consult with your car rental agent about any driving restrictions. Since much of Western Australia is remote, there are some safety restrictions including not driving outside of city limits after dusk.

Things to do in Esperance

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Esperance is known for its beautiful beaches. In fact, Lucky Bay holds the title as “the whitest beach in Australia”. Even the locals spend most of their free time on the beaches or in the waters off the coast. Some of the beaches to visit in Esperance include Eucla, Blue Have, Hopetoun, Salmon Bay, Munglinup, Nine Mile Beach, Norseman, and Ravensthorpe. The beaches boast some of the best surfing waves in the country. There are also plenty of other beach activities and fun. Beach sports, swimming, snorkelling, and fishing charters are available. Choose from popular beaches to secluded getaways. Feel safe knowing that the Surf Life Saving Club of Western Australia regularly monitors the beaches and waters off the coast of Western Australia. They keep the public up to date via their popular Twitter feed.

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Take walks along the walking trails along the coast. Guided tours are available along the coast and other areas in Esperance. During wildflower season from July to January you can experience the beauty of the hundreds of different wildflower species that are unique to this region. Whale watching is one of the most popular attractions during migration season from July to November. Southern Right Whales can be seen from vantage points along the coast or on whale watching boat tours; dolphins can often be spotted too any time of the year.

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Snorkelling and SCUBA diving in the waters off the coast of Esperance and through the nearby Recherche Archipelago will afford you views of spectacular marine life, many of which cannot be seen anywhere else in the world, like the rare and majestic Leafy Sea Dragon pictured above. These waters are also home to the largest dive-able wreck in Australia, the 174 metre long Sanko Harvest, which is now a marine sanctuary filled with caves, swim throughs, and an amazing array of corals and marine life. The beautiful waters offer 20 to 30 metre visibility. The Recherche Archipelago is a group of 105 island and 1,500 islets off the south coast of Western Australia. The 270 kilometre stretch of ocean is an important aquatic wilderness area. The islands are mostly untouched by humans because they are inaccessible. That’s good news for the sea lions, seals, penguins, and black-footed wallaby that make the islands home. Southern Right whales take shelter in the safety of many of the bays in and around the island chain.

Places to go Around Esperance

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Of course, the beautiful white sand beaches and brilliant blue ocean are the biggest attraction in Esperance; however, there are still some fun holiday spots to visit in and around Esperance. You can take a drive down the Great Ocean Drive is a great way to experience some of the best highlights of the area. It is a 38 kilometre loop that lets you experience some of the most beautiful coastal scenery in the world including Twilight Beach, Rotary lookout, Western Power wind farms, Observatory Point, and Pink Lake. Here are a few other suggestions to consider seeing while in Esperance:

Esperance Bird and Animal Park

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For a hands-on experience that is fun for the whole family, check out the Esperance Bird and Animal Park. You can learn about and feed the animals there. It is a quaint and personalised place to visit where you can enjoy tea, eat in their café, or enjoy overnight accommodations.

Mermaid Leather

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Mermaid Leather is a shop in Esperance that is very popular for its unique process of tanning fish skin into a type of “leather”. They make purses, wallets, and leather accessories from the skin and give you a glimpse of the process. Visiting the family owned and run shop is more than just shopping, it is an experience a multimedia presentation and tour.

Pink Lake

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Pink Lake is located in Esperance and is one of a few pink coloured lakes in Australia. Pink Lake is not pink all the time; the colour varies from blue to purple to pink depending on the weather. The weather affects the algae levels in the lake. The algae in the lake is called dunlella salina, and it is salt tolerant. Salt is harvested from the lake and used to make table salt.

4 National Parks near Esperance

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When travelling around Esperance to the national parks, you can check with the Department of Parks and Wildlife for the latest road conditions. The phone number is 08 9083 2100. There are many national parks throughout Australia, but few places that you stay have so many different national parks within driving distance.

Stokes National Park

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Stokes National Park is a coastal park with inlets. It is about 80 km west of Esperance. The inlet is great for fishing and canoeing. You can also camp in the park. It is rustic camping because there are no power or water and you must carry all your rubbish out of the park.

Cape Le Grand National Park

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Cape Le Grand National Park is one of Australia’s most well-known national parks because of the sheer beauty of the park and the varied things to do and see in the park. It is 50 km to the east of Esperance. It is home to Lucky Bay, the whitest beach in Australia. You can also find kangaroos, hiking, walking tracks, sheltered bays, and camping facilities.

Cape Arid National Park

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Cape Arid National Park is 120 km east of Esperance. The park is filled with biodiversity and is more of a rugged landscape, rich with vegetation and brush. The Russel Range towers 600 metres high over the landscape. In addition to bushwalking, and walking trails in the park, you can do some bird watching with over 160 species of birds in the park or migrating through it at any one time. Camping is also available in four different camp grounds.

Fitzgerald River National Park

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Fitzgerald River National Park is one of the largest national parks in Australia, covering 329,039 hectares. It is about 200 kilometres west of Esperance, but the adventure in the park is worth the drive. It is described as a botanically significant national park because about 20 per cent of all of Western Australia’s plant life are found in the park. The park features diverse landscapes including ocean views and rugged, green topped mountain peaks. You can go hiking, walking, and camp in the park.