Our guide to the best things to do in Esperance will have you wanting to pack the car up and move down to this stunning corner of Western Australia forever.
Beautiful Esperance is quite an incredible place to experience.
In a vast country that overflows with outstanding natural scenery and unique landscapes, it’s difficult to truly narrow down the best places to visit in Australia.
Esperance though is a huge contender to be top of the list. Especially when it comes to beaches.
This remote town on the coast of Western Australia, east of Albany and south of Kalgoorlie, is home to some of the whitest sand in the world.
The surrounding national parks are scenic wonders, friendly kangaroos can be seen splashing along the water’s edge and the fairly isolated location means that it’s never that busy in Esperance.
The Best Things To Do In Esperance
Forget the east coast of Australia, this is where it’s really at. Here are the best things to do in Esperance!
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1) Visit Cape Le Grand National Park
Esperance is best known for its long stretches of pure, white sand. Sand that quite literally shimmers in the sunlight.
Sand that’s so bright it’s blinding.
The town of Esperance is surrounded by epic stretches of beach, but the best of the scenery is to be found just a short drive along the coast, within the Cape Le Grand National Park.
The national park covers a huge, wild area of coast, featuring beaches, bays and even a few mountain peaks.
The outdoor opportunities here are endless, with camping, fishing and hiking to name just a few of the activities you can get up to at Cape Le Grand National Park.
The town is surrounded by amazing nature and Cape Le Grand National Park is the most impressive out of the Esperance attractions.
The best way to get around is to rent a car and explore on your own! We recommend Rental Cars, which has the largest range of cars for the best value on the market.
2) Check Out Lucky Bay
Lucky Bay is one of the most impressive areas in Cape Le Grand National Park.
This long, wide bay is fringed by a sandy, white beach and granite outcrops.
A resident population of kangaroos have made their home on the beach and are possibly the tamest, friendliest animals you might meet in Western Australia.
Lucky Bay is best seen at sunrise or sunset, but luckily there’s a campsite looking right out over the sands where you can spend the night.
Looking for another epic beach destination in Western Australia? Check out our post on the best things to do in Broome!
3) Hang Out at Cape Le Grand Beach
If the sand at Lucky Bay wasn’t quite soft enough for you, then head along the coast to Cape Le Grand Beach.
This long, sandy beach seems to stretch endlessly along the shore, and as far as you walk it’s always blissfully soft, clean and pristine.
There’s a second campsite here at Cape Le Grand Beach, and it’s a beautiful spot to spend the night, to wake with the sea breeze and sunrise over the sands.
The beach here gives the national park its name, because, well… it’s just that good a beach. Deservedly so, Cape Le Grand Beach is a Esperance must see!
4) Don’t Miss Hellfire Bay
Hellfire Bay is a cozy, sandy bay surrounded by turquoise water.
It’s an excellent stop within Cape Le Grand National Park, and it’s even possible, if arduous, to walk here from Lucky Bay.
With picnic tables and a BBQ looking over the water, it’s a popular place for lunch in the national park.
5) Climb Frenchman’s Peak
Frenchman’s Peak might only be 262 meters in height, but in the otherwise flat landscape, it’s a domineering sight in Cape Le Grand National Park.
It’s an almost vertical, conical shape and the hike to the top is difficult, to say the least.
This grade 5 walk becomes a scramble over loose rocks and dodgy ledges to reach the summit and at times it feels like it’s more of a climb than a hike.
The views from the peak though are absolutely marvellous.
6) Walk the Esperance Esplanade
Once you’ve explored the scenic sights of Cape Le Grand National Park, it’s time to head back to the town of Esperance to find out what there is to do here too.
Start by walking along the long esplanade that runs along the length of the town’s shorefront harbour and bay.
There are lovely patches of grass, more than a few BBQs and plenty of restaurants and take away vans to try out.
Nothing quite beats a good meal of fish and chips overlooking the water.
7) Head up to Rotary Lookout
Rotary lookout at the far end of the Esplanade offers a great spot to finish a walk of Esperance’s shorefront, with sweeping views across the town to one side and across the vast coastline and sandy beaches to the other.
This might just be the best viewpoint on the south coast.
8) Wander the Esperance Markets and Museum
If you’re in town on a weekend, then head to the Esperance Markets.
Local shops and farmers bring their produce and goods to the historic Museum Park and set up among the old pioneer houses for a unique taste of local life that’s immersed in history.
The Esperance Museum is also in the small park and open all week.
Take a peek at an interesting insight into the European history of the area, and even houses the debris from Skylab, a NASA space station which burnt up in 1979, scattering parts over the area.
In a strange turn of events, Esperance even managed to successfully fine NASA many years later for littering.
- Location: central town location, a street back from the Esperance Foreshore
- Opening hours: every other Sunday from 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM
- Address: 6 James St
- Opening hours: every day from 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM
- Price: 8.50 AUD
9) The Great Ocean Drive
Next, jump in the car and make an epic journey around the best of the Esperance coastline.
There are plenty of famous drives in Australia, but few can match this short road trip for sheer beauty and raw vistas.
The drive only takes an hour or so – depending on how long you spend staring out to sea – but it really is a spectacular way to acquaint yourself with the coastline and beaches closest to the town.
This drive has made it to #1 in many articles listing most scenic drives in the world – and we have to agree! So rent a car because this is one of the unmissable Esperance tourist attractions.
While you’re on the west coast, don’t miss these 23 awesome things to do in Perth!
10) Be Amazed at Twilight Beach
The best of those beaches on The Great Ocean Drive is Twilight Beach, a place of golden sands and smooth, granite boulders.
The surrounding bay is usually a quiet place, perfect for relaxing on the beach or strolling along the water’s edge.
Definitely one of the best things to do in Esperance!
11) Get Curious at the Not So Pink Lake
On the edge of Esperance, can be found the Pink Lake.
Unfortunately, these days the name is a bit of a misnomer because the composition of the water has changed so much recently that the lake is no longer the vivid hues of pink it once was.
It’s still a beautiful, protected area, full of local wildlife in a peaceful setting.
Maybe one day they’ll change the name again, or not. Until then it still remains a top place to visit for those wondering what to do in Esperance.
12) Lake Hillier And the Recherche Archipelago
If you really want to experience the beauty of a vibrantly pink lake, then Lake Hillier is the place to see this.
Found in the Recherche Archipelago, it’s not easy to travel to here, but the views will be out of this world.
The Recherche Archipelago is found offshore from Esperance, and this group of a few small hundred islands is known to the locals as the Bay of Isles.
From many points on the mainland, you can see the many islands far off to sea, however, the only way to see Lake Hillier is to organise a trip out there of course.
If you have the money, the best route is to take a helicopter flight over the islands and over the lake.
The archipelago is a protected area, full of wildlife and uninhabited by humans, and it’s also possible to arrange a cruise to some of the larger islands.
Out of many things to see in Esperance this one is truly unique – how many pink lakes can you claim you’ve seen before?
13) Is That Stonehenge?
Stonehenge? In Esperance?
On the remote, southern coast of Western Australia? Yes. It sounds bizarre, and that’s because it is bizarre, but locals have for some reason or other erected a mock, smaller version of England’s most famous, historical attraction.
The Esperance Stonehenge is found in a field outside of the town and it’s pretty much, exactly what you are probably imagining right now, a small version of Stonehenge.
If you are running out of things to do in Esperance, or if you love the weird and wonderful, it’s always worth a quick visit, even if it’s just to wonder, why?!
14) Have a Drink at Lucky Bay Brewing
After all of this sightseeing around Esperance, you might be in need of a cold, refreshing drink.
If that’s the case, then head on over to Lucky Bay Brewing, the locally famous and best brewing company in town.
Lucky Bay Brewing – named after the famous bay of the same name of course.
It has been brewing craft beers using locally sourced ingredients for years, and although you can find it on tap behind most of the bars and pubs in Esperance, visiting the brewery will give you the chance to see how this small microbrewery puts it all together, to craft a delicious drink.
- Address: 63 Bandy Creek Rd
- Opening hours: every day from 11 AM – 6 PM
15) Head to Cape Arid
Once you’ve enjoyed all that Esperance has to offer, you will be wondering where you can travel to next that might compare in beauty to the coastline here.
Well, if you have a four by four and don’t mind a bit of a drive, then ‘down the road’ from Esperance you can find the much more remote and isolated Cape Arid National Park.
Access is by no means as easy as Cape Le Grand, but the scenery here is wild and raw, and very few people actually make it here.
A four by four is a must, but for the adventurous, it’s the perfect next stop after visiting Esperance.
What did you think of our list of what to do in Esperance? Leave a comment below and let us know!
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