The stunning coastal town of Esperance is located 483km east of Albany and is often referred to as the Bay of Isles. The Esperance coastline boasts miles of the whitest sand in Australia and absolutely brilliant blue water scattered with some 100 islands making up the Recherche Archipelago. The views are unbelievable.
The town itself is bustling with activity particularly in the warmer months. The Esplanade strip along the town foreshore is lined with pine trees and green grass and has numerous jetties, boat ramp, jet-ski launching area, ample parking, and picnic areas with gas barbeques.
Tanker Jetty is 670m long and is located at the top end of the Esplanade. The jetty is a very popular spot for fishing, walking and simply enjoying the surroundings. An artificial reef lies at the end of the jetty and is frequently explored by snorkeling and diving enthusiasts. Sea Lions often visit the jetty in hope of feeding on fishermen’s leftovers.
The perfect way to see all the magnificent sights Esperance has to offer is by following the Great Ocean Drive which is a 38km loop beginning at the southern end of the Esplanade and finishing up back in town.
The first port of call along Great Ocean Drive is Rotary Lookout, on Wireless Hill, which is a short climb up a spiral staircase to panoramic views of the Esperance town site, the beautiful coastline and surrounding islands.
The first beach you’ll come across is West Beach, a popular surfing spot. Swimming can be dangerous amongst the waves here but the lagoon pools behind the long section of reef are ideal. Dogs are permitted off the lead on this beach providing they are well behaved and are cleaned up after.
Further along is Blue Haven Beach which has a protected bay area perfect for frolicking and swimming. The protective rock edge is ideal for fishing from and exploring on. Dogs are permitted at this beach.
Next is another dog friendly beach, being Salmon Beach. The rocky shores are the perfect playground for inquisitive pets and the rocky point area for the keen fishermen.
Fourth Beach is very scenic and popular with surfers and fishermen alike. Dogs are also allowed on the beach.
Twilight Beach is the most popular due to its calm protected waters and fabulous scenery. The perfect beach for families, kids swimming and playing, building sandcastles and kicking back enjoying the sun and surrounds. Walk around the rocks and enjoy views of islands, beaches and the bright blue Southern Ocean. Outdoor showers are provided here and lifeguards and Mr Whippy are present during busy periods. Dogs are prohibited at this popular family beach.
The next point of interest is Observatory Point. Climb the long wooden staircase to reach the breathtaking observation platform. Appreciate the stunning views for miles of the southern coastline, Cape Le Grand National Park, Southern Ocean and Recherche Archipelago.
The coastline changes dramatically at Nine Mile Beach, becoming limestone and granite. There is a protected swimming lagoon behind reef around the corner of the cliffs and plenty of rocky areas for snorkeling in suitable conditions. The town’s new Wind Farm is also located behind the beach.
Ten Mile Lagoon is a great swimming spot with stretches of reef close to shore, forming a shallow protected channel with warmer water temperatures. Toilets are provided and dogs are permitted here. Esperance’s original Wind Farm is located behind the beach.
Free Beach is located 200m down from Ten Mile Lagoon and is accessible on foot. Nude bathing is permitted at Free Beach.
Eleven Mile Beach looks stunning from the lookout above. This is another swimming beach with protective reef forming shallow plunge pools. Four-wheel drive beach access is available off tracks between Nine Mile and Eleven Mile Beaches.
After enjoying the spectacular Esperance coastline, Pink Lake is the last attraction along the Great Ocean Drive. At high salinities, temperatures and light, the salt tolerant algae in the lake accumulates red pigment for protection against the extremities, thus resulting in a pink lake on various occasions.
The Great Ocean Drive scenic loop takes you back to the Esperance town centre.
North of town is the Bandy Creek Boat Harbour, a nice calm spot to cast a line in the water, take the dog for a swim or simply relax on the beach. There is access to beaches on either side of the harbor via Daw Drive and Bandy Creek Road. Four-wheel drives are permitted on the beaches.
Wylie Bay is a beautiful area with views of pure white sand dunes, islands and Cape Le Grand National Park in the distance. This bay is a very popular spot for fishing, swimming, trail bike riding and four-wheel driving. Wylie Bay is also the starting point for the 22km beach drive to Cape Le Grand National Park and what a stunning drive it is (see Cape Le Grand section for more details). If you’re planning a trip to Cape Le Grand and have a four-wheel drive then we highly recommend this beach drive. The sand is like a highway close to the water, just be aware of tidal activity and know when to let your tyres down if the sand becomes too soft to handle. Wylie Bay is accessed via Bandy Creek Drive and dogs are permitted on the beach.
Esperance and its surrounds are a picturesque highlight of southern Western Australia, some of the best coastal scenery in the country. Comparable to The Great Ocean Drive which is also renowned as one of the most spectacular self drive routes in Australia.
Click here for climate statistics for Australian locations (provided by the Bureau of Meteorology)
Destinations in Western Australia
Cape Le Grand
Cape Range National Park
Eighty Mile Beach
Fitzgerald River National Park
Gibb River Road
Kalbarri National Park
Kennedy Range National Park
Porongurup National Park
Port Denison Dongara
Torndirrup National Park
Wellington National Park
William Bay National Park
Return from Esperance to Western Australia