Israelite Bay is located 200km east of Esperance on Western Australia’s southern coastline. This fabulous fishing haven is accessible by four-wheel drive vehicles only, the two routes being 180km via Balledonia or the more popular 200km route from Esperance via Condingup along the Fisheries Track.
The Israelite Bay Track via Fisheries turns to four-wheel driving about 60km before your destination and you’ll encounter plenty of corrugations, dips, pot holes and eventually soft sand. Reducing tyre pressure to as low as 15 to 18 psi is highly recommended
. It is also advisable to check with the local Department of Environment and Conservation (ph 90832100) for current road conditions as they can deteriorate rapidly due to unfavourable weather and can become impassable. The drive in favourable conditions is unique and scenic passing mountain peaks, salt lakes and an abundance of beautiful wildflowers in an array of colours.
Towards the end of the track which is past mudflats alongside the salt lakes, turn left at the first fork in the road and left again at the T-junction towards the Australian Flag Poles
visible in the distance. The Aussie flags are signposted in various directions leading to the beach, camp sites, jetty, gravesite, telegraph station and Point Malcolm. There is also a historical old cottage located here, referred to as the “shack”.
Your first port of call when exploring new territory is undoubtedly the beach which is a short distance from the flag poles. There is plenty of coastline here to explore and fish from as you’ll find when you arrive. Protected bush camps
are just 100 metres from the beach and there’s plenty of shade. One downfall on our visit though was the unwelcome visitors, being ants, mosquitoes, march flies and mice, which didn’t cause too much damage but annoying all the same. Just come prepared with some ant powder to border your campsite, surface spray, insect spray, maybe a couple of mouse traps and definitely keep your sleeping quarters and vehicle closed, especially after sunset. The mice here aren’t bashful, they’ll search your vehicle for food and even get a free ride out of here (we only took two).
Fishing is the prime focus here, for most!
We spent many days and nights trying rock and beach fishing in a variety of locations and managed to catch plenty of Herring for bait, Skippy, Garfish, Salmon, Squid, Whiting, Flathead, Pike, Tailor, and 3 Bronze Whaler Sharks weighing in at 9kg each all putting up a nice fight on the way in.
Rock fishing off the points is definitely the best here, but remember to be wave cautious and steer well clear from the edge. We also encountered many unwanted species such as Stingrays, Blackfish and Rock Cod. Lost a lot of rigs too! Apparently the word is you do get Snapper and Mulloway off the beach here but unfortunately not on our visit.
Take note that the southerly and easterly winds which are common here can affect fishing opportunities. The weather is unpredictable all year round
so ideally it’d be best to plan at least a week out here and check the weather, but again it’s very hard to judge. We copped a lot of wind but still enjoyed wetting a line and dodging the showers (in January).
Fishing aside, there are plenty of tracks to explore out here, including the old ruins and the jetty. Take heed DO NOT attempt to drive along the beach to the jetty
, even on the top side. The beach is generally weed infested and we got insanely bogged in the dry-appearing, however, boggy weed and mud. We were so lucky we had two vehicles and the other one held back and had a winch (although we could have eventually recovered it ourselves but no doubt wasted a full day, that’s how much we sank). After 45 minutes of shovelling and clearing endless weed from beneath the chassis, being lucky enough to find two old wooden boards to place behind the back tyres and winching on 3 separate occasions, between shovelling, sweating and cursing we were out. This was definitely the worst bog we’ve gotten ourselves into yet, so don’t go there!
There is no fresh water, fuel or rubbish disposal facilities available in Israelite Bay, however, at the Condingup Roadhouse and Tavern 135km west of the bay you can purchase water, ice, diesel and unleaded fuels, counter meals, refreshments and general grocery items. There is also a tourist waste disposal unit just past the tavern so please cart your own rubbish out and remember to take garbage bags. Being a remote area with low traffic, unpredictable road conditions and high seas, it is also advisable to notify friends or relatives of movements prior to departure.
Israelite Bay is a fabulous fishing and camping getaway, regardless of the potential wind, rain and pests. If you come prepared for anything you’ll have an excellent time and hopefully get onto a fridge full of fish to feed on every night and take a few home with you as well.
Spoil yourselves on the way in or out of Israelite Bay and call into Cape Arid National Park
, the attraction being the magnificent, pristine coastline fringing the Duke of Orleans Bay
, which is about 20km southeast of Condingup. The beaches are superb, particularly Wharton Beach, which is 5km in off Orleans Bay Road. The stunning beach is accessible to four-wheel drive vehicles, is calm and protected and has a caravan park (offering fishing charters) just 3km down the road.
Fishing fanatics, in particular, do yourselves a favour and make the trip to Israelite Bay one day, another prime WA fishing spot to add to the list and hopefully a few decent catches to add to the brag board!
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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 Israelite Bay to Western Australia