Distance from Perth: 697km (7 hours 26 minutes)

Known for: Best beaches in the world. Kangaroos on the beach. National parks.

Esperance is home to some of the whitest beaches in the world. Here you can explore the numerous lagoons and beaches along the breathtaking 40km loop of the Great Ocean Drive, sip on refreshments at the local brewery, sample local produce and take in the town museums and craft shops, before watching a sunset at twilight.



The nearby Lucky Bay in Cape Le Grand National Park lives up to its name in plenty of ways – translucent water and sand like icing sugar, not to mention sunbaking kangaroos! Explore other stunning beaches around Esperance via coastal walk trails – hike up Frenchman Peak or soak up the impressive turquoise ocean views of Hellfire Bay. Or for a bird’s eye view, take a scenic flight to witness the striking juxtaposition of bubblegum pink Lake Hillier on Middle Island against the blue ocean.

Lucky Bay

The nearby Lucky Bay in Cape Le Grand National Park lives up to its name in plenty of ways – translucent water and sand like icing sugar, not to mention sunbaking kangaroos! Cape Le Grand National Park is a chocolate box of natural treats, but this standout attraction is its must-visit. Famous for its troop of resident roos, which can be found on the beach almost all day every day, it’s also a wonderful swimming spot (in fact, its sheltered waters are the reason why Matthew Flinders named this bay “Lucky” when exploring in 1802). Admire the unusual water colour – a translucent iced mint that seems to glow – before a freshwater shower in the sunshine by the walking track.

Lake Hillier

How pink can a pink lake be? Soar past Lake Hillier and you’ll soon have your answer.

There’s no chance of missing this natural spectacle on a scenic flight (you’ll see famous Lucky Bay from above, too). The lake’s hard-to-believe hue is a natural phenomenon resulting from bacteria found in the waters, turning the water a fluorescent pink shade you’ll snap again and again. It’s located on Middle Island, off the Esperance coastline – a spot you can actually explore on foot, if you choose instead to take a helicopter tour. Land by the beach and take the short walk to admire its gem-coloured tones from the on-ground viewing area, cordoned off to protect its precious pH balance. There’s plenty more to see and do – picnic on the beach by an almost 100-year-old shipwreck, spot dolphins and sea lions playing by the foreshore, or hunt for the grave of Matthew Flinders’ right-hand man, said to be buried here. There’s even a set of ruins to be explored, thought to be left by Australia’s first and only pirate, Black Jack.

Hellfire Bay

Located within Cape Le Grand National Park is Hellfire Bay.

This secluded beach nestled between giant, granite rocks, boasts some of the most impressive turquoise ocean views in Western Australia. As this beach is a little less well known than nearby Lucky Bay, you may even be lucky enough to have the entire beach to yourself, making you feel like you’re on your own private island. The Recherche Archipelago sits in the distance, with the silhouettes of islands popping up through the ocean. This scenic bay is a perfect spot to swim in calm conditions followed by a picnic on the sand, with barbecue facilities at hand.

Frenchman Peak

The climb to Frenchman Peak in Cape Le Grand National Park is a lot like the trajectory of a firework short, steep and definitely memorable.

It takes just 40 minutes to reach the top of this local icon (though you may take longer if you stop to enjoy the views en route), but it’s no casual stroll. Follow the markers as you curve around the east side of the mountain; the walking path presently turns into something more like a scramble as you navigate the rocky incline on approach to the summit. Arrive to spectacular views stretching over the park, along the coastline and out to the islands at sea; a bonus vantage point, framed by the mouth of a cave-like rock formation, is on offer when you retrace your steps back down the mountain. Make sure you’re wearing appropriate footwear.

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