A Day in Cape Le Grand National Park, Esperance

There aren’t many places in Australia where you can see kangaroos sunbaking on the beach, but at Cape Le Grand National Park this is just one of the many natural attractions on offer.

Located just under an hour’s drive from the coastal town of Esperance, Cape Le Grand is an incredible national park boasting beaches and bays, incredible hikes and climbs, sensational wildflowers in Spring, and so much more. If you’re embarking on The South West Edge 12-day itinerary, you’ll spend 2 days discovering this coastal paradise, and we recommend dedicating one of these days to Cape Le Grand National Park. Here are some of the must-do and must-see experiences to tick off before you head back inland on your journey home along The Edge.

Hike Frenchman’s Peak

As you drive through the national park and down towards the coastline, you’ll see Frenchman’s Peak standing tall above the surrounding landscape. It’s a steep walk to the summit, but once at the top, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the parks natural landscape on one side, and the southern coastline dotted with the island of the Recherche Archipelago on the other. The trail surface is made up of gravel pathways, wooden boardwalks and exposed granite, and the peak is on quite a slope, so we recommend you come prepared with appropriate footwear for this decent climb. Set off in the morning to see the amazing morning sunlight shining across the park from the top.

While you’re at the top, take note of the cave like structure that has formed, which is thought to have formed by wave action and underwater activity around 40 million years ago when Frenchman’s Peak would have been below sea level. Spend your time at the summit taking in the spectacular views, as you will truly feel at one with nature here.

Note: Do not attempt this climb when it’s raining as the rocks can become very slippery, and the weather at the top can be extremely windy especially in the cooler months.

Two wild kangaroos say hello to human on a white sandy beach
Lucky Bay Beach, Cape Le Grand National Park

There aren’t many places in Australia where you can see kangaroos sunbaking on the beach, but at Cape Le Grand National Park this is just one of the many natural attractions on offer.

Relax at the beaches and bays

We know Esperance is famous for its pristine coastline, with turquoise waters and some of the whitest beach sands on earth, and some of the best beaches can be found right here within Cape Le Grand National Park. Starting off with the famous Lucky Bay, a beach that’s famous for its resident kangaroos. In the warmer months, you can spot the Kangaroos lazing on the sands and soaking up the sun, sniffing at the seaweed as they hop around. They are happy to pose for a selfie or two, but we ask you do not feed them. Lucky Bay has been named Australia’s whitest beach, with the sand being so fine that it squeaks under your feet (we aren’t biased – it’s true!)

Along with Lucky Bay, there are other beaches which are just as beautiful and sure to take your breath away (and sometimes, with fewer people around). Hellfire Bay is a beautiful, secluded bay, with picnic facilities and amenities. This is a great place to take a dip in the ocean and admire the coastal edge behind you. Other bays and beaches include Rossiter Bay, Le Grand Beach, and Thistle Cove, where you can really hear the sounds of the crashing waves with the sculpted rock formations that ‘whistle’ with the sound of the wind. You’ll experience incredible beaches all the way along your South West Edge journey, and with Esperance being the last coastal stop, you’ll want to experience them all!

Explore the wildflowers in season

If you’re travelling along The Edge in the Spring months, you will be able to spot some incredible wildflowers along the way. The incredible display comes to life in Cape Le Grand National Park, bursting with colours and fields of plenty in September to October, which is sure to add an extra element to your adventure within the park. As you drive in and explore the winding roads, keep your eyes peeled for roadside blooms, as well as flowers further into the bushlands.

One of the most common wildflower plant families that you’ll find scattered across the park is the beautiful and well recognised Banksia family. These are nice and easy to spot and are also amazing to photograph. You can also keep on the lookout for Melaeucas, Grevillea, Sheoaks, Christmas Trees and Grass Trees. By the time you hit Esperance you will have experienced a myriad of wildflowers during this season, but we can guarantee you will never get sick of seeing them light up the natural landscape surrounding you.

Camp the night

There are two picturesque campgrounds located within Cape Le Grand National Park, both of which have incredible views and are great vantage points to explore the rest of the park. Both Lucky Bay campsite and the Le Grand Beach campsite have basic amenities, including a camp kitchen, ablution blocks, and a common area. Both campsites require payment, and if you’re travelling the South West Edge in the busier months of the year, be sure to book as these are both hotspots that tend to book out in advance.

As the sun dips and the day turns into night, settle in and get ready to experience an incredible sky full of stars. As Cape Le Grand is around 50 minutes away from Esperance town, there is little light pollution here, meaning the stars light up the sky in an incredible way. If you’re an avid stargazer, we’re sure you have your telescope packed for your journey, and this is a great place to set it up and explore the night sky.

Take a tour

As you’ve probably gathered by now, there is a lot to see and do within Cape Le Grand National Park, so we do recommend at least a full day here to experience as much as you can. If you’re shorter on time, can’t decide the best bits to see, or want someone to guide you through your national park experience, there are tours available for you to book, with knowledgeable tour guides to educate you on the park and answer any questions you may have. A half day tour with Esperance Tours showcases the best the park has to offer, including 4WD beach driving, morning tea at Lucky Bay, and a tailored tour can be as leisurely or as action packed as you like, so you can discover exactly what you want to within the park!

A drone photo of a lone person walking on a secluded beach with turquoise water and rugged coastal hills in the distance shows the epic landscapes of The South West Edge road trip
Lucky Bay, Cape Le Grand National Park

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