We were looking forward to Esperance for so many reasons.
1. It was to be the start of our WA adventure
2. Brian came here 18 years ago for a windsurfing event (and hadn’t stopped talking about it since). Observatory Point is a top wave-sailing spot because the wind blows cross/off, and the water is magic.
3. Mum was arriving for an almost 2 week visit after not seeing Daisy since she was 3 weeks old. The boys were hugely excited!
4. What a relief to get some fresh food and fresh clothes after a week of free and bush camping.
5. Esperance is said to be home to some of Australia’s finest beaches.
6. The stunning Cape Le Grande National Park just down the road.
To be honest we had pretty high expectations…. And it didn’t disappoint!
As the gateway to Western Australia and the place most visitors come to after a hard slog across the Nullarbor Plain, Esperance is a small town with a big port and a beautiful caravan park. The town itself was a bit drab, but they are working on what looks like a fabulous foreshore development so if you come and visit in another 4 years or so, I think it will be significantly nicer.
The Seafront Caravan Park was such a nice place to base ourselves. Both Brian and Mum had stayed there before on their respective past visits. We found this awesome marina-front bar that we visited again and again for its perfect atmosphere, beautiful view, and box of toys.
It didn’t even matter that the toys were really crappy and the beer was quite overpriced. It was still the best place to spend a Sunday arvo, and a Wednesday, and a Monday….
We had a couple of days of weather perfection. A great excuse to hang out at the beaches just south of town on the other ‘Great Ocean Road’.
Nanna was certainly kept busy at West Beach.
Twilight Beach keeps getting voted the best beach in Australia, and it’s easy to see why:
The refreshing crystal clear waters are complemented by interesting and beautiful boulders and pure white sand. The water was pretty chilly, but we still went for a swim because, well, you just had to! A few years ago, 20 people were stranded over on that small round island which is about 50 metres off shore. They had all swam over there, then a 7 metre shark was spotted, so they had to get ferried back to the mainland!
Another great attraction in Esperance is the museum.
It’s one of those things we wouldn’t normally have done, but with Mum being all eager, we went along and were suitably impressed with the huge and very well preserved collection. It was all set off by the vehicles and farm equipment and this old crane outside.
Cape le Grande National Park has 2 campgrounds, and, everyone we had spoken to had said they were notoriously hard to get in to as they were so popular. We heard tales of people lining up from 2am just to be sure of getting one of the coveted and limited sites.
Getting there too early was simply unacheiveable for the likes of us as we had to do a bit of a reshuffle to fit Mum and her oversized luggage in. (Oversized thanks to the mountains of hand-me-downs for Daisy and Dash that I had stored Lisa’s house! I sent the same amount of stuff in size 000 back with her! Thanks Mum! Daisy is loving the Millie collection!)
So, as we rolled on into the National Park at around 10am, we really didn’t have high hopes of getting a site. But, luckily for us, there were 4 to chose from on that day! Woohoo!
And it was easy to see why the place is so popular!
We stayed at Le Grande Beach which has the most amazing sunsets over the water. If you follow our Instagram account, you probably got sick of the sunset shots while we were there but they were just so darn good!
We did a little bit of the Coastal Trail that runs 15kms along the whole park from Le Grande Beach to Rossiter Bay.
The campground is just at the bottom of that hill we climbed. The boys had fun clambering up the rocks but wanted a lift along the boring pathways. Actually, they were anything but boring! The scrub here is just so pretty! It’s like walking through the botanic gardens again. When you think about the scrub in QLD and it’s all lantana and guinea grass, this just does not compare!
Hellfire Bay was the pick of the beaches.
The water was so clear that Mum was able to find her glasses again after a wave had knocked them off. You wouldn’t get that at Seaforth!
And what better end to a beach day than a with cup of tea on the beach!
For Mum, a cup of tea is always worth the (considerable) effort!
Lucky Bay is the famous beach here, it has been voted Australia’s whitest beach.
And while it was stunning, sorry but it still doesn’t come close to Whitehaven.
And it was absolutely choked at one end by a mountain of seaweed.
Rossiter Bay was the same, seaweed-wise.
We had sunny days, and then we had some rainy days.
But that didn’t dampen our spirits!
Brian and I climbed Frenchman’s Peak one afternoon,
It was one of the most fun climbs we have ever done. Maybe because it was scaling up the rocks, maybe because we had it all to ourselves and left the kids in the van with Mum.
We love the kids, but gee we appreciated the couple of hours to ourselves! The hike was so good, Brian did it again the next morning with Mum!
There was plenty of wildlife:
And the scenery was lovely.
No trip to this region would be complete without a stay in this gorgeous park.
But, as all good things must come to an end, we finally had to go back to reality and to Mum’s flight out of Esperance.
Bye Nanna! Your Grandkids and us really enjoyed your stay, and I know you did too! And we proved without a doubt that you can easily fit 6 people in the Jayco Eagle!
Here’s a big wave goodbye!