Feeling like truly getting away from the big smoke and putting some real distance between yourself and the city?
If you haven’t had the pleasure of exploring some of the country’s whitest beaches down in Esperance, well there’s no time like the present! Get planning with the help of this handy list of the best things to do around Esperance.
The Esperance to Perth drive isn’t for the faint of heart, taking almost eight hours if you limit the number of stops. If you’re wanting to maximise your time over a weekend in Esperance we recommend at minimum giving yourself an extra day either on the Friday or Monday to allow for travel.
Esperance has plenty of different accommodation to choose from, including AirBnBs, motels, caravan parks and more. One of the best is the recently redeveloped RAC Esperance Holiday Park, with an array of different options to pull up for the weekend including camp and caravan sites, self-contained villas, studios, and pet-friendly choices too. We recently went on a deep dive into what’s on offer HERE.
So you’ve got a couple of days to explore the beautiful white sandy beaches and thrilling national parks of Esperance, here’s our pick of the bunch including a few of the best food and drink places to fuel up on the run.
Beautiful beaches and hidden bays
If you follow us you’ll know we’re pretty obsessed with the beaches of Esperance – beaches that many do claim are some of the best in the world. If you’re staying at RAC Esperance Holiday Park, Esperance Bay across the road is very chill and family friendly, and from there your choices are endless! Eleven Mile Beach is popular and sheltered from prevailing winds; Lucky Bay is littered with kangaroos lazing around happy for a selfie or two; West Beach is the go-to spot for surfers in town; Twilight Bay is instantly iconic; Wylie Bay is a 4WD-only gem; and if you’ve got the time Wharton Beach is 100km out of town but absolutely worth the drive.
Cape Le Grande National Park & Frenchman Peak
For the adventurous types out there you’re gonna wanna designate a full day to exploring Cape Le Grande National Park, one of the country’s most spectacular. You’ll tick off a few of the beaches mentioned above on your travels, best enjoyed after conquering some of Cape Le Grande’s rugged coastal walks and mighty granite peaks, Frenchman Peak being the mightiest of them all.
A granite dome that resembles the hats worn by French troops in the 1800s, Frenchman Peak (Mandooboornup) stands out as a survivor of wind, water and the forces of nature that have eroded most of the surrounding landscape over the aeons. The hike to the summit is a short, sharp 2.5km although quite steep in places, and on your way down make sure to stop in its famous cave and take in some spectacular views.
Great Ocean Drive
Just a few kilometres out of town will get you started on the spectacular Great Ocean Drive, an almost-40km trip through the area’s incredibly unique coast. Lined with many of the beautiful beaches we’ve listed above, you’ll want to give yourself at least a few hours to ensure you can enjoy many of wonderful stop-offs along the way.
If you’ve got a little bit more time up your sleeve, Woody Island, Lake Hillier, Esperance Museum and the weird/wacky Esperance Stonehenge should definitely be added to the itinerary!
EATING & DRINKING
Downtown Espresso Bar
A trip to Esperance is not complete without a coffee from Downtown Espresso Bar. You’ll forget you’re 750km from the city when you step into this funky little coffee shop that’s famous for the best cold brew and turmeric lattes in town. It’s a hot spot for locals and tourists alike, making it a great place to people-watch while fueling up for a day of adventuring ahead.
Lucky Bay Brewing
That’s right, craft beer fans, Esperance has its own beer! After a dip in the Eleven Mile lagoon, continue out to the Lucky Bay Brewing microbrewery. Made with premium local barley, you can work your way through all eight brews. Lucky Bay Brewing run tours or you can just pop in for a paddle and take some chunky 1L cans to go.
With a thriving seafood industry, sampling Esperance’s local produce is a must. If you want it cooked by the best, pop into low-key seafood restaurant Fish Face. Owners Dalia and Craig Adams are the best in the business and serve up an ever-changing menu of local catch. Best of all, the restaurant is BYO so you can afford that extra serve of the best scallops on earth.
Taylor St Quarters
Offering one of the best outdoor dining spots in the state, Taylor Street Quarters‘ epic Esperance Bay views are only matched by their epic food, coffee, beer, wine and cocktails selections. With Lucky Bay Brewing on tap, live music in spring and summer and a huge grassy outdoor area, it makes for a dangerous Sunday session proposition – or any day of the week for that matter.
Bob & Jim’s
If you’re chasing the best fresh local produce to line your picnic hamper before a beach picnic, Bob & Jim’s is the place to go. Offering fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, eggs and dairy, small batch artisan wares, international specialist foods and more, why not save yourself the trouble and grab one of their incredible seasonal hampers.
The Pier Hotel
Every country town has that pub to go for a bit more fun on the weekends, and The Pier Hotel is that one-stop shop for a great pub feed, a few rounds of pool, or a late night boogie in the nightclub. The self-proclaimed “social networking hub” of Esperance, if you wanna make a few new local friends, The Pier is the place to be.