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Esperance - An ‘Insta-Perfect’ Destination

Ben Hall

Outed by social media photography in recent months, the isolated Western Australia coastal town of Esperance had been dubbed Australia’s best kept secret. The reason? Besides being an unspoiled enclave on the Great Southern Ocean, it has simply stunning coastline scenery creating the ‘Insta-perfect’ backdrop for photographers and nature lovers. The lineup includes pristine, snow white beaches, the curious bubblegum pink Lake Hillier, crystal clear turquoise water resembling the tropics, untouched coastal scrub, and more than 100 islands scattered offshore. So if you fancy heading to this small slice of paradise anytime soon to check it out, here’s what you need to know.


Esperance is located in the Goldfields-Esperance region on the Southern Ocean, approximately 720 kilometres east-southeast of Perth at the southern end of the Coolgardie-Esperance Highway and the eastern end of the South Coast Highway. It’s around a seven-and-a-half hour drive from the WA state capital, or a one-and-a-half hour flight, around four driving hours from Albany, and a more significant 22 driving hours from Adelaide.

General Information 

This petite town is home to a population of over 10,000 individuals, and it enjoys a Mediterranean climate with warm, dry summers, and cool wet winters. Esperance is so small that it has no traffic lights, and local sand dunes, pushed by the famous ’Esperance Doctor’ winds tower 50 to 60 metres high, and there are places on the roads where sand has drifted like snow. When some space debris from NASA’s Skylab crashed into Esperance, the council charged the space agency $400 for littering - the bill wasn’t paid. Esperance is also home to the Lucky Bay Brewery which makes brews using local grains including a Thistle Cove Scottish Ale and a Wharton Witbier. 

Where To Stay 

There is quite a wide variety of accommodation on offer from tourist parks and self contained cabins, to private homes through agencies such as Airbnb and a few resorts. Some accommodation is dog friendly. Ideal for couples, however, Esperance Island View Apartments is a 10 minute walk from the town centre overlooking the beach, and is a collection of contemporary one to three-bedroom townhouse-style apartments equipped with kitchens and furnished balconies or patios with BBQ grills, washer/dryers, flat-screen TVs, stereos and free Wi-Fi. Some boast ocean views.

Eating And Drinking

The local restaurants and cafes have recorded a boom since Esperance was “discovered”. Places to check out include the Pier Hotel, which has pub grub plus plenty of beers on tap including a local Pale Ale from Lucky Bay Brewery, the Downtown Espresso Bar for your daily caffeine fix, and Fish Face for seafood and fish (including takeaway). For the location alone, the Lucky Bean at Lucky Bay is a mobile truck which serves coffee with a view, and further afield the Gibson Soak Hotel, which is 26 kilometres north of the town, has historical value and is famous for generous lunches. 


Check out the local scenery from the air with a Scenic Flight with Goldfields Air Services or cruise among the many off shore islands on a tour with Esperance Island Cruises. And if you want to take the hard work out of driving, Esperance Eco Discovery Tours can whisk you away to Cape Le Grand, Lucky Bay, and further beyond in a comfy 4WD. 

What Else To See

Esperance is a wonderful location for whale watching. Between June and October Southern Right whales can be spotted from the bays close to the town, and in sheltered coves within the local national parks. The Recherche Archipelago spans the coastline featuring more than 100 smooth, rock islands including Middle Island where you'll find the bright pink Lake Hillier. There are countless white sand beaches which can be seen and enjoyed on the 38 kilometre Great Ocean Drive, including Twilight Bay, famous for translucent, turquoise waters and sculpted rock formations, and Lucky Bay in the Cape Le Grand National Park (see below). Esperance is also home of the world’s only full size replica of Stonehenge, made from local pink granite, and created as a quirky attraction on a cattle property in 2011.  

The National Parks 

About 60 kilometres east of Esperance is Cape Le Grand National Park, a vast landscape featuring low scrub, towering mountain and isolated beaches. Its main drawcard is the stunning Lucky Bay, often frequented by kangaroos, and home to a public campground. Cape Arid National Park is a more rugged experience for those who enjoy adventure touring, and it should only be attempted by 4WD.  






Destination WA - Scenic flight over Esperance 03:01

There are many ways to discover WAs best kept secret, Esperance. Few are better than seeing it from the air. You really get a sense of its beauty and geography.

  • Destination WA - Scenic flight over Esperance
    Destination WA...
    There are many ways to discover WAs best kept secret, Esperanc...
  • Destination WA - Lucky Bean Cafe
    Destination WA...
    Located 810kms south-east of Perth and 80kms out of Esperance ...

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