By Australian standards the Esperance
region certainly has had a long history of maritime exploration.
Early Dutch records from 1627 indicate that Pieter Van Nuyts first
discovered the south western Australian coastline, sailing from
Cape Leeuwin to offshore islands near present day Ceduna, in South
Sunset Strip on Esperance's Esplanade
Later maritime explorations of the Esperance
area included those made by Captain Bruni D'Entrecasteaux in 1792.
In charge of two French vessels - L'Esperance and La Recherche
- D'Entrecasteaux was commissioned to search for a long vanished
explorer named La Perouse. Whilst the search for La Perouse proved
to be in vain, nevertheless valuable scientific discoveries were
made, including compiling the world's first major collection of
unique Western Australian flora.
Esperance's long association with maritime
exploration continued when Matthew Flinders made the first accurate
charts of the Recherche Archipelago in 1802. In later years Esperance's
waters were home to sealers and a host of itinerant whaling ships
searching for valuable Right Whales.
Land exploration of the Esperance region
can be said to have begun in 1841. At the time Edward John
Eyre and his aboriginal companion Wylie were involved in a do
or die struggle to cross the Nullarbor, desperately hoping to
reach the safety the King George's Sound settlement. Suffering
from starvation and exposure, Eyre and Wylie nearly came to grief
at nearby Lucky Bay. Good fortune was on their side however, and
the pair were miraculously rescued by Captain Rossiter, the English
master of a French whaling ship named the "Mississippi."
Captain Rossiter rescued Eyre at Lucky Bay
Permanent European settlement of Esperance
commenced with the arrival of the Dempster family from Northam
in 1863. Accompanied by 500 sheep and 200 horses, the Dempster
brothers were granted vast grazing leases encompassing all of
present day Esperance. The Dempsters prospered and within a few
years waves of pioneering graziers came flooding in, opening up
the Salmon Gum country to the north, and later spilling over onto
the arid lands of the Nullarbor.
Western Australia's Goldrush of the 1890s
saw Esperance rise to prominence as a commercial port with strong
sea links to the eastern states. At the time Esperance served
as transit point for thousands of gold diggers, and of its 1000
permanent residents, many were said to have originated from Adelaide.
In time, production of Western Australia's Goldfields declined,
and with it so too did Esperance's importance as a port. Compounding
Esperance's decline was the controversial construction of a rail
link between Perth and Kalgoorlie in 1897.
From 1912 onwards, successive Western Australian
governments promoted the development of a cereal growing industry.
Plagued by poor soils however, Esperance's wheat belt proved to
be a marginal economic proposition for many years. Throughout
the depression years of the 1930s Esperance's farming community
endured staggering bankruptcy rates approaching 75%. In 1949 salvation
came to hand when the Esperance Plains Research Station discovered
the wheat belt was deficient in phosphorous, and copper and zinc
trace elements. Judicious top dressing of the soil with superphosphate
and trace elements remedied the situation, and Esperance's farming
community returned to profitability.
Visitor Centre - Corner Dempster and Kemp Streets
When visiting Esperance, Nullarbor
Net recommends your first port of call should be the Esperance
Visitor Centre. Here visitors can obtain a copy of Experience Esperance's Booklet
which will definitely assist assist you in navigating your way around Esperance - and moreover,
give you an excellent idea of what the area has to offer. Accommodation
and tour bookings can be made here. Esperance's Visitor Centre can be contacted by telephoning
(08) 9083 1555 or faxing (08) 9071 4543.
contact email@example.com. Website
information about Esperance and the surroundings can be found at found at: www.visitesperance.com.
Plenty of Sun, Sand, Surf,
TransWA operates an extensive network
of bus services which link through to Perth, Albany, Norseman,
Kalgoorlie and other towns on the Western Australian Goldfields.
Services operate on a daily basis and bookings can be made with TransWA
directly on 1300 662 205, or by calling the Esperance Visitors Centre on (08) 9083 1555.
Buses stop at the bus station located on the corner of Dempster
and Kemp streets. Esperance Visitor Centre also acts as an agent
operates daily services between Perth and Esperance. Bookings can be made by calling them on 1300 660 088.
Alternatively for online bookings and flight schedules visit www.skywest.com.au.
Flights last for about 80 minutes or so. Skywest bookings can also be made at Esperance's
Visitor Centre located in the Museum Village, on Dempster Street.
Flight bookings can also be made at Skywest's Perth Offices.
Driving Distances - South Western Australia
Below you will find a driving distance calculator for destinations in South Western Australia through to Perth from Esperance. The distances are meant to be used as a rough guide and readers should note that there are often many different route alternatives - hence possible variations compared to your actual chosen route. A really great resource for Western Australian route maps can also be found at theWA Royal Automobile Club. Definitely highly recommended!
Esperance Backpackers Accommodation
Blue Waters YHA lodge is located at
299 Goldfields Road. Blue Waters is conveniently
located a hop, skip and a jump from Esperance's beautiful foreshore.
Bookings and further information can be obtained by telephoning
or faxing (08) 9071 1040. Email contact firstname.lastname@example.org.Web Site Information
Caravan Parks and Self-Contained Accommodation
La Plage Holiday Home and Self Contained Units
La Plage has a holiday home which accommodates up to 10 people, and a number of family friendly accommodation units that accommodate up to 4 or 5 people. La Plage is located within easy walking distance of a shopping centre, restaurant and bottle shop. Esperance town centre is just three minutes drive away. For further information telephone 08 90714648. Website information www.la.plage.com.au/
Pine Grove Holiday resort
is located at 817 Harbour Road. Pine Grove offers 1 and 2 bedroom
chalets suitable for up to 6 people. Budget Park Cabins suitable
for 2 to 6 people are available and come complete with self cooking
facilities. Quality 2 and 4 bedroom apartments are available and
suitable for up to 10 people. Powered caravan sites can be hired,
some with en suite facilities. Tent sites are also available.
Other facilities include barbecues, camp kitchen and playground.
Dogs are only permitted on camp sites. For bookings and further information telephone
(08) 9071 4100 or fax (08) 9071 5100. Email contact email@example.com.
Esperance Bay Holiday Park (Top Tourist chain)
is located at 162 Dempster Street. Esperance Bay Holiday Park
offers 6 berth self contained chalets and park cabins. Powered
caravan sites and camping facilities are also available. Other
facilities include barbecues, a playground and TV Room. Dogs are
not permitted. For further information telephone or fax (08) 9071
2237. Email contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Website information www.big4.com.au.
Esperance Seafront Caravan Park (Top Tourist chain)
is located on Goldfields Road. Esperance Seafront Caravan Park
offers fully self contained brick 3 bedroom holiday units. Covering
10 acres this Park offers 177 caravan and tent sites. On site
caravans are also available for hire. Other facilities include
camp kitchen, enclose patio adjacent to a delicatessen and a large
barbecue area. Dogs are not permitted. Esperance Seafront Caravan
Park is situated near the beach and a fishing jetty. For further
information telephone (08) 9071 1251 or fax (08) 9071 7003. Email
contact email@example.com. Website information:
Lake Tourist Park is located
at 113 Pink Lake Road. Situated 2 kilometres from the Post Office,
Pink Lake Tourist Park offers a number of villas, modern en suite
cabins and budget cabins. Pink Lake Caravan Park has 68 caravan
sites and a number of on site vans for hire. Other facilities
include camp kitchen, barbecues and children's playground. Pets
are permitted if well behaved. Email and fax facilities are
available. For further information telephone (08) 9071 2424 or
fax (08) 9071 5075. Email contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: www.pinklakepark.com.au
Bushlands Caravan Park
is situated on Collier Road. Located 7 kilometres from Esperance
this caravan park offers basic and well maintained cabins, along with
powered and unpowered camp sites.
Orleans Bay Caravan Park
is situated on Wharton Road, 88 kilometres east of Esperance -
on Duke of Orleans Bay. Orleans Bay Caravan Park offers chalets,
park homes, and both powered and unpowered sites. Barbeucue facilities
are available and dogs are permitted. Situated between Cape Le
Grand and Cape Arid National Parks, this caravan park might well
serve as a base to explore further afield. For further information
please telephone (08) 9075 0033 or fax (08) 9076 6006.
Esperance Hotel and Motel Accommodation
Esperance has a large number and variety
of Hotel/Motel and Bed and Breakfast facilities. Travelers can
expect prices to range from budget through to four star top of the range accommodation.
Nullarbor Net suggests you contact the Esperance Visitor Centre
to obtain further detailed information. Esperance Visitor Centre
can be contacted by telephoning (08) 9083 1555 or fax (08) 9071
4543. Booking enquiries can be made at email@example.com.
Alternative website information can be found at www.travelaustralia.com.au
Esperance Municipal Museum -
Corner Esplanade and James Streets
Regional Western Australia is home
to many fine museums and Esperance's Municipal Museum is no exception.
Esperance's museum has a diverse collection with displays covering
the region's early pioneering history, maritime exhibits and farm
machinery. A unique feature of the museum is the world's most
comprehensive display of NASA Skylab memorabilia. Skylab was America's
first space station and plummeted to the earth in 1979 - to the
northeast of Esperance. While we're on the subject, Nullarbor
Net wishes to take this opportunity to thank the U.S. taxpayer
for funding this unique display! Well worth a visit, Esperance's
Municipal Museum is open daily from 1-30 PM to 4-30 PM. For further
information please telephone or fax (08) 9071 1579. Email contact
Ocean Drive - West
of Esperance's Town Centre
Esperance's Great Ocean Drive is a
38 kilometre ring road that takes the traveller past some of Australia's
best coastal scenery. Unforgettable panoramic views of the Recherche
Archipelago can be seen from Rotary Lookout. Dotted along the
coast are a succession of exquisitely sculpted granite headlands
and a string of white windswept beaches. Surfers can catch waves
at West Beach and Twilight Cove offers itself as a fine swimming
beach. Nearby at 10 mile Lagoon and Salmon Beach travellers can
get some close up views of Esperance's electricity generating
wind farms. Returning to Esperance is Pink Lake, and when in colour
this salt lake really is pink. Nullarbor Net really does recommend
you spend a few hours on the Great Ocean Drive.
Great Ocean Drive Scenic Views
Cape Le Grand
Cape Le Grand is located 56 kilometres
east of Esperance. Travellers will find this national park studded
with rugged granite headlands and beautiful bays such as Hellfire
Bay, Thistle Cove and the very popular Lucky Bay. Straddling the
coastline visitors will find bush walking trails with sweeping
views to offshore islands. Those of you who enjoy fishing remote
areas should note that boats can be launched from Lucky Bay. Located
within the south western corner of the national park are a series
of spectacular outcrops named Mount Le Grand, Frenchman's Peak
and Mississippi Hill. Cape Le Grand is home to many unique species
of native wildflowers and these can be seen in full bloom between
September and November.
caravan and camping sites can be found at both Le Grand Beach
and Lucky Bay. Dogs are not permitted within the park however.
Visitors should note that camping fees are charged in addition
to park entry fees. Cape Le Grand National Park is definitely
one of Australia's unique national parks. For further information
please contact the Department of Environment and Conservation
(DEC) by telephoning (08) 9083 2100 or alternatively view a local
mud map and the area's local attractions at DEC's Cape
Le Grand Website.
Cape Arid National Park
Cape Arid National Park is located
120 kilometres east of Esperance. For travellers remote Cape Arid
offers stunning coastal scenery, rugged granite peaks, excellent
swimming , bushwalking and recreational fishing opportunities.
Amongst bird watchers Cape Arid is known to be home to endangered
Western Ground Parrots, and other rare species such as Carnaby's
Black Cockatoo, the Cape Barren Goose and Australasian Bittern.
of Cape Arid National Park is really only suitable for 4 wheel
drive vehicles. Conventional vehicles can drive to Thomas River
which is located in the south western corner of the national park.
At Thomas River visitors will find camp sites overlooking Yokinup
Bay. Nearby at Dolphin Cove and Tagon Bay, Southern Right Whales
can sometimes be seen - usually between June and October. These
areas can be accessed by walking trails as can nearby Lake Boolenup.
Campers are advised to bring their own drinking water. When travelling
to Cape Arid it is best to obtain local advice beforehand and
Nullarbor Net recommends you contact Esperance's Department of Environment and Conservation
Office (DEC) by telephoning (08) 9083 2100.
DEC's Esperance office is located on 92 Dempster Street. Alternatively
view DEC's Cape
Arid Web Site. - this information would be of particular interest
to birdwatchers and naturalists.
With 140 granite islands and numerous rocky islets Esperance can
rightly lay claim to being one of the top 10 diving sites in Australia.
From a diver's perspective Esperance's waters offer excellent
visibility. Within the Recherche Archipelago divers will find
numerous granite walls, boulders, large caves and a couple of
wrecks - the largest and most notable of the 2 being the Sanko
Harvest at 174 metres long. Located 21 nautical miles from Esperance,
the Sanko Harvest has broken up into 3 sections lying in 15 to
42 metres of water. A large number of shore dives can also be
found in the Esperance area. For the casual diver the most accessible
of these is an artificial reef located off the end of Esperance's
Tanker Jetty. Divers should note the artificial reef is a no fishing
Esperance Charter and Tour Operators
Aussie Bight Expeditions
offer half day Beach Tours to Cape Le Grand National Park, and
full day tours that take in both Cape Le Grand and Duke of Orleans Bay.
During the wildflower season Aussie Bight Expeditions also offer 4 wheel drive half
and full day Wild Flower Tours. For further information contact Aussie Bight Expeditions
by telephoning 0427 536 674. Alternatively Email contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Island Cruises offer daily wildlife cruises around Esperance's
Bay of Isles. A stopover is also made at nearby Woody Island where
camping and eco tourism accommodation is available. Mackenzie's
Island Cruises is located at 71 The Esplanade. For further information
telephone (08) 9071 5757 or fax (08) 9071 4993. Email contact
Website information can be found at www.woodyisland.com.au.
Esperance Diving and Fishing
offers PADI accredited diving courses. Esperance Diving and Fishing
specialise in SCUBA and snorkelling tours, fishing charters, whale
watching tours and scenic cruises. Diving equipment is also sold
and hired. Ask here for diving and fishing information. Esperance
Diving and Fishing is located at 72 The Esplanade. For further
information telephone (08) 9071 5111 or fax (08) 9071 5550. Mobile
phone no. 0417 707 345. Email contact email@example.com
Website information www.esperancedivingandfishing.com.au.
Esperance Air Service offers
45 minute flights along Esperance's picturesque sapphire blue
coastline. Flying in a Cessna 210 you can expect stunning views
of Cape Le Grand, Luck Bay and the Islands of the Recherche Archipelago.
This is certainly a unique way to view Esperance's Bay of Isles.
Esperance Air Service can be contacted by telephoning (08) 9071
1467. Mobile phone no. 0418 912 210.
Esperance Eco Discovery Tours offers a personalised 4 Wheel Drive tour.
With a more personalised tour vehicle you can choose from Half Day, Full Day,
2 hour Great Ocean Drive and even your own Tag-a-long Tour. A Half Day tour
heads out along a 50km stretch of beach to Cape le Grand where you have
a complementary morning tea, along the way you stop off for exciting activities
like sand boarding etc, and don’t forget the 46 meter rock climb in the vehicle
on the way home. For further information contact Esperance Eco Discovery Tours
by telephoning 0407 737 261. Email contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit
the website at www.esperancetours.com.au
Kepa Kurl Eco Cultural Discovery Tours offers a cultural experience of Esperance.
With the option of Half Day, Full Day and Tag-a-long Tour/Over Night Tours.
This tour is like no other where you have a whole new perspective of Esperance
by a Local Aboriginal elder. Listen to the stories, find bush foods, see the Rock
Art and learn how to survive out in the bush. For further information contact Kepa
Kurl Eco Cultural Discovery Tours by telephoning 0418 913 414. Email contact email@example.com
or visit the website at www.kepakurl.com.au
Duke Charters & Tours also operate locally guided tours
and can be contacted by telephoning (08) 9076 6157.
Electricity Generation at Esperance's Wind Farm
Net Travel Tips
price information for driving in the Esperance and Western Australian
Goldfieds region can be viewed at Fuel
Watch. This site is regularly updated and also covers metropolitan
Perth and other areas in Western Australia. Also well worth a
mention is ExplorOz's Western
Australian and South
Australian fuel price pages. Nullarbor Net recommends you
use the update facilities on these sites to provide current pricing
information for the benefit of other travellers.