With four national parks and the sort of white powdery beaches the rest of the country can only dream about, Esperance offers some top camping options
Top of the list for camping spots in Esperance is Lucky Bay in Cape Le Grand National Park. So pristine and relaxed is this stretch of sand, even the kangaroo’s sunbake on the beach! The campsite is well set up with a hot solar-powered shower and great cooking facilities including a kitchen and barbecue. It also has tank water and septic toilets, but no power. There are some great walks to be done from this campground including the three-kilometre Frenchman’s Peak climb. Give yourself an hour and a half and expect some hard walking to the summit, but the view of the park and coast are worth it. Camping fees apply.
A little further afield is Cape Arid National Park where you’ll find more sparkling bays, as well as magnificent granite headlands. It’s a 120km drive east of Esperance, but you’ll be rewarded with untouched nature at its best. The walks from these campgrounds are among the best in the state for wild coastlines and nature. In winter, southern right whales often come close to shore. Not surprisingly, facilities at Thomas River and Seal Creek are a little more rustic. Expect gravel roads, pit toilets and its BYO water and power, however barbecues are provided.
Just offshore from Esperance is Woody Island, one of 105 islands in the Recherche Archipelago. This small eco tourism development with excellent camping facilities puts you up close to nature – there’s untouched bushland, pristine beaches, and excellent snorkelling. Camping on Woody Island is comfortable. Shaded sites throughout the camp area are perfect if want to bring your own tent and equipment. The sites give access to the camper’s kitchen, which is fully equipped, as well as an ablution block and small laundry. Anything they don’t supply – like cutlery and crockery – is available to hire from the kiosk. You can also hire tents in a range of sizes, or upgrade to an adventure hut, which includes a wooden base, beds (for five) and linen. For the crème de le crème of Woody Island camping, book a safari hut featuring a private deck with table and chairs, beach glimpses, beds, lighting, linen and unisex composting toilets and showers.
There is a range of caravan parks with campgrounds in and around Esperance. Some of the best and closest are Esperance Seafront, Esperance Bay and Bathers Paradise. For information about all camping spots, contact the Esperance Visitor Centre on (08) 9071 2330.
Wildflowers: Cape Le Grand and Cape Arid National Parks and coastal areas near town are where you’ll see late wildflowers.
Contact Esperance Visitor Centre for exact locations. Call (08) 9083 1555
Woody Island: This nature lovers paradise for cruises, day trips available, call (08) 9071 5757
Summer Concerts: Music concerts are staged in the Sound Shell at Museum Park during summer.
Contact EsperanceVisitor Centre for info and dates on (08) 9083 1555
Cannery Arts Centre exhibitions: Check out summer displays at the town’s major arts centre including local and touring exhibitions. Call (08) 9071 3599