Esperance, roughly translated, is French for hope and its the French that are credited with the towns discovery, naming it and other local landmarks whilst sheltering from a storm in this area in 1792.
Ten years on Matthew Flinders sailed the glorious waters of the Bay of Isles, discovering and naming gems such as Lucky Bay and Thistle Cove.
Whalers, sealers and pirates followed, as did pastoralists and miners, keen to cash in on free land and a gold boom to the north at Kalgoorlie.
Today, tourism, agriculture and fishing steer the economy of this stunning coastal community.
Esperance is a beautiful coastal town located 720 kilometres south east of Perth and about 4.5 hours from Albany. Esperance has the most stunning coastal scenery with squeaky white sand and turquoise water. There are 5 national parks around Esperance. The Cape Le Grand National Park is only 56kms from the town centre and this is where you can see kangaroos lazing on the beach. Further east is Cape Arid, which is also a popular park for camping, fishing and hiking.
A great scenic drive from the town centre is the 40km tourist loop called the Great Ocean Drive, which takes in the beautiful surfing and fishing beaches, the wind farm and the Pink Lake (not pink anymore). Some of the main attractions in the town are the museum, the historic museum village where the visitor centre is located, and the tanker jetty where our resident sealion “Sammy” lives.
Esperance has no traffic lights!
There are over 100 islands in the Archipelago and you can view quite a lot of them from the Great Ocean Drive and the town lookouts. Wildlife Cruises around the bay area and out to the islands are available. On this cruise you step off at Woody Island, which is fantastic for swimming, snorkelling, fishing, diving and bushwalking. Safari huts are dotted amongst the eucalypts for eco stays on the island.
Other tours in Esperance include 4wd tours along the beaches and into the National Parks, coach tours which can take you along the scenic drive, to the National Parks and out to Mermaid Leather.
Esperance is a very popular spot for fishing. The tanker jetty is a good spot, which is a walking distance from the town centre. There are fishing charters; two of these also offers dive charters.
Between the months of June to October Southern Right whales can be spotted from the bays close to the town and they particularly love all the sheltered coves within the national parks. Esperance is a beautiful place to visit. Visitors are always amazed at the sheer beauty of the place. It is clean, safe and friendly and a great spot to unwind and enjoy the simple pleasures of life.
Esperance enjoys a moderate Mediterranean-like climate all year round. It is a regional port and is a developing district.
The town has a complete range of services including all shopping, educational, medical, social and recreational facilities. It is a popular tourist resort and the area abounds in natural and manmade attractions. Its coastline is spectacular and unspoilt.
One of Esperance's greatest assets is its National Parks. There are four in the region which comprise one-fifth of the total Shire area. Also, there is the Archipelago of the Recherche, more than 100 islands, protected by the status of an A-class reserve.
Area: 42,450 km2
National Parks and Reserves: Approx. 5,900 km2
Distance from Perth: 725 km (by road)
Population: just under 15,000
Length of Roads (Dec 2002): Sealed 839 km, unsealed 3,725 km
Localities: Esperance, Bandy Creek, Beaumont, Boyatup, Buraminya, Cape Arid, Cape Le Grand, Cascade, Castletown, Chadwick, Condingup, Coomalbidgup, Dalyup, East Munglinup, Gibson, Grass Patch, Howick, Israelite Bay, Lort River, Merivale, Monjingup, Mount Ney, Myrup, Neridup, North Cascade, Nulsen, Pink Lake, Salmon Gums, Scaddan, Sinclair, West Beach, Windabout, Wittenoom Hills
Postcodes: 6445, 6446, 6447, 6448, 6450, 6452