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Whether you’re a hiking health nut or more of a casual stroller, Esperance offers a variety of different bush, beach and wetland trail experiences. Below is a list of some of our favourites.

Please take note: If attempting a long bush walk in the more remote areas of Esperance remember to take along ample drinking water, small snacks, a basic first aid kit, hat, sunscreen, insect repellent and preferably someone else with you.

Esperance Town Area

The Esplanade

Distance: 5km (one way)

Time: Allow 1-2 hours

Classification: Easy

Walk or ride a bike around the Esperance Bay from Castletown Quays to the Port Authority Park. You’ll pass playgrounds and heritage information panels, part of the Esperance Foreshore. If you’re keen to explore some more and feeling fit, follow the pathway along Twilight Beach Road, up towards the hill and Rotary Lookout.

Rotary Lookout Walk Trails 

Walk 1

Distance: 750 meters (return)

Time: Allow 20 mins

Classification: Moderate

Walk 2

Distance: 1.3km (return)

Time: Allow 30 mins

Classification: Moderate

Located at the Rotary Lookout is the start of two walk trails. ‘Walk 1’ is quite steep at the start and leads down towards a viewing platform and picnic table overlooking Lovers Cove. ‘Walk 2’ is an extension of ‘Walk 1’, taking you over exposed granite rock to the top of Dempster Head, overlooking West Beach.

The Great Ocean Pathway (West Beach to Twilight Cove)

Distance: 7km (one way)

Time: Allow 2 hours

Classification: Moderately easy

The Great Ocean Pathway meanders around the coastline of Esperance, on the south side of town. This well maintained bitumen track is very popular with local walkers, runners, and cyclists. The trail currently finishes at Twilight Beach and can be accessed from a number of different beach car parks along its length to provide a variety of distance options.

Salmon Beach Wind Farm Heritage Trail

Distance: 1.5km

Time: Allow 45 minutes

Classification: Easy

Take a walk around Australia’s first commercial Wind Farm. The Salmon Beach Wind Farm Heritage Trail takes you to the sites of the now decommissioned wind turbines. There are 6 sites, with a lookout tower located at site number 2, which gives an elevated view of the Esperance coast line.


Cape Le Grand National Park

Within 45 minutes’ drive of Esperance, this grand park features sweeping heathlands, rugged coastal peaks and white sandy beaches voted the best in Australia.

Frenchman Peak Trail

Distance: 3kms (return)

Time: Allow 1-3 hours hard walking

Classification: Difficult

A walk to the summit up the east slope of Frenchman Peak is rewarded with panoramic views over the National Park, the southern coastline and the islands in the Recherche Archipelago. The trail surface is made up of gravel paths, wooden boardwalks and exposed granite. Don’t attempt this climb when it’s raining as the rock can become very slippery, and take a jumper with you if it's a cold day because the cave up the top can be quite windy, especially during the winter months.

Cape Le Grand Coastal Trail

Distance: 17kms (one way)

Time: Allow 8-9 hours, or multiple days

Classification: Moderately difficult

The Coastal Trail is a spectacular but hard 17 kilometre (one way) walk trail. Walkers can hike from bay to bay, enjoying excellent coastal views and colourful wildflowers (in spring). This trail is ideal as a multiple day walk, taking approximately 2 days to complete, however it can also be done in a shorter time frame of approximately 8-9 hours. 

The track runs from Le Grand Beach to Rossiter Bay (or visa versa), with additional access points at Hellfire Bay, Thistle Cove,  and Lucky Bay, and as such can be broken into four shorter sections:

Le Grand Beach to Hellfire Bay

Time: Allow 3 hours (one way)

Classification:  Difficult

Hellfire Bay to Thistle Cove

Time: Allow 2-3 hours (one way)

Classification: Difficult

Thistle Cove to Lucky Bay

Time: Allow 1 hour (one way)

Classification:  Moderately easy

Lucky Bay to Rossiter Bay

Time: Allow 2-3 hours (one way)

Classification: Moderately easy


Cape Arid National Park

Cape Arid National Park is a large and exceptionally scenic park best known for its remote location, open skies and rocky headlands.

Len Otte Nature Trail

Distance: 2km (return loop)

Time: Allow 1-2 hours

Classification: Easy

The Len Otte Nature Trail is a moderately easy one kilometre loop walk named after the first resident ranger out at Cape Arid. The walk winds through woodlands and thickets, showcasing the tremendous variety of plants in the area. You’ll see views across coastal heathland to Thomas River and Yokinup Bay. The trail surface is made up of rock including exposed granite and gravel. 

Tagon Coastal Trail

Distance: 14km (return)

Time: Allow half a day 

Classification: Moderate to difficult, depending on tide and sand conditions.

The Tagon Coastal Trail is a moderately difficult seven kilometre (one way) track featuring views over the rugged coastline. It winds through coastal heath and across rocky headlands. The trail offers spectacular views of the coastline and a great vantage point for watching migratory whales (July- October). Trail consists of exposed granite, gravel and beach sand. Some parts of the track may be eroded after heavy rain.

Boolenup Trail

Distance: 8km (return)

Time: Allow 2-3 hours 

Classification: Easy

The Boolenup Trail is an easy four kilometre (one way) walk which leads you to brackish Lake Boolenup. Starting from the car park just off Tagon Road, it winds through banksia, eucalypt, paperbark swamp and coastal heath. Birdlife is abundant on this trail.

Mt Ragged Trail

Distance: 3km (return)

Time: 1-3 hours

Classification: Difficult

This is a difficult three kilometre (return) walk to the summit of Tower Peak on Mount Ragged (594 metres). The trail has steep ridges and the track is overgrown in some parts. You’ll need to hoist yourself up some decent sized rock faces if you want to enjoy the impressive views. Although challenging, the Mt Ragged Walk Trail also offers terrific opportunities for spotting birds.  There are known to be around 160 bird species in Cape Arid National Park, several of which are threatened or endangered.

Mt Arid Trail

Distance: 4km (return)

Time: Allow 3 hours

Classification: Difficult

The hike to Mt Arid is a moderately difficult two kilometre (each way) climb to the summit, which provides magnificent views of the coastline, islands of the Recherche Archipelago and Cape Arid’s interior landscape. Apart from where the vegetation has been trimmed to define the path, the trail is narrow and unmarked. An occasional wooden marker peg is used over the exposed granite. There is a real risk of slipping, especially when the ground is wet and the surface is uneven.

Access is by four-wheel drive only along the beach ( around 20kms) during suitable tide and swell conditions. Competence with beach driving is essential if you wish to attempt this walk.

Stokes National Park

Featuring one of the most picturesque estuaries along WA’s southern coast, Stokes Inlet National Park is a great place for bushwalking and birdwatching. 

Stokes Inlet Heritage Walk Trail

Distance: 2.8km (one way)

Time: Allow 1-2 hours

Classification: Easy

The Stokes Inlet Heritage Walk Trail has on-site plaques describing the changes which have occurred over the years to the inlet environment. Two lookouts along the way provide sweeping view over the estuary.  


Woody Lake Nature Reserve

The Woody Lake Nature Reserve is part of a wetland network that supports a variety of wildlife on the south coast. The Lakes are a wonderful place to explore and take in the peaceful surrounds of the paperbark trees and prolific birdlife, such as ducks, pelicans, swans and egrets.

Kepwari Walk Trail

Kepwari is the local Aboriginal word for ‘place of moving water’ and this interpretive walk trail is designed to be a learning experience with bird hides and seating along the way. A short drive from town, and nestled out of the wind, this trail is perfect for families with young children. We recommend you take insect repellent with you.  

Distance: 7km (return)

Time: 2.5 hours

Classification: Easy

Esperance Lakes Canoe Trail

The Esperance Lakes Canoe Trail is a wonderfully relaxing way to appreciate the peace, beauty and birdlife of the Esperance Lakes system on a paddle craft.  June to December, when water levels are at their highest, is the best time to attempt this trail. Canoes can be launched at the Woody Lake boat ramp or at the Lake Wheatfield car park. Reflective trail markers are placed at intervals every 200 meters or so to help you navigate your way. Follow the markers and stay on the trail at all times. Times will depend on the route taken and wind conditions.

Lake Wheatfield to Windabout Lake

Distance: 5.5km (one way)

Classification: Moderately easy

Lake Wheatfield to Woody Lake

Distance: 2.5km (one way)

Classification: Moderately easy

Woody Lake to Windabout Lake

Distance: 3km (one way)

Classification: Moderately

Woody Island

Woody Island is a unique nature reserve and the only island in the Recherche Archipelago with visitor facilities. You can get to the island by boat during the summer months (enquire with Woody Island Eco Tours). Wander along one of the island walks, get up close and personal with curious birds and lazy lizards, or take the plunge into the clear water of Shearwater Bay to explore the marine life on the interpretive snorkel trail. 

Twiggy’s Landing Trail

Distance: 0.8km (return)

Time: Allow 20 minutes

Classification: Moderately easy

Enjoy the views from the southern end of the island with a short walk to Twiggy’s Landing.

Shearwater Lookout Trail

Distance: 1km return.

Time: Allow 30 minutes.

Classification: Moderately easy

To get to Shearwater Lookout, continue along the path past Twiggy’s Landing. During the summer breeding season, at dusk you’ll see adult flesh-footed shearwaters (ocean birds) returning to their nesting burrows at this lookout.

Island Top Walk

Distance: 2.1km (return)

Time: Allow 1 hour

Classification: Moderately difficult

The Island Top Walk Trail climbs to a lookout that provides sweeping views of the Recherche Archipelago and mainland. From the lookout the trail is a 1.6km loop through coastal shrub lands, which includes a gentle climb to the summit and interpretive signs that provide insights into the island’s natural environment.

Skinny Dip Bay

Distance: 1.5km return.

Time: Allow 45 minutes.

Classification: Moderately difficult

Explore the northern side of Woody Island on a peaceful walk to Skinny Dip Bay. This moderately difficult walk will take you to a small, rocky yet sheltered bay.  The trail starts in the playground and leads over the hill past the telephone tower. 


Lake Monjingup Reserve

Situated just 10kms out of Esperance, Lake Monjingup Reserve is an ideal location for a picnic, bushwalk, birdwatching and wildflowers (in season).

Lake Monjinup Reserve Walk Trail

Distance: 1.2 kms (return)

Time: Allow 45 minutes

Classification: Easy

Out at Lake Monjinup you’ll find discover a wooden boardwalk which meanders through the paperbarks, as well as an Environmental Centre providing information about the various plants and animals which live there. With toilets and picnic tables, Lake Monjinup Reserve makes for a fun day out for everyone. 

Peak Charles National Park

Towering 500 metres above the surrounding area, Peak Charles is visible for more than 50 kilometres in all directions.

Unlike the other National Parks in and around Esperance, Peak Charles is situated inland, and attracts experienced rock climbers as its steep eastern face offers high quality climbs of up to 300 metres in length.

Peak Charles Walk Trail

The trail to the summit of Peak Charles consists of three sections.  The sections you choose to do will depend on your level of fitness, how well equipped you are, and weather conditions.

Mushroom Rock

Distance: 600m (return)

Time: Allow 45 minutes 

Classification: Moderately difficult

The start of the trail is well defined but has no markers. It takes you through open woodland across mildly undulating terrain with loose rocks to exposed rock at the base of Peak Charles. Some high stepping onto rocks is required.  This section of the trail ends at Mushroom Rock.

Central Ridge

Distance: 2.2kms (return)

Time: Allow 2 hours

Classification: Difficult

The walk to Central Ridge involves steep inclines, and rough, unstable surfaces. It can be very slippery when it’s been raining. Beware of strong winds.

Peak Charles Summit

Distance: 3.4kms (return)

Time: Allow 3 hours

Classification: Very difficult

Only experienced climbers should attempt this section. It’s very steep and requires foot and hand placement in crevices to pull yourself up in places.  You must be able to lift your own weight several times.  There are no markers and you must be able to find and assess appropriate hand and foot holds.  On the descent you have to crab crawl on your hands and feet with your back to the rock.  If you are short you may need to be pulled up in a few places on the ascent by another person and you will have to slide down some short steep sections on the descent.  The summit is largely bare, marked by a tall rock tower.