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Kepwari Trails - Wetlands

Attractions Esperance


Welcome to the Kepwari Wetland, located a five-minute drive from the centre of Esperance town.


Kepwari Wetland Walk Trail: The one-way interpretive trail is 3.6km in length and is designed to be a learning experience. Panels and informative signage help you discover why these wetlands are important, why they are under threat and how you can help protect them for future generations. The trail winds through fringing sedgelands, heathlands, under banksia canopies and over dune ridges with views of the wetland system and surrounding catchment. It is also designed to protect native vegetation from the threat of dieback. A return trip along the trail will take about two and a half hours to walk. Shorter sections can be walked instead of the entire trail. Two bird hides located along the trail provide an opportunity to quietly observe waterbirds in a tranquil environment. Dispersed along the trail are facilities for you to sit back, relax and soak up the serenity of the natural environment. There are no rubbish bins or toilets along the trail. Access to the trail is via Windabout Way or Lakes Road, both are accessed via Fisheries Road.

Kepwari Wetland Canoe Trail: self-guided canoe trail also winds from Windabout Lake through tranquil channels to Lake Wheatfield. Optimal canoeing conditions are towards the end of winter and into early summer when water levels are at their highest. Canoes can be launched at the Woody Lake boat ramp or at the Lake Wheatfield or Windabout Lake car parks.

Kepwari is the local Aboriginal word for ‘place of moving water’, for water is in fact on a constant journey moving through the landscape. On the doorstep of Esperance, nestled below rolling farmlands to the north, lies and internationally recognised wetland system rich in flora and fauna. A visitor’s first gaze is almost invariably transfixed on the magnificent Recherche Archipelago to the south. The Lake Warden wetlands lying secluded amongst Melaleuca thickets and Banksia heath immediately north of Esperance often escape attention. The Lake Warden wetlands have high conservation values making them one of only a few wetlands in Western Australia listed under the international Ramsar Convention.

The wetland system around the Esperance townsite encompasses 3400ha, with seven major lakes and over 90 smaller satellite lakes playing host to tens of thousands of waterbirds. Of this area, 2950ha is managed by the Parks and Wildlife Service as nature reserves. At least 59 species of waterbird are known to inhabit the wetlands. The Hooded Plover, chosen as the Lake Warden Wetlands emblem, is a waterbird species restricted to southern Australia. The wetlands provide protection to six per cent of the Hooded Plover’s total world population. Also, each summer, migratory waders, such as the Red-necked Stint, make a 12000km journey from the Arctic to the wetlands. The area also provides habitat for native reptiles, mammals, amphibians and aquatic animals.

The international significance of the wetlands

Map & Directions

Kepwari Walk Trail Start