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Nature has bestowed upon Esperance a wide range of natural wonders which are sure to make your holiday experience unforgetable. Listed below are some of our most popular natural attractions.

Great Ocean Drive

This 40km self-drive takes you past stunning beaches, rocky headlands, steep cliffs and hidden ocean pools. It includes a visit to the Rotary lookout giving you a 360 degree view over the town and Recherche Archipelago. Stop for a swim at Twilight Cove, visit Australia’s very first wind farm or choose to walk/cycle from The Esplanade in town, out to Twilight Cove beach (approximately 10kms one way). This tourist loop meanders past Pink Lake (which is not pink anymore, but you can read about the lake's history on an information sign erected at the Pink Lake lookout), where the lookout will provide you with an amazing location to watch the sun go down. Click here for more information about the Great Ocean Drive, including a map and other points of interest.

National Parks

Cape Le Grand National Park

(60km east of town) - One of Western Australia's best known and most spectacular National Parks. Pristine and perfect are two words that reflect the absolute beauty of this park. Here you will find an ocean coloured all imaginable shades of blue, sand so white and fine it squeaks between your toes and the iconic sight of kangaroos sunbathing on the beach at Lucky Bay. 

Cape Arid National Park

(120km west of town) - Cape Arid extends from the ocean, all the way inland to Mount Ragged. The biodiversity of this National Park is best enjoyed by going for a drive along the long stretches of beach, or a walk on one of the many walk trails available.

Stokes National Park

(85km west of town) - With both coastal and inlet scenery, Stokes is a great place to take the family for a day trip or spend a few nights camping out under the stars and paperbarks. With linkages to the beach you can choose to fish for bream in Stokes Inlet or head out for some beach fishing. There are tracks leading off in several directions and the Moir Homestead ruins are definitely worth a look.

Fitzgerald River National Park

(200km west of town) - One of the largest (329,882 hectares, or 815,160 acres) and botanically significant National Parks in Australia, with over 60 unique plant species and a further 48 rarely found elsewhere in the world. The park includes the Barren Mountains, Eyre Range and the Fitzgerald River as well as incorporating the Fitzgerald Biosphere. During winter months, southern right whales shelter close to shore with their newborn calves. Keep in mind that the central area of the park is only accessible with a four-wheel drive vehicle or on foot.

Peak Charles National Park

(100km north of town) - This ancient granite peak, and its companion, Peak Eleanora, give sweeping views over the dry sandplain heaths and salt lake systems of the surrounding countryside. Towering 500 metres above the surrounding plain, Peak Charles is visible for more than 50 kilometres in all directions. The park lies within the Great Western Woodlands, an internationally significant area of great biological richness. The granite peaks have weathered to orange and brown hues. There are many unusual rock formations, and numerous species of orchids grow on the slopes. About 40 million years ago, both peaks were islands, and wave-cut platforms can be seen on their upper slopes. 

When visiting a National Park it is important to remember:

  • Entry and camping fees apply. Camping fees vary depending on where you are staying. Ask the staff at the Esperance Visitor Centre for more information.

  • Check road conditions before heading out by contacting the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA), Esperance office on: (08) 9083 2100.

  • If you plan on camping at one of these National Parks, click here for some helpful information.

Nature Reserves

Woody Island

An A-class Nature Reserve off the coast of Esperance, surrounded by pristine bushland and ocean, great for bushwalking, swimming, snorkeling, fishing or just relaxing. There is a regular ferry service to the island via Woody Island Eco Tours.

Lake Hillier

A pink bubblegum coloured lake, located on Middle Island which is approximately 130km by sea to the east of Esperance. Lake Hillier is an A-class Nature Reserve with extremely high environmental protection protocols. It is situated in a very remote location which is difficult to access. There are a couple of scenic flights and boat charter services which frequent Lake Hillier. Contact the Esperance Visitor Centre staff for more information. 

Helms Arboretum

(15kms north of town) - Acres of a diverse range of botanical plant species can be seen here. Wildflowers are abundant when in season, and there are designated picnic areas and walk trails. 

The Wetlands

(7kms north of town) - Encompassing seven major, and more than ninety smaller lakes, the Lake Warden, Woody Lake and Mullet Lake Reserves are one of only a few wetlands in Western Australia recognised under the Ramsar Convention. Supporting a habitat of around 20,000 waterbirds, it's also home to bandicoots, possums and frogs. There is a great walk trail (called Kepwari, which roughly translates to 'place of moving water') around Wheatfield, Windabout and Woody Lakes. Read more about it on our Trails & Walkways page.

Lake Monjingup

(14kms north west of town) -  An ideal place for a picnic, bush walk and birdwatching. Back in January 2015 there was a fire which unfortunately destroyed much of the infrastructure in this reserve. The lakeside boardwalks through the paperbark forest will not be replaced until 2019, however there is still a bird hide and picnic tables. An Environmental Centre is currently being built and it is planned to be finished mid 2018.

Mount Ridley

(71kms north of town) - Esperance's very own "Wave Rock". Also known by its Nyungar name, Marbeleerup, Mt Ridley is a large granite outcrop which rises 300 meters above sea level. You can climb the summit for a fantastic vantage point overlooking the surrounding bushland. At the base of the rock there are some shaded picnic areas, making it a great day trip option. A four wheeled drive vehicle is often required during winter months, or whenever there has been lots of rain.

Most of these National Parks and Nature Reserves offer a variety of bushwalking and basic camping opportunities.

Click here to find out more about Trails & Walkways around Esperance.

Click here for more information about Bush Camping around Esperance.