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Welcome to Esperance

Esperance is located on Western Australia’s southeast coast about 725 kilometres from Perth by road. Covering over 42,000 square kilometres, Esperance's vast region extends from Munglinup to Israelite Bay and north to the Shire of Dundas. With just under 15,000 people, the Esperance area has one of the lowest population densities to be found anywhere.

The region comprises some of the most spectacular landscapes in Australia. It includes over 500 kilometres of coastline ranging from the gently undulating bays and picturesque islands of the Recherche Archipelago to the spectacular cliffs of the Great Australian Bight.

Esperance enjoys a moderate Mediterranean-like climate all year round, with a complete range of services including shopping, educational, medical, and social facilities.

The natural environment and agricultural aspects of Esperance are a significant part of its heritage, values and identity. The National Parks, wetlands and dramatic coastline provide many recreational and tourism opportunities. Esperance's network of smaller surrounding towns, such as Condingup, Salmon Gums, Grass Patch, Gibson, Scaddan and Cascade are the backbone of the agriculture industry.

The unspoilt beauty of Esperance, it's climate, relative isolation and relaxed lifestyle is what attracts travellers to visit from all over the world. 

History

ABORIGINAL AUSTRALIANS

The local Noongar people were the first known inhabitants in the Esperance region and populated the area around 20,000 years ago. Kepa Kurl is the local Noongar name for Esperance, which roughly translates to “where the waters lie like a boomerang”. Back then, the region provided a wide variety of food, so the Noongar people did not tend to venture far from the area.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander residents of the Esperance area make up 4.1% of the population of the Shire of Esperance. Their native title interests and cultural connections are spread throughout the Shire of Esperance.

Strong traditional ties to land have created a significant range of native title claims and determinations within the Shire, including: 

Esperance Nyungar, managed by Esperance Tjaltjraak Native Title Aboriginal Corporation 

Ngadju, managed by Ngadju Native Title Aboriginal Corporation 

Esperance Nyungar

Esperance Nyungar Peoples' ancestral lands span over 30,000 square kilometres of Southern Western Australia.

Tjaltjraak comes from the Esperance Nyungar name for the Mallee (also known as Tallerack or Blue Mallee Eucalyptus pleurocarpa) which Esperance Nyungars believe mark the extent of their country.

Esperance Nyungar are descended from seven apical ancestors. Today, six family groups are recognised as the direct descendants of those ancestors and the elders of those families have the rights and responsibilities for the practice of Esperance Nyungar culture and for passing it on to future generations.

The six family groups are the Dabb, Boxer-Rogers, Reynolds, Yorkshire/Knapp, Bullen and Tucker. Today, the majority of Esperance Nyungar live within the Esperance region, though some live elsewhere in the southwest, including Perth, Albany and Norseman.

Esperance Tjaltjraak Native Title Aboriginal Corporation (ETNTAC) was registered by the Federal Court of Australia as the Native Title Body Corporate for the Esperance Nyungars on 6 September 2016. They are the first point of contact for government and other parties who want to conduct business with traditional owners in Esperance.

Ngadju

The Ngadju people have lived on country between Kalgoorlie and Esperance for perhaps as long as 50,000 years.

Like most tribal groups, the Ngadju people developed their own language and are proud of their important role as the carers and custodians of their land. Being spiritual people, they practiced sacred ceremonies and dances and many sites of significance remain important places for men and women to connect to country today.

The Ngadju people were known as the Song & Dance people and other tribal groups would approach them to help provide a new song or dance. The Ngadju elders only showed the visitors the song and dance routine once and then the visitors had to learn the routine and return home. The Ngadju people were, and still are, a very powerful and prominent people. They possessed the white flint rock which made a spark when struck together and Ngadju people carried the stones when travelling far and wide and would make a spark at night. After surrounding others and making the sparks it would bring enormous fear to whoever had done them wrong, for the people knew immediately who was present.

EUROPEAN AUSTRALIANS

Esperance Bay was named by the French navigator Antoine Raymond Joseph de Bruni d'Entrecasteaux in 1792 as his two ships took shelter near Observatory Island during a storm. However, settlement did not occur until 1864, when the pioneering Dempster Brothers drove sheep, cattle and horses from Northam to establish the Esperance Bay Pastoral Station.

The townsite of Esperance was gazetted in 1893 after the discovery of gold in the Eastern Goldfields, and seemingly overnight, the little town experienced an incredible transformation as fortune seekers from all over Australia and around the world flooded the once sleepy little port on their way to the Goldfields.

In September of 1895, Esperance was declared a municipality, however in the years following the district saw great population fluctuations as it endured the good times and the bad until the 1960's when the Esperance sand-plain began to emerge as a major agricultural region.

For a more in depth look at the rich history of Esperance visit the Esperance Museum or head to the Municipal Heritage Inventory.

 

Visitor Centre

Whether this is your first holiday to Esperance or you are a repeat visitor to this extraordinary part of Western Australia, we welcome you.

Open seven days a week and located within the historic Museum Village, the Esperance Visitor Centre is the place to go for all your tourism related needs. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff are there to assist with your accommodation and tour enquiries as well as additional information about things to see and do in and around the Esperance region, and right throughout Western Australia. You can also purchase Transwa coach and train tickets, National Park passes, Esperance Civic Centre show tickets, and souvenirs.

Conveniently close to town and the attractively developed Esperance foreshore, the Esperance Visitor Centre is air-conditioned, has free Wi-Fi internet and offers shaded off street parking bays suitable for caravans and motorhomes. There are public toilets nearby, and a touchscreen positioned near the entrance allows travellers to access information after hours. 

 

Esperance Visitor Centre

Corner of Dempster St & Kemp St (Click here for map)

PO Box 507

Esperance WA 6450

Phone: (08) 9083 1555

Toll Free Number: 1300 66 44 55

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Website: www.visitesperance.com

 

Opening Times:

Extended Hours Summer school holidays (End of December to End of January)

9.00am - 5.00pm Monday to Friday
9.00am - 4.00pm Saturday
9.00am - 2.00pm Sunday and Public Holidays (closed 25th December)

Winter Opening Hours 1 June to End of September (long weekend)

9.00am - 4.30pm Monday to Friday
9.00am - 2.00pm Saturday
9.00am - 12.00pm Sunday and Public Holidays

Opening Hours rest of the year

9.00am - 5.00pm Monday to Friday
9.00am - 2.00pm Saturday
9.00am - 12.00pm Sunday and Public Holidays (closed Good Friday)

Experience Esperance Holiday Planner

Are you interested in visiting Esperance? Would you like to know more about what Esperance has to offer? When planning your next holiday why not check out the Experience Esperance Holiday Planner! You can pick one up from many visitor centres in Western Australia, or ask the Esperance Visitor Centre to send you a copy in the mail.