Our first full day in WA was upon us! & it had been long anticipated – we’ve made it to paradise on the south coast of Western Australia: Esperance.
We drove about 7,500 kms getting to Esperance from Geelong (of course including a lot of detours!) & covered around 900 kms yesterday alone while crossing the Nullarbor from Bunda Cliffs, now it’s time to cool the jets, slow down and stay put for a while.
After stocking up on supplies in town, we headed about an hour east of Esperance to a free campground by the beach at Membinup. Just as we started getting close, there was a sign saying “4WD Track”, but that wasn’t going to stop us – although we’ve got an “all wheel drive” it’s far from a four wheel drive, especially with our low little Viscount caravan on tow, but we had a crack anyway.
We took it slow and steady, (Eva) got out and measured the depth of every puddle and creek crossing, then we made it down to the Membinup Beach Campground without a soul insight! Over the next few days, we did spot a few people having a good look at our little ol’ van while scratching their heads, thinking that we’re either idiots or brilliant – I’m quietly confident that they were all impressed, I certainly was (once the shock wore off).
There was no internet coverage or phone service, which suited us well. We stayed here for five nights, spending most of our days exploring the rock pools, observing the dozens of rock crabs and slowly walking along the beach, before coming back to the homestead on wheels for a bon fire each night.
A short drive back towards Esperance, we found paradise! It’s been a dream of Eva’s to have surf at a white sandy beach with turquoise coloured water, & that’s exactly how we’d describe Wharton Beach.
Before hitting the beach for a surf, we explored the area by foot, stepping over two different baby brown snakes with-in a minute of exiting the car, and undoubtedly, the views across the ocean and out to the islands behind Wharton and Little Wharton Beach were worth the angst.
Our water tank was drying up and supplies dwindling, so we made our way into Esperance and set up camp at Bathers Paradise, just a two minute walk from the main beach that borders the town. This was our new base for the next 12 days (read more about Bathers Paradise Caravan Park, here).
We sat aside a few days to explore and experience the surrounding area, both by foot and amongst the crystal clear surf.
Esperance is known for being home to some of the most scenic beaches in the country, although the Pink Lake took priority, and for good reason.
You might recall from our last blog post that we were overly excited to visit Lake MacDonnell: “The Pink Lake of Penong”, as it was the third “pink lake” that we had come across since leaving Geelong, although the first two were green …Lake MacDonnell was no different. Pink Lake, Esperance was the first one that we came across that was actually called the “Pink Lake”, so this one had to be pink, right?! Wrong.
That’s it – pink lakes aren’t pink, but the beach is the beach & with its friendly, inviting wave, off we went on a coastal loop.
I’m more of a summer surfer & with the weather being on the colder side, I filled the thermos and took Eva down to Twilight Beach a couple of times so that she could have a paddle while Papi and I embarked on one of her Sudoku’s, but I must have grabbed a misprint as it wasn’t humanly possible to complete, so I went fossil hunting on Ten Mile Beach instead and let my mind straighten itself out as the sand exfoliated my feet.
Some heavy rain paid us a visit, so there wasn’t many other options than to bunk down and spend a few days playing cards while listening to podcasts, then the sun came out and off to Cape Le Grand National Park we went, & you guessed it – le cape was grand!
Warming up our legs with a hike to the summit of Frenchman’s Peak, we then spent the day trekking along the coastal walk, popping in and out of many postcard perfect bays, then as I sipped on a warm coffee, Eva took a dip at the famous Lucky Bay.
See our brief guide to visiting Cape Le Grand National Park, here, including campgrounds and hiking trails.
Esperance treated us well and gave a decent chance to catch the slow times that we’ve been chasing. If you’ve been to Esperance, let us know what you thought of the place in the comments section below, likewise if you have any questions about an upcoming trip.
Up next: Over to Pemberton and across to Margaret River!