On the south coast of Western Australia is the Cape Le Grand National Park, a wilderness paradise that’s packed with white sandy beaches, turquoise coloured water and huge boulders poking out of the ground.

Whether you love hiking, taking it slow on the beach or exploring the coast line with a boat, Cape Le Grand has you covered!

Hellfire Bay, Cape Le Grand

Cape Le Grand covers just under 32k hectares and has sat above sea level for the last 200 million years. The ancient landscape is about 50 kms to the east of Esperance and a little over 600 kms from Perth.

It’s a great place to explore both in winter and summer. During the colder months, the likelihood of spotting wildlife increases (as the beach Kangaroos are bit more active) and it makes it that bit easier to complete longer hiking trails, as it can get quite hot in summer and due to most of the tracks going along the coast, it’s to tempting to stop and spend some time in taking a dip in one of the many stunning world-class beaches.

In summer, bring the surf boards or boat along, otherwise drive down to Lucky Bay or Le Grand beach, find the perfect spot and spend the day by the water.

Hiking at Cape Le Grand National Park

There are two main hiking trails and plenty of other short walks in the national park with a bunch of different options, allowing you to tailor your hike to your ability and preferences.

Frenchman’s Peak Walking Trail

A great way to get your legs warmed up is by hiking to the summit of Frenchman’s Peak, which is more or less a large rock that gives you a view right across the national park. It’s less than 3km return and is advised to allow 2 hours to complete the hike, although it can easily be done in about one hour.

The surface can become pretty slippery on a wet day and due to how steep it can be, it’s best to follow the markers, designated track and only embark on the trail if the stone is dry.

Just before you hit the Frenchman’s Peak summit, there’s a large cave that’s open on both ends. You can climb down into it to be treated with views through a natural window right out to the bay. Afterwards, continue following the trail until you reach the peak as the sights only get better!

Frenchmans Peak from a distance
Frenchman's Peak Summit
Hiking on Frenchman's Peak

Cape Le Grand Coastal Trail

The Cape Le Grand Coastal Trail is known as one of the best coastal hikes in Western Australia. It takes you past a bunch of different beaches that are separated by rocky terrain, covering about 17 kms each way from Le Grand Beach in the west to Rositter Bay in the east. Unfortunately, the trail isn’t a loop, so you’ll need to come back the way you came from or figure out how to park a car at either end, possibly by teaming up with some other people exploring the area.

Depending on how far you feel like walking, several of the beaches that the hiking trail goes past have car parks, so there is the option of driving to one of those and completing a smaller section of trail.

We started our day by climbing up Frenchman’s Peak, then drove around and checked some different places out, including Le Grand Beach and Hellfire Bay, then headed to Lucky Bay to begin walking again. We followed the trail from Lucky Bay to the west, going past Whistling Rock and down to the pristine Thistle Cover. From here, we followed the way we came from, back to Lucky Bay for a swim.

Cape Le Grand Coastal Walk
Cape Le Grand Hiking Trail by the coast
Le Grand Coastal Walking Trail

Take a look at when we went hiking at Cape Le Grand National Park

Thistle Cove, Cape Le Grand
Thistle Cove
Thistle Cove
Thistle Cove
Guy hiking at Hellfire Bay
Hellfire Bay
Lucky Bay, Cape Le Grand
Lucky Bay

Getting to the national park

The entrance to Cape Le Grand National Park is about a 40 minute drive to the east of Esperance.

Pretty much any road that goes out to the north-east of Esperance will take you in the right direction. You’ll need to get on to Fisheries Road and keep heading east, there are plenty of signs that make it easy to find your way.

Not too long after driving down Fisheries Road, turn right at Merivale Road and stay on this for a while, until you see the turn off to Cape Le Grand National park on right, which will take you down Cape Le Grand Road.

Once you’ve turned onto Cape Le Grand Road, it’s about another 5-10 minute drive until you reach the national park entrance, where you’ll be required to pay a park entry fee.

If you’ve got a 4wd, you can head to the northern part of Le Grand beach and enter the national park at the southern end. There’s also pay station here where you can get a day pass.

Camping at Cape Le Grand

There are two campgrounds within the Cape Le Grand National Park, Lucky Bay Campground and Le Grand Beach Campground.

Both campgrounds are beside the beach, with Lucky Bay being the larger and more popular place to camp. You’ll need to book and pay a fee prior to arriving, this can be done with 180 days of your first night and you’re allowed to stay for a maximum of 14 nights.  Keep in mind, Le Grand Beach Campground isn’t always open.

Neither of the campgrounds allow fires or pets. If you’re looking to go camping with your dog and want to have a small campfire, consider heading to Membinup Beach Free Campground, which is to the east of Cape Le Grand. In Esperance, Bathers Paradise Caravan Park is also dog friendly.

Le Grand Beach Campground

Le Grand Beach
Le Grand beach Picnic Area
Le Grand beach Campsite

Lucky Bay Campground

View on Lucky Bay from Campground
Lucky Bay Campground Kitchen
Lucky Bay Campground sitting are