Esperance is a town in the Goldfields-Esperance region of Western Australia. It's a popular travel destination for locals, noted for magnificent coastline, spectacular beaches, outdoor activities and fine fishing.
Esperance was first named by the French who sheltered in the bay here in 1792.
Pirates roamed the nearby islands during the 19th century, harkening back to a period when the west was indeed wild.
Parts of the NASA Skylab space station fell close to town when it dropped from orbit in 1979.
Esperance has the necessities for a prosperous town - a deep-sea port, airport and railway junction. Esperance is awakening as more people discover the natural wonders of the town. The weather is very changeable.
Esperance is 720 km southeast of Western Australia's capital, Perth, by road. It is approx a 7-hour trip from Perth. The nearest major towns are Albany, to the west, and Kalgoorlie, to the north.
When travelling from eastern states, across the Nullarbor using the Eyre Highway, the first notable junction is that at Norseman - the road to the north goes to Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie, the road to the south is to Esperance.
There are daily flights from Perth to Esperance with Rex. The airport is 23 km (14 mi) from the town, and rental car facilities are at the terminal. You should book car hire in advance. A taxi into town will cost around $50.
- 1 Historic Museum Village, 54 Dempster St. Old buildings of various vintages whose former life as a Police Sergeants quarters, school house, doctors surgery, courthouse or hospital has been relocated and repurposed as cafes, Art galleries and retail shops. Oldest of the bunch is the tiny wood and iron Methodist Church built in 1895.
- 2 Esperance Museum, Cnr James St and Dempster St, ☏ +61 8 9083 1580, email@example.com. Daily 1:30–4:30PM. A rambling array of objects stacked almost up to the hefty timber rafters of the old goods warehouse that houses the collection. Nautical flotsam, domestic ephemera and antiquated machinery are intermingled with all kinds of social curios drawn from a lengthy timeline of Esperance history. The 99-tonne steam engine dominates, but debris from the 1979 crash of Skylab are the arguable highlight. There is a lot to see, so the short opening hours demand a second visit to fully explore every corner. Adults $8.50, children $3.50.
- 3 Pink Lake, Pink Lake Rd. Not particularly pink nor lake-like, it's a large salt pan that is either white and crunchy or grey and muddy depending on how much it has rained recently. The northern side has built up dam structures used to harvest the salt that may exhibit a pinkish tinge caused by the concentration of algae.
- Wind power turbines (19 km west of town). Massive propellers slowly spinning in the breeze look attractive from afar but are quite intimidating up close as the blades slice through the air with a low growl.
- 4 Observatory Point, Twilight Beach Road. On the wonderful coast road that heads west from town to the beaches is this lookout offering excellent views over the coast and the archipelago, particularly Observatory Island, where the French ships sheltered in 1792.
- 5 Esplanade. Beachside parks wind along Esperance's esplanade with views to the port, the old tanker jetty and the islands. There is a children's adventure park and a cafe towards the southern end and sculptures at various points, notably the whale tail near the museum.
- Have a swim. At many of the fine beaches are located near town, like Twilight Beach.
- Jax Snax, 3 James St, ☏ +61 8 90711601. Daily 11:30AM–2PM, 5–8:30PM. Decent fish and chips.
- 1 Loose Good Bar & Restaurant, 9A Andrew St, ☏ +61 8 9071 2320, firstname.lastname@example.org. Modern Australian grillhouse. All seafood is freshly caught from the Australian sea. $30 for entree only, $45.50 for 1 course, $60 for 2 courses, $70 for 3 courses.
- The Pier Hotel, 47 The Esplanade, ☏ +61 8 9071 1777. Thursday is traditionally the biggest night of the week at the Pier.
- Pink Lake Tourist Park, 113 Pink Lake Rd, ☏ +61 8 90712424, toll-free: 1800 011 311, email@example.com. The park has all the usual facilities. The neat one-bedroom self-contained cabins are an alternative to a hotel. Many think the tent and caravan sites are a bit too small and close together. Cabins: $115, Tent: $32.
- 1 The Jetty Resort, 1 The Esplanade (Corner of The Esplanade and Norseman Rd), ☏ +61 8 9071 3333, firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 2PM. Ocean views from the rooms. Not that there are no lifts to the upper levels and are only accessible by stairs.
- Norseman and the Eyre Highway to the east
- Cape Le Grand National Park - less than 50 km from town to the east - a mix of rugged wild coast and views of the Archipelago of the Recherche
- Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie if travelling north and inland
- South Coast Highway to Albany if travelling west