Top Trail: Great Ocean Trail, Esperance
The Great Ocean Trail is a 17 km sealed path that is suitable for walkers, cyclists and prams. The first 8km of the trail follows the spectacular Esperance coastline from the Esplanade all the way to Twilight Beach. You can then return the way you came or continue for another 9 km through native bushland and past the famous Pink Lake to complete the loop.
About the Trail
Starting from the Esplanade, the Great Ocean Walk Trail meanders along the spectacular Esperance coastline with its dazzling white beaches and unbelievably blue water.
It will take you past the Taylor Street Jetty and up a steep hill to Rotary Lookout, past Lovers Cove and down to West Beach, before continuing on to the Salmon Beach Windfarm and Blue Haven where huge granite outcrops extend out into the azure blue sea, creating a number of secluded coves and stunning beaches.
The trail next heads north and follows the shores of the Pink Lake, that sadly isn't very pink any more and finally heads south towards the beach and where you started.
It is sealed all the way and suitable for walkers, runners, cyclists and prams.
You can access the trail from a number of carparks along the route and spend anywhere from an hour to all day along the trail, depending on how far you walk and how long you spend just sitting and taking in the atmosphere.
Between June and August you may spot a passing whale and the wildflowers bloom from Setember to November!
Need to Know
A beach and nature-lover's dream, Esperance is blessed with squeaky-clean beaches, turquoise waters, untouched islands and colour-filled wildflower country. Among its most famous beauty spots is Australia's whitest beach, Lucky Bay - set against a stunning seascape of 110 islands of the Recherche Archipelago, even the kangaroos can't resist lounging here. It's a one-and-a-half-hour flight or an eight-hour drive south-east from Perth, making Esperance an ideal get-away-from-it-all holiday. Many attractions are easily accessible, with plenty of guided tour options, but a four wheel drive is a must if you want to venture off the beaten track. The calm, clear waters of Blue Haven Beach and Twilight Cove, just a short drive from town, are idyllic spots for swimming and snorkelling. Locals say the lagoon just east of West Beach is worth a snorkel too. If you're seeking waves, hit the surf at West Beach, Fourth Beach or Observatory Beach. To hook dinner, throw in a line at Tanker Jetty and keep a keen eye out for cheeky local, Sammy the seal. Back in town, the adventure continues with four wheel drive beach safaris, Indigenous cultural tours, coach tours, island cruises, diving and fishing charters, abseiling, sand boarding, canoeing, mini golf and steam train rides. Check out the arts centre and galleries, making time to drop into the museum to view what's left of the NASA Skylab after it slammed back down to Earth near Balladonia. On the way to Cape Le Grand, you'll even find a slice of ancient druid history with a full-size replica of Stonehenge. A good choice of hotels, motels, apartments, bed and breakfasts, chalets and backpackers is available in Esperance. For something a little nearer to nature, hop on a ferry to Woody Island and pitch your tent or stay in a safari hut. There's also the chance to bunk down under the stars beside the beach at Lucky Bay. The campsite has solar hot showers, camp kitchens and barbecues, and bush walking trails and spectacular coastal views are just a few steps away.
Esperance Visitor Centre
Museum Village Corner of Dempster Street and Kemp Street, Esperance Western Australia 6450, Australia
Phone: (08) 9083 1555 | www.visitesperance.com
The Esperance Visitor Centre is the first stop for travellers wanting helpful and accurate information about the Esperance region and the state of Western Australia. Their helpful and friendly staff will share their extensive local knowledge of the area giving advice and booking tours, accommodation and bus travel to make your Esperance experience memorable. The Visitor Centre also features a local product display, a large range of souvenirs and the Esperance souvenir gold coins. The Esperance Visitor Centre is located within the Museum Village, which has a café for a relaxing lunch or coffee break.