The 20 Best Things to Do in Esperance [2024 Guide]

Esperance is located 8 hours south of Perth and is known for having some of the most spectacular beaches in Australia. With bright white sand and vibrant blue water that’s postcard worthy, we can guarantee that you won’t regret the drive. 

Whether it’s swimming, surfing, snorkelling, hiking or 4WDing – all of the best things to do in Esperance are split between Esperance town and Cape Le Grand National Park which is located a 50 minute drive east from town. You can visit Cape Le Grand on a day trip from Esperance or stay in one of the two campgrounds located in the National Park. 

To access the National Park you’ll need to purchase a National Parks Pass which costs $17 per day or $30 for a 5 day holiday pass. If you are planning on visiting other regions during your trip we would recommend looking into purchasing a 4-week or annual parks pass online. 

If you’re ready to start planning your epic trip this article will take you through 20 of the best things to do in Esperance.

Keen to make a road trip of it? Check out our Perth to Esperance itinerary for a comprehensive travel guide to the region.

Overview

  1. Spend the day at Wharton Beach – Australia’s Best Beach 
  2. Spot the local Kangaroos at Lucky Bay Beach (Cape Le Grand National Park)
  3. Jump off the iconic rock at Twilight Beach 
  4. Fuel up for your adventure at Downtown Espresso 
  5. Climb Frenchman’s Peak (Cape Le Grand National Park)
  6. Visit the Local Markets 
  7. Discover the Esperance coastline on a scenic helicopter flight 
  8. Visit Hellfire Bay (Cape Le Grand National Park)
  9. Hike to the secluded Little Hellfire Bay (Cape Le Grand National Park)
  10. Spend the day at Blue Haven Beach 
  11. Dine on the water at Taylor St Quarters
  12. Explore the Great Ocean Drive Loop
  13. Taste local craft beer at Lucky Bay Brewing 
  14. Browse clothes and souvenirs at Tide & Co
  15. Go 4WDing at Wylie Bay
  16. Explore the replica Stonehenge 
  17. Go whale watching
  18. Marvel at the views from Observatory Point 
  19. Go snorkelling on Woody Island 
  20. Enjoy a delicious bakery treat from Bread Local 

1. Spend the day at Wharton Beach – Australia’s Best Beach

Wharton Beach is often regarded as Australia’s (unofficial) best beach and easily tops our list. It’s located 1 hour east of Esperance town and is famous for its crystal blue water, squeaky white sand and rolling waves, with beach access allowed for 4WDs. 

Wharton Beach 1 - things to do in Esperance
Wharton Beach
Wharton Beach

If you have the time we would recommend staying a few days here at the nearby Duke of Orleans Caravan Park. Trust us, you won’t want to leave!

2. Spot the local Kangaroos at Lucky Bay Beach (Cape Le Grand National Park)

Voted as the number one beach in Banana Boat’s annual World’s 50 Best Beaches list in 2023, Lucky Bay is famously known for its resident kangaroos which can often be seen hanging out on the beach. 

Visiting this famous beach usually ranks number one on everyone’s list of things to do in Esperance, and attracts tourists from all around the world. If you want to increase your chances of snapping that iconic photo we would recommend visiting at dusk or dawn when they are more active. 

Lucky Bay is also known for its snow-white sand which is so compact that it’s one of the few beaches in Australia that you can safely drive your 2WD on!

Lucky Bay Beach 1
Lucky Bay Beach
Spotted a kangaroo

3. Jump off the iconic rock at Twilight Beach

This is one of Esperance’s most popular and recognisable beaches. It’s located a quick 10 minute drive from town and is one of the top things to do in Esperance due to its turquoise water and calm conditions. 

It also features a large granite rock in the middle of the beach which you can swim out to and jump off. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for dolphins which are frequently spotted here!

Dolphins in Twilight Beach
Dolphins are often seen at Twilight Beach
Twilight Beach

4. Fuel up for your adventure at Downtown Espresso

Before you start ticking off your long list of things to do in Esperance you’ll need to fuel up for a big day. Boasting a reputation for serving the best coffee in town, there’s no better place to get your caffeine fix than Downtown Espresso

5. Climb Frenchman’s Peak (Cape Le Grand National Park)

Frenchman’s Peak is one of WA’s most unique hikes and is famous for its distinctive cave and panoramic views of Cape Le Grand National Park. 

Allow at least 2 hours to complete this 3km return hike up the steep granite slope. We would recommend using caution as it can be extremely windy at the summit and avoid hiking after rain. 

Frenchmans Peak 1
Panoramic view of Frenchman’s Peak
Frenchmans Peak 2

6. Visit the Local Markets

Esperance boasts two unique markets which showcase local produce, food, handcrafted items, clothing and live music. 

The Museum Village Markets are held from 8:30am-12pm every second Sunday, whilst the Esperance Growers Markets are held every second Saturday from 9-11am in the Scout Hall.

7. Discover the Esperance coastline on a scenic helicopter flight

Exploring the coastline from the sky is easily one of the most memorable things to do in Esperance. HeliSpirit offers a variety of flights starting at just $99. 

We jumped on their Coastal Scenic Flight with a beach landing and it was incredible! Having a picnic on a remote white sand beach all to ourselves is definitely a core memory.

HELICOPTER RIDE 1
A helicopter ride over Esperance is the best way to experience this coastline
HELICOPTER RIDE 2

8. Visit Hellfire Bay (Cape Le Grand National Park)

Hellfire Bay is one of the most picturesque beaches in Cape Le Grand National Park with stunning blue water that rivals its more popular neighbour – Lucky Bay. 

9. Hike to the secluded Little Hellfire Bay (Cape Le Grand National Park)

If you want to escape the crowds, hike 15 minutes through the bush to the lesser known and more secluded Little Hellfire Bay. It’s just as stunning as its bigger sister and if you’re lucky you might even have it all to yourself!

10. Spend the day at Blue Haven Beach

Spending the day at this beach is one of the most popular things to do in Esperance as the rock faces provide protection from the wind. It features a picturesque staircase that leads to the Gatorade-blue water that is perfect for swimming and snorkelling. 

Blue Haven Beach 1
Blue Haven Beach
Blue Haven Beach 2

11. Dine on the water at Taylor St Quarters

This family-owned restaurant located on the waterfront sources the best and freshest ingredients from local Western Australian producers. Their evolving seasonal menu aims to showcase the best food and wine of the South-West region. 

12. Explore the Great Ocean Drive Loop

Driving this scenic 40km loop is the perfect way to start exploring the stunning coastline. You’ll find many things to do in Esperance along your way such as exploring the breathtaking beaches, dramatic cliffs and rock pools. 

Our must-see stops include West Beach, Blue Haven, Twilight Beach, Observatory Point and Nine-mile Beach.

Great Ocean Drive 1
Great Ocean Drive
Great Ocean Drive 2

13. Taste local craft beer at Lucky Bay Brewing 

Lucky Bay Brewing is the only brewery in WA that sources raw barley directly from local farmers to make beer. 

Bring a picnic rug and spend the afternoon enjoying their craft beer selection, wood-fired pizzas and live music.

14. Browse clothes and souvenirs at Tide & Co

Find something special to commemorate your trip. Tide & Co stocks a bunch of clothes, souvenirs and giftwares inspired by the town’s beautiful coastline and wilderness. 

Their ‘Esperance Tide’ range of shirts and jumpers are our personal favourite!

15. Go 4WDing at Wylie Bay

If you’re an off-road enthusiast then this is one of the most adventurous things you can do in Esperance. Park up for the day at the sandbar where two beaches meet or tackle the 20km 4WD track all the way to Cape Le Grand. 

Wylie Bay 1
Wylie Bay
Wylie Bay 2

16. Explore the replica Stonehenge 

Visiting this full sized replica of the Stonehenge is one of the most unique things to do in Esperance. The Esperance Stonehenge consists of 137 stones that were quarried locally and appears how the original would have looked around 1950BC! 

A $14 entry fee applies per person.

17. Go whale watching

Esperance Island Tours is run by local drone photographer Jaimen Hudson. The scenic wildlife cruise allows you to explore the coastline by boat with dolphins, fur seals, sea lions and whales (June to October) frequently sighted.

The 3.5 hour tour costs $120 per person. 

18. Marvel at the views from Observatory Point 

This lookout can be found along the Great Ocean Drive and provides spectacular views of the coastline. You’ll also find a steep wooden staircase that takes you down to the beach. Keep an eye out for whales between June and October. 

19. Go snorkeling on Woody Island 

Woody Island is a part of the Recherche Archipelago and is located just 15km off the coast of Esperance. It’s known for its snorkelling with excellent visibility and is home to the Leafy Sea Dragon. 

Woody Island Eco Tours will get you to the island for $130 return. 

20. Enjoy a delicious bakery treat from Bread Local 

If you’re anything like us and can’t resist a bakery treat, Bread Local offers a little something for everyone. 

They are quickly earning a reputation of being one of the best bakeries in Western Australia, providing a variety of sweet and savoury choices which can be enjoyed under the shade of the gumtrees.

Open Fridays from 9am-5pm and Saturdays 8am-1pm. 

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