Magnificent, stupendous, fabulous!
We had heard of Esperance but didn’t know why. When we arrived it seemed a nice typical Aussie seaside town. It didn’t have many historical buildings, it did have a beach with very white sand but a lots of seaweed.
We had found out that many of the boat harbours in Western Australia are provided and operated by the Department of Transport. They would also be cheaper for us to stay in than caravan parks if we weren’t able to anchor in any protected bays. We enquired about a berth at the boat harbour but they were full but they suggested we tried the yacht club. The yacht club made us very welcome and managed to squeeze us on to their marina arm. I call it a marina but in fact to was a pier and concrete arm with wires out from the arm which you hooked on to with ropes forward and aft of your boat.
It took a little while for me to get used to them. As the wind was strong you had to pull the boat towards the walkway with a rope tied to the bow and wrap it around the ladder post. You then had to hold it tight to stop the boat moving backwards along the wires and step over the gap onto the ladder up to the walkway. I didn’t dare try and do it myself without Russ to help for the whole week we were there otherwise I was sure I was going to end up in the water.
After we had launched the boat and secured Tatui in her pen we went to explore the town. Even after our walk our minds hadn’t been changed. We still couldn’t figure out why the town was so popular with tourists. It was the next day we discovered why.
We set off in the car on the what the locals called The Great Ocean Drive which started at the headland at one end of the town. We climbed higher, went to the lookout for a good view of the town and the coast and then came around the corner and found this, West Beach.
Click the photo to view the video of West Beach
Now we knew why the tourists flocked to the town. West Beach was not just one but the first of 8 magnificent beaches. Each had its own unique features.
The most famous being Twilight Beach.
After being mesmerised by the beaches we were keen to get out on the water so took Tatui out for a day around some of the islands of the Archipelago of the Recherche, or Bay of Isles off Esperance. We anchored for lunch at Cape Le Grande which showed us the incredibly clear waters of the Southern Ocean and yielded fish for tea. On the cruise back we were fortunate to have the beautiful experience of being joined by three dolphins who thought it was great fun to frolic in the bow waves of our boat.
Cape Le Grande
Being a small marina arm we quickly met some of the boat owners and Russ was invited to join them for their Saturday racing. I opted to stay on shore as it was too windy for me (25knots plus).
However, before we left Esperance we had another day of sunshine so headed off to the other side of Esperance to Cape Le Grande National Park. We couldn’t believe it. Here we found yet more beautiful beaches including: Cape Le Grande, Thistle Cove, Hellfire Bay and Lucky Bay.
Cape Le Grande Beach
Now we know why a small Aussie seaside town called Esperance has such a big reputation, it undoubtedly has some of the whitest and most beautiful beaches in Australia.