Esperance is a stunning seaside town that has quickly gained a reputation for being of the most beautiful places to visit in Western Australia. With pristine beaches, bright white sands, vibrant blue waters, stunning sunsets, and plenty of things to do, it’s no surprise that Esperance is a popular destination for locals and travellers alike.
Whether you’re looking for a relaxing weekend away or a jam-packed holiday, there’s something for everyone in Esperance. From unique animal interactions or jaw-dropping mountain hikes to indulging in delicious food and drinks or stepping back in time to learn more about Esperance’s past. We’ve put together a list of the best 21 things to do in Esperance to make your stay unforgettable.
1. See Kangaroos on the Beach at Lucky Bay
One of the most unique experiences Esperance has to offer is seeing kangaroos on the beach at Lucky Bay. Look up Lucky Bay and you’ll see endless photos of cute kangaroos lazing on the sand. Even though seeing kangaroos on the beach can be a common occurrence, wild animal interactions are never guaranteed so for your best chance of seeing them we’d recommend making a day of it. That won’t be difficult though. With its sparkling turquoise waters, white sand and picturesque backdrop, Cape Le Grand National Park is the perfect place to spend the day. Pack a picnic, your bathers and a beach towel.
If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind experience during your time in Esperance, make sure to add a visit to Lucky Bay to your itinerary of things to do in Esperance. It’s a magical experience that’s sure to make your trip to Esperance all the more special.
If you’re planning on heading there make sure to check out our guide on the Lucky Bay Kangaroos which shares everything you need to know about them, such as; the best time to see them, where to see them and more.
Park entry fees are required for the Cape Le Grand National Park. At the time of writing this (March 2023) the price is $15 per standard vehicle (with 12 or less occupants).
2. Take on the Challenge of Frenchman Peak
An extremely fun and rewarding hike, take on the challenge of Frenchman Peak for incredible 360 degree views on the summit and a massive cave to explore. The trail is relatively short at just 3km return but it’s very steep. The effort is worth it though as you’ll be able to admire the beauty of the Cape Le Grand National Park from a whole new perspective at the summit.
Once you reach the top, take a few moments to bask in it’s beauty and enjoy your hard-earned accomplishment! If you’re looking for an adventure in Esperance, put Frenchman Peak at the top of your list.
If you’d like to know more about the hike check out our guide on the Frenchman Peak hike which will help you be fully prepared, it runs through details such as how long it takes to hike, how high Frenchman Peak is and more.
Park entry fees are required for the Cape Le Grand National Park. At the time of writing this (March 2023) the price is $15 per standard vehicle (with 12 or less occupants).
3. Admire Esperance’s Own Stonehenge
One popular attraction in Esperance is a replica of the UK’s Stonehenge. Consisting of 137 stones of Esperance pink granite, this impressive structure can be found in the outskirts of Esperance. Visiting the Stonehenge replica in Esperance is a must-do for anyone visiting the area. Get some great photos and appreciate how much effort went into creating such an impressive structure.
Visit on days of the summer and winter solstices and be in awe of how the stonehenge has been built to align with the summer and winter solstices. The stonehenge is open every day from 9am to 3pm. At the time of writing this (March 2023) entry fees are $14 per adult and $6 for children (4-16).
Whether you are visiting Esperance for the stunning beaches or for its incredible nature, for something different add Esperance’s own stonehenge on your list of things to do in Esperance. You won’t be disappointed!
4. Go Whale Watching (In the Right Season!)
There’s nothing better than experiencing the beauty of these majestic creatures in their natural habitat. Esperance is a prime destination for whale watching, and the best time to do it is between June and October. During this period, the sheltered bays around Esperance host southern right whales and their calves, plus the occasional humpback whale.
Enjoy spotting whales from the coast at one of Esperance’s beautiful beaches like; Twilight Beach, West Beach and Observatory Beach. For a more immersive experience you can book a cruise to see the whales up close or a scenic flight to see the whales from above.
Whale watching in Esperance is a truly awe-inspiring experience. So why not plan your visit during whale season, and get ready for an unforgettable experience!
5. Enjoy an Afternoon of Food, Drinks and Live Music at Lucky Bay Brewing
Located just outside the town centre of Esperance, Lucky Bay Brewing is the perfect spot to kick back and enjoy some great food, drinks and live music. Their family friendly atmosphere, premium quality beers and mouth-watering pizzas have made them a popular destination for both locals and tourists.
With a wide range of their own locally-brewed beers, enjoy a tasting paddle or have a pint of your favourite. They also have ciders, wines and alcohol free drinks on offer, so you’ll definitely find something to quench your thirst. The food menu features delicious woodfired pizza, as well as shares and small plates like cheese boards, salads and fries. If you’re feeling like a sweet treat afterwards they also have a dessert menu worth checking out.
If that doesn’t already sound amazing enough, pop by on a Friday or Sunday and you can enjoy live music from incredible artists. Whether you want to sample the local beer or just enjoy a relaxing night out, Lucky Bay Brewing is an excellent spot to visit while in Esperance.
6. Experience Farm Life with the Esperance Farm Experience
Are you looking for a family friendly thing to do in Esperance? If so, the Esperance Farm Experience is the perfect activity for you! This three hour tour of a working farm will provide you with an authentic glimpse into farm life. You’ll have the opportunity to feed and pat calves and lambs, learn where your food and clothes originate, enjoy a farm-style afternoon tea and explore the machinery store, shearing shed and livestock yards.
The Esperance Farm Experience is an ideal activity for families and animal lovers alike. Not only will you get to experience life on a farm, but you’ll also have a chance to learn about the region’s farming history. So if you’re looking for a unique and educational experience, make sure to check out the Esperance Farm Experience!
At the time of writing this (March 2023) the half day tour costs $90 per adult, $60 per child (12 years and under) and children under 3 are free.
7. Visit the Pink Lake… That’s Not so Pink Anymore
What once used to be a vibrant bubblegum pink lake, the Esperance Pink Lake has now lost it’s signature colour. Often confused with Lake Hillier, Pink Lake is typically still at the top of the ‘must see’ list for tourists who expect to see a vibrant pink lake.
A number of contributing factors have caused the lake to lose it’s bright hue. Over 100 years of commercial salt mining as well as freshwater entering the system through surface water inflow and increased groundwater inflow, significantly decreased the salinity of the lake. As the salinity of the lake decreased, the lake became less and less pink.
While it’s still worth driving by Pink Lake which is near the Esperance town centre, don’t be surprised if it’s not pink at all. You’ll just see the Pink Lake that once was.
8. See Lake Hillier Which is Actually Pink
Now if you want to see a pink lake while in Esperance, Lake Hillier is where you need to go. Lake Hillier has an otherworldly pink hue that contrasts the striking deep blue colour of the Southern Ocean that’s right next to it. The two are only separated by a thin line of thick green bushland which adds to the beauty of the landscape.
Only viewable by air, Lake Hillier is located on Middle Island in the Recherche Archipelago. So if you’re interested in seeing it you’ll need to book a scenic flight with Fly Esperance. The 80 minute scenic flight, besides being the only way to see Lake Hillier, is a breathtakingly beautiful flight that allows you to appreciate the spectacular scenery of the Esperance Region. Taking you over the town of Esperance, through the Cape Le Grand National Park and out to the Recherche Archipelago.
At the time of writing this (March 2023) the cost is $450 per person. Currently Lake Hillier is brown due to flooding of the lake with soil from the surrounding land so if you visit in the near future Lake Hillier won’t be it’s usual pink. The scenic flight still takes you over the more than two dozen pink and rainbow lakes in the Esperance region.
9. Walk, Fish and Snorkel Along the Esperance Jetty
The Esperance Jetty is an iconic spot in the region that locals and visitors alike flock to. It’s the perfect place to go if you’re looking for a day filled with relaxation, adventure or exploration. Situated on the waterfront of Esperance, just outside the town, the jetty is 415 metres long so there’s plenty to explore.
Whether you want to take a leisurely stroll, go fishing for dinner, or take a dip in the pristine waters of the jetty, there’s something for everyone to do at the Esperance Jetty. If fishing is your passion, the Esperance Jetty is the place to be as there’s no shortage of fish in these waters. Including Herring, Skippy, Whiting, Flathead and Squid. With the abundance of marine life and coral it’s also a fantastic place to snorkel (and dive if you have the right equipment). The end of the jetty has a dive trail and dive platform.
No matter how you spend your time at Esperance Jetty, one thing is certain – you will leave with wonderful memories of this gem. So be sure to add it to your list of things to do in Esperance next time you’re visiting!
10. Enjoy Spirit Tastings at Esperance Distillery
Spirit lovers rejoice! Esperance Distillery have a small cellar door open to the public for spirit tastings and bottle sales. Having first launched in December 2020 as Australia’s smallest distillery operating with a 30L pot still, Esperance Distillery has quickly grown from micro to small-batch. Popular for their unique gins, each of which is distilled using local native botanicals.
Nip by Esperance Distillery when you’re in Esperance and you won’t regret it. Enjoy tastings and then grab a bottle of your favourite to go (or as a gift for a loved one- they’ll thank you for it!).
The cellar door open hours vary seasonally. Esperance Distillery recommend you check their Instagram or Google Maps for their up to date open hours. At the time of writing this (March 2023) their open hours are Wednesday to Saturday 10am-4pm.
11. Revisit History at the Esperance Museum
Offering a glimpse into the history of Esperance, the Esperance Museum is the perfect place to go if you want to take a step back in time. The Esperance Museum has a fascinating and varied collection on display dating back to the 1800s. Expect to see debris from Skylab (Americas first space station which crashed down to Earth into Esperance in 1979), fossils, trains, agricultural equipment, maritime exhibits, trains and more.
The Esperance Museum is open Thursday to Sunday 1:30pm-4:30pm and is absolutely worth the visit if you’re a history lover. At the time of writing this (March 2023) the entry fees are $9 per adult, $4 per child and a family pack for 2 adults and 2 children is $22.
12. Spend the Day at One of the Incredible Beaches that Esperance is Known For
While we’ve already talked about Lucky Bay for it’s unique animal experience. Esperance is a true water-lovers paradise, with an abundance of jaw-dropping beaches. Whether you’re after a day of swimming, snorkelling, surfing, fishing or just lazing around in the sun, there’s a beach for you.
You don’t have to travel far to find a great beach, close to town are loads of amazing beaches with outstandingly blue waters. Such as; Twilight Beach, Salmon Beach, Fourth Beach and Blue Haven. Esperance also has a few ocean lagoons at; West Beach, Nine Mile Beach, Ten Mile Lagoon and Eleven Mile Beach. Pictured below is West Beach which has two large reefs which create natural ocean pools.
If you’re in Cape Le Grande don’t hesitate to check out Hellfire Bay and Thistle Cove, two incredible beaches with vibrant white sand and bright turquoise waters. If you’re at Hellfire Bay and want a more secluded beach, make the short 40 minute return walk to Little Hellfire, you won’t regret it! Pictured below are Little Hellfire and Hellfire Bay.
13. Bask in the Beauty of Esperance with a Scenic Drive on the Great Ocean Drive
There’s no better way to explore Esperance than to take on the Great Ocean Drive. A stunning scenic drive that takes drivers to major attractions in Esperance and along the jaw-dropping coastline that Esperance is known for.
The drive is a 40 kilometre loop with loads of amazing things to do along the way. Swim, snorkel, surf or fish at one of incredible beaches you pass, grab food and coffee from one of the vans at the Jetty Headland, enjoy a port tour at the Southern Ports or gaze in awe at the Ten Mile Wind Farm.
Grab some snacks and great music for the road, this is a road trip you won’t forget.
14. Take the Ferry to Woody Island
Just 15km off the coast of Esperance in the Recherche Archipelago is Woody Island. If you’re looking for a day trip adventure Woody Island is the spot to go. Take a short boat ride to the island and you’ll be rewarded with incredible walk trails and prime snorkelling spots in pristine clear waters that’s full of marine life. There’s an abundance of different species of flora and fauna that call Woody Island home making it the perfect place to get out in nature.
Their Island Day Tour includes a 60 minute ferry ride that showcases many of the amazing spots around Woody Island, this ferry ride is the perfect opportunity to see dolphins, sea eagles, sea lions and seals if you’re lucky. Once arriving at the island you’ll enjoy morning tea before taking on a guided walking tour. Then the island is free to explore; take on a walk trail, snorkel with the sea creatures who call Woody Island home or spend the day relaxing in the sun before arriving back in Esperance in the early afternoon. If you’d like to stay longer, Woody Island do offer camping and glamping stays.
At the time of writing this (March 2023) the island day tour package is $125 per adult, $85 for children between the ages of 13 and 17, $60 for children between the ages of 2 and 12 and children under the age of 2 are free.
15. Support the Locals and Embrace the Local Culture at a Market
The best way to support the locals and truly embrace the local culture of Esperance is to head down to a market. Esperance has two very popular markets, each of which have their own unique offering.
The Esperance Growers Market runs every second Saturday from 9am to 11am. It’s the perfect spot to load up on delicious fresh produce as the stalls are manned by local growers and makers. Expect to find fruits, vegetables, eggs, honey, preserves, baked goods and more.
The Museum Village Markets run every second Sunday from 8:30am to 12:30pm. Set amongst the historic buildings which are brought to life with live performers and stall holders. Expect to see a delicious range of food, coffee, craft items and more.
16. Hit the Green at a Golf Club
The perfect thing to do in Esperance for golf lovers, hit the green at one of the 3 golf clubs in Esperance. First up and perfect for the whole family to enjoy is Esperance Mini Golf. They have an indoor mini golf course, making it the perfect thing to do in Esperance if you’re visiting on a rainy day. At the time of writing this (March 2023) entry for Esperance Mini Golf is $15 per adult, $12 per child and children under 5 are free.
More serious golf players can check out Pink Lake Golf or Esperance Golf Club. Both offer a great selection of courses and amenities for visitors who want to spend a day on the green. With beautifully manicured fairways and breathtaking views, it’s no wonder why so many people get their golfing fix while in Esperance.
At the time of writing this (March 2023) the Pink Lake Golf Club green fees are $20 for 18 holes or $10 for 9 holes. The Esperance Golf Club green fees are $20 for 1-12 holes or $30 for 18 holes.
17. Learn from the Locals at the Esperance Visitor Centre
If you’re looking for the inside scoop on more than just the best things to do in Esperance make sure to head over to the Esperance Visitor Centre. They have friendly and knowledgeable staff that can help guide you in the right direction, whether it’s your first time in town or you’re a returning visitor.
Not only do they offer an array of resources to help visitors explore the area, but they also have some great souvenirs for sale to remember your trip. Furthermore, the Esperance Visitor Centre offers free Wi-Fi, a touchscreen information board to help travellers access information after hours and a dump point and potable water top up for caravans and motorhomes. They really are a ‘one stop shop’, having everything you need to make your visit to Esperance a memorable one.
18. Explore a Doll Museum
If you’re looking for something quirky to do in Esperance, then you should definitely check out Aunty Joan’s Dolly Mix! This not-for-profit doll museum and event space is located right in the heart of town and is open daily from 1pm to 4pm. Admission is via a donation, with all proceeds going to local charities.
At Aunty Joan’s Dolly Mix you will find an amazing collection of nearly 1000 elaborate modern porcelain dolls. The displays are arranged in a creative way, with different sections dedicated to different kinds of dolls. You can take your time to browse through the collection and appreciate the amazing craftsmanship of each individual doll. If you’re looking for an interesting activity in Esperance, make sure you stop by Aunty Joan’s Dolly Mix.
19. Indulge Your Tastebuds with Delicious Food
When in Esperance, you have to indulge your tastebuds with delicious food. With a variety of restaurants, cafes, food vans, and take away shops scattered around town, there is something for every palate.
From fresh seafood to woodfired pizzas and everything in between, you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to dining out in Esperance. Whether you’re looking for an intimate dinner for two, a family dinner or take away to enjoy on the go or at your accommodation, you can find it all here. Below are just some of the amazing food spots in Esperance:
- Ricardos Pizza and Pasta
- Loose Goose Bar & Restaurant
- Seasons Restaurant
- 33 Degrees Esperance
- Downtown Espresso Bar
- Aurelia’s Ice-Creamery & Cafe
- Curry Palace Indian Restaurant
- Witches Brew Esperance
- The Pier Hotel
- Break Away Cafe
- Cloud Eleven
With such a wide variety of delicious food to choose from, indulging in the local cuisine is a must-do when visiting Esperance. You’re covered for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner.
20. Spoil Yourself with a Day of Shopping
When visiting Esperance, why not treat yourself to a day of shopping? With a wide selection of stores, there is something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a new dress or the perfect gift, you’ll find it all in Esperance.
Fashionistas can enjoy checking out the local boutiques. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy spending the day at fishing supply and outdoor stores. Avid home decorators will enjoy checking out the print stores and furniture shops. Book lovers will enjoy checking out the book store. Crafters can enjoy checking out the crafting supply stores.
Find something for yourself or someone you love at one of the many stores in Esperance, such as:
- Anything and Everything Esperance
- Boho Soul Boutique
- Create and See
- Dear Village
- Dempster Sporting
- ESP of Esperance
- Flickr Candles
- Innertube Surf Shop
- James St Boutique
- Just One More Stitch
- Kat’s Living Gifts
- Luxe Floral & Home Co
- Naturally Esperance
- Southern Sports and Tackle
- The Toy Station
- Tide & Co
- Wild Posse
- Woven Boutique
With so many options available, you can easily spend an entire day shopping in Esperance. Head to the shops and enjoy a day of shopping!
21. Appreciate Esperance’s Art Scene
Appreciate the vibrant art scene of Esperance by visiting some of the amazing art centres and galleries located throughout the area. Below are just a few of these.
- Mudjar Aboriginal Corporation – A shop and gallery showcasing unique indigenous pieces including sculptures, braided rugs, glassware, paintings and more.
- Cindy Poole Gallery, Studio & Cafe – An art gallery showcasing art from artist Cindy Poole who uses recycled glass to make jewellery, household items, sculptures and art pieces.
- Cannery Arts Centre – A vibrant community arts centre which has art exhibitions and workshops for Esperance locals and its visitors.
- Esperance Community Arts Centre – A community arts centre that assists with a variety of art programs and projects in Esperance. They also have a workshop and exhibition space, including a shop space which has art and craft pieces from over 50 local artists on display and for sale.
- Baxter and Maree Art Gallery – An in-store gallery showcasing a range of unique images for sale.
There’s something for everyone in Esperance’s art scene, so make sure to take some time out of your day to appreciate it!
Have an Amazing Time in Esperance!
We hope that this list of the best things to do in Esperance has helped you plan your upcoming trip. We’re sure you’ll have an amazing time in this beautiful seaside town.
If you’re interested we’ve also put together some answers for frequently asked questions about Esperance, WA below.
What is Esperance Known For?
Esperance is known for having some of Australia’s best beaches, making it a true water lovers paradise. It has become a tourist hotspot, popular for it’s bright white sandy beaches and crystal-clear vibrant turquoise waters.
Is Esperance Worth Visiting?
Definitely, Esperance is an amazing spot to visit, particularly for water lovers. It has a ‘paradise like feel’ with unique and stunning landscapes of outstanding coastlines and vibrant waters.
With so much to do there’s something for everyone. From unique animal interactions or jaw-dropping mountain hikes to indulging in delicious food and drinks or stepping back in time to learn more about Esperance’s past.
How Many Days do you Need in Esperance?
We recommend having at least a couple of days in Esperance. Keep in mind that if you’re coming from Perth it’s a very long drive so you may need longer to recover and be able to fully enjoy your trip without feeling rushed.
What is the Best Time to Visit Esperance?
Esperance is great to visit all year round with pretty consistent temperatures throughout the year. As Esperance is mostly known for it’s beaches and water-based activities we’d recommend going in the warmer months that have the highest average temperatures and the lowest chance of rain, this is during Summer (December to February). The coldest average temperatures and water temperatures are experienced in winter (June to August).
Do you Need a 4WD for Esperance?
No, you can get to all of the prime attractions in Esperance in a 2WD. A 4WD just allows you to go beach driving.
Do you Need a Car in Esperance?
No, you don’t need a car in Esperance. Once you’re in Esperance everything (except the Cape Le Grand National Park) is close to town. To get around easily and to be able to head out to the Cape Le Grand National Park we would recommend hiring a car. You may also need a car to get to Esperance as it’s quite remote.
How Far is Esperance from Perth?
Esperance is approximately 698km from Perth, which is about a 7.5-8.5 hour drive away (depending on traffic and which route you take).
Can you Drive from Perth to Esperance in One Day?
Yes, you can drive from Perth to Esperance in one day. However it’s a very long drive, taking 7.5-8.5 hours so we wouldn’t recommend it. It’s unsafe driving such a long distance in one day.
If you are going to drive from Perth to Esperance in one day (or any other long distance drive) make sure to be road smart; share the drive with someone else and take turns driving, take frequent breaks to stretch your legs, bring snacks and lots of fluids to stay hydrated, make sure you had lots of sleep the night before and stay mentally stimulated by talking with your passengers and listening to music or podcasts.
How Far is Esperance from Albany?
Esperance is approximately 483km from Albany, which is about a 5-5.5 hour drive away (depending on traffic and which route you take).
How Far is Esperance from Ravensthorpe?
Esperance is approximately 187km from Ravensthorpe, which is about a 2-2.5 hour drive away (depending on traffic and which route you take).
What Region is Esperance in?
Esperance is in the Goldfields-Esperance region of Western Australia.
What Shire is Esperance in?
Esperance is in the Shire of Esperance.
What is the Population of Esperance?
Esperance has a population of 13,883 (according to the 2021 Census).
What is there to do in Esperance?
There are loads of things to do in Esperance, including:
- Seeing kangaroos on the beach at Lucky Bay
- Taking on the Frenchman Peak hike
- Visiting the Stonehenge replica
- Going whale watching (in the right season!)
- Having food and drinks at Lucky Bay brewing
- Taking a tour of a working farm with Esperance Farm Experience
- Visiting Pink Lake (that’s not pink anymore)
- Taking a scenic flight to see Lake Hillier
- Fishing, swimming and snorkelling on the Esperance Jetty
- Having spirit tastings at Esperance Distillery
- Visiting the Esperance Museum
- Visiting one of the many amazing Esperance beaches
- Going on a scenic drive on the Great Ocean Drive
- Taking the ferry to Woody Island
- Going to a local market
- Playing golf (or mini golf) at a golf club
- Visiting the Esperance Visitor Centre
- Exploring a doll museum at Aunty Joan’s Dolly Mix
- Eating delicious food at one of the local dining spots
- Enjoying a day of shopping
- Visiting the art galleries and centres in Esperance
Watch Our Time in Esperance at the Cape Le Grand National Park
If you’d like to watch our experience in Esperance you can in our YouTube video below. We stay at Lucky Bay campground and take on the Frenchman Peak hike.