Down south, the Golden Outback’s iconic white sands, aqua waters and rugged shores make for a heavenly seaside adventure. This corner of the Golden Outback is blessed with some of the world’s most sublime beaches, eclectic marine life and untouched islands; and vast, endlessly promising outback in the other.
A seven-and-a-half-hour drive from Perth, Esperance’s effortless beauty is nothing short of incredible, in the literal sense of the word! The beachside haven marries its breathtaking seascape with utterly captivating cultural attractions. The pace of day-to-day life is a little slower in Esperance, and dares visitors to truly unwind with island jaunts or languid, sunny afternoons doing little else but taking it all in.
Take a tour of the Recherche Archipelago, the islands that curl around the coast, for an intimate marine wildlife experience that you won’t soon forget. Sea lions love nothing more than to flirt with visitors
or laze on the rocks, while playful dolphins swim alongside boats and giant seabirds soar overhead. In winter and spring, however, majestic migrating whales steal the show.
Back on the mainland, there is much Indigenous history and culture to learn about, and local Aboriginal guides love to share their people’s stories with visitors. While away an afternoon at the Esperance Museum Village, a cluster of restored heritage buildings that house cafés and galleries, including Kepa Kurl, which is famous for its Aboriginal art collection.
Drive about an hour east of Esperance for an incomparable camping experience along one of Australia’s most idyllic beaches, Lucky Bay. For locals who know best – the kangaroos, that is – Lucky Bay’s pristine sands make for a blissful spot to laze and soak up the sunshine. The beach stretches for five kilometres, so your own private slice of tranquillity is never more than a stroll away. If you get itchy feet, explore some of the nearby bushwalks that offer sprawling views of the coast and islands.
Ravensthorpe is a less-travelled – but no less enchanting – nook of the Fitzgerald Coast, a two-hour drive west of Esperance. Ravensthorpe boasts glittering, turquoise waters along pristine stretches of sand, diverse and rare wildlife, and a dramatic coastal landscape that features ancient rocky outcrops and deep valleys. Serendipitously perched on the Fitzgerald River National Park’s doorstep, why not follow the Hamersley Drive on an action-packed four-wheel drive daytrip? Don’t miss out on panoramic coastal views from the Ethel Daw Scenic Drive, or head to Mount Short Scenic Drive to survey the wondrous Golden Outback from the highest point of its coast.