Sadly, Western Australia is not the first place that comes to mind when people think about traveling to Australia. Instead, Sydney, Melbourne, and the Great Barrier Reef seem to be the go-to destinations. Lonely little Western Australia–all the way on the west coast–just seems too far to travel for most. When we told people on the east coast we were going to be living in Western Australia, their first response was almost always “I’m sorry…. Why?” In fact, when Oprah did her big Australia visit (which, by the way, was covered on the news here for about 2 months straight), she didn’t come anywhere near the west coast. Instead, she just sent one of her annoying screaming guests to do the job.
I have to say that after spending almost 10 months here, I have seen some of the most beautiful landscapes I have seen anywhere in the world and I have sat on some of the whitest sand beaches next to the most turquoise waters you could imagine. And, it was usually just me, Chelsea, and nobody else on the beach.
Nowhere was this beauty and seclusion more apparent than our trip down to Esperance, Western Australia along the state’s southern coast. We camped right next to the beach (Lucky Bay) and were put to sleep each night by the sound of the waves. In the morning, we would wake up, drive a few hundred feet down the beach, and have almost the entire thing to ourselves.
I would skip Sydney, the Great Barrier Reef, the Opera House, and every other touristy landmark in Australia if it meant I got to spend more time in Australia’s southwest (Mouse over pictures to scroll through the panoramas):
Lucky Bay | Cape Le Grand National Park | Near Esperance, Western Australia. We camped next to this beach for two nights. Campgrounds are only $9 a person and there were even hot (solar powered) showers and a camp kitchen.
Little Hellfire Bay | Cape Le Grand National Park | Near Esperance, Western Australia. This secluded beach requires a 20-minute hike from a nearby parking lot next to another beach. Translation: Everyone is too lazy to hike here so you can have it to yourself…
Twilight Bay | Esperance, Western Australia. The most crowded of all the beaches we went to. Probably because it was named Australia’s best beach a few years ago. You can swim out to the big rock with the hole in it and jump off it.
A view from said rock in Twilight Bay
Observatory Point | Great Ocean Drive | Esperance, Western Australia.
10 Mile Lagoon | Great Ocean Drive | Esperance, Western Australia
Oh, and kangaroos hang out on the beach, so something must be right…