If you’re looking for amazing views, a peaceful location to relax in, and a visit from some friendly kangaroos, then look no further than Cape Le Grand National Park. This pristine park is only a 40-minute drive from the town of Esperance and is known for its stunning scenery and rugged coastline. You can swim in the crystal-clear waters, bushwalk with views of the epic coastline, or just set up camp and throw a line in.
The beaches boast some of the whitest sand you will ever see, (in fact Lucky Bay has been named the whitest beach in Australia!) and the waters are spectacularly clear. Each bay is surrounded by extraordinary rock formations and cliff formations, making them even more stunning.
Cape le Grand National Park offers two campsite locations, one at Lucky Bay, home of the sunbaking kangaroos, and one at Cape Le Grand Beach. Both beachside camps offer numerous sites with fantastic facilities including toilets, showers, and barbeques. You feel right at home as soon as you pull up to your designated bay and start to set up camp. You can book a spot at these campsites using the DPAW website, a good idea if you’re travelling in peak season.
The sound of the waves gently folding onto the shore right in front of you instantly relaxes you, in fact, it can be quite hard to focus on the tent set up when the view is this good! Don’t be surprised if you’re visited by a kangaroo or two, they are just welcoming you into the park and saying g’day. Once the tent is up, it’s time to put your feet up, crack open a drink, and enjoy the views of the bay. Trust us, Esperance knows how to do sunsets.
If you prefer getting active on holiday and sitting still isn’t for you, there are plenty of activities to keep you busy around the Park. There are plenty of walking trails throughout the vast landscape, which traverse the rugged coast and give you the opportunity to finish off with a dip in the ocean.
If you consider yourself quite the adventurer, Frenchman Peak is a must! Standing at 262m tall, this amazing rock formation is a steep climb but provides the most rewarding views from the summit. You’ll see panoramic views over the park, the southern coastline and the islands in the Recherché Archipelago. Allow 1-3 hours for a return trip on this 3km trail, depending on your climbing ability (and depending on how many selfies you want to take up there!) A few extra tips: the trail is made up of gravel paths, wooden boardwalks, and mostly exposed granite at a steep incline, so make sure you are fully prepared with the right footwear and a jumper as it can get quite cold and windy towards the top. The rock can also become slippery when wet, so we recommend not to attempt this climb while it’s raining.
After your day of exploring, head back to your campsite and settle in for the night. With so little light pollution out in the national park you’re in for a real treat. The star-filled sky will roll across and absolutely take your breath away. If you haven’t experienced a proper outback night sky, this is sure to be a highlight of your camping experience! It’s hard to beat, and one of the major perks of being out of a big city. After trying to count the millions of stars above you, you can fall asleep to the sounds of the bay around you.
If you’ve chosen to stay at Lucky Bay, in the morning you will awake to the smell of freshly ground coffee as the Lucky Bean coffee van parks up on the beach to satisfy your caffeine fix ready for your next day of exploring.
Cape Le Grand National Park is our top pick for camping in Esperance, Western Australia, and we hope you can see why! It’s not somewhere you can visit just once, so be prepared to start planning your next trip while you're still down there.