Saturday, 28 January 2012

A to Z of Australia - E is for Esperance

French explorers are credited with being the first to come on land in 1792, in Southern Western Australia, in the town that was then named after a French ship - Espérance - or Hope. Esperance, is located 720km south east of Perth.

The town lives from tourism, fishing and agriculture. When we first went there in 2009 I actually thought it far from touristy although we went at Easter time. 
It certainly was totally different from the way I pictured it would be; i.e. like most beach towns in Europe for example, full of tourists, loads of shops and restaurants along the coast...Instead it was a sleepy town of about 9000 people, and although the 3 or 4 camping places in the town were full, not many people were on the beaches, and with the exception of one restaurant on the Pier, all others were in the city centre. 
As you can attest from the photos, the beaches are beautiful, the sand is so fine and white, the water is clear, but they are empty.

Some wonderful rock formations at sea

This coastline has been voted as having Australia´s best beaches and whitest sand, and Esperance has been voted as the top holiday town in the State by Australian Traveller Magazine, and the second top-holiday town overall in Australia.

The mostly calm sapphire waters are crystal clear and you can swim, surf, snorkel or fish. 
There are a whole lot of camping places and accommodation to suit all budgets.

Plenty of variety of fish to catch.

Just off the coast there are about 100, mostly untouched islands - The Recherche archipelago - with colonies of sea eagles, sea lions and fur seals. You can visit some of them by boat.

We met the friendly resident seal by the Pier - "Sammy", who likes to meet the tourists and waits for the fishermen to throw him a morsel. 

Esperance became known as the place where pieces of the NASA´s space station Skylab crashed when the craft broke up over the Indian Ocean in 1979..

The San Francisco Examiner newspaper offered a $10,000 prize for the first piece of Skylab to be delivered to their offices.  A 17 year old, Stan Thornton scooped a few pieces from the roof of his house, and caught the first flight to San Francisco, where he collected his prize.
What a lucky young man!

The United States was fined $400 for littering, and the fine was paid about 10 years later by Highway Radio´s  show host Scott Barley, who raised the funds from his listeners.
I´m not sure why the US Government or NASA didn´t pay the fine?

Apart from spending some time at the various beaches, we did some walking around town to visit some quaint village shops, we visited the Museum and also had some relaxing time in the camping place.
A funny thing happened to us when we arrived at the camping place in the early evening of the first day in Esperance.
As we attempted to set up our tent, we realized we had forgotten some of the tent poles.
Needless to say the shops were already closed! So, all we could do was put down the back car seats, inflate our mattress, but only otherwise it wouldn´t fit inside the boot, and we had a most uncomfortable night, tossing and turning in a half filled mattress. 
We hung towels from the car windows to block the view inside, as we were next to one of the paths to the outside, as well as block the early sun in the morning.
The next day right after our breakfast we drove around trying to find a shop that sold camping gear and we bought the poles. Lesson learned, they were never again forgotten!
I wasn´t yet the photography freak I am now, so sadly I didn´t take photos of our car-bed.
I would certainly recommend a relaxing holiday in Esperance.

On the way back to Perth we drove by Corrigin, a small farming town 325km South east of Perth to visit unique "Dog cemetery" which was established in 1974 and is the burial place to over 80 beloved pets. There are some beautiful tributes from wonderful dog-owners.

We also visited the famous Wave Rock on the way back to Perth, but you will have to wait to read about it when I get to the letter R for Rocks!


  1. The beach looks lovely and amazing that they are not inundated with visitors - planning to visit Australia in September, not sure if we will make it to Perth but if we do, will keep this in mind.

  2. Definitely have to make it across the desert to visit! Stunning photos!

  3. Very informative post Sami, I agree Esperance is a great spot to have a relaxing break, the beaches are amongst the best in the world. Back to the hot weather for the next few days I see, horrible! Keep cool.

  4. Johanna, Cynthia, TeamOyeniyi and Grace - thanks for visiting.
    Definitely worth a visit.

  5. I am sure that a few people from Asia visited before that. That looks like my kind of beach.

  6. I am loving your blog!
    so much that I have just awarded you the Liebster Award!
    Click here to find out more
    and hope you accept! :)
    sent with love

  7. Thanks for the award Alyson. I had already read your post where you mentioned it. I gladly accept, will take care of the formalities tomorrow, as it's sleeping time now and I have to work tomorrow morning.

  8. Those beach pictures are beautiful! Makes me want to visit.

  9. Hi Sami,

    This looks like a beautiful place and so natural. I love the white sands and the sea looks so inviting!
    Bet it is warmer than the sea along the West coast of Portugal.

    I thought I'd already left a comment. Sorry :)

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