A stop in Esperance is rewarded with a myriad of stunning beaches and cliffside views that stretch deep into the Great Australian Bight. Forming a massive 100+ islands, the Archipelago of Recherche is located off the coast of Esperance, and a cruise amongst several of these gorgeous islands is a must!
Aerial view of the Archipelago of the Recherche, by Tourism Western Australia
On this scenic tour be on the lookout for creatures above and below sea level. Spot some New Zealand Fur Seals or Australian Sea Lions bathing on the rocks, common and bottlenose dolphins chasing the boat, along with Cape Barren Geese and white-bellied sea eagles soaring high above. It is also one of the best regions to spot some whales, particularly the humpbacks that are growing in numbers. The start of winter marks the best viewing time, but the season can last until December. The cruise will take in the Esperance foreshore and Port Authority, pass Lovers Cove, West Beach and Blue Haven, before heading out to discover some of this expansive archipelago of islands. You can even utilise the ships snorkelling equipment and take a swim in the crystal clear waters.
Australian sea lion, Recherche Achipelago, by Tourism Western Australia
Cape Le Grand National Park is a nature-lover’s delight. Spanning a whopping 318 square kilometres, you will uncover lands of sweeping hills, sandy dunes, local wildlife and a pristine shoreline. Some of the best locations will be covered on our South West small group tour. From the viewpoint, take in the imposing Mandooboornup (Frenchman Peak), standing 345 metres high.
Mandooboornup (Frenchman Peak), by Tourism Western Australia
At Thistle Cove, this beautiful bay comes alive with the sounds of nature, as the uniquely sculptured rocks whistle as the wind and waves reverberate through them. Keep your eye out for the natural wildlife that thrive in the freshwater wetlands. From a scenic bushwalk along the Coastal Walk Trail you will emerge at the exquisite Lucky Bay. Just before the sun begins to set, gaze upon the turquoise waters lapping onto the white sand. You may even spot a kangaroo or two!
The journey from Esperance to Albany takes you past the artistic beauty of painted silos found in Ravensthorpe. Part of the PUBLIC Silo Trail, WA’s largest outdoor art gallery, the painting depicts images of the flowering cycle of the banksia. This specific species can only be found between Esperance and Albany. Fremantle-based, Dutch-born artist Amok Island painted the remarkable mural, taking 31 days and 338 litres of paint.
PUBLIC Silo Trail, by Tourism Western Australia
Albany, by Tourism Western Australia
Continuing west along the shoreline you will discover the historic seaside town of Albany. As the oldest European settlement in Western Australia, expect to be enchanted by the colonial buildings transformed into museums, galleries, cottages and eateries. Home to the National ANZAC Centre you’ll be moved by its contents and picturesque views. Hear stories of the heroic men and women that served bravely, through this state of the art, award-winning Centre, with interactive displays and exhibits.
The National ANZAC Centre, ©National Anzac Centre
Take a tour of Albany’s Historic Whaling Station at Discovery Bay; the only experience like it in the world. Climb aboard the restored chasing ship and explore the intact whale processing factory, as you learn about whales and whaling from this interesting, interactive museum.
Albany's Historic Whaling Station at Discovery Bay, by Tourism Western Australia
Heading into the Torndirrup National Park you will be astounded by the incredible forces of nature that fills this region. Walking over the ledge at The Gap, will offer amazing views, 40 metres down to the ocean where the intense waves rush into the crevice, shooting up into the air. Witness the Natural Bridge carved out of the granite rocks by the power of the Great Southern Ocean.
The Gap and Natural Bridge in Torndirrup National Park, by Tourism Western Australia
If you haven’t had enough of these breathtaking sights, you’re in luck. A drive into the heart of the Porongurup National Park you will encounter the enormous, 670 metre high, Castle Rock. An experience you will never forget, take the suspended Granite Skywalk around this massive structure. This 3 kilometre trek will give you amazing insight into this beautiful region, offering 78 species of birds, 700 flowering plants and of course staggering views including, Albany, Mount Gardner and Mount Manypeaks.
Granite Skywalk, by Tourism Western Australia
You can visit these two amazing towns and surrounding regions on our extensive, small group tour of Western Australia, The South West in Depth.