Esperance, roughly translated, is French for hope and it's the French who are credited with the town's discovery, naming it and other local landmarks while sheltering from a storm in this area in 1792.
Ten years on Matthew Flinders sailed the glorious waters of the Bay of Isles, discovering and naming gems such as Lucky Bay and Thistle Cove.
Whalers, sealers and pirates followed, as did pastoralists and miners, keen to cash in on free land and a gold boom to the north at Kalgoorlie.
Today, tourism, agriculture and fishing steer the economy of this stunning coastal community.
Esperance is a beautiful coastal town located 720 kilometres south east of Perth and about 4.5 hours from Albany.
Esperance has the most stunning coastal scenery with squeaky white sand and turquoise water. There are five national parks around Esperance.
The Cape Le Grand National Park is only 56kms from the town centre and this is where you can see kangaroos lazing on the beach.
Further east is Cape Arid, which is also a popular park for camping, fishing and hiking.
A great scenic drive from the town centre is the 40km tourist loop called the Great Ocean Drive, which takes in the beautiful surfing and fishing beaches, the wind farm and the Pink Lake (not pink anymore).
Some of the main attractions in the town are the museum, the historic museum village where the visitor centre is located, and the tanker jetty where our resident sealion “Sammy” lives.
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There are more than 100 islands in the Archipelago and you can view quite a lot of them from the Great Ocean Drive and the town lookouts.
Wildlife Cruises around the bay area and out to the islands are available.
On this cruise, you step off at Woody Island, which is fantastic for swimming, snorkelling, fishing, diving and bushwalking.
Safari huts are dotted amongst the eucalypts for eco stays on the island.
Other tours in Esperance include 4wd tours along the beaches and into the national parks, coach tours which can take you along the scenic drive, to the national parks and out to Mermaid Leather.
Esperance is a popular spot for fishing.
The tanker jetty is a good spot, which is a walking distance from the town centre.
There are fishing charters; two of these also offers dive charters.
Between the months of June and October Southern Right whales can be spotted from the bays close to the town and they particularly love all the sheltered coves within the national parks.
Esperance is a beautiful place to visit. Visitors are always amazed at the sheer beauty of the place.
Esperance: A great place to live and work
Sweeping ocean vistas, pristine beaches, a rugged but accessible archipelago, wetlands of international importance and a rich tapestry of flora and fauna.
These natural wonders not only attract people to Esperance, they also keep them living here.
For its population of almost 15,000 people, this isolated town tucked in among these natural wonders on the south coast of Western Australia is a great place in which to live and work and despite the best efforts of the local people to keep Esperance a secret, the town is one of WA’s fastest growing, at a time when rural decline is affecting regional development elsewhere.
With farming the backbone of the economy, record tonnages of wheat, barley, lupins and canola are being shipped through the Port.
These products make up part of the more than six million tonnes of cargo that is being handled annually by the Port. A joint venture has been established between the Esperance Shire Council and the Esperance Port Authority to develop an industrial precinct to provide land and infrastructure for new and expanding industries.
Mining and aquaculture are seen as new and exciting prospects that are going to see the town grow and provide opportunities for skilled workers and their families.
Esperance and its pristine waters are recognised as being eminently suitable for abalone and caged-fish farming and the infrastructure is already available to support new industries. Such is the confidence in the prospects of aquaculture for Esperance that Goldfields Institute of Technology is running courses to train young people to work in this industry.
Esperance offers more than a wealth of natural wonders and jobs; it is also culturally rich with a thriving theatre guild and is often referred to as the country arts capital of WA and attracts visitors from all over to its arts festival – The Festival of the Wind.
Education, health, sport and housing are well catered for and people come from afar to fish the beaches and offshore islands in the Recherche Archipelago.