Kalgoorlie to ESperance
Norseman, Gibson Soak, Lucky Bay, Fitzgerald River National Park, Cape Le Grand, Woody Island and Pink Lake Hillier
If you’re a Kalgoorlie local, then you’re pretty lucky – the gorgeous town of Esperance is your local beach! 😉 In just 4 hours you can go from the red dirt of Kal to the turquoise ocean and white sand of Esperance – and that’s why it’s a firm favourite for long weekend escapes.
The trip down to Esperance is an easy drive and sometimes we know you just want to get to your destination, but there are also a number of great places to stop to break up your journey. This 3-day itinerary is perfect for a long weekend escape from Kal and features a couple of brilliant rest stop ideas too! Enjoy!
Kalgoorlie Boulder to Norseman (188 km)
It’s time to pack up the car, grab your snacks and don’t forget your reusable coffee cup – we’re off on an epic adventure through road trip country! Our first stop is going to Norseman, approximately 2 hours from Kalgoorlie Boulder.
When you arrive into Norseman, hop out of the car, get some fresh air and stretch your legs. There are heaps of cute picnic spots to enjoy here, so get out your pack-up, or if you’ve not come prepared, grab a bite to eat from the Full Moon Café.
One of our favourite picnic spots is the Beacon Hill Lookout It’s a short 2km drive from town and you’ll get spectacular views across the Great Western Woodlands and Lake Cowan. There’s also a short walk trail through the bushland if you want to get some steps in before you get back in the car.
Mount Jimberlana is another great spot to enjoy your lunch or just to take in some gorgeous views. The large granite outcrop offers spectacular views from the top with a picnic area at the base, located just 5km east of town.
Did you know you can play two holes of the world’s longest golf course, the Nullarbor Links right here in Norseman? You can also fossick for gemstones in the peaceful bushland around Norseman, just ask for directions from the Visitor Centre.
For those history buffs, you can also check out the National Historical and Geological Museum. This attraction houses a wonderful collection of memorabilia in what used to be the ‘School of Mines’ building. Soak up the history and heritage as you explore the different room displays and then go outside to view all the great exhibits such as a large piece of Skylab, the beautifully restored horse wagon, a railway pumper that was used by the fettlers when repairing the rail lines plus numerous pieces of mining equipment. A small entry fee applies and it opens 10am to 1pm most days.
Norseman to Esperance (203 km)
You’re halfway now! Time to hop back in the car, get your playlist cranking and continue your journey to Esperance. Consider taking the Norseman Heritage Trail which features 10 stopping places spread along the 25 km between Norseman and the site of the original township of Dundas. Each site features fascinating interpretive stories that help build a picture of life in the early years along the Coach Road. Some sites have picnic tables, others have walk trails - all showcase the life and times of the hardy folk who flocked to the Dundas goldfields
You’ll be arriving into Esperance in the afternoon, so we’d suggest staying local and checking out the gorgeous Great Ocean Drive. This tourist self-drive route winds along the coast then back inland, showcasing that amazing coastline you’ve heard so much about! Pick your favourite beach and chill out on that perfect white sand for the afternoon. We recommend snorkeling in the calm, clear blue waters of Blue Haven Beach and Twilight Cove. If you prefer surfing, make your way to West Beach, Fourth Beach or Observatory Beach. For some spectacular views, Observatory Point Lookout and Rotary Lookout are well worth the climb. If you are after a sunset, set up at Nine Mile Beach.
Cape Le Grand
Start your day early and head out to Cape Le Grand National Park today. Don’t forget to pack a picnic or something to BBQ once you get into the national park. If you’re lucky enough to be in town for the fortnightly Saturday Esperance Grower’s Market, you can stock up on am amazing array of home-grown treats, including fresh bread from the famous Bread Local.
Cape Le Grand is about an hour’s drive, so again, fill up that coffee cup and grab a fresh pastry from the S'Juice van, located at the Pier, for breakfast on-the-go.
Lace up your boots and start your National Park morning by hiking Frenchman’s Peak. It’s a short but steep climb, and when you reach the top, you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views of rolling hills, crystal blue waters and islands in the Recherche Archipelago. Be sure to explore the cave and take plenty of selfies!
Hop back in the car and take your pick of amazing beaches to explore. Australia’s most dazzling coastal jewel, Lucky Bay, is probably the most famous and is where you’ll find lazy kangaroos sunbathing on the beach.
The Lucky Bean Café is also situated right on the beach so you can grab a cold drink and a snack. There are plenty of BBQs and picnic tables here too, so now’s the time to reward yourself for the climb with a yummy lunch.
If you fancy a hike, explore the park’s wild reaches on the Le Grand Coastal Trail, which links many of the park’s most spectacular coastal sections between Le Grand Beach and Rossiter Bay.
After a day of exploration, head back to town and treat yourself to a delicious dinner at one of Esperance’s great restaurants – we love Fish Face, Loose Goose, Ocean Blues or Seasons restaurant. Head to our blogs page for some dinner inspiration!
Woody Island and Pink Lake Hillier
If you fancy a lazy day, make your way back to one of the gorgeous beaches in Esperance along the Great Ocean Drive and relax on the pure white sand. If you want to stay local but enjoy a stroll, the foreshore is beautiful and has a pedestrian path all along the coast. Make sure to grab something from one of the local coffee vans, Coffee Cat or Bean Break.
If you want to get out onto the water, we’d recommend taking one of two wonderful cruises. The Esperance Island Cruise takes you around the Archipelago, showing you the beautiful water and local wildlife. You can hop into the water for a snorkel or just soak in the views. You can also take a cruise out to nearby Woody Island. The cruise includes a stop on the island so you can have your very own Robinson Crusoe moment, and a spot of snorkelling.
One of the most unique attractions down here is the bubblegum pink Lake Hillier. This isn’t the Pink Lake in Esperance (which now actually isn’t pink) but Lake Hillier on Middle Island, just off the coast of Esperance. If you want to splurge and do something really amazing, take a scenic flight over the island to see the amazing pink lake for yourself. This bubblegum pink lake contrasts with the green bushland and blue water for a truly astonishing view.
After your day exploring, it’s time to head back to Kal. Pack up the car, grab some lollies to keep you going on the drive home and hit the road.