Esperance is a small coastal town located on the south coast of Western Australia about 720km from Perth. The town was named after Esperance Bay on which it lies.
Brief History of Esperance
Esperance Bay was named by Admiral Bruni D’Entrecasteaux in 1792 during a French expedition that was on a mission to find the long lost explorer La Perouse. The name was in honour of the ship L’Esperance (French for ‘hope’), which anchored there to avoid a storm on the 9th of December. The Dutch had explored the region in 1627 but had not named the bay. In 1802 Matthew Flinders sailed around the Western Australian coast and named such places as Lucky Bay and Thistle Cove. Click here for more History of Esperance.
Must Sees of Esperance
Cape Le Grand National Park – Esperance has some of the best beaches in Australia, with blinding white sands, crystal clear water and endless hours of peace. Some of the most stunning beaches can be found in Cape Le Grand National Park (which does require a fee). Lucky Bay, Thistle Cove and Hellfire Bay are within a small driving distance of each other and offer an unforgettable experience.
The Pink Lake – The Pink Lake is often listed as one of the Top Natural Wonders of Western Australia but be warned, it is not always pink. You have to wait until a) the lake water reaches a salinity level greater than that of sea water b) the temperature gets hot enough and c) the light conditions are adequate, before the algae will even think about turning pink.
Stonehenge – Esperance is the proud owner of the only life size replica of the original Stonehenge. It is the most astonishing site you’ll ever see in a cow paddock. Click here for more info about Esperance Stonehenge.
Sammy The Sea Lion – Sammy the resident sea lion and his mate hang on the beach near Tanker Jetty, where they have an endless supply of fish scraps from the local fishermen.
Things You May Not Know About Esperance
In 1979 pieces from the out of control NASA space station Skylab, fell from the sky over the Indian Ocan and Esperance. Several chunks were found on people’s rooftops. The council in response to the incident, fined the United States $400 for littering. When a local boy heard that The San Francisco Examiner had offered a $10,000 reward for the first person to deliver a piece of Skylab to their offices, he hopped on his roof , grabbed a piece of Skylab and then caught the first available flight to the US to collect his money.
In 2007 Esperance experienced what was described as the “perfect storm”. Over a 100 houses were damaged and the road between Esperance and Perth was washed away.
In 2007 there was a toxic hazard alert after thousands of wild birds began falling dead from the skies. The problem was due to the unsafe transporting of lead ore by the mining company Magellan Metals. As a result the state government was forced to pay for a multi-million-dollar cleanup and the Magellan Metals were banned from exporting lead through the port.