Holy-wow!! It’s like stepping right into the front page of a travel brochure – Lucky Bay and Cape Le Grand National Park will blow your socks off! With glowing turquoise waters, squeaky white sand and the cutest Kangaroos calling this coastline home, it’s no doubt one to put on your bucket list.
There are a few things to know to help you get the most out of your visit here that we share below –
1. Stay as long as you can – Trust us!
Cape Le Grand is an easy 45-minute drive from the town of Esperance in WA. Once you arrive we guarantee you won’t want to leave so plan to stay as long as you can. Whether that is via taking day trips from town each day, or staying within the national park like we did.
The only way to stay the night is to camp – sorry, there is no luxurious hotel accommodation which is one of the reasons why this place is so special. There are two campground options – one at Lucky Bay and one at Le Grand Beach. In peak periods these sites go like hot-cakes, so you will need to book as early as possible (book via WA Parks website).
Camping at Le Grand Beach
We camped at Le Grand Beach for our stay which we just loved and ended up extending our time as the days ticked on for a total of 12 whole nights – it was heaven!
With only 14 campsites available it has a quieter, more relaxed vibe and the bushy sites provide great shade and privacy.
Camping at Lucky Bay
Camping at Lucky Bay is also very popular with 56 sites available that overlook the bay. It’s a little more ‘open plan’ with more of a car park feel to it but if you’re lucky and snag a beach view spot you’ll be pretty happy.
All sites are un-powered and camp fees are $15 for an adult per night and $3 per child (5 -16 years). There are toilets, solar showers and dish washing facilities at both campsites and you can stay up to 2 weeks at a time.
Note: There is also a $12 entry fee per vehicle for the National Park. If you are road tripping and planning on visiting more national parks within WA, we recommend you get a Holiday Pass or a All Parks Pass.
2. Beach Driving Baby
There is something we love about setting up on our own piece of sandy real estate to enjoy a picnic, swim, surf and fish.
Beach driving is allowed on both Lucky Bay and Le Grand Beach and it’s a great way to take in the stunning views.
Please be aware that these beaches are notoriously treacherous for vehicles the further away you travel from the entrance ramp and compact sand. It is easy to become bogged in the most innocent looking wet or dry sand so make sure you ask the ranger about surface conditions and tides. We also share some 4WD tips and pointers for beach driving in our post here.
If you do take your vehicle onto the beach, make sure you are aware of pedestrians, small kids playing and drive slowly. Normal road rules apply.
3. Meet Skippy
Is there anything more Australian than Kangaroos on the beach?! There’s no doubt that this iconic image is a major draw card for all travellers alike. You’ll find these fluffy guys happily lounging about their picture-perfect home on Lucky Bay Beach. If you can’t see any there you may have more chance of spotting them at dusk and dawn.
We met a few sniffing about the washed up weed at the end of the beach. It wasn’t long until I was sneaking closer to grab a quick snap when I fell knee deep into the wet soggy weed!! Haha – my mate Skippy just looked at me and I swear he was laughing at me, with his long feet steadily balancing on the weedy sludge as I slid my brown wet leg out – ‘Squelch!’
…So, if you are smart you’ll learn from me and be wary of that ribbon weed. And, as with any native Australian animal, please don’t feed the kangaroos.
4. Coastal walks
If you are into hiking you are in for a treat. There are some beautiful walking trails here that take you along the coastline and bush scrub allowing you to take in these stunning vistas.
Our favourite walk was the Le Grand beach to Hellfire Bay which the kids handled pretty well, our youngest, Zig, having a little help at times on my back. While on this walk we spotted some beautiful birdlife, Kangaroos, a seal and a snake! We also a had a few leeches and ticks trying to join us so make sure you do a quick once over check when you finish the walks.
Frenchman’s Peak is also an amazing hike up a towering mountain which rewards you with the most amazing views. Frenchman’s is one of three granite peaks in the park featuring caves and tunnels in the peaks which are thought to have been formed by wave action 40 million years ago – Wowzers! The Aboriginal name for the peak is Mandooboornup.
From July to November the wildflowers are also in bloom. You can enjoy these from the driving trails and walks throughout the Park. You can also grab a map from the Visitor Centre to ensure you see the best spots.
5. Exploring Esperance
It’s only a 40 minute drive back into town to Esperance, where you can explore the local shops and enjoy a bite to eat at the local cafes, as well as stock up on supplies at the supermarket.
While in Esperance there are a few things you can do including –
- Lucky Bay Brewing – Drop in to Lucky Bay Brewing to sample some local craft beer.
- Mermaid Leather – Check out the awesome products at Mermaid Leather where designers have used strong fish and shark leather to design all kinds of awesome things.
- Esperance Museum – Take a glimpse into the history of Esperance – Admission: $8.50 adults/$3.50 kids.
- Rotary Lookout – Take in the awesome views. There is also a loop trail from here that will take you down to Lovers Cove. Other good lookouts include Observatory Point and Eleven Mile Lagoon.
- Esperance waterfront – Visit the Esperance waterfront which has a great picnic area with bbqs, shade shelters and lovely ocean views. Make sure you also take a snap at the iconic Whale Tail Sculpture.
- Esperance Stonehenge – Visit the life-sized replica of the original Stonehenge in the UK. Its stones align with the summer and winter solstices in Esperance. Admission: $10 Adult/$5 Child.
There is no doubt that this whole region is a great place to visit. We hope this run down helps you get the most out of your stay. Enjoy the magic, take way too many photos and leave only footprints.
Cheers Guys x
Have you been to this awesome part of Australia? What was your favourite spot in Cape Le Grand National Park? Please share in the comments below.
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