This nature lover’s dream boasts spectacular scenery including the bushland and beaches uninhabited islets, granite headlands, and the bubble gum-hued Pink Lake. Esperance is located in the center of some of Australia’s most beautiful sights and with some of the country’s most stunning coastline and best surf and great fishing options.
- Airlie Beach
- Kingfisher Bay (Fraser Island)
- Norfolk Island
- Penneshaw (Kangaroo Island)
- Perth (Fremantle)
- Phillip Island
- Thursday Island
- Whitsunday Island
Most Active or Strenuous
Minimal Activity Required
Relax on one of the spectacularly beautiful, sugar-white beaches of Cape Le Grand National Park, a wild wonderland rimmed by crystal-clear aquamarine water.
After departing from the pier, you will settle in for a wonderfully scenic 75 minute drive to Cape Le Grand National Park, one of the most well-known and fiercely protected natural areas in Western Australia. The terrain is absolutely breathtaking in every direction.
Massive granite boulders rise from the coastal plain, which is covered with rolling heathland. The beaches are wide, sugar-white and secluded so you can expect to have plenty of room to stretch out and enjoy the serenity.
Chances are, the only visitors not in your group will be grey kangaroos, as they are often spotted lounging on the beach. They typically travel in groups called mobs or troops. It’s an unforgettable experience to watch kangaroos bounding by or grazing in the nearby grass.
Your exploration of Cape Le Grand includes some free time at the beach, where you might take a quick dip in the ocean, bask in the sun, stroll the shore or simply admire the remarkably pristine setting. Few places are so revered for their natural beauty.
But Cape Le Grand National Park isn’t the only highlight that awaits you. On the return to Esperance, you will stop at the world’s only full-size replica of Stonehenge in England. The rather offbeat attraction was built entirely of pink granite in 2011 and aligns with the solstices in Esperance. It allegedly looks like the original did about 3,500 years ago.
Please note: This tour includes just over 1 hour of easy to moderate walking/standing. There will be sandy surfaces to negotiate at the beach. The tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair, are able to make their own way on and off the coach, and have an able-bodied companion to assist them. Those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Weather appropriate clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; sunscreen; insect repellant; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. For those who wish to take advantage of swimming time at the beach, a swimsuit worn under clothing and a towel from the ship are suggested. Guests taking part in any water activities do so at their own risk and responsibility. This tour operates with a driver/guide. Tour sequence may vary.
Cruise the unspoiled islands of the Recherche Archipelago, enjoying their natural beauty and observing creatures such as Australian sea lions and bottlenose dolphins.
After departing from the pier, you will soon embark on the MV Southern Niche, a 60-foot catamaran that is one of the largest cruise vessels in southern Western Australia. You’ll find the catamaran offers superb comfort and viewing opportunities as you navigate the typically calm waters of Esperance Bay. Feel free to settle in on the open-air deck or inside where you can gaze out of the expansive windows. Of course, you can move about as you please for the absolute best views.
There is plenty to observe as you cruise through the Recherche Archipelago, which is made up of nearly 100 unspoiled islands. Named by a French explorer in 1792 and known locally as the Bay of Isles, the archipelago is largely undeveloped and primarily inhabited by wildlife.
Most of the islands feature large granite outcrops and heathland vegetation. Beautiful beaches dot the rocky shorelines, making it easy to spot marine creatures such as Australian sea lions and New Zealand fur seals lazily basking in the sun. You might also spot bottlenose dolphins, which tend to travel in pods, often close to the catamaran.
Coastal birds are also abundant throughout the archipelago. One of the largest is the white-breasted sea eagle, which you may see majestically swooping down to pluck a fish from the sea. If you spot grayish birds ashore, chances are, they are Cape Barren geese.
Your guide will offer fascinating commentary throughout your 3 hour cruise, so you should expect to return to the pier enlightened and relaxed.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 30 minutes of easy to moderate walking to and from the catamaran. The tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair, are able to make their own way on and off the catamaran, and have an able-bodied companion to assist them (the guide and boat crew are unable to assist). Those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Weather appropriate clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; sunscreen; and flat, comfortable walking shoes with a non-slip sole are recommended. While likely, wildlife sightings are not guaranteed.
Gain a greater sense of self-awareness and tranquility through yoga and meditation on the beach at Thistle Cove, an unforgettable stretch of sugar-white sand.
After departing from the pier, you will settle in for a meandering drive through beautiful Cape le Grand National Park and on to Thistle Cove. Named for ship’s master John Thistle who discovered it in 1802, the crescent-shaped cove is rimmed with stunningly white sand.
As you meander down a short path to the beach, you can expect to pass a jumble of huge boulders, bursts of brilliant wildflowers and perhaps even kangaroos, which are often spotted here. The secluded cove is naturally serene and the sense of calm will only increase as you practice yoga and meditate while the waves gently lap the shoreline.
In this pristine setting, you will follow an instructor through a variety of yoga postures using controlled breathing techniques. Mental calmness and increased concentration will come naturally as you slowly and gracefully stretch while transitioning from one pose to the next. You can’t help but feel more aware of your body and a deeper connection between your physical self and mental self. Yoga can be immensely fulfilling, especially in this setting.
Once the session ends, you will have free time to take a wellness dip in the ocean. The turquoise water is typically crystal-clear and wonderfully refreshing. Light refreshments follow, after which you will retrace your picturesque route back to the pier.
Please note: Yoga class will take a place in an idyllic setting at one of Western Australia's many beautiful beaches. There is approximately 250 meters walking distance on uneven surfaces in order to get to the beach. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and those guests with mobility concerns are cautioned to evaluate their personal level of ability and stamina. Comfortable, flat walking shoes, light clothing are recommended. Time allows for a dip in the water and relaxation on the beach after the class.
Discover the stunning natural beauty that surrounds Esperance by traveling via a 4WD coach along the Great Ocean Drive to pristine beaches and gorgeous bays that will leave you with indelible memories.
After departing from the pier, you will enjoy a picturesque drive around Esperance Bay to a large rock outcrop that marks the beginning of Wylie Bay, a popular local surfing and camping area. Seabirds are more attracted to the bay’s pristine beach which you will drive along and then be able to observe a nesting site up close. The more adventurous may wish to climb a rocky outcrop here where you will be rewarded with a unique photo opportunity overlooking the Beach, Bay and Recherche Archipelago with Cape le Grand in the background.
Returning to the roadway, you will pass Bandy Creek Boat Harbor, where the local fishing fleet docks and a thriving railroad yard that ships iron ore. Both venues are indicative of the area’s diverse economy, as is Lucky Bay Brewing, your next stop.
After an introductory tour of the brewery, you will be treated to a tasting of several beers. They may include pale ale made with a rare type of barley and a German-style kolsch. The beers reflect locally grown ingredients and the owners’ penchant for uncommon offerings.
Continuing on, you will travel along the Great Ocean Drive, a circuitous roadway through some of Australia’s most stunning coastal scenery. Just when you think it couldn’t be any more beautiful, you will stop at Twilight Beach, an oasis of turquoise water and sugar-white sand backed by precipitous granite cliffs. Feel free to take a stroll along the beach or perhaps grab an ice cream from the local vendor.
Before returning to the pier, you will pause once more for photos atop Rotary Lookout which offers a sweeping view of Esperance and the islands of the Recherche Archipelago.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 90 minutes of easy to moderate walking/standing. There will be uneven and sandy surfaces to negotiate. Some parts of the coach ride may be bumpy. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and not considered suitable for those with mobility concerns. Weather appropriate clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; sunscreen; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Guests must be at least 18 years of age to participate in this tour. This tour operates with a driver/guide. Tour sequence may vary.
Explore the highlights in and around Esperance, which include unspoiled beaches, panoramic lookouts and unusual shops with artistic glassworks and leather goods.
After departing from the pier, you will settle in for a leisurely, wonderfully scenic drive to Cape Le Grand National Park, where you will first pause for photos at Stonehenge, a full size replica of the original made with local granite stone. Next, it’s a stop at Frenchman’s Peak. Its name comes from the unusual shape of the hats worn by French troops in the 1800s.
Continuing on, you’ll stop at Hellfire Beach and then Lucky Bay. Both offer beautiful views and white sandy beaches. There will be time for a stroll at Hellfire beach. Enjoy a picnic-style lunch at one of these locations and later, if time permits, you might be able to take a quick dip in the ocean at Lucky Bay. Don’t be surprised if you spot grey kangaroos lolling about nearby.
Returning to Esperance, you will stop at Mermaid Leather, Australia’s only fish and shark leather tannery. Merchandise includes one-of-a-kind handbags, wallets and accessories made from the skin of fish such as barramundi and grouper.
For a sweeping view of Esperance, you will drive to Rotary Lookout, which sits atop a granite outcrop. The islands that you will see in the distance are part of the Recherche Archipelago.
More spectacular vistas await you at West Beach and Twilight Cove on the outskirts of town, where you will pause for photos before continuing on to a wind farm. Sea breezes power the large turbines there in an effort to make Esperance less reliant on gas-fired energy.
You will then view the area’s most unnatural-looking sight: Pink Lake, whose bright bubble-gum color is caused by high concentrations of salt-tolerant algae. Your final stop will be at Section Gallery where you can browse their collection of glass artworks before returning to the pier.
Please note: Walking on this tour is primarily at the guests’ discretion during the stops. There will be uneven and sandy surfaces to negotiate. Some parts of the coach ride may be bumpy. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and not considered suitable for those with mobility concerns. Weather appropriate clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; sunscreen; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. For those who wish to take advantage of the possibility of swimming time at Lucky Bay, a swimsuit worn under clothing and a towel from the ship are suggested. Guests taking part in any water activities do so at their own risk and responsibility. This tour operates with a driver/guide. Tour sequence may vary.