Saturday, May 3, 2008

Esperance

We spent 10 wonderful days at Esperance in the "Bather's Paradise" Caravan Park only 75 metres from the beach. It's a fairly basic park, but CMCA friendly, charging members $18.50 per night for a powered site, also very friendly and relaxed management - dog friendly as well - so an all round friendly park!!

We had lovely neighours here - Jim & Linda, from Scotland - by the end of our time there I was nearly speaking Scottish myself!! We all went out fishing on the pier — managing to catch 1 small squid — we all (especially Danni, who ate more than half of it) enjoyed it for happy hour, cut in strips and seasoned with a spicy mixture before being dipped in flour and VERY quickly fried.
Fishing on Esperance Pier - we caught 1 squid!
Danni makes some new friends

Ten Mile Wind Farm


Esperance boasts it has "Australia's Best Beaches" - one of them won the "whitest" beach in Australia last year. The coastline is certainly very spectacular and the many islands (110) in the surrounding Recherche Archipelago make a wonderful backdrop.

We enjoyed our drive along their Great Ocean Drive, stopping at Salmon, Fourth, Twilight & Eleven Mile Beaches before heading up to the Ten Mile Wind Farm which provides approximately 27% of Esperance's electricity, the remaining power coming from a natural gas powered generator. For the more adventurous (and fit) there is a good walking/cycling path that follows the coast for many miles.

As we didn't have our permit for Skye (the dog) to enter National Parks yet we didn't visit Cape le Grand NP, but did drive part of the way along the beach from Bandy Creek Harbour, just outside Esperance, a great experience and we managed to not get stuck in the thick, soft, sand at the entrance (the little Jimny is much better on sand than the X-Trail was) — only drove about 5km along and then turned back — you can drive 22km along it and come out at Cape Le Grand.

We drove along just after high tide, so we were on hard sand, it's apparently less environmentally damaging to do that.