Esperance and the Fitzgerald coast feel like another world — an “island”, way out east, sort-of between us and the South Australian border, writes STEPHEN SCOURFIELD
Esperance and the Fitzgerald coast feels like another world — an “island”, way out east, sort-of between us and the South Australian border.
Adrift between our suburban metro lives, the Southern Ocean perambulating the planet to the south and the agriculture and woodlands to its north.
It is its own little world — and a rare little world.
The town of Esperance has a “go it alone” feel. It has a strong colour palette — deep ocean the colour of lapis lazuli; shallows of opalesque turquoise. Blindingly white sand.
The Fitzgerald coast is a true rarity — a botanical hotspot, an oasis, an ocean lookout.
And the towns around — Ravensthorpe, Hopetoun, Jerdacuttup, Munglinup (with its caravan park), Coomalbidjup, Dalyup — have strong local character full of, well, strong local characters.
The most direct routes from the Perth metro area to Esperance are about 700km. Basically — prepare the night before, leave early (“before the traffic”), enjoy some breaks and get there mid to late afternoon. It’s a nice day out on good bitumen roads.
My preferred route is through to Armadale, North Bannister, Wandering, Narrogin, Harrismith, Lake Grace, Newdegate, Lake King, Ravensthorpe and Esperance.
An alternative (perhaps just slightly shorter) is through Carmel, Westdale, Jelcobine, Pingelly, Wickepin, Harrismith, Lake Grace, Newdegate, Lake King, Ravensthorpe and Esperance.
To mix it up, and perhaps break the drive, consider Kondinin, Hyden (overnight at Wave Rock), Lake King.
Rex flies between Perth and Esperance in 1 hour and 35 minutes. (And thank goodness for them.)
The day that you choose to fly may vary the price — for example, in May, that might be $216 (one way) on a Thursday and $382 on a Wednesday. Work the website; be flexible with your dates. rex.com.au
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