Have you ever heard of the Great Ocean Drive Esperance? Most people haven’t until they actually visit the town and even then it can be easy to miss.
Despite it’s lack of fame it is one of Australia’s best coastal drives. The beaches along this stretch of road are among the most beautiful in the country. This is saying something in a country known for it’s beaches.
This road is often confused with the similarly titled Great Ocean Road which is located in Victoria. This is a much shorter stretch of road but it is packed full of great sights.
You won’t have to drive more than 5 minutes at a time before coming to the next great stop. This makes it the perfect way to spend a day while staying in Esperance.
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How Long is the Great Ocean Drive Esperance?
The Great Ocean Drive is a 41km loop from Esperance town centre.
Best Time to Visit Esperance
You should plan your road trip from Perth to Esperance during summer (December – February). The southwest has a cooler climate to Perth, so planning your visit during the summer months will ensure pleasant temperatures of around 25 – 30°C.
Where to Stay in Esperance
The Jetty Resort – Perfectly located on the waterfront in town. Jump in your car and you’re already on the Great Ocean Drive!
Esperance Bay Holiday Park – This caravan park is only a short walk to town and is highly rated.
Great Ocean Drive Esperance – 10 Best Stops
Esperance Museum & Whale Tail
Located right near the visitors centre in town is a surprisingly great museum. For a town the size of Esperance they have managed to accumulate a really good collection of memorabilia.
You will find all sorts of displays and items large and small (there’s an entire steam train engine in there). The museum is a great spot to learn about the history of the area and it’s people.
The nearby museum village has further displays as well as some gift shops and a café. You can also take a quick walk across the Esplanade to the waterfront and see the famous ‘Whale Tail’ sculpture.
A short drive along the waterfront from the museum will take you to Adventureland Park. This area features many attractions that will appeal to people travelling with kids.
Our favourite part was the beautifully designed Mechanical Clock Tower. This looks very attractive and chimes every 15mins. In this area you can also find a large playground, miniature steam train rides and mini-golf.
Continuing south on the Esplanade, you will begin to ascend steeply as you leave town. The road becomes Twilight Beach Rd here and this is the start of the most scenic stretch.
For an overview of the beautiful coastline you’ll be traversing, head up to the rotary lookout. This sits at the top of the hill you’ve just driven up and has fantastic views of the town and the coastline.
It’s not easy to locate but there is also a small trail down to the secluded ‘Lovers Cove’. This is a very small and picturesque bay wedged between the steep hillsides.
The name is kind of a give-away here! The water of this beach is a phenomenal rich blue and the small sheltered bay is prefect for swimming. This is a great place to take a dip and tends to be less busy than nearby Twilight Beach.
If you’re not keen to get wet and just want to soak up the views then you can check out ‘Chapmans Lookout’ which you drive past on the way here. There is also a ‘Blue Haven Lookout’ at the top of the hill above the beach.
This world-class beach is the most popular stop on the Great Ocean Drive. The sands are soft and white, the waters are a vibrant blue and it is definitely among the most beautiful beaches in Western Australia!
There is a decent expanse of sand here so you will be able to stake out a spot for yourself. There are several large granite boulders in the water that can be explored, one even has a cave you can climb into.
West Beach Lookout
West Beach Lookout is located at the point where the road starts to run along the top of tall sea cliffs. This is arguably the most scenic stretch of road on the whole Great Ocean Drive.
If you have a drone then this is the best spot to launch it for photos of this amazing road. The road runs east to west here so if it’s closer to morning you should be shooting with the sun behind you.
This was our favourite lookout along the Great Ocean Drive in Esperance. You have to earn the view here with a set of stairs leading up to the hilltop lookout point. From the top is an amazing view of the coastline.
It’s especially nice looking back towards the high coastal cliffs that you’ve just driven along. You also have a good perspective of the impressive winding staircase leading down to the beach. If you want some exercise then you can climb down to take a look at the beach!
10 Mile Lagoon Wind Farm
Renewable energy is a big deal these days but it’s not often you get up close and personal with the technologies. This is a great spot to learn about wind turbines and really feel the scale of the blades as you stand right underneath them!
This installation combines with others to produce around 50% of the power needs of Esperance. You get great views from the hill and can also visit the beach of the same name if you want a quieter spot to relax.
Pink Lake Lookout
The road starts heading away from the coast at this point before turning back on itself further inland. You will shortly see a lake on your left side and a sign for the ‘Pink Lake Lookout’ shortly after that.
At this point a disclaimer is required as the lake is often not pink in colour. The colour of the lake is dependent on concentrations of minerals that change depending on water levels.
It is still a great lookout point regardless of the colour of the lake. This spot is particularly special at sunset and offers some brilliant photography opportunities.
33 Degrees Esperance
I know it’s not technically a stop on the Great Ocean Drive, but you’ve just done 9 and I think you deserve a beer! 33 Degrees Esperance is a waterfront bar located right between the museum and Adventureland Park.
Their deck looks out over the ocean and they have a good selection of beverages including the local Lucky Bay Brewing range. You can also get a delicious pub meal for a perfect end to the perfect day.
Further Travels from Esperance
The Great Ocean Drive Esperance only takes a day to complete so hopefully you’ve got plenty more time to explore Esperance. You’ll probably be heading to Cape Le Grand National Park to see the amazing beaches there. Click the link to learn more.
If you’re continuing further across Australia then check out our Perth to Adelaide Road Trip. This stops in Esperance so you can pick it up from here and see all the best stuff along the Nullarbor and beyond.
Read More WA Travel Guides
- Perth to Exmouth Road Trip – 10 Day Itinerary
- The Ultimate 5 Day Perth Itinerary
- Perth to Wave Rock Road Trip
- 20 Best Beaches in Western Australia
- Perth to Albany Road Trip – 5 Day Itinerary
- Perth to Busselton Road Trip – 3 Day Itinerary
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