Ah Esperance, you seductive ice queen. So beautiful, yet so cold. As city slickers, we are unaccustomed to the relentless fresh southerly winds. Despite the weather, Esperance was a great place to visit and explore in December and had been on our wish list for awhile.
Originally we had planned to visit in summer and camp in the national parks. However, when looking for honeymoon destinations, Esperance was an obvious choice. There is so much to see and do, from stunning national parks to the Bay of Isles. After only a week, it felt like we had only scratched the surface.
Stopover in Hyden
We left from Kalamunda, taking the Brookton Highway. It’s a long drive and we chose to stop overnight in Hyden. There is a caravan park at Wave Rock, a short drive out of town, which looked clean and inviting for country travelers.
We decided to go upmarket and stay at the Wave Rock Motel in town. The motel has accommodation, bar, restaurant and swimming pool. What more could you want? After a hot drive, we had a dip in the pool, then sat beside it having a drink at country pub prices. $6.50 for a glass of wine, anyone?
The quaint Bush Bistro is casual, with a large grill where you cook the meat you select, then choose from a buffet of salads and sides. After several months of careful eating prior to the wedding, I felt like I was dancing in a land of food and piled up my plate with chips and salads. I may have gone back for seconds.
The rooms look newly renovated. From the outside, the motel appears to be your standard 70s, brown brick bunker you see in almost every small town. Inside the room has new fittings, modern linen and a clean, fresh bathroom. It probably isn’t a typical or frequent choice for newly married couples but it suited us just fine.
Our usual type of accommodation is our OzTent or the back of the Landy. Sometimes we treat ourselves to a bit of luxury and this time chose to stay in a self-contained apartment across from West Beach, specifically for couples.
Stowaway is a short drive from town on Twilight Beach Road, with stunning ocean views, and was exactly what we wanted for our newly-wedded getaway. The apartment is part of a private residence, with owners Lara and Shane friendly and welcoming but not intrusive. You have your own private entry and your accommodation includes everything you need for an enjoyable stay.
Although small – the apartment is essentially only four rooms, including the front verandah space – it’s all you need. The furnishings and appliances are new, clean and modern. Lara has done a wonderful job decorating, with such attention to detail, we were still discovering thoughtful bits and pieces days into our stay.
Sit in bed with a cuppa in the morning and just enjoy the sight and smell of the ocean. Or venture over the road to watch the ocean. In the evenings, you can sit on the verdandah with a glass of wine and enjoy the view, protected from the winds.
Now we have had a chance to explore the area, Esperance is still on our list of camping destinations. Although staying in town meant we had easier access to more attractions than if we had just stayed in Cape Le Grand or Cape Arid national parks.
Next time though, we’ll be packing up the Landy and pitching the tent, ready to explore more offroad tracks and hopefully spot an elusive kangaroo down the beach. And maybe sneak in one night at Stowaway, just for a touch of luxury.