There is always something to do in Esperance. There are plenty of water-based activities but when the weather turns foul, being on the water is not a pleasant experience. We tested this one ourselves by getting out on a choppy, windy and no-fish-biting day (and it was probably made worse as I was coming down with a cold at the time). So whilst you wait for better conditions, and you have ticked the major national parks off the list, check out a few other attractions.
Great Ocean Drive: Poor weather on our first day made the photography challenging as we
visited the stops along Twilight Beach Road, also known as the Great Ocean Drive. There are plenty of beaches, including well-known Twilight Cove. Starting at West Beach and visiting picturesque locations along the way, the drive is a great way to spend half a day viewing some of the best of what Esperance has to offer.
Foreshore and Coffee Cat: It can get rather chilly in Esperance, even in December, so grabbing a coffee from the Coffee Cat is a good way to keep warm as you stroll along the foreshore. There are also other food trucks available for whatever takes your fancy.
The foreshore space has been recently redeveloped, so there are plenty of paths and points of interest, such as the whale tail sculpture created by local artists. After a long drive to get there, a lazy day in town is a great way to relax and settle into holiday mode.
Esperance Eggs: Those poor chickens. They are treated very well, as you can see from their yard and shed as you pull into the Esperance Eggs farm, but the size of those eggs looked eye-wateringly large. We bought 30 and frittatas became a main staple of our diet. They weren’t the easiest item to take back with us but they came at a great price and unlike a lot of eggs you get in the supermarket, these had delicious, farm-fresh flavour.
Yirri Grove Olive Farm: Our visit to Yirri Grove came on a hot day, but it was still lovely to sit outside at the cafe by the olive grove. The zucchini slice was top notch and came with a side of their delicious relish. There are plenty of products to sample and buy and if you’re stocking up on fresh eggs, Yirri Grove is the place to find great accompaniments to the many egg-based bakes you’re probably about make.
Gibson Soak: The Gibson Soak Hotel is a short drive out of town on the road to Norseman.
Enjoy decent pub food under the huge fig trees in, seemingly, the middle of nowhere. The food was not spectacular but it was worth the drive to try somewhere with quirky character. Of course, tasty beers from local brewery Lucky Bay Brewing are on tap.
Museum Village Markets: You can’t beat a lazy stroll around markets on a Sunday. The Museum Village Markets includes some food and fresh produce sellers to buy but most stalls are dedicated to crafts and small businesses selling products. I recommend Ecolosophy, a cool little stall with an online store selling eco-friendly products and Cape Arid Candles for some hand-made, delicious-smelling candles.
Of course, all these attractions are before you get out onto the water, which is the most alluring attraction in Esperance. There are several cruises as well as fishing and diving day trips to choose from, where you can explore the many islands in the Bay of Isles and catch a glimpse of a dolphin or two.