Monday 23rd March 2015
Esperance to Cape Le Grand
Because one has to be at the National Park early to grab a spot we set off very early which of course has its pitfalls. Not surprisingly we collide with the very first kangaroo that we have seen on this whole trip a mere few hundred metres from the camp. We arrive shaken but the staff members are unperturbed as it happens all too often. That will teach us for breaking our ‘don’t drive at dawn or dusk’ rule.
There are only 17 camp sites each one tucked in behind the dunes and quite private. The facilities are excellent. To the west the white sandy beach stretches forever, well 22kms anyway. At the eastern end there is a high granite outcrop that is quite easy to scale and the best place for phone reception.
We drive out to Hellfire Bay which has no camping but is the prettiest and a favourite of rock fishermen. The Lucky Bay campground is less private than ours and is next in line for an upgrade. Thistle Cove which is named in honour of John Thistle of HMS Investigator has a tall granite rock that is so shaped as to amplify the sounds of the sea. It is known as Whistling Rock.
We walk on Le Grand beach at sunset and watch the sun sink behind the Recherché islands. We see hoof prints of wild horses in the sand. As we shiver in the breeze we chat with a young German couple who are touring with their baby son.
We probably should have cooked dinner before running off to coo at the sunset because the camp kitchen has no lighting. We cook by torchlight and it still tastes good, maybe better.
Travelling Kms: 56Kms
Note: John Thistle was in command of a cutter sent ashore by Matthew Flinders in their exploration of the southern coast in 1802. The cutter and its crew was lost at sea. Eight place names now honour these men.
The signature image of this blog is the beach at Cape Le Grand, to my mind one of the most attractive beaches in the country. We’ll be forever grateful to a friend of the Ollies who insisted that we include it on our itinerary.
4 thoughts on “Go West, Day 17 – Cape Le Grand”
It truly is a superb patch of coastline. Our last time in the area, tried out the Thomas River camp area, further east – much less busy.
Thanks for the tip.
This is a wonderful trip, love the name Hellfire Bay. So evocative and looks lovely. You really do get to some amazing places.
The van is the secret. Vans and camper trailers really do give you access to places that don’t have other accommodation options.
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